Friday, June 19, 2009

How do you say goodbye?

I just had to do something I've never had to do before.


Not once in my life.

I had to call someone and tell them goodbye.

Like forever goodbye. Like you're-going-to-heaven-soon-and-I'll-never-talk-to-you-again goodbye.

My grandma is in hospice care and her body is rapidly shutting down. She's 87 years old. Has 13 children, 50 some grandchildren and plenty of great grandchildren.

I've been avoiding calling her all day because I didn't know what to say. What do you say in your last conversation with someone? How do you find the words? How do you hold it together and not turn into a bumbling mess of tears while you're on the phone?

But I knew I would regret it if I let this opportunity slide.

She's my last grandparent.

Through the tears there is joy because I know when she closes her eyes for the final time, she'll open them in a place that is beyond my comprehension.

I could not fathom the difficulty of the death of a loved one if I didn't think they were going to heaven.

Waiting for her with open arms will be her parents, her husband, her oldest child, and a number of siblings that have passed on before her. I know in heaven those people and relationships are different than they are here on earth....but I can't imagine the anticipation of getting to see those loved ones again.

I still don't have an answer to my question.

Even though I did it.

I made the call.

I talked to her, but I still don't know how to say goodbye.


JellyBelly said...

i can't even imagine making a phone call like you did today. but please feel comfort in the fact that you got the chance to talk to her. my maternal grandmother had a sudden aneurysm and was hospitalized for 8 years. i never got to say a proper goodbye to her and near the end of her life i couldn't bring myself to visit her in the hospital.

you are all in my prayers. :)

Life In Mazes said...

I am sure your grandma was so happy to hear your voice! I will pray for you and your family as you all love your grandma always. The love you have for her will never end, it will continue, just in a new way. God bless you today.

KristaLee said...

You don't ever, really. What a lot of people don't realize is that death is no more a permanent closer for those still living than divorce, miscarriage etc.
You move on, because you have to, but the feelings and emotions come back to you in different ways and at different times in your life.
In this peaceful situation, where she's a believer, it's not tragic (she's lived a long, good life) it's usually happy memories and a joy to remember, but not all are like that.
The problem is so many try to cover up and push down the emotions when they continue to come back and the more tragic the loss and closer the relationship, the more difficult that is.
Beyond knowing Jesus, the Peace He gives, we still need to allow ourselves to experience the grief in all the different stages it comes in and know that it's healthy and normal to feel them.
It's the only way people can truly keep going.
Some avoid the difficult decision to "say goodbye" when they have the chance but when you do, it's easier in the long term even though it's so hard to do at the time. To many live with regret.
I could go on - I've seen so much growing up in the funeral home business - but just wanted to share a bit.
You made a good choice to go ahead and talk to her and I'm sure she appreciated it! As hard as it is, it's better to stumble over the words or cry your eyes out with the person than to avoid them (or the feelings).
Always praying for you :)

Amber said...

I cant imagine making the call like that I dont think there is any easy way to do it.