Today the sun shone. It felt particularly essential because on this afternoon, my grandparents’ house was sold. I desperately needed the brightness of the sky to lift me from despair today. On May 22, 2012, my grandmother, the center of my family died after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. One year ago today, she was alive. And I never imagined that the hole she’d leave would seem so deep, so painful, so hallow. Their home was a gathering point for holidays, meals, visits, family, laughter. So many of my most fond memories from childhood are in that house or yard. This morning, I took a long walk in her yard, chased my own children around the sandy, grassy space. Watched them lean against the fence, look up at the planes overhead just as I had done for the last 31 years of my life. Both my grandmother and grandfather were given the gift and privilege of passing on within the walls of their home, in the comfort of their bed, with the strength of family around. It’s hard to think of them anywhere else. So it’s difficult to fight the abandonment aching in my throat.
I cling to the items she once touched. Smelling blankets, cradling her coffee mug, running my hand over a piano stool, watering a plant. All these items, once hers are now all I have left. There are no words. Just deep sadness tonight. An era in my life has ended. This afternoon, I took the time to watch my children play in our yard.
These short moments seem all the better today. A little bitter-sweet but better. It sounds cliche to say that this was surreal. So surreal. One day, many, many years from now, their children may walk my yard. And hopefully, the same feeling of comfort will pass over them. Peace Mamas.