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06 March 2008 @ 10:42 pm
Endings and beginnings.  
Tonight we stood by grandma's deathbed and talked about these things as she listened to our conversations flow and eddy around her. A distant cousin has had a new baby. A close cousin has just received closure at the trial of her lover's murderer. The pastor who performed my grandpa's funeral has since died. Grandma's only living sister, in a nursing home with dementia, recognised her when last she visited--"that's my sister, Mim!"

She'd told the doctors that she has tired of the fight, and there is a new lightness and frail finality to her countenance now... a look of relief. Everything is arranged, everything is paid for. Now there is nothing but the waiting; we are past the point of no return. It's okay to stand around and hold her hand and talk about the way the world will spin in her absence--she wants to hear us talk a little about the old times, but she seems comforted by this talk of other passages from existence out of it again, and babies brought into being, just starting their lives.

She is sure of where she will wake up, as sure as a person can be, and she drifts while we talk and joke and hug and wipe our eyes. We've not completely disintegrated as a family--she has brought us together again, at least one more time.

Three times, she told me how glad she was that I had come.

Every time she drifted, I wondered if I'd said the last thing I would say to her. She is a different person, this sudden new old Mim I don't entirely recognise... and it's not because her body has changed.

I stood at the end of her bed and I watched the LCD at her feet monitor her ever-decreasing weight. This death is like disappearing... I imagine her evaporating slowly and neatly into nothing, blinking out of existence like a black hole.

Goodbye, Grandma. Hawking radiation may always remind me of this ending, but I'll also have a lot of happy memories. I hope you sleep well--you do look so tired.
Current Mood: crushedcrushed
Current Music: Radiohead, "No Surprises"
I Dream of the Silk That Is Tangled Inside You: driving circlesvaspider on March 7th, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss, and glad for the closure your cousin received. I had wondered about the latter.
la renarde: on the train with sen and no-facepouringsand on March 7th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
Since I did link to it before, here is an update that includes parts of Gail's own statement:


There was no trial... Elaine's killer entered a plea of no contest to avoid both a trial and possible death penalty. She's been given 30 to 60 years.

Thank you for your kind words.
I Dream of the Silk That Is Tangled Inside Youvaspider on March 7th, 2008 05:27 am (UTC)
It sounds like Diane was there in support of her sister. That is... I don't want to say surprising, but it is good to hear that, given all the history there.

I have hope for Gail, and she has been in my thoughts from time to time. Your family will be as well.

(TM should be home around 6 PM tomorrow, if you'd like to talk to him.)
fightin' and trouble are my middle nameused_songs on March 7th, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry.
bzial on March 7th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss.
deadrose: candlesdeadrose on March 8th, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)
Let her passing be as gentle as dew on a rose and may your memories of her life well-lived comfort you in the days ahead.
jjgalahad: togethernessjjgalahad on March 8th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
I am very sorry for your loss. *HUGS* I'm glad that you had the time to take it in at your own pace and say all of your goodbyes. Still, it's never easy.
renoir_girl on March 8th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
Beautiful testimony, hon. *hug*
Summer Snow: haircutaesmael on March 10th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing something so personal. About the most I knew of my great aunt was seeing her in hospital before she died and what I learned at her funeral; I am glad you had such things with your grandmother in life.