My Grandma died last night while I held her hand. She told me a few months ago that her dying wish was not to die alone and for me to hold her hand as she passed away. I was blessed to have fulfilled that wish. She hung on just for me to say goodbye. She had pneumonia and could barely breathe. I told her that I didn’t want her to die, but if she had to go, it was okay. Within a few minutes she had passed away.
I had been at work yesterday in my day job and went food shopping after work. My mobile phone had been on silent and I had realised that I had missed a call from my mum. As soon as I got home, I saw my landline answer machine flashing; there was a message on it from my mum and I phoned my mum back. She told me that the doctor had visited my Grandma earlier that day and said she has only hours to live. My dad was at the home at that point with my Grandma. After talking to my mum, she went to the home to hold my Grandma’s hand while my dad picked me up to see my Grandma.
It was weird getting ready for my dad to pick me up to go to my Grandma’s death. I had to feed my guineapigs extra veg; give them fresh water and a pile of piggy mix so I could prepare for staying over at my parents. I packed some food, some clothes and my charger. I ate some rice and fish that I had heated in the microwave. ‘Is this what it is like, preparing for someone’s death?’ I thought to myself. It was a very surreal and odd moment.
I vowed last year, 2013, to try to not be superstitious about the 13. I had been superstitious for years, but no longer wanted to be a victim of superstition. When I walked under scaffolding, I thought of renewal, repair and growth; rather than if it would fall on me or bring me back luck. When I saw one blackbird, it would mean stronger as one. Instead of one for sorrow. I tried to think positive.
In the first half of last year, good things happened. I got to meet HM the Queen at St James’s Palace, after saving someone’s life; getting a Good Citizens Award; receiving a Special Recognition Award for my beatredundancyblues business and a Certificate of Achievement. In the second half of the year, my guineapig Peaches died suddenly from a respiratory infection and genetic lung condition. Snuggles had to have a tumor removed, and tests revealed she has an enlarged heart and spot on her lung. Cinnamon was rushed in for emergency surgery for an abscess on his face that was the size of a tennis ball. Daisy had to have surgery to remove lumps from her stomach and to have one of her teats removed.
My Grandma died yesterday, on Friday 13th.
On reflection, you could say that last year, there was an equal amount of good and bad, but what my piggies went through was worse than the good felt by the awards that I received. I saved a life, but I couldn’t save another.
Am I still superstitious? Yes, I am a bit superstitious. People still tend to die in threes. My mum told me yesterday about a total of 5 deaths and sure enough later that day, one of my Facebook friends that I used to work with in a voluntary capacity, said he lost his Nan a couple of weeks ago. Of course I do accept there is more people that will have died, but I tend to hear about 3 in close succession. Maybe it’s because I am focusing on 3, that is all I see. I will continue to challenge such beliefs.
I will still strive to turn negative thoughts about things into positive ones, so my superstitions are less. I do believe reincarnation can happen for some people. It may have happened to me before. It’s possible. Anything is possible is this amazing universe.
My Grandma believed in my writing and always backed me up. I told her I was dedicating my Break through the barriers of redundancy book, to her. She asked me to bring her a copy when it was published. She never doubted my abilities for a nanosecond. She didn’t say if, but when. The dedication is currently written in present tense, so I will need to change that to past tense – Maybe? I will thrust ahead with all of my writing projects knowing that she will be more proud of me than ever. She told me she loved me and that she was proud of me on more than one occasion. We had the same sort of mind and we just ‘got’ each other. She will never be forgotten because she lives on through me. Which seems a bit of a weird and quirky thing to say, but it’s true. Our minds were so alike.
My Grandma was diagnosed with an overactive brain by her doctor, at the age of about 3 or 4. My mum told me she used to get up in the middle of the night and write sums on her wall. I, too, have been blessed with an overactive brain. It never stops doing and thinking. It is incredible. I have a writer’s mind and the ability to see things that some other non-writers can’t. It helps me to be entrepreneurial, as well as creative in writing. Years ago I didn’t like who I was; now I love it. I totally accept myself for who I am and realise I was born this way for a very specific purpose. My mind is not a problem, but a unique gift that I am blessed with. I am no longer depressed, I am loving life. Despite whatever happens in life, including my Grandma’s death, I am blessed to be me, blessed to have my overactive mind, particularly for writing and coming up with business solutions from out of nowhere, and blessed to be living. Most of all I am blessed to have held my Grandma’s hand whilst she died. I continued to hold it until the doctor arrived a little after an hour later. Yes, it was weird holding the hand of a corpse. Her hand was as stiff and as white as a sheet by the time I let go, removed her watch as my mum asked me to, and put her hand under her blanket. I sobbed my heart out for this hour, talking to her even though she was dead. It was a very weird experience because I had never seen a human dead body before, let alone touched or held the hand of one. Only on TV had I seen that before. I wanted to keep hold of her until the doctor came to officially announce her death, and he did. Only then could I leave her body and blow her a kiss goodbye.
It may have been a morbid experience to have held her hand for that long; to feel her hand pulsate and tingle as the blood moved away from it, but I guess I haven’t experienced that kind of thing before, I wanted to share that experience with her. I wasn’t afraid like I thought I would have been. I kissed her forehead shortly after she died and that had already gone stiff. Her arms stiff felt squidgy.
To my wonderful Grandma:
I love you now,
I love you forever.
I love you,
My precious treasure.
If you have read this entire post, then thank you. It is probably one the longest posts that I have ever written. I realise you may have found some of this post a bit disturbing or upsetting, because if I was not me, and I was reading it, that may have been how I interpreted it. I always knew while holding her hand that I would write a blog post about it; that I would be able write to give me strength, to deal with my grief, let it out, go with the flow and feel that closeness to my Grandma. She will never leave me, for she won’t just be in my heart, she will remind me in my mind of the connection we shared and of the bond that is unbreakable. She will remind me of what pure love is. She will make me more determined that ever, to enjoy life to the fullest and to fulfil all of my life goals, ambitions, dreams and so much more. She had two mottos in life: One – There is no such words as can’t, and two – If you don’t use it, you lose it. Her body packed in because she was no longer using it much. Her mind was filled with a ton of stuff that was no longer exercised. Her love of me kept her going. Bless her. I wasn’t always happy about the care she received in the nursing home and in that respect she is free. She is my lovely Grandma, whom I will forever love implicitly.
Thanks for listening. What do you think about superstitions?
Write when I can
Ps. Live life to the fullest because you never know how long you have got. My Grandma was 96 years young when she passed away yesterday. Thank God I was there to hold her hand while she died. It was her dying wish. Feeling good about that and blessed.