Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Journey To The End

A few days before my grandmother died this year, my mum and I were talking about how she just wanted her to finally "go with my grandfather and into the gates of heaven." Her last few weeks on earth seemed to be the most painful to her -- physically! It is not so much that my mum was being mean or selfish for saying that, but you had to be there to know what she means. I would fly home quite frequently to visit her in fear that I may never be able to do it again. And every time I'd see her, my heart broke a little.

Just like anyone laying on the deathbed, there came a point where she stopped waking up and opening her eyes, her hand grip became almost non-existent, oxygen had to help her breathe as she started wheezing, and she stopped eating (the nurse had to feed her through a tube). I couldn't stand looking at her in that state. I was extremely thankful to the nurse for being so compassionate -- she would comb my grandma's hair lovingly, put lipstick on her from time to time and lathered her face with moisturizer to keep it from peeling. May God bless her kind soul.

The nurse also told me that there were times when my grandma would call out my grandfather's name (he died some 25 years ago) in the middle of the night. Goosebumps populated my epidermis all over my body -- she was already being fetched. I knew it was all she had been waiting for.

The ground beneath me stopped moving the day I got the dreaded phone call from my sister that my grandma died. I was in the middle of the pavement on the way to the grocery store then. I found a small rock to sit down on and dialed up my mother's number to confirm the news. She picked up clumsily and started spewing incoherent words in the middle of sobs and chokes on the phone. I whispered a few words of assurances but we both knew that it was only for the best.

I sat on that rock for several minutes trying to process everything that just happened. My brain was chanting "she's dead, she's gone, she's dead, she's gone" and effectively, I knew it was my cue to cry for my loss. I waited for the tears to come... none. I went to the grocery, bought a few knick-knacks, went home, sat in bed... still no tears.

I prayed for my late grandma's soul and looked back on my lovely memories with her. Still no tears.

For a while, I felt guilty for my lack of tears. Why was I not mourning? Could it be that I've been expecting her death for so long that the nightmare's realization became almost anti-climactic?

It was only recently that it dawned on me that I was actually happy for my grandma that she's in a far better place than the rest of us -- she's happy with the Lord, with my grandpa, in paradise. Why cry when you're feeling only happiness for someone? Sure, I'm sad for my family's loss but ultimately, we are happy that she is finally delivered from pain and suffering and that she has fulfilled a full life... and is now with her maker.

She lived a full life. Now she has reached its end and is embarking on the next journey -- one that is still unknown to the rest of us. We could only pray for her journey's success and her peace.

I miss you greatly, Lola, I love you. We all do.

I'm no longer sorry for not crying when you passed away. I only feel happiness for you and not grief. I'm only sorry that I can't be with you right now... but at one point, I will be. I hope you're there when it's my turn to take that journey. I will have a lot of stories to tell you.


Blogger thisisme said...

This is a truly beautiful post. Celebrate your Lola, remember her with love, and stockpile those stories to tell her.

5:10 PM  
Blogger poemsnpuja said...

may her soul rest in peace. i have faced the same when my grandmother expired.you are remarkable in being able to pen things so well.
i am putting your blog's address in my blog roll. hope you dont mind.
really loved the way you celebrate life.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Princess B, I'm glad you're finding peace and comfort in the knowledge of your grandmother's happiness. During the past few years, when mourning the loss of somebody (human or pet) I realize as I'm mourning, that I'm not mourning because they're dead, but because they're no longer in MY life. And yet, in most cases, it's accompanied by some happiness that they are no longer suffering in this life.

I think it shows wisdom to be able to recognize that mourning is not for the dead, but for the living. The dead are not in pain, they're relieved of their earthly burdens. We should be happy for them, joyous in their new beginnings. When we mourn, if we mourn, it is really because we miss that person in our lives here. But, it is also important to remember that seperation in death is not forever. Whether you believe in heaven, or reincarnation, you will see your loved ones again. And that should bring us peace and comfort.

My prayers for the peace and comfort of your family as they mourn the passing of your Lola.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Lynnie said...

hey, i was browsing random blogs and i found yours.
and after reading your post, i just wanted to say, when trouble comes your way, you let it be an opportunity for joy. i look up to you for that [:

5:35 AM  
Blogger zanas said...

your post has taught me a beautiful lesson. your late grandma was a very lucky woman to be surrounded by her loved ones throughout her life. and you are very blessed to love her. take care...

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘Princess Banter’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)


6:05 PM  
Blogger Scribblers Inc said...

It is indeed a touching piece of writing...it sort of showcases all the turmoil in the head when something of this sort happens...I am also unable to come up with tears most of the time...

scribblers Inc.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Jennifer McKenzie said...

As always, Princess, you amaze me.
And inspire me.
Your grandma should be very proud of the woman you are.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Vik Rajagopalan said...

It is quite amazing how one reacts to the situation and you did everything right to what we know. You grand mum would sure be very pleased and glad she had a grand daughter in you. She sure would be safe hands up there ...

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... :D ...

9:37 AM  
Blogger Princess Stefania said...

Because words would not suffice.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Rhett said...

May her soul rest in peace.


4:41 AM  
Blogger Crashdummie said...

thinking of you my friend.


5:12 AM  
Blogger Living On Video said...

May her soul rest in peace. :)

Are you alright? You haven't blogged for sometime, now.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Chaitali said...

May her soul rest in peace. This is one of the most clear blog posts I have ever read. You have written your thoughts and described your feelings so beautifully.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Avaran said...

hey pprincess now im doubting... did u start another blog or something?
well, anyways its been too long postless!

happy new year ... hope its filled with love and happiness and peace... and lots more blog posts too!

8:21 PM  
Blogger noThiNG but "fiCUs" said...

Hey :) I think you should write more. Soon. It's been a while since you wrote anything, and we don't always come out of the hiding, but there is a whole section of us, that waits to read your stuff, and is disappointed. :)

8:08 PM  

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