I have climbed the highest mountain
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
–From U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Since her death, my grandmother’s spirit has scaled the walls that define the physical world that for 30 years hindered our togetherness. She was with me last night when that crummy thing was said to me. (I’ll keep her reaction to myself.) And, she was with me last night when I picked Bridgette up and twirled her around in the kitchen. She reminded me that she was a young mother once and that those three little babies, one of whom was my mother, made her so happy.
And, she was there this morning, when I was getting Bridgette ready for church. She was standing right there as I dressed her and I know she thought she was beautiful and that she reminded her of me as a baby.
She sat with us in the church today, and we exchanged a knowing. I felt her slip away during lunch, maybe off to see someone else she’s been missing? I know she’ll back soon, though, because of a comment one of you left on my blog:
“…I have heard way too many stories not to believe that the souls of our departed loved ones check in to say their farewells, blow us a kiss, let us know all is well. And then it is our job to let them know WE will be okay so they can go on along.”
For over 40 years, I’ve shared my grandma with 50 different people, feeling all but invisible most of the time. But for the last 36 hours, I’ve had her all to myself. And, I can’t believe she came to see me, and she knows now, I never forgot, and soon I’ll be able to let her go.
I want to thank everyone for their kind words during this time. I have never been good at handling death. When Robert and Juliette both asked me on separate occasions if I’d heard about the big-box store employee who was trampled to death on Black Friday, I came unhinged.
I reminded them both: “DO NOT REPEAT STORIES LIKE THAT TO ME. I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR THAT STUFF.” My imagination is wild and vivid and I immediately imagine everything from plummeting Wal-Mart stock to the grief of the man’s mother, child, wife.
Thus, you can imagine that the carriage, which Emily Dickson likened to death, I have imagined as that great pumpkin that carried Cinderella. Grandma hasn’t stepped inside it yet, but eventually, she will and will be on her way to centuries that are more like days. She was pragmatic that way, and that is just one thing I loved about her. And, I’m not OK — yet.