Yesterday I thought I had sort of made my peace with the fact that soon she would be gone. All day I didn't think I would go back to the hospital, and I felt confident that I had said my goodbyes. And then the weirdest thing happened. Ben and I were out to dinner at a restaurant and all of a sudden I felt like I had to go to the hospital again. Ben was surprised, but he drove me there right away. And I got there literally two minutes after she had taken her last breath. I feel wracked with guilt that I wasn't there next to her and that I couldn't get there in time to tell her again how much I loved her. While we were driving home from the hospital Ben was trying to comfort me and he said, "You were there for her when it mattered." I snapped at him and said, "it always mattered. It was always important to be with her." And you know, I really did feel that way. My idea of family doesn't just have to do with blood relationships, but much deeper bonds. I haven't formed those bonds with very many people, but I did with her. I had a special connection with her that was apparent to everyone and that I treasured. After my grandfather died I did pretty much everything with her. Took her grocery shopping, to get her hair cut, little trips to the dollar store, the movies, out to lunch. I sat with her and talked at her house, held her hand when she got sad, and tried to make her laugh and lighten up (much like me, she worried about everything and got stressed out easily). I have such special memories of her, and having her gone feels like there's a hole in my heart.
As soon as she became uncommunicative, I had these thoughts like, I don't know what her favorite color is. Or her favorite song. Or the time in her life when she felt the most scared or went on the biggest adventure. I don't know how she felt on her wedding day. I can't get these thoughts out of my head. I suppose the extremely faint silver lining is that this happened when I could be home to say goodbye. I just wish that things had happened differently. I know she wouldn't have wanted to die in a hospital. I had hoped and wished so hard that she would be one of those people who would die in her bed, just sort of going to sleep and not waking up. I'm glad that I got to spend one last Christmas with her. I'm glad that every time we talked I told her how important she was to me and how much I loved her. I just wasn't ready for her to be gone.
Here we are on Christmas Eve. She was wearing a Snuggie which is like, too adorable for words.
I know she knew that I loved her, and I know that I did all that I could for her, but I can't help thinking that I could have told her I loved her more often or hung out with her more. I could have called her every day from New York and I didn't. I feel so guilty and so empty. And I will never have another grandmother. And this hurts.
And I'm glad that I got to say goodbye. Even though I didn't want to.