Focusing on what matters

Thursday, January 27, 2011

First of all, thanks so much for all the comments on my post yesterday. I'm so glad so many of you are still around!

It's been a crazy week for me. My grandmother passed away suddenly last Sunday and it was a complete shock to my family. She was relatively young (73) and otherwise healthy and active. She had a heart attack. I flew back to Saskatchewan to the little town that I grew up in to be with my family for 5 days. I've only been there a few times since I moved away to Toronto 8 years ago. Although in many ways it was different than I remembered, much of it was the same, I had just forgotten.

What I mean by that is, I had forgotten how everyone in a small town knows everyone else's business (especially my Grandma). But it's really because they care and if it wasn't that way then my grandma wouldn't have been found as quickly as she was. She was missed immediately by friends and family with whom she kept in contact daily. There was nothing that could have been done to save her (but at least she didn't suffer) but it would have been awful to find out that she had been laying there for days before anyone missed her.

At first I thought of all the regrets I had. I should have called more. I wish I could have made it back to see her over Christmas. If only I had one more chance to talk to her and tell her that I loved her. But we don't.

Then I realized that I had had a really nice chat with her around Christmas time and I said I love you before we hung up. I know she knew anyways, but still. We also figured out that my dad had been there the morning she died and she was fine. He drove home (my parents don't live there anymore either) and called to let her know he was home safe. She died about an hour later. You just never know.

Once I got over the initial shock I knew that even though I was upset, it was even more important for me to be there for my dad. Spending time with cousins and aunts and uncles and neighbours that knew me when I was a baby really comforted me. No matter how infrequently I see them, we have a bond that can't really be matched by people with whom I haven't shared my childhood.

After the stress and tears and a really nice funeral, it was time for the party, just like my Grandma would have wanted. We drank and carried on and told Grandma stories well into the night and it was a wonderful time. Old neighbours and teachers reminded me of what a terror I was when I was little and one of my dad's friend's sons who used to babysit me said that I bit him once. So it was good times all around, reliving memories and vowing to keep in touch more. I really hope that this time I can mean it and really try to keep in touch, both with old friends and new. Because it really is true that sometimes you don't know what you've got till it's gone.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My sympathies about your grandmother, Dara. emoticon
    2704 days ago
    So sorry to hear about your Grandmother. What a nice way to remember her!

    2704 days ago
    SORRY FOR YOU LOSS! emoticon
    2704 days ago
  • GHK1962
    I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. It sounds like it was a nice celebration of her life that you all had...and for that I am glad. It’s unfortunate that sometimes it does take times like this for us to reconnect with past friends and family..but what is important now is that you have all found solace and comfort in each other.
    2704 days ago
    I'm sorry about your grandma, I know how you feel, my great grandma passed away a few months ago and a close friend passed away just last week. But I do also love the stories told a funeral because it reminds you of how wonderful they are still in you r heart
    2704 days ago

    Sorry to hear about your grandma!
    2705 days ago
  • MAGPIE17
    I’m so sorry for your loss, Dara.
    2705 days ago
    sorry to hear about your gramma. that is sad, but i'm glad you were able to spend time with your family, and be comforted by that. its so true, you don't know what you have until its gone, but maybe we can try to remember more, and be more grateful.
    2705 days ago
    I'm sorry about your grandmother. I am glad though that you got to spend some time with your family and re-connect. My prayers for you and your family.

    2705 days ago
    So sorry for your loss. emoticon
    2705 days ago
    I'm really sorry to hear about your grandmother. It sounds like you had a great relationship with her and many fond memories that will stick with you forever. You are so right that you just never know what the next moment will bring, and it's so important to keep our loved ones close to our hearts.
    2705 days ago
    What a lovely way to celebrate your grandma's life. It can change in a second. Enjoy every moment.
    2705 days ago
  • AEB060905
    I am so sorry to hear about your Grandmother. Just remember all of the wonderful times you had together.. I'm sure she would want you to celebrate her life, instead of mourn her in death. I hope this upcoming week is better for you!
    2705 days ago
  • DITTY1013
    I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a loved one is always hard, but it sounds like you and your family were able to focus on celebrating her memory, which is awesome and a true comfort. emoticon
    2705 days ago
    What a wonderful thing, to have had such a great relationship with your Grandmother. I know how much you'll miss her, but what a treat to have had in her your life at all.

    2705 days ago
    2705 days ago
  • LEXIE63
    I am very sorry to hear about your Grandma. It sounds, from what you say, as though she was much loved and will be much missed.
    Take care,
    Lex xxx
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2705 days ago
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