Ten years ago today, my grandma passed away. It was such a world-rattling thing for me. My nana (dad’s mom) had passed away eight years earlier, and while I was extremely upset I was still young, living with my family, and immersed in routine. When my gram passed, I was three months into a new job and only a year into my post-college life. I was a baby adult who just wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact her death had on my life.

I look back at her last few months and wish I hadn’t been so naive. Even though I knew she was sick I was in denial. I thought there would be more time. I don’t remember a sense of urgency, but I think my parents and aunts and uncles were very conscious that my brother and cousins and I were all in new life phases and didn’t want to upset us. I’m sure my gramma had a lot to do with that. She never would have wanted us to worry.

But still, I wish I’d been more aware. The last time I was at the house with her, I didn’t say goodbye because she was sleeping. I regret not even sticking my head in to blow her a kiss. I don’t remember the last thing we talked about. To me, she seemed calm. I realize now that’s because she knew what was coming, and she believed her Tommy was waiting for her. I get a lot of comfort knowing that she was comforted.

I obviously wish she could have met Mike and my children. I wish all the time I had her here to help me through Maddie’s death. But I’m also strangely glad she wasn’t here for that, that she didn’t have to feel that pain all over again.

I don’t know…your grandparents are supposed to die before you. It’s the natural order of things. But what is “natural” anyway…I don’t even know anymore. I think about my grammy every day. I talk to her. I hope she can help me through the pit I’m in. I wish she was here. I miss her.

my pretty gramma