My paternal grandmother died on Monday 10/08. I had no reaction when my father called to tell me the news that morning. I was getting ready for a job interview. I proceeded with my day as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened until I spoke with my sister who expressed guilt over not getting to know her before she passed away.
It was then that I began to feel badly over the fact that I felt nothing. The reality is, I’ve never been told a single positive thing about my grandmother in my life. I’ve been told about her drinking and her physical abusiveness. I’ve been told about the fact that she abandoned an entire family of four children before marrying my grandfather and having my father and his siblings. I’ve been told about how she manipulates and alienates people. I usually only saw her for the holidays and even then our relating was distant and cold. She was never loving and certainly not interested in my life.
Nevertheless, death causes people to pause and ponder the meaning of life. I certainly did this. I reflected mostly on how much harder its going to be when any one of my remaining grandparents passes as I am much closer to all of them than I ever was to her and all of them are still living at this point. The thought of losing them is so sad and it makes me want to spend more time with them. But, as noted, I am already overwhelmed with all of my current responsibilities. This makes me feel guilty. Guilt – there is something about that emotion that keeps creeping into my life lately. Why can’t life just be simpler, slower, and easier to manage? When did this pace become the norm?
Anyway, I had been hoping that at the wake for my grandmother, I might learn something positive about her to hold onto. No such luck. Instead, I’m left with sadness that this women who is a part of my ancestry lived such a miserable existence. I hope I leave a greater legacy. Here’s to making that a part of my life’s purpose.