Jan. 23rd, 2009 11:06 am
chelidon: (tired head)
[personal profile] chelidon
I got a call from my father early this morning that my grandmother died about 3am last night. She was my father's mother, the Irish side of the family, in her 90s and in seriously declining health, recently moved from her apartment to assisted living and then to hospice care, but I think this caught us all by surprise just the same.

I can remember her even in her late 80s, thin and bird-like, smoking like a chimney, drinking like a fish, sharp as a whip and sitting at the dining room table whipping everyone's ass at poker. She is the one who after her husband came back from WWII and began to physically abuse her, put up with it for a time -- until the very first time he hit her son, then she picked up and moved out without a second thought, not common in the 1940s, especially for someone with few resources. She raised two sons as a single mom, and raised them well.

She's one of my heroes, and now one of my ancestors, and I am going to miss her presence. She was also my last living grandparent. I feel incredibly blessed to have had her so long, and now, as we all do sooner or later if we live long enough, I move up one notch in the cosmic family tree, with both parents thankfully reasonably healthy, but noting that the wheel of mortality turns on, inexorably, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

New life, and death. Joyous beginnings, and the deep and painful mourning of what has passed. My life has been very full last year, and in this new one, of both sides of the great balance. Momentarily at the fulcrum of the leminscate, I am blessed by the past, I am blessed in the present, I am blessed by the future, and I bless, and give thanks, as I am blessed.

Thanks be to the ancestors, and to those yet to be born. And especially, especially, thanks to all those of you who are here and now. Each and every one of you is a blessing, and I am grateful.

Date: 2009-01-23 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh darling, I'm so sorry.....lots and lots of love to you.

Date: 2009-01-23 04:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am so sorry to hear this. Having just lost two grandparents in the last year, I can certainly empathize. Here's hoping she finds peace on the journey.

Love to you.

Date: 2009-01-23 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How lucky you are to have such a grandparent in the first place, but to have had them until your age, and to have had your first son meet her...that's priceless. I myself never met either of my grandfathers and lost both grandmothers before I reached adulthood, so I'm frankly envious. That being said, I am also very sorry for your family's loss.

Date: 2009-01-23 04:44 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-01-23 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, Rick...(*many strong hugs*)

Strength, love, and much support surrounds you. Ask for what you need and breathe it in. It's yours.

Date: 2009-01-23 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hugs and blessings to you and yours.

Date: 2009-01-23 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My heart goes out to you. Blessings.

Date: 2009-01-23 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*hugs* and condolences. I lost my last grandparent a few years back when my dad's mom died at the age of 91. It did hit hard.

Date: 2009-01-23 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry for your loss. *hugs*

Date: 2009-01-23 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so sorry for your loss. Your grandmother sounds like a hell of a woman. Peace and ease on her journey, and much love to you and yours, and hugs.

Date: 2009-01-23 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Blessings to you and yours for grace-filled, ease-ful, gentle mourning. Blessings to your beloved Grandmother for gentle passage to whatever's next. Many blessings of gratitude to you, Dear One, for the Grandfather you are growing up to become. Another notch in the cosmic tree, indeed.

Date: 2009-01-23 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am so sorry dear one, my thoughts will be with you. May your grandmother's spirit know your heart. Much ease and love to you.

Date: 2009-01-23 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*hugs* and she sounds to have been a treasure.

Date: 2009-01-23 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so sorry. It sounds like you have wonderful memories of her. One of my grandmothers also left an abusive husband, in her case in the early years of WWII.

Date: 2009-01-23 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My condolences. It sounds like she was a formidable lady.

Date: 2009-01-23 07:33 pm (UTC)
kenshardik: Raven (raven)
From: [personal profile] kenshardik
I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for your words.

Date: 2009-01-23 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Blessings to you and yours as your family grieves and processes these changes. Grace to those who are becoming new elders in the family.

What is remembered lives.

Date: 2009-01-23 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, Rick. I'm sorry for your loss, and your grandmother sounds like she was an amazing woman. May the Goddess hold her.

Date: 2009-01-23 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so glad you had her for so long. My condolences.

Date: 2009-01-24 01:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Damn. I am so sorry to hear this. Strong ancestors are a Good Thing and you have been well blessed with her. My great aunt Doris Berry is the last living member I have left of that generation - she is due to turn 101 on Feb 3 if the fates are kind... Having lost an aunt and uncle in the last few months and my dad teetering on the edge I have developed a macabre new daily routine - checking the obituaries in the Caledonian Record to keep tabs on the family.

Unfortunately we are in the midst of moving this weekend and may not be able to stop in to pay condolences, I'll see what we can do.

Be strong my Brother.


Date: 2009-01-24 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
my condolences and sounds like you have quite an ancestor to work with now and forever

Date: 2009-01-24 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Condolences and best wishes from the beltway, mam.

Date: 2009-01-24 06:53 am (UTC)
kiya: (jackaled)
From: [personal profile] kiya
May you be comforted.

Traditional Egyptian prayer for the dead:

A thousand of bread
A thousand of beer
A thousand of every good thing.
May she ascend!

Date: 2009-01-24 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
May she know peace. May she rest and grow young again. May your family feel the love and warmth of the gods. May you feel her presence within your heart and within the eyes of the new life coming.

Blessings for you dear brother and all your loved ones.

(Send me her full name for inclusion in the list of beloved dead at Samhain.)

love you ...K

Date: 2009-01-25 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Blessings to you in your grief, my friend. Your grandmother sounds like a hell of a woman. I can see where you come from.
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