Yesterday, I didn’t think I was going to blog about this. But today I changed my mind. So here it goes.
My grandmother past away yesterday morning. She was an absolutely amazing woman. Truly, one of the kindest and most good natured people I have ever met. I feel nothing but blessed to have had her in my life for as long as I did.
Even though yesterday was the day that we officially lost her, in some ways I lost my grandmother a decade ago. She had Alzheimer’s and began losing her memory about fifteen years before she actually died. In some ways, it made me sad. Knowing that this remarkable woman I’d loved as a child was somehow lost. My husband met my grandmother many times, but he never saw how intelligent she was or grasped the breadth of her generosity and compassion.
But in other ways I didn’t lose my grandmother when she forgot my name. Because until the very end, she was always the kindest person I knew. A lot of Alzheimer’s patients can be extremely rude, sometimes even violent. The constant confusion can be very stressful. Plus along with forgetting things like names and past experiences, Alzheimer’s patients also forget the general rules of polite society. So they don’t “act polite”.
My grandmother greeted every single person she met with a bright smile and a friendly hello, even when she had severe dementia and no idea if it was a first encounter or a close relative. The last time I saw her, she told me at least half a dozen times (her conversations tended to hit repeat mode every five minutes) that she lived in a wonderful community filled with wonderful people and that if I ever needed a good place to stay, she recommended her community. She lived in a nursing home that most people would have found extremely depressing.
That was my grandma though. She couldn’t help but have a positive attitude about everything. She couldn’t help but love the people around her and see everyone as a long lost friend. It didn’t matter if she couldn’t remember silly details like names, faces, and what she was saying two minutes ago. She never stopped loving the world she lived in.
I know I’m going to miss her a lot. All I can do is hope that I’ll be able to carry some of that unfaltering love for life with me.