The last month of life was anything but normal as I spent as much time as I could with my grandma in her last days. Losing her wrecked me in a way I never imagined possible. But, I know that she wouldn’t want me to be sad. I know that she wouldn’t want me to mourn indefinitely. The best thing I can do to honor my grandma is to get back to living my life.
So, that’s what I’m trying to do. Some days are easier than others, but with each passing day, I feel a little more me again. Life became a blur of work, Hospice, and time in the car. I’d be home just long enough to sleep and do it all again. In the days after she passed away, I was in a heartbroken daze and everything was out of sorts.
But, I’m diving back into life. I’m lacing up my running shoes and unrolling my yoga mat. I didn’t have the energy or desire to read during the last few weeks, but I’m getting my nose back into books and wandering the stacks at the library. For a stretch, my diet consisted of restaurants and foods that took little to no effort to prepare. I think I ate my weight in baby carrots, crackers, and hummus while we were at Hospice. But, I bought real food at the grocery store and even cooked a real meal this week. After missing work the first week she was in Hospice, I’m finally feeling caught up. Missing that those days from the office was worth all the stress of feeling so far behind, though. I am forever grateful for those last moments to spend with her, particularly the days she was still lucid.
In the broader sense, I think this whole experience has made me even more prone to find small moments of gratitude. I’m generally an optimistic, glass half full personality, but I’m leaning into that even more these days. It feels healing to find beauty and goodness wherever I can, especially on the days where my heart is absolutely breaking.It’s the moments when my cat curls up next to me that bring me peace. It’s the blossoming magnolia trees and the stunning springtime sunsets that bring me a sense of joy.
Those are the things I’m clinging to in these days. The things that make me feel whole and the little moments that fill my heart are all making me come alive again. And, it’s a powerful place to live from.
More than ever, this whole experience taught me the importance of making the most of each day I’m given. My grandma had a full, rich life full of time with family and friends, travel and adventure, and spending her free time doing things she loved. I want the same thing for myself. I think I’m off to a good start in this life so far, but I want it even more. The thing is, I don’t want to sit around and waste my days, but to fill them up with as much living as I can. Perhaps I want that a bit selfishly, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Right now, more than anything, I want that because I know that would bring her so much joy.