I Didn’t Think it Would be Today

I always knew that one day I would walk this road but yesterday I did not know that it would be today. When you grow up, you know that there will come a day when you will need to say goodbye to people you love. It's a shock when it actually happens though.

When Mikey took the kids to school this morning, I sat outside and felt the rain spray tiny, cold sprinkles on my face. The sudden complete silence that comes every Tuesday when all the kids are gone for school is deafening, disorienting. It feels like a hurricane has passed.

The silence. The stillness.

The tiny, cold rain sprinkles.

And I felt my tears welling up in my heart, gathering together like the raindrops do in puddles.

I always knew that one day I would walk this road

but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.

meriah nichols grandma-10 My grandparents divorced over 30 years ago.

We did not tell Grandma that Grandpa had passed on, yet immediately after he died on January 26th, Grandma started to go downhill.

meriah nichols grandma-9

 

On Friday February 26th – exactly one month to the day after Grandpa Jack died – my brother Dana came in to the hospital room where Grandma was, and sat in the chair next to her.

I was in the chair on her other side. My children and niece were in the room, my mother was standing by Grandma’s feet.

Grandma reached her trembling hand out towards me – I clasped it. She reached out with her other hand, and my brother clasped it. And, holding our hands, with my mother in front of her, she drew her last breaths and passed away from this world.

meriah nichols grandma-5

I always knew that one day I would walk this road

but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.

meriah nichols grandma-6Oh, the gift of love that she gave to us, knowing that she wanted, needed us to be there in a trinity of love, supporting her in her transition from this world to the next.

We were hers; she was ours.

And, holding us tight, she moved on.

meriah nichols grandma-4

In accordance with Baha’i burial rites, my mother, my niece Yu Han, a caregiver of Grandma’s and I bathed her body in rosewater after she passed. Then we wrapped her in a shroud of raw silk.

Grandma was so lovely in death – her face was set in a smile.

meriah nichols grandma-3

Then Mom stayed with Grandma until the mortuary came up from the Bay Area to take Grandma down so that we could bury her next to Grandpa.

meriah nichols grandma-2

Grandma and Grandpa divorced over 30 years ago, but it was clear to us all that there was far more to their relationship than we knew of. Grandma wouldn’t have died one month to the day after Grandpa if they hadn’t.

And so they are together, side by side.

I always knew that one day I would walk this road

but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.

My friend Ken sent me that quote after Grandma died and it spoke to me. When you grow up, you know that there will come a day when you will need to say goodbye to people you love. It’s a shock when it actually happens though. The day could come at any time, any day could be that day. Which reminds me that we are all spiritual beings having a physical experience.

It seems to me that nothing burns the truth of that phrase into my marrow as do events of great magnitude.

I knew that even as I went through the windshield of that car when I was 4 years old, I knew that when I was at my lowest points in life. I knew that when I walked on the beach with Mikey after we were married. I knew that as I held my children, fresh from my womb. And I knew that as I held my beloved Grandmother’s hand as she passed. I knew that as I felt her spirit throughout the room that held her body.

I know that as her laughter and brightness have filled my dreams since her death.

meriah nichols grandma-1

 

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Meriah
Meriah Nichols is a deaf artist, tech-junkie, Counselor (and sometime teacher), mom (one with Down syndrome), cat-lover, Trekkie, yurt-dwelling off-the-grid farmer's wife. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done.

5 Comments

  • I knew your grandma, Meriah, and loved her. I used to give her rides to church in Berkeley. She was one of the most upbeat people I have ever met. Did she ever tell you about the woman she got to talking to in front of Whole Foods one day? She so charmed that woman that the woman took her to the French restaurant that she and her husband run and gave her a wonderful lunch! (The restaurant is Bistro Liaison.) Thank you, Meriah, for posting this lovely piece.

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