Saturday, May 5, 2012

Unveiling

Thanks to everyone to read my last post sympathetically.  I needed to get all that irritation at my mom out of my system, and I did.  I now have a clear heart for her.  I feel ready to stand by her on Sunday at her father's unveiling.

This will be my first visit to my zaidy's grave.  You'll recall that I wasn't well enough to attend his funeral in September.  I'm not sure how it will strike me, the impact of seeing his headstone.  I feel that I can picture the scene without undue distress.  I'm pretty sure that I've accepted his death.  But you never know.  At least, I never know.  These days I'm prone to being blindsided by onslaughts of emotion that appear to come out of nowhere.  I am praying for strength and resilience.

This morning I lay in bed, trying to picture what it was like for my buby, the night that he died.  There is a story she tells over and over again about the events surrounding his death.  But she leaves so much out.

She says "The paramedics were so quick!  They were there in four minutes."  But she doesn't say what she did during those four minutes, which must have felt like four years.  Did she remember to unlock the front door, and then go sit with my zaidy and hold his hand?  Did she hover by the front window?  Did she talk to my zaidy's slumped, unbreathing body, telling him help was on the way?  Or did she pray silently, single words in a mental whisper or shout:  Help!  Hurry!  No!  Please!

Did she cry, or did she detach and stay unnaturally calm?  (Knowing her, probably the latter.)

Who did she call first?

Did my mother hear the news from my buby directly, or did one of her younger sisters call her?  What was she doing when the phone rang?  Did she feel faint when she heard what was happening?  What thoughts ran through her head as she dropped everything and drove to the hospital?

I know none of these things.

I try to picture my zaidy's lifeless body.  I'm glad that I had the chance to sit with my other zaidy's body after he died.  His was my first close-up-and-personal dead person.  I was privileged to witness the stillness, the absence of him.  His eyelids weren't completely closed.  Those turned-off eyes were the deadest part of him, by far.

I picture my mother's father's eyes, turned off like that.


9 comments:

Warped Mind of Ron said...

A lot gets left out of those sort of events... I found my mother after she died. She was dead when I found her, but those minutes between finding and ambulance is a blur. I don't think those moments have really been shared with my family they are just a lump of so much. Hope you aren't blindsided at the unveiling.

Tracy Makara said...

Oh Spark, I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Funny that you mention those in between moments. When I lost my mother...she passed in the ambulance actually...as I was waiting for the ambulance to arrive I do not remember in vivid detail what I was doing. Do remember going back and forth between mom and the door...watching for the ambulance. Glad that you will be able to be there with your family tomorrow. I'm with Ron and hope that you aren't blindsided. *hugs*

LL Cool Joe said...

Sometimes maybe its best not to try and picture these things, like his lifeless body. Does it help to know every graphic detail?

I hope tomorrow goes okay and you are able to stay strong.

Granny Annie said...

Oops, not an issue that I can discuss.

DarcKnyt said...

I'll say a prayer for you too, Spark. I think you'll be fine, but it can't hurt. :)

DarcsFalcon said...

Oh Spark. *hugs*

I'm sure you'll be okay, but I'll be saying a prayer for you anyway. Not just for you, but you mother too.

Lynn said...

That hits too close to home for me - I was with my dad when he died. So sad still.

Sparkling Red said...

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes.

I owe some of you an apology for triggering upsetting memories of traumatic events in your own lives. I should have put a warning at the top of the post. I am honestly sorry - I wasn't thinking.

Regarding LL Cool Joe's comment: Personally I do find that it helps me to picture the details. It forces me to accept the truth of my zaidy's passing. I also wish I could have been there for my buby and mother on that awful night. The least I can do now is try to understand what they went through so that I can be more compassionate. The people who were actually there couldn't ignore the details, and I don't believe that I should either.

Jenski said...

It has been more than 10 years since my Grandmother passed, and I was lucky enough to see how peaceful she was earlier in the day she passed. Some songs or memories still bring tears to my eyes.

I hope your day brought you and your family more comfort and closure.