Call Me Ang: Love and Loss

Love and Loss

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


(Grams loved gardening and flowers, which is why I chose this photograph that I had taken during the week she passed away)

As I sit here and type, I feel as though I am in a fog.  The past two weeks have been a blur.  My Grams went in for a heart catheter (to clear out stents) on the 27th of April. Sadly, she unexpectedly passed away on the 29th. She was 81. Don't let her age fool you, she was full of life! Before her scheduled procedure, she spent her final healthy day on this earth, gardening and socializing with church friends.

I know that Grandparents have a special place in our hearts, but my grandparents owned half of my heart.  They were there for me during very crucial years. They helped raise me and had a major hand in the person I became. They acted as my parents, and for this I will be eternally grateful. 

Our immediate family is small. Consisting of my Gramps, Grams, Mom, Sister and myself. My Grandmother was the matriarch of our family.  She held all the knowledge of our extended family.  She was such a wealth of knowledge from gardening to cooking. She was the person I called when I needed to know how to boil an egg (yes I actually made that call) or plant a tulip bulb.  She was the person I called when I wanted to know about our heritage.  She was reserved, but fun.  She lived for her daughter and (in her words) her grandbabies (even though my sister is almost 30 and I'm almost 40).  

My Grandmother loved to cook, and her reputation proceeded her.  Upon her death, I had countless messages of condolences. The vast majority consisted of heartfelt memories of the food she prepared.  My whole life, I thought that my Grams should have opened a restaurant or written a cookbook. She had a gift that should have been shared with the masses.  She also canned (a fleeting pastime).  Her apple butter was better than any I've tasted...and earned her several blue ribbons at the local fair year after year! Her garden green beans were perfection in a jar (and old friend used to call them, "Jeans Beans"). Her strawberry freezer jam remains a favorite among our family. Each Christmas, she would make homemade beef jerky for my sister and myself. To date, no other beef jerky compares.  My all-time favorite item she made, was her zucchini bread. My kingdom for a slice of THAT bread! 

I'm a disaster in the kitchen, I wasn't given the gift that my Grams possessed. I would give anything for a single ounce of her talent. 

When someone passes, you start to recollect things about that person that you typically dismissed. For instance, my Grandmother was a whiz with crossword puzzles. Since I was a young child my Grandmother purchased crossword books (typically found in grocery stores) and would complete them in record time.  She also mastered Facebook and the internet. She was up to date on all entertainment and pop culture.  I could always count on her to share celebrity gossip on the phone. 

When my Gramps passed away eight years ago, I thought my Grams handled the loss well. However, in the past year, she would break down on the phone with me. Often sharing how much she missed him.  It broke my heart. I wished that I could take away her pain. I find solace in knowing that they are together again. They had a very special bond that I admired and respected. 

When my Gramps passed away, my Mom moved in with my Grams. We all thought that this would be best.  They had eight years to lean on each other and to keep each other company.  They gardened together, attended church, formed a women's group for bereavement and cooked...a LOT.  I was grateful that my Mom could be there for my Grams, especially since I couldn't.  They were so incredibly close and this loss has been crippling for my Mother. 

A couple of times I've forgotten that my Grandmother has passed. Saying out-loud, "Oh, well I will just have to ask Grams, she will know."  Only my Grams is no longer there. Just the memory of her remains.  The memory of her thoughtfulness, her talents and her love.  

I realize that life needs to go on, but I sure wish it were with my Grams in it.  I rushed to her side and was able to tell her how much I loved her before she passed away. I handle stressful situations with laughter.  The first thing I said to her (while she laid in her hospital bed) was, "Grams, if you wanted to see me before July, you didn't have to go through all this trouble, all you had to do was ask."  She couldn't speak, but I'm sure she was laughing on the inside. Grams lasted roughly 30 minutes after I arrived. I'm not sure if she was waiting on me, but when I spoke to her, her right eye blinked.  I felt like this was confirmation that she knew I was there. I soaked in the last moments with her, holding her hand and telling her how much I loved and cherished her.  Her heart stopped, and efforts began to resuscitate her.  She was on full life support when I arrived to the hospital.  I can recall countless conversations, where she instructed me not to keep her alive artificially, to let her go. "I don't want to be kept alive by machines!" 

So, I did as she wanted, and I let her go. I wanted to be selfish and keep her on this earth, because life without her would never be the same. But respecting her wishes, was the last gift I could give her. So, I honored her request.  Now our family has another angel....and my Grandfather has his love back.  

One thing I learned from my Grandfather's death was that your heart remains broken. Loss is something you never fully recover from. I also learned, that there are countless days ahead full of love and happiness...and it's those moments that help you get through the tough times.  The only thing that my Grandparents ever wanted for "their girls", was happiness. So, I'm going to live out my life focusing on creating the best (and happiest) life I can for my children and my husband...just as my Grandparents did for me. 

TTFN,








11 comments:

  1. Oh Angela. I lost my Muzzie one year ago this month (29th). It is a heartbreak that is different from others. I was sad when my grandfather died 6 months prior to Muzzie, but I didn't lose my best friend when he died. I'm so sorry for your pain. If I could hug you I would, but know that I'm sending a cyberhug and praying for you right now. xoxoxo, Farrah

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    1. Thank you Farrah. I'm sorry for your loss as well. Just leaves a hole in your heart. Here's hoping that our sadness is replaced with happy memories soon!

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  2. I'm so very sorry for your loss!

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  3. Well you've brought me to tears. What a touching post about your Grandmother. So sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you. I couldn't hop back into blogging without honoring my beautiful Grams. She was one of a kind.

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  4. I am so sorry for your loss. It's wonderful that you have such great memories and I hope you are finding some comfort in those. Your grams must have been so, so proud of you!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words!

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  5. I am sorry for your loss. I never know what to say in these times. I am thinking about you and hope your heart has peace soon.
    Tikaa

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    1. Thank you Tikaa! Just the fact that you took the time to think of my and provide warm thoughts is perfect.

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