Grandmother

The last time I saw my grandmother was in the hospital Intensive Care Unit. I had to put on a gown and gloves before going into her room because she had tested positive for MRSA.

She was barely conscious and seemed even smaller than the last time I had seen her.

I talked to her as I lightly touched the top of her head. I held her hand for a time. Her hand was so small and fragile in mine.

Yesterday I woke up at 4am, I didn’t have a reason to wake up, I just did and I could not fall asleep. I felt good and watched TV for about an hour before I went back to sleep.

Later that morning, I got the news that my grandmother died at 4:20am. I feel that my grandmother was letting me know that she’s was going and it was okay. I told this to my sister and she said that she had a dream about my grandmother. I think that this was my grandmother talking to my sister.

The next time I saw my grandmother, she was in her bed at the nursing home, my mother, aunt and cousin were there. I hugged each of them then sat. I don’t know what to do in these situations. My grandmother is the first dead body I’ve seen as an adult and I’m happy to say that I was fine; it didn’t feel weird. I remained silent for most of the time and answered questions when asked.  My cousin kept trying to convert me to his religion (he’s some type of Catholic and he is super religious).

Then my aunt’s boyfriend’s family came – and the long prayers began, reading of Bible scriptures, talking and more talking.  I just wanted everyone to shut up!

I wanted silence, a time to just sit and talk to grandmother, not talk around her or through her. But just talk to her once more.

Finally the guy from the funeral home came, another long prayer was needed. Then my aunt started crying and not letting my grandmother go. They all broke out in song. I was the only one who had no idea what the song was. I stood there dried eyed and completely fascinated with how the funeral guy was moving my grandmother’s body from the nursing home bed and onto the gurney. It wasn’t like in the movies, there was no big plastic black bag. They used the sheets from her bed and then he covered her with another sheet that he brought with him. My mother walked with him to the car outside then came back.

We packed her stuff, and then I hoped that they would go away and let us just be.

We were finally outside – my aunt’s boyfriend’s family decided that they would come to my mother’s house and assist. The original plan was I would go with my mom to her house and we would look for whatever documents were needed for the funeral home to send the paperwork to the Kenyan Embassy in New York so that they would allow my grandmother to be sent back to Kenya.

His family each drove with my mom and aunt and I followed in my car. Once we got to my mother’s house. The woman (my aunt’s boyfriend’s sister, who is pushy) began to want to clean and wanted to make tea. I asked my mom for the list of documents and it ended up that only my grandmother’s social security number was needed since my mom had already given the funeral home her passport. I found the number and wrote it down. Then there was a fuss about packing away things and now there must be tea. When I was told to go to the store to get food. I just freaked out, I put down my pen and said that I had to go. And I left. I text my mother letting her know that I was going home and I just can’t do people. (I’m not a people person)

My freak out wasn’t rational, but I couldn’t be with those people one more second with their suffocating conversations and small talk. We don’t talk ever, why must they now invade my life at this vulnerable moment? So, now I caused a scandal in the family and I caused an embarrassment.

There is a question, of whether or not I’m going to go to Kenya for grandmother’s funeral. I want to support my mom but after my freak out yesterday I don’t know if I can handle people and their questions in reference to my grandmother. It will be magnified since it will be my extended family and all others who want to eat for free since funerals go on for long and you have to feed the people.

So far I’ve decided that if my sister goes then I will go since she is the nice one and I only have to interact with people on a limited basis. But if she can’t go, then I’m not going. Hopefully my mother will forgive me……………. some day.

 

 

 

 

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