My last time with Grandma

My Grandma's funeral was today. We left town yesterday evening, right after my defence, and drove 10 hours straight arriving in Cardston at around 4:00 in the morning. And just a few hours after that we were at her funeral. A funeral that felt pretty surreal. Because even when you know death isn't the end, it's always incredibly difficult to adjust to a world without someone you love in it.

But strangely I am also feeling grateful. Grateful because I got to be there. Not just at the funeral but a couple weeks earlier too. I got to hold her frail hand and feel her thin fingers tighten around mine. I got to move my thumb back and forth across those prominent varicose veins on the back of it. I got to be there to gently help her out of bed, and into the bathroom. I got to, for those few short days, offer her chap stick when her lips were dry, lift a glass to her mouth when she was thirsty, and brush her hair when she requested it. And all of this felt like a profound privilege.

I got to care for, even for a short time, someone who had always cared so well for me. And I wish I could have stayed longer. I wish I could have dropped everything to savor her grandma-ness while it was still here to be savored. I wish I could have stayed by her side until that last breath left her body. I wish I could have helped make her last weeks and days more comfortable, and better somehow. But for the short time I had with her while she was still laughing, and talking, and smiling, and asking about my schooling, and photography, and plans for the future, I am deeply grateful.

I knew it would be the last time I would see her. And that it would be the last time I would hear her talk about grandpa, and the war, and her childhood dog, and the old days. And it gave me the chance to say goodbye.


  1. Leah, I hope that someday I have warning enough to get to tell my grandma goodbye like you did with yours. Your last few posts make me want to cherish every second that I have with her now-just in case I don't get that though. I think grandmas have the ability to be the very best people in the world-but I'm sure it's not as easy for them as they make it look. I already think you are just perfect in every way- there's no doubt in my mind that your grandkids will someday think the same.

  2. I completely agree, grandparents are a special breed!

  3. Leah, I am so sorry for your loss. We recently lost a grandparent as well and I agree that although you know they are ok and happy and that you'll see them again, it is still hard to adjust to life without them. Your letter to her was beautiful and it's easy to see that your wonderful grandma, through all that she has taught you, continues to live on in you.

  4. Oh Micah, thank you! It's just never easy is it? And it always seems to come much too quickly. Thank you both for being so sweet!


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