Rest In Peace, Gram

Posted By on November 26, 2012

Today we said goodbye to my Gram for the final time. We laid her to rest and she is now up in heaven with her husband, my Papa, and a lot of her loved ones.

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, she passed away on Wednesday night. My mom called me on Wednesday morning to let me know that Gram had taken a turn for the worse. Her body shut down and she was in a coma. Not knowing how long she would last, I tried to decided if I wanted to try and see her in the morning on Thursday, or leave my last memory of her as the one from the Saturday prior, when she was awake and asking me about my love life.

I didn’t need to decide. By that evening, she was gone. My mom and aunt were in her room at the nursing home earlier in the day and had said their goodbyes. My mom said Gram looked so peaceful and calm. For so long she had been in so much pain that she was always so clenched up. I am glad she didn’t suffer and that she finally let go.

Little did we know, Gram planned for all of this. She had a letter to my mom and my aunt, marked that they couldn’t read until she died. It had instructions on how she wanted her funeral to be handled. And she made sure to point out that we should all look nice and get dressed up, even if we had to use her money to buy clothes for all the kids.

She also wrote a letter to each of the grandchildren. It was done quite some time ago, since it was back when I was in California. But it is something I will absolutely cherish for the rest of my life. All you parents out there, you should plan to do this. It helped me so much with closure and it was just nice, one last time, to hear from Gram.

My Gram was an amazing person. I got my stubborn streak from her and I learned from her to speak my mind. She survived the Depression. She raised two kids as a working mother. Some of my best memories as a child is of the weekends when Grandma and Papa came over to visit. They would bring us Dunkin Donuts and then we’d always go out to eat at Denny’s.

When my parents got divorced, it was hard, financially, on my mom. My grandparents took us in. We lived there and they always made sure, for the rest of our lives, that we always had clothes on our backs and food on the table. None of us, me, my brother or my sister, would be where we were without my Gram. I don’t think I ever really thanked her for that. I hope she knew.

I think that in some way, Gram planned this to happen before Thanksgiving. We were all stressing, worrying about how to get her home to celebrate with us, or how we could celebrate with her. And I think, as far as these things go, it happened at the right time. We had to all be together on Thanksgiving anyway, and it was exactly what we needed to remember Gram and her life and how important she was to all of us.

She had deteriorated so much in the last few years, especially in the last few months. But the way she looked today, was like Gram of 5 years ago. And she looked so peaceful and, oddly, full of life. It was a wonderful last image for all of us to have of her.

Gram, I will miss you more than I can ever say. You have meant to much to me and you have made me such a strong person. I hope you’re up in heaven with Papa, happily reunited (and not annoying him too much) and proud of the amazing daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren you have loved as much as we loved you.

Rest in peace.

Miss Me But Let Me Go

Author: Anonymous

When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me

I want to rites in a gloom-filled room

Why cry for a soul set free?


Miss me a little-but not too long

And not with your head bowed low

Remember the love that we once shared

Miss me-but let me go


For this is a journey that we all must take

And each must go alone.

It’s all part of the Master’s plan

A step on the road to home


When you are lonely and sick of heart

Go to the friends we know

And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds

Miss me but let me go.

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


23 Responses to “Rest In Peace, Gram”

  1. Bren says:

    Aww – now I am going to be cooking dinner with tears in my eyes! I am so very sorry for your loss. How wonderful that she wrote you each a letter – something to hold onto forever. My thoughts are with you and your family!
    Bren´s last blog post ..She had us fooled!

  2. Christina says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your Gram, she would have been proud. May she rest in peace.
    Christina´s last blog post ..A fearless rotation around the sun

  3. Denora says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m glad to know that she’s finally at peace. You’re in my thoughts.

  4. Gav says:

    thinking of you Kristin – sorry for your loss. She sounds like she had a special place in your heart.

  5. jodifur says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss.
    jodifur´s last blog post ..Four Days of Thanks

  6. TUWABVB says:

    Kristin: I was so, so touched by this post. What an amazing woman! You must be so proud of her life – she was clearly proud of you. I’m so sorry for your loss – but I’m so happy that she seemed at peace. I hope she’s having a blast right now and enjoying being pain-free. So much love to you my friend – sending hugs from afar.

  7. This is beautiful, K, just beautiful.

    My father died in September and while it’s been a tough fall, things are starting to get better. Along those lines, I promise that while you’re hurting now, things will get easier for you. Just feel whatever you’re feeling and don’t worry about the rest. Hang in there, girl.

    Jen on the Edge´s last blog post ..And away we go

  8. My thoughts are with ya’ll. The poem you quoted is the one my grandfather left us to be read and displayed at his memorial. He too had his funeral planned and wanted it to include the minimum of fuss – he was ready, and there’s something peaceful about that.

    *hug* She sounds like a wonderful lady.

  9. Andrea says:

    Kristin. This is a beautiful tribute to your Gram. Sending lots of love your way!

  10. alimartell says:

    I am so glad you wrote about Gram. I have been thinking of you all week. This is beautiful and heartbreaking. She was so obviously very special.
    alimartell´s last blog post ..“Put ‘Em Up! Put ‘Em Up!”

  11. Alice says:

    This was a beautiful post, Kristin – what a lovely tribute to your Gram. I’m sorry you had to lose her, but what a wonderful woman it sounds like she was! I’m so glad you had her in your life. xoxo.
    Alice´s last blog post ..Belated Halloween Post!

  12. Fronz says:

    Well said, love. I know your Gram knew how much you all appreciated her. My heart rejoices with you as you celebrate her life. Many hugs to you and the fam during this difficult transition. <3

  13. Sister P says:

    Heaven is a lucky place to have such an amazing person like our Gram. I wish I had more time to tell her “thank you” too. She has taught me so much, not that I always listened. She means the world to me and a piece of my heart is now missing!!!!!L Even when I disappointed her, she still forgave and loved me. I miss her so much and hopefully make it to heaven to be with her and Papa again! Great blog, and I love you Sister P!!!!!! Xoxoxo xoxoxo

  14. Mahnee says:

    That was beautiful! Just beautiful!

  15. Amber says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your gram, she sounds like a very special person. How wonderful that you have that letter from her – my eyes were totally filling up reading that. I’m very sure she knew how grateful you were, and how much you loved her – big hugs to you. x
    Amber´s last blog post ..A face without freckles is like a sky without stars

  16. My Grandma was my best friend, and I was blessed to have that amazing woman in my life for 37 years. She has been gone a long, long time now, but is still in my heart every day. So sorry for your loss, Kristin, but please know that her love will stay with you always.
    Liz J in Central Illinois´s last blog post ..INSANITY…….

  17. Angella says:

    My two Grandmas are long gone, and I still miss them.

    Hugs, K.
    Angella´s last blog post ..Making Time For Myself

  18. I’m so sorry that you lost your Gram, but I am so glad that she passed so peacefully. She obviously loved you so very much and I am so sure that she felt the love you shined back at her. What a special thing she did in writing you a last letter. I hope great memories of her fill your heart now and in the future.
    Sensibly Sassy´s last blog post ..Things That Make You Go "EWWWW"

  19. Elizabeth Slahetka Glenn says:

    Hi Kristin,
    I have very vague memories of your Gram. I remember sitting at their kitchen table when we went to Illinois for Grandpa Jack’s funeral. I even think I have earlier memories! I remember lots of candy, and her sneaking it to me behind my parents’ back!
    I know my dad was always so fond of her.
    I’m so sorry for your loss, and happy that you will carry such great memories of her throughout your life.
    I live in Newport Beach, CA. Call me if you’re ever in the area – I’d love to meet you!

  20. Elizabeth Slahetka Glenn says:

    Oops! C: 949-230-2338/H: 949-854-9017

  21. Heather says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your gram. She sounds a lot like mine, who passed ten years ago. I miss her so much still. I am sure she knew how thankful you were – Grandmas always know. xoxo
    Heather´s last blog post ..Thanksgiving Flu By

  22. Beckie says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss! I lost my gram one year and one month ago – it gets different. Here’s hoping the kitties help you cuddle through it.

  23. Nina says:

    Hey Kristin, I am so sorry to hear. Your post really made me tear up, I can feel the love in those words of yours. I wish you and your family all the best and I hope that your grandma is in a better place now. Here’s one of my favourite poems for you:

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
    spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
    for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
    of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

    Gone where?

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
    hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
    And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
    And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
    there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
    ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”