Monday, March 19, 2007

Bracelet

Thanks to all of you who stopped by over the last few days and left thoughts or condolences. I was really touched by the messages, and a couple of you made me cry, but not in a bad way.

I was going to try to respond personally to all of the comments, but that has proven beyond my current abilities. Suffice it to say that your thoughts and words and virtual hugs were greatly appreciated.

The funeral was this morning, and it was a little strange. It was very Catholic, and I didn't really know that side of my grandma very well, so the whole thing was a little like discovering a new room in a familiar house, I guess. I hope it was what she wanted, and that it would have made her happy to know how palpably everyone present loved her and felt her loss.

The visitation on Sunday was more like what I think of when I think of my grandmother. Family all around, bolstering one another when necessary, but mostly just chatting. It was exhausting, but I think that's the part of this weekend I'll keep with me.

Growing up, it was her kitchen that was the gathering place for nearly all occasions good or bad—her at the head of the table and the rest of us scattered around. I used to think her kitchen was the loudest, busiest place in the world. I still think of it like that. Full of people and joking, and then the quiet moments, too, when it was just the two of us. I always felt weirdly honored to be the only other soul in that room with her, although the stillness never lasted for long.

I'm still having a pretty rough time, and I'm trying to remind myself that she would take no joy from seeing me come unglued at her passing. If she saw me like this, she would want only to comfort me. That was her nature. But I'm still a couple of days from OK, I guess.

My mother asked me if there was something specific that I would like from my grandmother's belongings. I couldn't think of anything, and apparently the house wasn't on the table. I ended up taking a small, clunky-looking "gold" bracelet off of the end table in her living room. I like thinking that it was there next to her recliner because it was something she kept close to her, but I have no real way of knowing that. I chose it because it was something I could hold in my hand, something with weight and substance that I could hold and look at and think of her. That is is tarnished green a little on the inside makes me smile. For now, I keep it in my pocket.

16 comments:

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You made a good choice, Maht. Things retain an aura from their owners, especially things that are worn on the body. So every time you finger that little bracelet in your pocket, you will renew your connection to your lovely grandmother, Veronica Grace.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

liz fenwick said...

You reminded me of my friend's grandmother who must have had a kitchen very like your grandmother's. It was a special place.....the world revolved in there even for me who was not related.

I was not blessed to meet either grandmother but I was lucky enough to have a great aunt living across the street. When she passed away I choose the small tea set we used to play with in her kitchen. I still oook at it and remember the special love we shared.

The love of a grandparent is special because its simple and not complicated like the love of a parent. She wants you to hold onto that special love.

Reading the Signs said...

It is good to have something to hold in the hand. I have a crystal heart that belonged to my father (originally a gift from me). I kept it in my pocket too for a while after he died.
It is a painful time, but also the beginning of a new connection. Take care.

goodthomas said...

I have my grandmother's rosary - something I know she held in her hand, something she kept warm and felt strength. It touches me beyond touch.

I know you know this, but it is okay to be "a couple of days from OK" -- perfectly okay. That means that you loved. And that is very good.

And you looked great yesterday -- a helluva suit, great tie and handkerchief.

Be well, my friend.

Minty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Minty said...

Maht-

When my grandmother died, I got a ring that was missing one of the ten tiny diamonds. It fits my finger (and my missing-part body) more perfectly than anything else ever has.

Perfect imperfections.

Warmly,
Minty

Minx said...

I've got a mars bar wrapper that I keep inside a bird book. Both belonged to me granny.
She went a bit nuts at the end, nicking a mars a day from the corner shop - we paid for them every week along with the papers!

Time allows you to look back and laugh - be patient.

Verilion said...

Keep the good memories Maht, her kitchen sounds wonderful. I could totally see it and understand how you felt in it. Thanks for sharing.

strugglingwriter said...

Sorry for your loss. I understand how you feel. I lost my grandmother a couple years ago to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and though she "is no longer suffering" it still hurts.

I didn't get any personal belongings from my Grandma, but we have a photo album she made for us not long before she became sick and that always makes me think of her.

Kerry J said...

Hey...

Sorry for your loss, maht.

I've got a napkin holder that my Grandma Sweetheart once explained that I'd one day possess. We often laughed at the apparent absurdity of it, knowing how special it actually was and where it came from and how.

Now it sits holding a dried rose. It's one of a dozen delivered to her funeral by the two remaining of the dozen friends she'd known since Kindergarten and made a pact with to continue sending bouquets that slowly went from all red to all white, one rose at a time, as each passed.

I'll be in the city tonight for a meeting. Call me if you want to grab a Bite. Maybe we can get Coats too.

Haps

Chris said...

Maht, allow yourself the time you need to grieve. I'll say a prayer for you to feel some comfort and to get a good nights sleep.

The Moon Topples said...

HinSF: As a friend of mine pointed out, the green on the inside also means that it really was something she wore, and not like the piles of one dollar watches I saw in her home which were all still in the cases with the price tag on them. She told my mother they were just too cheap not to buy.

Liz: Thanks for your words. They made me smile.

RTS: Yes, something tactile was what I wanted. Glad to see others have had similar impulses.

GT: She had a rosary with her in the coffin, but I don't know if she had another one. I never knew her religious side. Still, it's nice to have something like that from your grandmother. And thanks for the compliment, and for the shelter your office provided when I needed it. And also for the delicious sandwich. You're a good friend.

Minty: That's sweet, especially that it fits.

Minx: Is it wrong that I find the kleptomania you've described a little delightful? I think it's great that you kept a wrapper.

Verilion: I'm glad you got something out of it. My writing is a little off right now, but I was trying to convey a small portion of how important that kitchen seemed to be.

Struggly: I'm sorry to hear about your loss. The photo album sounds pretty special, though.

Kerry: That bouquet thing sounds like a weirdly lovely idea. Sorry I'll miss you this evening.

Chris: Thanks. I'm not trying to rush through this. I'm giving myself some time and space, because I suspect I'd regret it if I didn't. And thanks again for your kind thoughts.

Debi said...

I've only just got here and heard your sad news, Maht.

Take your time. Don't feel guilty if at some points you feel fine, but don't expect there not to be more tears too. Just give them the space to come when they need to.

nmj said...

maht, i can too feel the weight of this bracelet and feel how it comforts you.

Caroline said...

Just to let you know that I'm not ignoring you - I just can't read this. The emotions that it stirs in me are too raw.
I am thinking about you though.
x

The Moon Topples said...

Debi: Thanks.

NMJ: You always have some poetry in your comments. Thank you.

Caroline: Not a problem. I thought about disabling comments on some of these posts, since they were mostly just a way for me to clear something out and get it on paper.

I am sorry to strike your raw memories. I suppose we all have something we can touch on that fits this category.