Saturday, September 24, 2005

For Grammie

Sometimes when I was young – ten or so – in bed at night I would think about the fact that my grandmother was old, and that she would die, and soon. I’d cry myself to sleep over this inevitability. I was big on imagination and small on perspective at that age. Fifty certainly seemed old and next door to the grave.

Yesterday I learned that my grandmother, now 92, has pancreatic cancer, for which there is nothing to be done. She will die, and soon.

Considering my age (and simple math will now reveal that to you), I’ve been remarkably untouched by death. I’ve certainly been aware of this. Only a handful of people who were extremely close to me have died. I’m also certainly aware that many people have never known their grandparents at all, let alone have known them well into middle age.

Maybe this – this long lifetime with a grandmother -- is why this news is so surreal. It’s as if suddenly the sky turned purple and the grass orange. Of course the situation is recognizable, but it’s also utterly foreign. My grandmother has frequently declared her intention to live to be 100. This is obviously not to be.

So in bed last night I tried not to think about the fact that my grandmother is old, and sick, and that she will die, and soon. And I cried myself to sleep over this inevitability.

No comments: