My grandmother died last night. About 8 hours ago. She would have been 90 years old in June. My dad has been taking care of her for years, it was 8 years ago this month that she and my grandfather moved in with us. It was almost 6 years ago that my grandfather past.
She has been so out of it. There is only one instance in the last 6 months that I can recall her having any real personality or thought of her own. She was in pain last night, she could only get comfortable and stop moaning if she was held up on her side. So Dad sat with her in her bed and held her until she could rest. It was all very poetic and appropriate in a circle of life, I Love you Forever, kinda way. But its strange. I didn't think I would be sad when she died. I had thought about it. I had hoped that all the suffering would end. It had gotten too hard to watch this shell of a person decay in front of me.
So why did my knees wrinkle under me and my eyes well up? Why is it that the only thing I can think is that I bought her hot chocolate mix for Christmas? Why is it that I just can't fathom what else I can possibly do with 12 varieties of hot chocolate mix? She stopped eating a week or two ago. The only thing she would take in was tepid hot chocolate and vanilla ice cream. So I got her hot chocolate mix in brightly colored boxes. Because when there were bright bold colors she smiled and said how pretty it was, even if she had no idea what was. So I bought her Hot chocolate and I put a shiny bow on it and it is under my tree. What do you do with Christmas gifts that are wrapped under the tree for a dead person? Do you give them to someone else? Do you say "Hey I wasn't going to get you this, but I already spent the money and she's dead?" Do you keep it? I mean I can't serve my Grandmom's hot chocolate to other people. I don't drink hot chocolate.
What do I do with the hot chocolate?


Cel said...

Why can't you serve it to others? Sure you can. I'm not saying this to be disrespectful! In fact, I'm saying it TO respect her....do it in her honor. You dont even have to TELL the person that this was hers. Serve it to someone and smile. Think of how she would have loved it. If you feel so 'led', you could tell the person, "You know, my grandmother LOVED hot chocolate." And smile....just between you and Grandmom.

Dave and Jacque Fessenden said...

I'm so sorry Erin. You could set the hot chocolate aside and when you feel especially nostalgic and miss her terribly have a cup and toast her life and rejoice that you knew her.

Jule Ann said...

I did the same thing when my grandfather died. We had already bought him a jogging suit for Christmas. What would we do with the jogging suit? I think it's a coping mechanism. A tangible thing to focus one.
I ended up taking the jogging suit, along with some other articles of clothing, since it was the 90s and you could get away with grandpa chic in those glorious days of deconstruction grunge.
As for the hot chocolate, I would take it to the fellowship after the memorial service. In a way, you're still giving it to her, then, she's just sharing it with her loved ones.