My grandmother died when I was 14 years old.
It was the spring of 1997 and she had suffered from colon cancer and lost her battle.
She was my mom’s mom, and she was the grandparent I felt closest to. Before she got sick, she was delightfully squishy and smelled like mothballs, cheap lipstick, and brown sugar. I can still hear her voice in my head (that warm, Midwestern accent where the vowels go on for miles), and sometimes, her voice comes out of my own mouth when I least expect it. Usually when I am giddy and happy.
She was the first person I’d known to pass away, the first funeral I’d been to.
Her casket was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. It was this robin egg blue that was sparkly and gleaming. Her body rested on this baby blue satin that looked so smooth and shiny and comfortable.
I remember wanting to get out my camera and take a picture of it before it was covered by earth forever, but instinctively I knew that people might not like that, so I didn’t.
Looking back, I kinda wished I had. I like being able to remember all things – the good and the sad.
I still remember, even without that picture.
I first wrote the above post on April 1, 2013. I never posted it, until now. Not quite sure why…maybe because it’s about death? Maybe for the same reason I didn’t take that picture?
And now, all these years later, my daughter’s middle name is hers. My grandma’s. They are both feisty and warm and gooey and delicious. They both smell like brown sugar (among other things). I love them and they are mine.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but it would never be able to capture all that.