We all know that everyone dies. It’s a fact of life.
It’s what makes us all human. Mortal. Real.
That doesn’t make its sting any less painful. Any less jarring. It doesn’t stop you from missing someone that you love. It doesn’t make knowing you will never see that joyous loving smile again any easier.
A week ago we went to visit Mike’s grandmother, she was near the end of her days. The entire family knew she would die soon. It was a deathbed visit and we all knew it. On our way to visit her we stopped for flowers. We thought it would be right. The right thing to do to bring her something but anything permanent seemed silly. We let K pick out the flowers. Something for her to do, to be in charge of. She looked at pink roses, peach ones, yellow ones and couldn’t decide between them…
During our visit Mike sat by her bedside holding her hand, K sang and danced for her, I kissed her hand and cheek and told her I loved her. She slept as much as she was awake so we did most of the talking. We thought of the day we were married and talked about my boots. I wore a beautiful white gown but underneath I had huge black boots. Irmgard laughed and clapped her hands when she saw them…
We went back a few days later to visit her and I saw that the flowers were still there, I worried then that the roses would outlast her. I immediately felt guilty for thinking it, for considering her death. For knowing it was almost time. I watched her body strain as it took long hard breaths.
Around 4 in the morning on August 11th Irmgard died in a hospital bed in her daughter’s house. Though I wasn’t there, I can’t help but think that on the dresser sat a vase of roses, pink, peach and yellow.