So here we are.
On the other side of the worst possible thing that has ever happened to me and my family. On Saturday, we buried my wonderful Nana. I can barely say or write her name without feeling choked up. I spent most of the drive home Sunday randomly crying and speeding, things that do not go together. Don’t worry I made it home in one piece, physically. Mentally is another story. Every little thing sets me off. A comment from my father, feels like judgement and yelling. Thinking I lost the claddagh ring she left behind. Having a nosebleed. Are now all tearful experiences.
I keep thinking about my Pop Pop. My grandparents would have been married 60 years this November, but they’d known each other since they were in grade school. He lost the true love of his life. Their love story is perfection to me. Bumpy, but filled with greatness. An example to live by. And now he’s all alone in that big house, one she stayed in even when it meant being basically trapped on the first floor due to her lack of mobility. It’s just so sad. I don’t know how he’s going to go on. Even if we could financially bring him to live with us, I don’t think he would agree to it. That’s the house he was born in, the last place he lived with her, I don’t think he’s leaving it.
To top it off, my Pop Pop’s closest friend (Mr. M.) had a seizure during the service which caused everything to halt. Later we found out that the seizure was a result of an aneurysm, and Mr. M passed early Sunday morning. Trying to put a positive spin on things, our family joked that my Nana who was a nurse made it possible for Mr. M to be in a church surrounded by people who could help him instead of alone in his house when the aneurysm burst. So, not only did my grandfather lose his beloved wife, but also his best friend in less than a week’s time. Mr. M. could have been a great help to my Pop Pop, he lost his wife a few years ago. It’s not fair, but what in life is?
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get the images of my Pop Pop, mother, sister, uncle, aunt, and little cousins crying in that church as we walked out behind the casket. The little ones are the worst. My cousin (M) started crying as soon as they wheeled the casket from the back of the church to the front for the start of the service. (He’s really hurting. The poor kid changed the password on his iPod to Nana for goodness sakes.) My sister, who played this whole situation very cool, lost it during the service. And by the end my youngest cousin (R) was crying as my sister carried her out of the church. It was awful. Just awful. It’s not fair. My sister and I had her for the longest, I only hope that they have a solid memory of her. Our Nana was the greatest, I hope we all do a good job of helping them remember that.
If this whole thing has done anything for our family, it’s brought us even closer together. Bringing old friends to a house left silent by the absence of my grandmother. A house where holidays used to mean high school buddies and beer, once again had life this weekend. To celebrate one of the greatest people I’ll ever know. My little cousin R is right, Nana is an angel now. Because she always was one.
“One Sweet Day” – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men