Grandma is with you in heaven now, can you please help take care of her for us? Make sure you greet her with your sunglasses on, give her that charming smile and boisterous laughter of yours, and don't forget to kiss her on the cheek (you know how she loves that and giggles like a schoolgirl whenever you do that!!) Remember how she had a dream that a black man wearing sunglasses kissed her on the cheek before she even met you?! She told Auntie PY about the dream, AL overhead it and told my sister, who in turn told me about it? (Yes, it’s always so roundabout and a game of telephone with my family!! They can never be direct about anything!!) We were like, “OH WOW!! She has a sixth sense and just foretold her future!!” since we were planning to have you “come out of the closet” soon!! Don’t forget to show her around heaven and ask her to introduce you to my great grandma! You will love her also. You call her A’Bah! I think you’re supposed to meet her because ever since you passed, I mainly dream about you and her. Now, I wonder if I will start dreaming about my grandma!
Anyways, as you know, I come from a long line of strong, courageous, and prideful women (can’t really tell you if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I’m sure it’s a double edged sword most of the time). I inherited my strength and tenacity for a “good fight” from my grandmother and my calm, cool, and rational demeanor from my great grandmother.
Honestly, I have no clue how I'm feeling right now. I don't think it's quite hit me yet. I feel my emotions bubbling around, but isn't quite ready to boil over and spill out yet. As you know, it’s been a long, arduous, and bittersweet journey for my family and I. Grandma has been sick for awhile now, and I’ve been advocating for hospice care for about a year. Even after her stroke, the fight for hospice care seemed futile. Since I've arrived in So Cal about two weeks ago, I started building my army of ‘advocates’ to fight for my 'cause.' I even talked to grandpa and told him we needed to help grandma find peace and acceptance and not more hospitals. I said, "Every time I look at grandma, my heart breaks because I know her soul is fighting to escape her feabile body, and it’s time we stop being selfish and finally ‘let her go.’" All of last week felt like a chess game between my aunt PY and me. But, I’m glad that at the end of the day, she decided that hospice care was the right path for my grandmother. (I’m glad she decided it for herself, and I didn’t have to ‘usurp’ her, because that would have ended really bad!! Hopefully, she doesn’t read this blog, or else I’ll have a reckoning waiting for me when I see her again!!) I don’t know what the doctor said to Aunt PY that made her change her mind about hospice care, but whatever it was, we are completely indebted to him. We were able to bring my grandma home, say our goodbyes, and perform 4 days of prayers, chantings, and blessings with the monks. The family felt the prayers, chantings, and blessings helped eased my grandmother’s anxiety and fear of death, while it also helped her find peace and acceptance, so she could finally let go of this temporal world and transition to the next part of her spiritual journey.
After my grandmother passed, my aunt CY called and said, “There’s two big, white butterflies flying around in the backyard. (which is very rare in So Cal) It’s grandma telling us she’s okay!!” And I added, “The second butterfly must be great grandma because she told me she was coming to pick up grandma in a dream I had a year or so ago!!” Last year, before grandma had her first big health scare and ended up ICU, I had a dream about my great grandma! I saw her about to walk through the front gate of my parent's house, and I yelled from across the front yard, “A’Bah, what are you doing?” She said, “I’m here to pick up your grandma!” Then, I abruptly woke me up! Shortly after, my grandma went into the ICU and I remember sitting in the ICU room with my aunt CY and telling her about the dream. I thought that time was the end for my grandma. She was really sick and we weren’t sure if she was going to pull through or not, but she did because she’s a fighter!! During that hospital visit, the attending doctor that saved her life ended up being an old friend from high school who I hadn’t talked to since graduation. He was my messenger. He told me we were walking up a slippery slope with my grandma’s care. He also made me realize that I had to put aside my own pain and grief of potentially losing my grandma, so I could advocate and be her voice for ‘quality of life’ instead of ‘quantity of life’, especially at the end when she no longer had a voice. It took a year, and a lot of failed missions and battles lost, but at the end of the day, the war was won, and my grandma found peace and acceptance. Her body can rest, and her soul can be free.
I love you A’ma! Please come and visit me in my dreams often!
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.