And there she lie. A body transformed into some configuration I had never quite seen before. A bed which had previously been mine, but barely seemed recognizable anymore. And a face, oh the face, contorted into something seemingly familiar of a horror movie. My grandma’s new appearance posed a barrier between her and me in her final days on earth. And this I believe is the most important thing a death will teach you; never take anything for granted because it will be gone before you know it.
Since I had last seen her, my grandma’s image had changed completely. She no longer represented the pleasantly plump grandmother figure she previously had. Instead her once overweight figure had been replaced by a body completed solely of bones and skin. And as sad as it may sound, this in and of itself is the reason I did not spend time with her in her final days. It just didn’t seem like her anymore. The doctors told me that she was in some state of vegetation, but her ears would be the last organ to go, so I could tell her everything I wanted to. But I failed to do this. Of course I told her the generic good-byes of “I love you” and “I will miss you”, but because I believed that this limp and motionless body no longer was personified by my grandmother, I never really told her everything I wish I had.
While on earth, my grandma had the best sense of humor, but in her final days I told her no jokes. While on earth, my grandma was incredibly witty, but in those final days I showed her no intellect. While on earth my grandma was devilishly sarcastic, but in her final days I exchanged no cynic. And for the rest of my life my grandma will be my best friend, but while on this earth I took her for granted.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.