“In my final moments, I’m sure I will look back at everything, good and bad, and realize it was all beautiful.” – William Hannan
Death… sad to say, we all face it at some point in our lives – either acquaintances, family members, or friends. I spent the last few days watching my grandma face the end of her journey here with us. Not that long ago I was lying in bed watching game shows with her asking her advice and laughing together. A few short months ago she was still able to smile, and slowly, she was unable to speak (but her smile was still in her eyes) and finally, to this week – watching her laboring to breathe, stop eating and drinking, and her body simply failing her. She was a remanence of the grandma I knew – just a body that resembled my grandma.
I spent as many hours as I could with her Tuesday, sitting with her, watching her, taking her in. I played her favorite music, kissed her, thanked her, and cherished any moments I had left with her… even though I knew there wasn’t many. I sat there in silence, as she neared the end, not knowing if I could handle watching her pass…after every memory I have with her, I was not sure that I wanted that memory to be my last. About 6:30pm, I had a strong, intense feeling to do something I never do – leave her side. I left – and within a few hours, she was gone.
Watching her lie in bed taking her final breaths here with us – I realized how short life is. I’m sure it was just yesterday (ok maybe last week) when I was playing dress up and cards at her kitchen table with her, not 16 years ago! If anything has made an impact on me through this, it’s that moments do not last forever. Yes, yes I know we’ve all heard that – we all know that… but do we know that with our minds or with our hearts? Are we paying attention in the moments we have? Taking them all in? Appreciating what we have and who we are with? Even if it’s small, simply moments.
I would give almost anything to go back and just take in all the moments, experience them further… to say thank you more and less can I haves… more can I help you’s instead of please can you? Ask for more stories.. and record the conversations… take too many pictures and videos…be a less caught up in me and realize parents and grandparents are growing older too.
As we go about the hustle and bustle of our exceptionally busy lives – take a few moments to breathe, to appreciate the people and things around you. The days may seem long, but the years fly by. When you’re busy in your daily life, remember, those are the moments you will remember. The moments that make up your life and your memories, and the memories of those close to you.
“Some days I wish I could go back in life. Not to change anything, but to feel things twice.” – Anonymous