My Grandma passed away on Saturday.
The last time I saw my Grandfather was just a few months before he died. He obviously knew time was short, and so during that visit he made sure to sit me down and say a number of things that had clearly been on his mind. It was very much a matter of making sure that everything that needed to be said was said, and finally of saying goodbye. I've always counted myself lucky that we had that opportunity.
A few months ago, LC and I took a trip down to Nottingham to see Grandma over a long weekend. And, as it turned out, that weekend coincided with her having a very good weekend, to the extent even that she was able to make it out for a meal one evening, and then to church and to a lunch out the next day. Indeed, it's entirely possible that that was her last good weekend, as shortly thereafter she was going in and out of hospital, and then to the care home where she spent her final few weeks.
(And, not incidentally, it's worth noting that my other grandparents have been ailing considerably in the last couple of years, and yet those weekends when I have managed a visit seem to have aligned very neatly with those weekends when they have seemed to have an especially good weekend.)
Visiting Grandma in the care home was never a pleasant experience, but especially so in the last couple of weeks, when she was clearly going downhill fast and clearly suffering. And on Wednesday I was advised not to delay any future visits.
My final visit was on Friday and, remarkably, it was considerably better than the previous few - Grandma was much more relaxed, and much more coherent than had been the case previously. She was tired, of course, but nowhere near as distressed as previously. As I left, I made sure to say goodbye, but more importantly to tell her that I loved her.
From what I've been told, her final hours were very peaceful - she wanted people to sit with her, but mostly drifted between wakefulness and sleep. And then, when the time was right, she was gone.
It's difficult to write about blessings at a time like this, as I'm sure you can understand. But the story was coming to its end one way or another, and I find it remarkable just how neatly things fell out, once again, for the good - a blessing indeed.