The most painful thing about the distance is the moment just before departing… when you say goodbye.
It doesn’t really matter if it is for a day or for an undefined period of time… it doesn’t make a difference if you will be 10 or 10,000 kilometers away. Mostly it’s the parting that hurts. Once you are back to your day to day, your known routine, it stops hurting… at times.
I just had the most difficult trip back home. I went to say goodbye to my grandma. The last goodbye. Because for the last 10 years she has been saying her last goodbyes to me… every time I parted again… she would swear it was the last one.
It’s funny how everyone has its own rhythm in accepting… death… when you know it’s near. Sometimes hiding… sometimes not really wanting to come. My grandma survived war and postwar… maybe that is why her body was wired to survive… to not let go.
My sister called and said I should come soon, if I wanted to see her… or mostly if I wanted her to see me. Mostly I was worried for my mom, taking care of grandma… heavy for her body but also for her soul. As days passed she was slowly being more there and less here.
She thought I was her, my sister, but she smiled at me while she said her name. That was enough for me… that smile. Lovely blue eyes, warm voice. The second day she said my name a couple of times… She knew. We spent her last days together… I talked a lot to her… the last words to me were “no te preocupes”. Wise lady.
She waited for me… I like to think that… she waited for all of us to be there, at home, together. She left peacefully. I was holding her hand. I held her hand log after she was gone. It was too difficult to let her hand go.
The flowers in her room didn’t open anymore. The buttons dried up. I thought that was remarkable… that is why I’m writing about it.
The night after I had a weird dream. I crawled back into my parents bed… like I used to do… like my boy does now.
It was good to slow down. To be there. To be us.