The last time I saw my grandmother, my mom’s mother, was when she was in the hospital. This was before she got bed-ridden and the disease in her brain killed the person she was. She was still battling then.
I was not a kid. It was two years back.
I have a very clear memory of it. Which is rare with deaths. I don’t remember the other deaths as clearly.
Taking her hands and feeling the skin. The old people skin. It is papery, soft as a petal and so clear. You can feel the blood and see it passing through.
She died about a year later.
My dad told me the news.
It was a relief. For her and the family. I don’t mind saying so, politically incorrect though it might be. She was paralysed, bed ridden and in a coma for more than a year. It was her time.
She had led a long life, seen her great-grandchildren and lived her years.
We all thought it was a relief.
And in all this thinking of reliefs and good deaths and long lives, I forgot to see the smaller picture.
I saw my mom about a month after the funeral.
My mother had more grey hair and more wrinkles and she had aged more in the last two months than she had in the last ten years. She looked like she was beat. And if you knew the woman that my mother is, you would know that she had never had that look in eyes ever. Not once, in her entire life.
Then it hit me.
My mother had lost her mother.
I cannot even think about that loss without hyperventilating. I choose to shut my eyes tight and remove the mere thought from my mind. It is a thought so repulsive, I physically react to it.
And my mother had gone through that. Not the mere thought.
I do not know how to share her grief. I am too scared to.