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Grandma's gone, part 2

It’s still quite unbelievable that she’s not here anymore. We knew she wouldn’t be better, in fact we thought she was just waiting my uncle’s visit now at Christmas and then she’d die, but it seems her body had other ideas. It was very fast: at December 12th she had her normal routine (breakfast, shower, lunch, etc.), but she wasn’t breathing really well. On previous Sunday (December 8th) she had a strong chest pain and we spent that day at hospital, but after several exams the doctors hadn’t discovered anything wrong so she was sent back home. At December 12th she wasn’t breathing well so my mother made her use the nebulizer at morning and afternoon. But after that 2nd time she wasn’t breathing better at all, she even told my mother that it was worse than before. Those were her last words: my mother had just gone to kitchen in order to clean nebulizer parts when it started, she said there were strange noises coming from Grandma’s bedroom, so she went there to see what was going on. Grandma’s was making those strange noises through her noise and my mother asked her what was happening. Grandma couldn’t answer her and suddely stopped the noise and stayed very still. Mother yelled for my father’s help, he phoned to an ambulance to come here. We have a neighbor who works as a nurse and they asked his help, but he couldn’t sense her heart beating. Ambulance came but there was nothing the guys could do. They gave her oxygen and those heart massages but she was already dead. It was around 4 p.m., and my father phoned me, telling she wasn’t well and that I should come home. When I arrived I was told the truth.

All of us cried a lot, but remained calm enough to deal with those details such as documents, funeral, phoning people... Mother tried to phone to my uncle, but he wasn’t at home. When he finally phoned back guess who had to give him the news? Me, since I was the one to pick the phone. Surprisingly he remained calm too, and he and his wife arrived here at following day to take part of funeral. The weirdest thing of all is that until now he hadn’t cried, and all of us were really expecting him to be the most devastated of us. People can shock you sometimes... there weren’t many people at her funeral, many relatives had wanted us to send her back to Niterói to be buried there, but it would have been extremely expensive so we did it here. There were us, my uncle and his wife, my father’s brother and his family, the women who took care of her, our cleaning ladies who really liked Grandma and some of my co-workers, who had already surprised me by sending flowers to her funeral. It was really nice to have them there, everybody had been listened to me talking about her for weeks and they were always very kind to me.

After that we spent few days at Niterói, Grandma had left a list in which she divided several of her personal belongings between my mother and uncle – and also to me and my cousin, his daughter. Of course my mother decided to take everything that would belong to her to our old apartment: books, cups, glasses, vases, that kind of things. My uncle decided to keep all her furniture, I never went to his new house but it seems he really needs all that stuff. There’s already a lawyer taking care of legal aspects, which include the selling of Grandma’s two apartments – the big one where she lived for about 40 years and a smaller one, where my uncle’s ex-wife and their daughter live. Dudes, that’s such a mess that I don’t even want to talk about, but let’s say his new wife is very angry because he’s going to buy my mother’s part of it in order to keep his ex there, while his ex and my cousin aren’t happy because they always thought he would have money enough to buy them a big apartment in a better neighborhood. Either way he’s fucked, he’s going to piss one of them and now he doesn’t have my Grandma’s financial and emotional support anymore.

It was good to see my city again, I’ve been missing it. There wasn’t enough time to do everything I’d want (just 2 ½ days before coming back), but I managed to see its streets again and it was more than enough – of course it was good being able to buy some clothes and shoes at my favorite shops while there, and me and mother also had time to give flowers to Iemanjá, the sea goddess, while we were there.

Now we’re back and our routine isn’t the same, we were used to think about her needs all the time and things had changed. My parents had already "moved" to her bedroom, who has a private bathroom, which means now I’ve one all for me too (the old one that we three used to share). Her clothes and shoes were sent to poor people, although some things were kept by me and my mother. We still talk about her all the time, but there’s no pain while doing that, we’re quite sure that she’s fine, with my grandfather and all the dead relatives. Life goes on, as it seems.

Me (4 months) and Grandma

I was 4 months old when this photo was taken


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
Aw! she was so beautiful. And you were a sweetie. Still are!
Jan. 1st, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
Thanks, Aline!
Jan. 1st, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
Hugs, dear Adriana. I feel for you.
Good idea, giving the flowers to Iemanjá while you
were at Niteroi.
You would be far from the sea on December 31.
Jan. 1st, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
Thanks, Luci - white roses were the only flowers we've found, but I think they were ok. There's a place here at Brasília, it's a kind of lake beach which has statues from orixás, I'd never gone to there but it's said people give them flowers at December 31st. I don't think it's the same, but if suits them I suppose that's ok...
Jan. 1st, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss, sweetie. {{hugs}}
Jan. 1st, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
Thanks, girl - and I've got your card, thanks for that too!
Jan. 1st, 2008 06:25 am (UTC)
Oh, sweetie, I don't know where to start. I'm so sorry for your loss. From your previous stories and pictures of your grandmother, I feel in some small way I knew her. She was quite a woman, and very much loved. And I *love* this picture. She's so beautiful, you're adorable and you can sense the love she felt for you.

I *was* getting worried about you. I should've gotten in touch before. I totally understand your absence - - you've had rough few months. *big hugs*
Jan. 1st, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC)
Girl, I shouldn't have spent so much time distant from you all, but there were many days in which I just didn't have the energy to sit in front of computer at home, after working all day and takig care of her at night. I really missed you and during several occasions I remembered your posts and also Dargie's, when you too talked about your mothers. I didn't remember that photo (obviously, *g*), but we've found it and many others while cleaning her wardrobe, and I loved to realize there were several ones showing me and her together.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:26 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss and what you and your family have been going through. Beautiful picture!
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
Thanks - we've found many pictures among her personal belongings. Many of them are from years ago, when I was a baby, when my mother and uncle were kids... it was nice to see she kept them close to her, not inside albums rarely opened.

Edited at 2008-01-07 12:35 am (UTC)
Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
Hi Adriana. I'm very sorry for your loss. I hope you and your family are doing better. Best of luck to you in the new year.
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Thanks, Ana, it's almost one month and we're all better, but sometimes we still miss her a lot...
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )