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The Waiting

Grandma is dying. Physically, the doctor said she's normal, but Grandma has given up on living. After she'd reached a month in the hospital, her will to live just disappeared. She sank into depression, and now, she's just waiting. Everyone keeps hoping for a miracle... and it's not impossible. But is it wrong that I've given up, too? I would love to have a few more years with Grandma, but she's 88. She's lived a good life. It isn't fair to ask her to stay alive just for us.

Last week, I thought Grandma might die any day. It seems that might not be the case. As much as Grandma is ready... her body may not be just yet. Once I adjusted to that idea, I've reached a strange sort of calm. And this week, I feel almost disappointed for Grandma having to stay here still when she so badly wants to go to Heaven. It's strange.

When I talked to Jill about it all, she said I was in tune with a more Eastern Philosophy. When I told her I thought it would be harder for me if Grandma got better for a short time, just to end up back in the hospital soon after, she said I was self-aware, not selfish (as I thought). And I know it's going to hurt so, so much when Grandma leaves us, but it's as though I'm already a few weeks into the grieving process. I think I'm the only one, who is as ready as possible for what will eventually happen. Not that being ready means it's not going to hurt. Jill compared it to hitting your thumb with a hammer. Even if you know it's going to happen, it's still going to hurt like Hell. And this will, too. I know it.

So why am I so calm? I don't understand it. Jill says because, like in my stories, I know death is not the end. As much as I know I'm going to miss being able to talk to Grandma on the phone whenever I need to talk... that's already been gone for more than a month. Grandma barely responds to me when I go see her. Jill told me that many people say it's like someone has one foot in both worlds. More and more they spend time in the other world, until they completely fade away. But she thinks it should be comforting that they people in that situation are disappointed to awake still in this world: it must mean there's something wonderful waiting on the other side.

It would have been lovely to spend another Summer with Grandma, but maybe it just wasn't meant to be. It's not for me, or any of us, to decide. So, I'm just waiting... waiting for the intense pain... waiting for the eventual recovery. Waiting for Grandma's freedom. And if a miracle decides to come, I'd welcome it, too.