Sunday, October 02, 2011

The vibrancy of Autumn

It's always hard to write a post like this one...hard because I mostly want to inspire and share light.   Yet, even the darkest moments of life have their purpose, and death is indeed part of life.  

Grady, Paw-paw, passed away just over a month ago on Aug 24th.   His health took a heartbreaking turn for the worse a few days after he returned from the nursing home- and in less than 3 days he died.   The kids and I drove to the coast in a hurry on Tuesday the 23rd and stood around Paw-paws bed to say goodbye.  We cried, we told him we loved him, we re-told funny stories about times he made us laugh or feel special- kind of like a toast...and even though he was unable to speak to us, I am certain he heard every word.
I am also certain he knew how very much he was loved by all of us.

The following day, when he passed, his entire family was standing around his bed.  His son and daughter were holding his hands, the kids their dad and I were at the foot of his bed, Granny was at the head of the bed.   We were all there, surrounding him, and at the same time letting him go.   He took his last breath within a circle of   ones who loved him, and entered a new realm of beauty and peace.   There was no pain in his expression, no fear, no worry...just a peaceful and rested appearance.

The memorial service would be held that Friday.   There were reasons for the hurry, as a hurricane was bearing down on us.   We were 15 minutes south of Morehead City and Ireene was due to make landfall in Morehead the following morning.  When we came home from the service on Friday we literally boarded up the last set of windows on the front of the house, filled up as many water pitchers as we could find, and hunkered down.

It was a wild and stormy night.   Having never endured a Cat 2 hurricane before I was both excited and nervous.   Had the circumstances been different I would have been a little more jovial, but as it was, there was a pall over the house- a heavy sadness, a grief which hung about each of us like a heavy cloak.   At times it was easy to even forget the storm was brewing outside because something bigger was going on inside.  However, when the 90 mph winds whipped around the house, and threw debris, and drove the rain sideways...and then the power went out...Ireene had our full attention.   In a way, when the electricity was cut, it was kind of a relief.  We had to look up from our individual sadness and focus on something else.   Unfortunately we were shaking off the stupor of heartache only to deal with the terror of a large and powerful hurricane.  

As it goes we were, thankfully, unscathed by the storm.   We may have lost a shingle?  All in all we were blessed and protected.   Most of the food in the fridge had to go, but the stuff in the freezer was still frozen after 24 hours.

The next 4 weeks are mostly a blur.   Mr. Mayden and I took turns being with his mom at the coast, but we were both finally home by the 3rd week of September.   The one month mark of Grady's passing was last weekend.   This weekend was my son's 18th birthday party.    I'm still in something of a blur.  

I look forward to brighter days.   The oppressive heat of the summer was broken this weekend.   I'm ready to feel the vibrancy of  Autumn, both with my eyes, and with my heart.  

5 comments:

/t. said...

condolences
to you & family, m

paw-paw was a lucky man in the end,
surrounded by love & support for that final journey -- who could ask for more?

× × ×

/t.

foam said...

I know .. I understand, sweetpea ..
xoxo

and the next time a hurricane blows through you WILL pack up your family and wabbit (with cage)and head out my way.

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

Yes condolences. How lovely the family could come together to witness that final journey. Autumn is the ending that must be so that a new beginning may take place.

Love to you ....

Bad Bob said...

I am sorry to hear about PawPaw. It is always sad, but be thankful you got to spend some time with him and reminisce.
Prayers for you and your family.

X. Dell said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I know how much Paw-Paw was on your mind this summer. My condolences, and I'm hoping that you and the kids have found something to take comfort in--and if not, that you find it soon.

You gave Paw-Paw a very nice gift. Death isn't pleasant for anyone. But we must all go through it, many times before our own. Surrounded by loving family, at an advanced age, and reliving the highlights with them is about as good as it gets. I know that wherever he is, he's grateful to you.