In the past year, my husband and I have lost a combined 4 grandparents:
And most recently,
Hubby and I have been blessed to have known amazing grandparents. Grandpa's funeral is tomorrow, and we are preparing ourselves for the service. A few months ago, I wrote a poem about Grandpa. He had just broken his hip, and was in the hospital. We weren't sure if he would make it through surgery. While he was at the hospital, his wife of over 60 years, Grandma, was back living at their condo with their 24-hour aide. She had terminal cancer, and had been on hospice for quite some time. Her health was rapidly declining, as was his. I was struck by their relationship, their current situation. They'd lived most of their lives together, and now as time was winding down, there was the chance that they would potentially be apart for the rest of their days.
I'm not a poet by any means, but sometimes when I feel a strong emotion, the only way I can process it is through writing. Grandpa was confused and alone at the hospital, away from his wife. He was still coming to terms with her finality and her cancer, let alone his lot. I could not keep myself from trying to see the present world through Grandpa's eyes: why he acted the way he did, how he felt. How does an 89 year old man feel when he is looking at the last days, weeks, months of his life? Of his wife's life? Of their life together?
Writing this poem gave me insight and understanding.
I'd like to share this poem with you, in honor of Grandpa's funeral tomorrow. The family decided they would like it read during the service, which humbled me. I haven't shared much of my non-bloggy writing here. And it's uncomfortable, like the dream where you are in class and realize you are naked: it makes you feel exposed. Writing is such a personal thing, particularly poetry. It gives a glimpse into one's heart, mind and soul.
So, this is uncomfortable. But I want to do it
Writers note: As I wrote this poem, I was listening to "Winter Song," sung by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. It gives you a feel for the tenor of the poem. I love this song - a beautiful mixture of sadness and hope.
In case you are wondering, Grandpa miraculously made it through hip surgery, and he got to spend Grandma's last few weeks with her in a nursing home, where they shared a room.