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I am mourning my Grandma in my own way

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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:11 PM
Original message
I am mourning my Grandma in my own way
She officially died a day ago

Mom came over and we talked about her

It is sad, but theres nothing anyone can do

She was 95

Hilda, her name, was raised on a farm in Iowa. When she was young, her only brother died in a farm equipment accident. From then on, she was her parents' only child. She went on to college at a private Dutch Reformed collete, getting married to my Grandfather who was a seminary student.

Soon she was brought into the life of a Preacher's Wife. At the same time, she was brought into the life of a Military Wife. My grandfather became a Chaplain in this new war that was developing in Europe and Asia.

Grandpa left to the Pacific, Grandma raised my Aunt Karen (now deceased - RIP), my Dad and my Uncle Dave.

She moved from base to base - from West Point to Texas, to Iowa (back to the family farm) to California. She raised her three children in a Christian, yet ethical and moral way. "The Bible was full of conflicting statements in English - what does your heart say?"

At the same time, this was someone who was fairly conservative at heart. Sodomy was a sin, something done by "dirty people." She used to hiss about the "inscrutible orientals" - that is, until she met my wife (who is Korean American), the daughter of College Professors.

After that all was OK, and all racism dropped. Nothing like familiarity to weed out racism. Sometimes I think its the only thing that works.

She made it to 95. Once she had to bury her daughter, Aunt Karen, whom I still miss today - everything went downhill. (It is my sincere hope that no parent ever has to outlive their kids. That is the cruelest experience in the world.)

She officially died of a stroke, which rendered her brain dead. She died a few days ago, brain-wise. And that I consider her real death.

But her body perished at 5 am on Friday morning.

My Grandma was someone who did some amazing things, and rose out of her beginnings in a way that should impress anyone. Out of an Iowa farm at the turn of the century, she got off the farm as soon as she could. This was hitting the jackpot back then. Very few women could hope for more in that society.

Her Grandfather worked on a Whaling ship in the 1800's. He took his money and bought a farm. Didn't really farm well, but kept things going long enough to raise her parents. From there, her parents raised her to work the Iowa farm, at a time when there was a lot of financial instability.

Now my Grandma is dead - and I mourn in the way that feels natural right now.

And yes, that may involve alcohol - so what?

We all have our ways of mourning...
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. I am so sorry. Your grandmother sounds like she witnessed a lot of changes
and she sounds like a really awesome lady
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. She was, thanks!
Hey 95 isn't bad!
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w8liftinglady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. i'd like to make something special for you.
I have made prayer beads for many DUers when they or their family were going through rough times.Let me know your grandma's favorite color,whether you want a Christian or secular bead,and where to send it.I'm selfish-this helps me heal.No spam or anything like that.
Beth
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I understand
Not sure on her favorite color - and thanks...
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. (((HUGS)))
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 08:31 PM by Odin2005
:hug:

When my grandmother died a few moths ago I cried myself to sleep. :cry: It's still shocking when I remind myself that she is no longer around.
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. My mom died at 81...
.
...the day after 9/11. Her body took about two days to shut down, so 9/11 was
in the distant background for me when it happened. She had had a full, rich
life. At the end, she had been bedridden but alert and happy for the most
part... although she was weary in all senses of the word. She had Alzheimer's
and stopped communicating with me a couple of months or so before she died.
.
Her belief system was such that she KNEW that all her loved ones who had passed
before her were waiting for her in some wonderful place, probably Heaven, and
she was VERY much looking forward to seeing them again.
.
She died very quietly and peacefully, with a little bit of respiratory distress
in the last few hours. You can't wish for much better when it's time to check
out.
.
Your grandmother reminds me of my mom. She also buried a son aged 33 in 1980 --
and she also became MUCH more tolerant and understanding of others as she "grew
up" in her later years (this typical nonpolitical housewife of the suburban
1950's DID become more and more critical of conservatives and those unfeeling,
uncaring people in power, but let us not judge her harshly for that :loveya:). Try
not to grieve, but celebrate her life and the fact that you were fortunate enough
to have been graced by her presence... and she by yours. At worst, she is simply
through with all her trials and tribulations... but on the best side, she is laughing
and hugging and dancing with all her loved ones who went before her.
.
And if THAT'S the case... you will certainly see her again to laugh and hug and
dance together.
.
You have the thoughts and good wishes and positive energy of a lot of people here.
.
I think she would want you to be well and happy, no?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 05:57 PM by Taverner
:hug:

I may not agree with everything you say, but thank you

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SalmonChantedEvening Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. My sympathies Taverner
A remarkable story, and a remarkable life. Mourn as your heart tells you to. I suspect Hilda wouldn't have it any other way.

:hug:
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
9. Heartfelt condolences to you
Thank you for sharing your beloved Grandma with us...a beautiful woman.
We all mourn in our own way...I understand...
Please find your peace~

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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. I am so sorry. My deepest sympathies to you.
Hilda was my grandmother's name as well.
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
11. I am sorry, Tav, that was a very nice tribute to her


It is amazing how hard those folks had to work and how far they came to raise their kids. Incredible. It's fascinating to hear their stories.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. Thank you for sharing Taverner!
She sounds like an amazing woman!

Madmaddie
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