Monday, April 26, 2010

Of Grandmothers

The Fellow’s grandmother passed away last week.

I didn’t know her for too long, but I will always remember her as a woman of amazing strength, independence and foresight. At 80, she walked without any support, managed apple orchards all by herself and lived alone in a massive house, in the lap of the mountains, without any complaints, or indeed desire to live anywhere else (in fact, she terrorised the countryside and made sure not a leaf was out of place in her little kingdom). And this she’d been doing for nearly 30 years.

2 weeks before granny died, she had a cardiac arrest, the result of a renal complication. Since things were looking critical, we rushed home to be with her, and I think the presence of her favourite grandsons helped her much more than medication. In fact, it’s a tribute to how much she meant to her family that all her grandchildren, living all over the country, arrived to be with her when she was unwell. Just the sight of her grandchildren brought a sparkle to her eyes and a grin to her face. She couldn’t be happier than when the apple of her eyes were teasing her, tickling her and generally making all kinds of noise in the hospital room. In fact, in less than a week she was well enough to go home, where the noise just continued and she was kept in high spirits. Ten days later, she died.

It’s been a week since granny died and it all seems surreal still. At times when the brain is trying to rationalise what happened, it feels like she survived a massive cardiac arrest just to make sure she gave us all a chance to meet her one last time.

She died as she lived – on her own terms.