The Long Goodbye

A week from today I will be helping my mom start the process of cleaning my grandparents home. We’re just starting with the little things like getting ride of the spices, wiping out the fridge, washing out some cabinets and cleaning out the toiletries.

I’m happy to help my mom but I know this is a project that neither one of us wants to do.

But it has to be done.

I have no idea what I will feel or what it will be like. It will be the first time I’ve been back to the house when neither Grandma or Grandpa will be there. Grandma is gone and Grandpa is in a assisted living facility. We’ve said our good-byes to Grandma in our own ways and mourned our loss deeply but I don’t think we’re done saying good-bye or longing for what once was.

I suspect this will be an ongoing process that we’ll relieve over and over again for a long time to come.

Grandpa will not be sitting in the corner reading the paper or his Wallace Farmer magazines. Grandma will not be sitting in “her” chair plying us with her wonderful cookies.

I guess it’s good to be aware of this before next Sunday but it doesn’t make the task at hand any easier. It’s only the beginning.

How have you dealt with the aftermath after a loved one died?

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2 thoughts on “The Long Goodbye

  1. I have decided that life is all about goodbyes…it happens at all levels and yes it is sometimes so bad that your stomach hurts and you cry from way down in your gut. It is hard for people to understand I guess if they have not been there. When reading this my mind instantly went to your mom….it will be doubly hard for her. There is no easy way out concerning “loss”….you just have to go thru it. After awhile then you have to get on and only think of it every now and then and not dwell on it as it would be easy to just live there and miss life. My heart goes out to you both.

  2. Trav hit it on the nose. It hurts that all my parents have done for at least three years now is prepare to die. They aren’t depressed or depressing, it’s just that they are so absorbed by dying they aren’t really living either. So, long before their passing, I am missing Dad’s this and Mom’s that. I’m collecting worthless things that mean the world to me, which I’m sure is their idea of making it easier once they are gone. Instead, I’m mourning each and every thing they no can or will not ever do again. It’s almost like they are dying over and over again.

    Our families have never had anything materially valuable to pass along. I’m glad my parents and grandparents deliberately enjoyed what little they might have left behind (this was on purpose). I think the very thing you are going to do is the best way to bring the mourning to closure.

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