And Now We Have To Keep Going

12/24/2012 · 31 comments

in I'm not funny here.

“She’s gone.”

That’s how it ended. That simple, that plain–she’s left us and I’ll never see her again. She left peacefully, quietly, so easily.

And I should feel happy for her. I should be joyous that she is no longer among us, that she is with my father and her family where she’ll be for eternity and everything is wonderful for her once again. No longer will she hurt or despair, but us? We’re just beginning.

I’m mad as Hell, which is fitting for the peaceful eternity she finds herself in now, away from us all–away from my rage and despair. She was my childhood. How can I let her go so peacefully, so joyously?

She was the good I remember about growing up. She was summertime–popsicles from the musty shop, weeding the flowers, hot dog cookouts and stories on the front porch.

She was every single holiday. She was Thanksgiving–noodles and cookies and pots and pans that have real soul. She was Christmas–tiny villages and sparkling lights and more cheer and spirit than even Santa possesses. She is the smell of firewood and pine trees.

She was my yardstick. She was married for almost 60 years to her very best friend, she was history and strength and perseverance and dedication to family, community, home, and life. She was brave enough to let me try stupid things, and kind enough to hold my hand in understanding if and when they failed.

She was home.

She was the constant in my life–no matter what, I knew she would always be there, sitting on her front porch with a glass of iced tea and a willingness to at least endure whatever I was up to now. Home was the smell of fudge and flour, soundtracked with a Southern accent and sharp wit.

And I fear, so deeply, a world without her in it. I wonder what will happen to my childhood, to the milestones I’ve come to know as exclusively hers. I’ve had time to prepare for, “she’s gone,” but there’s not enough time in all the universe to prepare for, “and now we have to keep going.”

Trapped here in my loneliness and selfishness it struck me–she alone prepared us for, “keep going.” She married an incredible man who is the other half of the home I have come to call my own. She gave me my mother, my aunt, my uncle, my cousins, my sister, my nieces and nephews. She gave me a lifetime of memories not just with her, but with these people who I love more deeply than I can ever possibly tell them. She began the structure that will continue to hold us all together in love, memory, and fun.

She silently held us all together for years, and though we fear that we will fall apart without her to do so, I realize that she’s done exactly what we needed to stick together.

We will miss her. We will never forget her. We will be telling her stories and regaling her glory for generations, as we have the generations before her.

With one another, with new family members, with new memories to make; it will never be the same without her, but it will be. And that’s enough to know that we, and she, will all be alright.

My grandmother passed away Friday night after a short and vicious bout with cancer. While she is no longer hurting and for that I am immensely grateful, no amount of time having known her would have been enough. I am having a hard time right now, so thank you for your patience.

Dave in Sherman December 24, 2012 at 1:56 am

Hang in there. Sometimes holidays are hard for other reasons, please don’t let this one be any harder because of your sorrow. Remember all of the joy of this time of the year that you shared with your grandmother. You know she would want that.

Laura December 24, 2012 at 2:34 am

I’m so sorry.
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Myselves December 24, 2012 at 3:13 am

I am sorry to hear that, it’s hard to deal with a loss like that so close to the holidays.

TheOtherLisa December 24, 2012 at 3:40 am

I’m so sorry.

Tina December 24, 2012 at 6:19 am

Mt deepest condolences.

Cyprium December 24, 2012 at 7:34 am

I’m truly sorry Noa. All my love goes to you right now. I feel the weight of your loss.

Kathleen December 24, 2012 at 9:26 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. My grandmother died just before Christmas last year, and even though it was expected (she was 94 and had been fading for some time), it was still painful. Our family Christmas party (all 7 of her children and dozens of grand and great grand kids) was her legacy to us, and her way of being with us even after she was gone. Last year’s party was filled with stories, laughter, memories and love, and we reminded ourselves that this was the treasure she had given us: a closeknit family who keeps in touch over generations, and the gift of story telling, which keeps her and my grandpop alive as long as we keep passing on the stories. This is our way of grieving; just remember however you need to grieve is ok, no one has a right way, and everyone deals with pain differently.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Mayor Gia December 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

Sniffle. I’m sorry for your loss.
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Jen December 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

I know you aren’t a hugger so ((titty bump)). I am so sorry for your loss. My grandma passed away last year and even though she was 95 years old, the world wasn’t ready to go on spinning without her. Much love to you, Noa. Oh fuck it…I’m gonna hug you so just suck it! ((HUG))

winopants December 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Merrrff… I’m so sorry. I need to give my gramps a call, even if it means dealing with his beech of a wife. There’s no time to let resentments stop me from appreciating my loved ones.

Meg December 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. Especially hard around Christmas time.
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Jaime December 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm

my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time…. wish there were any words to say that would make it better… sadly time is the only way to heal.

Missy December 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Cancer is the a monster…I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your grandma sounded wonderful.

Abby December 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

My thoughts are with you more than usual, my friend. You know my relationship with my own grandma, and although I’m at peace when she goes–it will be soon–I selfishly dread not having her here in my life, even if she’s not herself anymore. It’s scary to imagine a world without them, but we’re so, so fortunate that we’ve been blessed with these women in our lives. Many people will never have that chance, or if they do, they won’t realize how lucky they are.

You realized it. You cherished it. I hope you can take comfort in your memories. XOXO
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HeatherRose December 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

So sorry for your loss. One of my favorite proverbs is “say not in grief she is no more, but live in thankfulness because she was.” It sounds like you have many wonderful memories for which to be thankful, and I hope that brings you some peace going forward. <3

b December 25, 2012 at 12:10 am

What a beautiful tribute you wrote, and what wonderful memories she left as gifts to all of your family. I am so sorry for your loss… it sounds like this is one of those losses where there’s a before and there’s an after, and the after is going to always be a little bittersweet. I wouldn’t want anything more from my life than to be remembered the way you remember her.

Kim December 25, 2012 at 2:01 am

I am so incredibly sorry for your heartache, and know no words can be offered to ease that hurt. Please know you and yours will be in my thoughts.
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Misty December 25, 2012 at 8:59 am

Oh Noa, I am so sorry. Losing a loved one, especially around the holidays, is never an easy thing. But it sounds like she has prepared you well for the keep going. She will be your strength. HUGS.
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Lisa December 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

So sorry for your loss! (hugs)
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Jeri December 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm

My father died 14 days before Christmas of this year, I understand. My heart goes out to you. May you find comfort in time and may memories fill you with peace and love.

Jake December 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I’m so sorry, Noa.
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pippi December 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I’m sorry for your loss, Noa.

Alexandra December 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

With that first sentence, I knew who you were talking about.

It was the same for me and my grandmother: she was the glue in my life, the one who helped me keep all the crazy from tearing me apart.

When she was gone, when I was just 30, I couldn’t eat for a month.

I am so sorry, I know your heart must feel like there’s a 50 lb brick tied around it.

Much love to you, Noah.

And I am so sorry you’ve lost her, but I’m so happy you had her.


Abby December 26, 2012 at 7:51 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. May each day get a little easier for you.
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nadine December 26, 2012 at 9:12 am

I’m really sorry about your grandma. I hope you and your family are doing OK and make it through this hard time…. you’re lucky to have had such a great person in your life.

Banana Stickers December 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

She sounded awesome. Thank you for sharing your memories of her.
Much love to you and yours.
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Monica December 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. I know those words are weak, but they’re all I can offer. That, and in the coming years, don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve or for how long. This is yours, and no one gets to tell you how long is enough, or whether you’re grieving too hard or not hard enough.
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Dana the Biped December 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Noa, I’m so sorry. It’s always terrible to lose someone, but it’s particularly difficult near the holidays, when you feel like you should be happy and celebrating, and everything reminds you of the person you miss. You and your family are in my thoughts–I’m hoping you can find some peace, too.
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Kablooey December 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I’m so sorry that you lost your grandmother. (And that euphemisms suck and are inadequate.) she sounds like an amazing person, and your love shines thru in your words.

Valerie December 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I’m so sorry…

Hugs!!! Valerie
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Jenbug December 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

Oh, Noa. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Holidays can be especially hard on surviving family members, so hang on to each other and try to remember all the wonderful times instead of making new, sad memories. I’ll be sending out random hippie vibes of healing and caring. I hope they help. If they don’t, blame my mom. She smoked a lot of weed while she was knocked up with me.
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