I feel terrible for those who have lost a loved one unexpectedly. One could argue that we are never prepared for someone close to us to pass away – and that’s true – but I had a little bit of time to plan.
I had 3 days to mentally prepare myself for my grandmother to pass away.
On Mother’s Day 2013, My grandmother asked to see me for a talk. She used the time to tell me that she wasn’t going to be around for much longer – and she wanted to tell me how much she loved me, and knew that I would be nothing but great in my life.
In true Katie-fashion, I rolled my eyes playfully and said “No, Grandmom. You’re going to be around for a while. Your birthday is on Saturday. I’m going to make you jello shots!”
To which she replied “No more birthdays.”
Whatever, Grandmom. Seriously.
At this point, she wasn’t SICK SICK. She was on hospice care, but she was okay. Nothing had us believing she would be passing away in the next 6 months – let alone the next few days.
But 3 days later, on May 15th, Grandmom died peacefully after 12 hours of extreme suffering. It was 3 days shy of her birthday.
I see what you did there, Grandmom. “No More Birthdays.” You just HAD to be right.
Despite her bold “No More Birthdays” claim, on May 18th, 3 days after she died, my mother and I still got her a cake and celebrated Grandmom’s birthday.
The following year, we did it again.
Last year, we did it again.
Yesterday, you guessed it, I celebrated again.
I don’t make a big deal out of my dead Grandmother’s birthday in an effort to rip open old scars. I don’t do it for attention. I don’t even do it because it’s an excuse to stuff my face full of sugar. (Okay, maybe a little)…
I do it because despite my Grandmother being the matriarch of our huge Chando brood, she was also extremely humble. She would be the last one to bring attention to herself.
I do it because her dying doesn’t lessen the impact she’s had on my life. Dead or alive, she should be celebrated and remembered.
I do it because “No More Birthdays” is just not acceptable. She’s going to have a birthday every single year, and she’s going to like it.
…and I do it as an excuse to fill my face full of sugar.