|March 2010 - almost two years ago|
Me: "Girlies, remember, those baby seals were Ganger's. She wanted you to have them."
Sroch: "Oy, Mommy, chaval (it's a shame) she didn't have them when she was so sick. They would have made her feel better."
Me: "Actually, Sroch, she had a whole collection of them, so she had plenty. She just loved you girls so much she shared with you."
Llama: "I feel that Ganger is happy now! She is!"
Sroch: "Of course she's happy now, she's not sick anymore."
And they just keep playing.
I did not even tell Lamis that Ganger died last week. I wasn't sure she'd be able to grasp it. But Sroch I did tell. Sroch was totally accepting and positive - her first comment was, "Oh, just like Savta Raba." She was sympathetic to me for being upset - she hugged me and brought me tissues and her blankie, and even rubbed her blankie under my nose for me (she remembers I told her I did that as a comfort mechanism as a child). There's also no question that she understood, since she asked if I had to sit shiva and so on.
Sroch's complete acceptance of the life cycle was comforting in its matter-of-fact-ness, and in that she shares what I've mentioned before, which is a lack of fear of death.
But the girls' conversation tonight is what concretizes this odd mourning - remembrance of a wonderful, beloved person, and great, great relief that she is no longer in pain.
As a continuation of Hashem's kindnesses, indeed I did go to vist my grandmother zl"b at the perfect time. She was happy, relatively well, home and relatively comfortable. We had a wonderful visit. That was essentially the last good week of her life.
And a small, but last kindness, was that she had one day to look at the gorgeous picture of her greatgranddaughters (and their cousins as well, B"H) that we sent. It's not a kindness because I wouldn't want the effort and expense wasted - it's a kindness because she left this world facing the images of her legacy.
And so I am relieved that she is not in pain, that her soul has moved on to a better place.
But oh, how I miss her!!
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love.
A Violet by a mossy stone
Half-hidden from the Eye!
---Fair, as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky!
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her Grave, and, Oh!
The difference to me.