You know about those tragic losses when somebody dies and everybody feels it was too early? When it doesn't make any sense? So many more years that this person should be with their beloved ones... Unfinished business, joy and pain that haven't been experienced, a shock to everyone...
Well, this was NOT one of those cases.
She knew. She was eighty-nine. She went through so much! Her mind was sharp. She felt old and tired and yet, I think she was younger than some people at thirty. I think she's the only person I can't remember having any flaws. I loved her. I respected her immensely. I remember how only a few years ago, she and my mum were weeding in my aunt's field after my aunt had a surgery and they had been working for some two or three hours. My mum had enough after one, but she was embarrassed to say so, so she waited for her mother to decide to stop. You know now what I mean?
Now she felt her bones were not what they used to be. Her body was shutting down. She was like a candle flame slowly going out.
"All you do is talk - why aren't you saying any prayers?" she told her five children off when she was lying on her death bed. And so they prayed. Her children - that's what they were as long as she was with them, although the oldest, my mum, was almost seventy years old.
"Will you do so after I'm gone as well? Will you still pray?"
And so they promised.
When she heard the voice of the baby in the hall, she called her. So her granddaughter brought in her baby who immediately wanted to touch her cheek.
"You see," my grandmother said "I have to go now. And you have to stay for a good many years."
"This is not happening," said her son to the others in disbelief. They all knew what was going on and couldn't believe she was so sane. Were they looking at their own future? Will they, too, keep the sanity to the last moment of their life? Will that be a blessing or a curse? Will the closeness of departure terrify them?
She made peace with God and with the fact that her time here was ending.
Funeral. All the family gathered.
Months went by.
Uncle is visiting my aunt.
"I know I shouldn't, " he says with a broad smile "but this is so wonderful! We'll have babies!"
And yes, he was told off for breaking the news to everyone before they said he could but then... so what! His three children, two daughters and a son, those three of my cousins (we're 16 altogether) that actually lived in the same house with our grandmother, are all having babies - one is due in September and two in October.
The oldest of them said: "Granny must be praying up there all the time to send us such a blessing!"
One of my cousins is staying there. Two have moved into their new homes. After the painful emptiness in the house after grandma passed away, there will be new life. New joy. The little great-granddaughter will have company now.
I'm so happy for them all. True, there will be more names to remember (I already need a refreshing course sometimes and mum helps me out), but this is so nice!