Comforted By Death

October 3, 2013

That’s an unusual title of a post, isn’t it?

Are people really comforted by death?

I think they can be sometimes.

Last week, my grandmother died. She had a stroke a few weeks earlier and progressed from ICU to a hospice facility. Our family sat by her side, stroking her hair and whispering our love to her. My mother left her side for maybe a handful of hours over the course of 21 days.

She couldn’t speak but early on, she could communicate by squeezing our hands.

While she was in ICU, I knew she wouldn’t make it. This was her end.

Every time I sat with her, I told her I knew. I told her I hoped she knew how much I loved her and how I was jealous that she was going to be able to hug my baby who gained his wings far too soon. I was the one who wanted to rock him, and cuddle him, and make him feel comforted.

But it wasn’t me who would be doing it. She was on the road to my baby. To our baby.

Charlie was her first great-grandson.

I whispered to her the night before I left the last time: “Grannie, I know you can’t stay here. You know you can’t stay here. I want you to pinkie promise me you’ll hold him and rock him until I get there. I love you. Tell him I love him and will see him soon.”

And having not responded for days, her hand twitched.

I’m sure it was involuntary. Or was it?

It doesn’t matter because I can believe what I want.

My baby is in the arms of someone who held him on this Earth and there’s some comfort in that. There’s a lot of comfort in that, actually.

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