Blue Socks

death of a grandparent

30th October 2013 was the day I saw with my own two eyes, my Oma’s soul part from her body. Taking her very last breath, she sent me to the bathroom, to do one last wee for her. My Oma always said to me growing up, “Can you do, a wee for me too?” No one would know this from the outside, for it was a subtle, family joke. No words were spoken that gloomy- sun filled day in the hospital room, so high up off the ground, from nature and yet the universal powers that be, combined with the will to communicate, took place on a spirit level. No matter where the body resides, death does not discriminate. So Oma’s time had come, under dreadful circumstances, all of which I felt so powerless over. I was day-dreaming, that I was screaming, I was desperately hoping that she would live. I was angry, crying my tears, thinking, “who is this fool, why wont you speak up?” I wanted to scream out loud, “do something”, anything.. I couldn’t understand, why everyone seemed to be okay with medicating her fragile body with pain killers, everyone was rationalising,  “It is okay, she is at peace”, why were we killing her slowly, sorry I forgot- I can’t say that..All the things I wanted to do, wanted to say felt some what stolen that day. Why, oh why, was I so powerless why…I asked over and over and then, the signs were all around, the message was clear to me in the hospital room the day Oma died.

As Oma lay cold and so called lifeless, I gently placed a pair of blue fleecy socks on her feet, knowing that all too soon, those very socks would too be a part of her ashes. I rubbed her feet, kissed her feet and said goodbye, I love you, tears streaming down my face onto her pale body. I had to remain open, I said to myself, I’m an open vessel to hear you, something, if anything at all..I silently felt so alone in this process, some what crazy, actually, for thinking this way, scared of what the family would think. So I kept it to myself…

In the midst of the awkward painful silence. I heard, what I believe so strongly to this very day, to be a message from Oma, for her children. Her eldest son, second daughter (my Mother) and youngest son, and that order remained so. It was that she loved her children and for her children to love each other. Nothing more. I will never forget it or that day.

Why did such a special moment feel so awkward, death wants us to connect and then, on the other hand feels shameful and foreign to show how much emotion we bare collectively. There is some part of me that really wants to believe in family rituals, praying, singing, crying, laughing together. Holding a sacred space to be free, so free that you feel elevated and so deeply connected and at peace with the next phase of life, a place where everyone supports each other through exceptionally sacred times. I know the potential for these rituals can exist, yet in my world that day, it didn’t. I still had some regrets, things unsaid. It can be so painful, so still, so silent, only when we confront it can it be forgiven.

In my Oma’s death, I have become closer to her in so many ways, more than I could have ever imagined. I know that the life force continues, it may not be physical but her energy drifts around. This may sound spooky to some, comforting to others. For me it has been one of many comforts, tears, smiles and acknowledgements that honour my Oma. I remain open to all possibilities after her death, that gloomy, sun filled day in the hospital room, so high off the ground, from nature. I still miss her physical presence and touch everyday.

I will always be a part of her as she is to me, this fills me with the love I need to continue on my journey, for this life time, until the next.

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