Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Loving Memory

It’s been a few weeks, hasn’t it? When I last posted, I was once again on my way to California to spend time with my Nana throughout the final days of her life. Four weeks later, I’m back in DC missing her, remembering her and loving her as I always will no matter how much time goes by.

A strong-willed fighter right to the very end, Nana stayed with us nearly a full two weeks longer than even her nurses and doctors ever thought possible. This included several entirely unexpected days during which she was frequently alert and able to communicate, never hesitating to let us know how much she loved us and that she understood we were there beside her, giving her all the affection and care we could, just as she had always done for us each and every day of her life.

Without a doubt, the past few weeks and months have changed me as a person, forcing me to grow in ways I never imagined. In doing what little I could to help care for Nana, I learned that one of the hardest parts of watching someone you love battle a terminal illness is accepting that no matter what you do, it is never enough. Yes, you can try your best to control the pain and offer temporary comfort, but the disease is still ultimately more powerful, and your efforts incredibly limited.


Although there were definitely times I couldn't help breaking down, I also managed to maintain my composure during several especially difficult moments, including the morning of Oct. 9, when Nana passed away at home with my grandfather, uncle and I there to care for her. Never having lost someone extremely close to me before, I fully expected to have an impossible time coping with her death and the events that followed, but every step of the way, I felt as if I had her strength inside of me and her spirit in my heart, pushing me forward and helping me to stay strong in spite of the grief and sadness I felt.

Now, as I begin easing back into my daily routine, I’m looking forward to carrying on with the things I love, just as I know she would want me to do. These include focusing on my writing, taking in the height of the fall season here on the East Coast, and planning for future adventures that will allow me to keep living a positive life while at the same time keeping her memory alive. 

What have the past several weeks been like for you? I missed reading your blogs during my time away, and I thank you all tremendously for your heartfelt messages of love and support. I'll be back with some new posts and blog updates beginning this Friday, so stay tuned. Until then, I wish you each a positive, love-filled week!

16 comments:

  1. I stumbled across your blog from someone else's blog, and I couldn't stop reading! It is fabulous! I am a native Texan that has been stationed with the Marines in Southern California for the last 10 years of my life, and I am preparing for a move to the east coast (Boston)! Your blog is totally easy for me to relate to!

    http://romerfamilyof3.blogspot.com

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  2. I am so sorry about your loss. What a great thing that you were there with her at the end. I hope when I pass I'm surrounded by family like she was.

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  3. Aw, so sad to hear about your Nana. Sounds like she was such a special woman and now you can carry her spirit everywhere you go. Thinking of you!

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

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  4. I am so sorry about your Nana, but in a way I am happy that she passed surrounded by so much love and family member, we can only hope that God gives us that opportunity to spend the last days surrounded by all that love and care.

    Miss having you around, glad u are back to blogging.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your Nana. I'm glad you were able to spend her last days by her side. I'm sure she appreciated that and knew how much you loved her.

    (((hugs)))

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  6. i am so sorry for your loss. praying & thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

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  7. Again sorry for your loss...it's good to see you back!!

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  8. I am so sorry for your family's loss, but glad you were able to be there. this is a beautiful tribute to her memory!

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  9. So sorry for your loss, Heather. It is great that you were there to say goodbye. Without a doubt, you have an angel watching over you:)

    *Erin

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  10. Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. Watching a loved one succumb to a terminal illness is by far the most difficult thing I've had to do, but I do take comfort in the fact that their suffering ends with the loss of their life. I hope that you continue to carry your Nana's spirit in you. Not a day will go by that you won't think of her, but it's comforting to me to have the constant company of my loved ones in my heart. I wish the same peacefulness for you.

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  11. I am sorry. For your loss, and while you knew it was coming, and you knew shed never suffer again, your just never ready for someone you love so dearly to depart. Writing about it is a good way to grieve.....

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  12. I am so glad that you had those last couple weeks to spend with your grandmother. I am deeply sorry for your loss. You are right to start planning new adventures and things to look forward to because it is what your grandmother would have wanted for you.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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  13. I am sorry to hear about your loss. Even when you know it is coming it's definitely not something you can prepare for. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. xx

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  14. prayers for you and your family! and blogger keeps kicking me out of your followers list, but i do follow!!

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  15. She sounds like she was such a special lady. I'm so sorry Heather. I really am so glad you got to spend some time with her though. ((Hugs))

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  16. sending up a prayer for your grandmother. loss is not easy, but there's always the memories and love.

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