the last farewell after many smaller ones

I just found out my grandmother passed, an hour ago. I knew she was declining. I was not there when she died.

When my mother’s mother died, we were there. We’d been there for a week as she declined further in her stroke-induced coma. And the night she passed, I dreamed I’d talked to her. When I awoke on the morning of July 4th I knew she was gone; my mother entered the room and told me it was so.

I was less close to this grandmother. The last time I saw her, my first child was only a couple months old. My grandmother had moved in with her boyfriend and their home was humid, very hot, and cluttered. Quite a difference from the tidy home I’d known her to keep on the visits of my childhood. She was beginning to tread the path of dementia; as she held her first great-grandchild on her lap, she had trouble remembering who had birthed this baby and what it meant to her.

I have no living grandmothers remaining. In this moment, the thread of matriarchs begins with my mother; joins with me, and ends with my daughter.

Lucy has passed. I wish I’d known her better.

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