Thursday, September 10, 2009

the end and what came after

I woke up thinking about the last day my grandmother was alive today. The story my grandfather told us was that she had been in the hospital after a small stroke left her unable to move her arm. A doctor told her that he suggested she undergo surgery to remove the clot which was constricting her circulation which she seemed wary of. Very early in the morning my grandfather received a phone call from Mimi at the hospital requesting him to come and bring a pair of scissors. Upon arrival she cut all of her tubes and cords and demanded he take her home. They sat on the couch in the living room together until she died. My grandfather called my uncle on the phone to come over. My uncle hadn't even known she was in the hospital. At the funeral my grandfather confided to my mother that he was concerned people would think that he had killed her. Visiting her house this past July I found myself surprised by what traces were left of her. My grandfather almost immediately got rid of all her clothing in the closet, but her makeup was still in the bathroom drawers. The dresser in her room was liquidated but dozens of pairs of small calfskin driving and foul weather gloves are still in the drawers in their front entryway. The address book and telephone directory are almost entirely in her handwriting.

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