Here we are today. The world is still turning. People are going to work. Children are going to school. Women are drinking martinis and eating chocolate chips right out of the bag. Or, maybe that last one is just me. (Don't worry, it was just one martini and half a bag of chips.)
I've been reading a book about surviving the sudden death of a loved one. It's so hard to come to terms with. I remember when my maternal grandmother was in the hospital for all those weeks. There was a lot of crying when she died. There was also a certain amount of relief. She was in the hospital for a long time. She wasn't that old, but she did live long enough to have great-grandchildren. We also got a chance to hold hands around her bedside and say goodbye.
When my paternal grandfather died, I never really cried at all. We weren't ever close. My only concern was for my Dad because it hadn't been that long since his heart surgery. I didn't really feel the need to say goodbye in that case, since I pretty much said goodbye to Pops many years ago when I realized that it didn't make any difference to him one way or the other.
But, I wanted to say goodbye to Sarah. I wanted at least that one thing, but I couldn't have it. I couldn't even see her body. I couldn't even say goodbye after she was gone. What I wouldn't give for a chance to just say goodbye. Just to tell her I love her and miss her and hope that she's in a better place, just to sit by her bedside and hold her hand in her last moments.
Before people start with the “be careful what you wish for” stuff, I realize that I'm lucky in some respects. At least I don't have thousands of dollars of medical bills on top of the grief and horror of it all. Small favors.
She was only 17. How could it have been the right time for her to go? But, I've been through so many things with her, so many calls with bad news. It's almost like this was just another one of Sarah's “things.” Sarah's done it again. Here's another change of plans, another set of goals and expectations shattered into pieces. This isn't the first time, but it will be the last time.
All those times when she fell down or messed up, I always believed that she could get up again. Every time, I believed that this time she would turn it around; this time she was going to make it. But THIS time, she's down for the count and nothing can bring her back again.
But, on the other hand, it's easy to argue that this time she did make it. She was doing well. She was happy for once and she had goals that she was working toward. And she was making it. So, yeah she won't fall down any more. She will never be hurt or frightened or lonely again. She's done, and she went out on a high note.
I dreamed last night that Sarah was telling me goodbye. I kept thinking, she doesn't need to say goodbye. I just won't go away. I just won't go. It will all be OK. But, she was crying and hugging me and telling me she loved me, and suddenly I realized that I wasn't going away; she was. And I couldn't stop it. My subconscious is strange. If it's not telling me things I already know, it's giving me tap-dancing Michael Jackson doing heart surgery with a fishing pole. Ah well, at least I can still laugh at myself, even through the tears.