Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Reluctant Blogger

Yesterday, after my abhorrent statistics class, I received a sweet little message from Christina, who was asking, on behalf of herself and her funny hubby, whether I have disappeared into some Blogger Black Hole or what exactly is going on to have caused such silence from my end.

The unfortunate answer to that question is that, after a short illness, Brendan's grandmother, Emilie "Milly" King, passed away almost 2 weeks ago now, at the very venerable age of 97. We were very close to her, and aside from Brendan's dad, were basically her whole family. After Brendan's mom passed away two years ago, care of his grandmother fell to him, as her trustee. A little over a year ago, he was forced to place her in a home where she could be cared for. For a while, she improved, and then she declined. In the end, she got pneumonia, and after she did not regain consciousness we could do nothing but sit at her side and wait for her to go. We spoke to her to remind her of all of her friends and family waiting for her on the other side -- everyone she'd outlived. She slipped away peacefully, making sure no one was in the room at the time -- quite the trick, considering we'd been pulling shifts.

We pored over old photo albums in preparation for her funeral, so we could make a collage of her life. We saw a beautiful Milly, starting as a baby on her family's farm in North Dakota, then as a gorgeous young woman surrounded by her sisters and brother. We saw her as a newlywed with her uniformed husband and then we saw her as a proud mother who adored her baby so much. Later, we see her as doting grandmother, among hundreds of photos of her treasured grandson.

We held the service July 1. A handful of people attended and followed to the burial. Life has been surreal ever since. My own emotions range from guilt to relief to grief. These situations bring out the best or worst in the people you love, and we have been dealing with some of that as well.

Every time I considered blogging, I couldn't think of a way to do it that would make it OK that Milly had died and I'm still bitching about my commute or binomials or "The Bachelorette." I almost blogged yesterday, and then received a message from a friend, saying she'd miscarried. It's hard to blog in the face of death, at least for me.

So that's where I have been, some sort of death-inspired writer's purgatory. I thanked my lucky stars I no longer work for a newspaper -- the thought of writing mundane news articles in such a time triggers my gag reflex. I knew I'd have to explain what had happened because blogging without explaining it would feel wrong. So now that I've explained it, I'm back.


  1. I think when I'm on my deathbed, that will be one of the things I want the most- someone there to remind me of all those who are waiting for me on the other side. I think it will make the crossing over peaceful.

  2. I don't think that there is anything more beautiful than giving of yourselves like that to Emily in her last days. I just don't think words could describe the gratitude she felt knowing that people that cared for her so greatly were near her until the end.