My mom is in the den watching The Martian with her boyfriend.
From the kitchen I can hear David Bowie’s “Starman” pulsing from the TV’s speakers.
Poor Ziggy Stardust.
One day you’re healthy, as right as rain.
Then you feel a lump.
And then you’re dead.
Hopefully you were loved.
Hopefully you loved.
I was thinking exactly this as I held my grandma’s hand as she passed away the other day.
“I love you” was my calm, inner mantra. I repeated it to myself, but for her, as I felt her slip away.
What wrecks me the most about this is how easy it was.
How easy it was for me to just be there for her without dwelling in my own, awful sadness.
I hate that it was easy.
And it’s not because she was ninety-four and lived tip-top for ninety-three and a half years. Although, that certainly didn’t hurt.
It was easy because I was face to face with my dad as he breathed in for the last time and watching my grandma die, in comparison, was like buying a snow cone from the ice cream man.
At the cemetery, on a brutally cold day, her pine wood coffin was lowered into the frozen ground and I thought to myself, “And there also goes all of the worthless worry about worthlessness.”
But it wasn’t her fault. She literally couldn’t help it.
Like mostly everyone else, she was operating on autopilot.
I hope more joy and less turbulence unfolds for me before it’s my turn.
And I hope the same for you.
thank you, as always, for joining me here, and please, resist being like everyone else,
buy my goddamn books here:
“It’s nice to get out, ” he says.
“It is, isn’t it?” she responds.
They eat a few crumbles of muffin and simultaneously sip some coffee.
“I’d never do this without you,” he says.
“Why would you deprive yourself if I couldn’t go for some reason?” she asks.
He pauses to take another sip, puts down the cup, looks her in the eye and answers with a smile, “Because it’s been fifty-nine years and two months.”