This post is very personal. Please forgive any errors, I proofread but it was difficult to write, and harder to read again.
Last Thursday my mom called me and told me my Noni had passed away.
Noni was a lot of things to a lot of people. She was a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother/great-grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend. She was loved by so many people, and our hearts are all hurting from her loss. If I had to describe Noni in one word, it would be wonderful. She was patient with everyone, especially with her sometimes ornery and rambunctious grandchildren. She was our family’s rock; a constant source of love and wisdom. If you needed something, she was there with it, whether it was kind words to get you through a rough patch, a warm hug to make you feel better, or a home cooked meal to fill your belly.
I was so looking forward to seeing her in May, and I was counting down the days till I was able to introduce A to her. I couldn’t wait to have a picture of the two of them together. I would imagine the moment they met often, how A would smile when she saw her Nonna. Our trip will now be extremely bittersweet. I will be excited to share A with the rest of my family, but I will constantly be thinking about the one person she won’t be seeing. It is killing me now, knowing I will never have this memory to share with A, I’ll never have a picture of them together to show her later in life.
I have so many other amazing memories of Noni. I can tell A all about the conversations Noni and I would have over games of dominoes and rummy, how I would sit at her kitchen counter and talk while she made dinner, and how she taught me how to knit, but I keep coming back to the memory I will never have. Even though I consider myself lucky to have had the time I had, to have made the memories I made, I still feel cheated. One day I will again be thankful for all the time we had together, but today my heart is broken.
I feel overwhelming sadness in moments where I least expect it. A song on the radio plays and triggers something, or I see a commercial for something she used or watched. In these moments it’s hard not to lose it completely. Like most things, grieving becomes more complicated with a baby. Pre-baby, when something like this happened, I was able to tuck myself away for days or weeks or however long I needed and just sob, scream, work my way through it however I needed to. If I didn’t eat or shower or get dressed or do anything, it was okay. You are not afforded such luxuries when you have a child. A is dependent on me to take care of her, and in order to do that properly I must function enough to take care of myself. But if this wasn’t the case, I know I would allow myself to fully feel the raw sadness I’m trying so hard to keep at bay.
A piece of my heart left with her; it will never be filled, and life will never be the same. She will forever be missed and loved.
In loving memory of Alice Flockton, November 25, 1924-March 28, 2013