Sunday, October 07, 2007

...to a land where joy shall never end...

The eyewitness said that she didn't swerve or apply her brakes.

He saw her slumped over the steering wheel last Friday afternoon when her car flew off the road and hit the tree.

He called 911 and ran to the vehicle. She was unconscious.

There was so much blood that he thought her jugular vein might have been punctured.

He applied pressure to her neck and prayed for the strength to hold steady with her until the paramedics arrived.

She was airlifted to Duke University Hospital where the attending staff found that she had broken everything but one of her arms.

Her pelvic bone was smashed, both her legs, one arm, her ankle and half her ribs were broken.




Her heart and lungs were failing.


They told us she could not survive, would not survive.

I flew to Raleigh-Durham early Saturday morning to see her.

Though the machines indicated otherwise, I knew as soon as I entered the room that she was long gone.

An oscillating ventilator inflated her lungs three hundred times per minute crowding the room with its incessant noise.

The machine pumped her so vigorously that her body bounced up and down on the bed.

The only parts of her I recognized were her hair and her fingertips.

I sat next to her and held her hand for some time.

My Aunt arrived
in the afternoon with the advanced medical directive and the machines were finally stopped.

I stroked my grandmother's hair and sang a hymn. Then I whispered to her until the lines showed flat.

That she is ripped from my life so suddenly, so soon after my Grandfather's death...

I am undone.




I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
-Philippians 1:3

321 comments:

Momish said...

I am so sorry, Jess. I wish there were words. Sending you big hugs and my deepest sympathy.

Jada's Mommy said...

Delurking to send you and your family our deepest sympathies. I am so very sorry for your loss.

tiggy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandmother's death. There is nothing that seems adequate to say. Except I'm sorry. I hope that you and your family find peace during this time.

Sugared Harpy said...

Oh no, I'm so sorry. Please accept my sympathies and lame internet hugs. I wish the best for all of you right now.

Amanda said...

Unfathomable. I ache for you and wish you tender memories to see you through your grief.

jen said...

oh honey. oh good god, honey.

i am so, so sorry. my heart is reaching out to you and holding you close.

oh honey.

Serina Hope said...

I am so sorry. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

chilihead said...

I am so terribly sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family. I'm just so sorry for your loss.

Queen Karana said...

Thinking of you during this sorrowful time. I'm sorry for your lost... and I am thinking of you.

Veronica said...

I am so very very sorry. I wish there was more I could do or say.

My thoughts are with you and yours.

(((hugs)))

Bon said...

tears in my eyes, friend.

i am so sorry, for the end and for the way of it...and yet so glad that you got to be there, to sing to her and see her out, if it had to be.

she was beautiful, Jess.

Karly said...

Oh, Jess, I'm so sorry. I'll be praying for you and your family. So so sorry.

Bananas said...

I am so very sorry to read about your loss. I just buried my grandmother last Saturday. It is hard to lose someone you love so much. My heart aches for you.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Jess:

I am so so sorry. I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am. My heart breaks for you. :(

Take care and I am sending you peaceful thoughts. What a beautiful woman your grandmother was and always will be.

kristen said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Jess. Sending hugs.

Paige said...

I am so sorry. I know how hard and how devastating these unexpected things can be.

A hug to you,
P

crazymumma said...

Oh. I am so very very sorry for your loss.

my condolences.

Rachel said...

Oh, no. Words are inadequate, but how heartbroken you all must be. I'm thinking of you and your family, and sending virtual hugs and prayers your way.

slouching mom said...

Oh, Jess. Oh, God. I am so very sorry. I will be thinking about you.

Fran said...

I am so sorry about your grandmother's death. Several years ago my grandmother was killed in a car accident and all those feelings came rushing back. Remember all the wonderful things about her and all the good times you had together and not the accident. That is what she would want you to remember about her.

Omaha Mama said...

What a beautiful tribute. Those pictures were the perfect touch. Thank you for allowing us to share in your grief. I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts, prayers, and tears are with you and your family right now.

jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moondance said...

There is never a time for such news. It is good that you could be there. I am thinking of you and your loss.

Katrina said...

Oh Jess, I am simply heartbroken for you. I am very close to Duke/RDU/etc if you need ANYTHING. I am here for you and your family, even though we haven't met in real life. My number is (919) 274-8039...doesn't matter the time, day or night.

I am so so sorry.

Katrina

jess said...

Oh, I am so sorry. I wish I could give you a hug. What a terribly hard thing for you and your family to go through.

You'll see her again though. She's waiting for you there, in the land of eternal park ranger uniforms, or whatever brings you joy.

(I hope that doesn't sound flippant. My heart aches for you but laughing through the tears always makes me feel just a little bit better)

painted maypole said...

wishing you peace. and it sounds like you are a person of faith, and likely so was she, and so we know the end of that story. Not that we left here on earth are not sad for our loss...

ann m. said...

I am so very sorry.

Thank you for writing such a wonderful tribute and sharing it with us.

Please accept my deepest sympathies.

Jordan said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. I am glad that you could be there with her on Saturday.

FENICLE said...

My heart is aching for you....having been through a situation where you find someone you love not even looking like themselves and know you are about to lose them....I know your hurt.

Suebob said...

Oh, sweetie. I am so sorry.

"This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life." Ps. 119

SUEB0B said...

Oh, sweetie. I am so sorry.

"This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life." Ps. 119

Tom said...

So sorry to hear of your loss, those pictures are wonderful, remember the good times and stay close to your family and friends.

QT said...

I am so sorry, Jess. Those pictures are beautiful. My heart truly goes out to you and I will be thinking about you, woman.

Elizabeth said...

Oh Jess, I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending you big hugs and my sincerest sympathies.

b*babbler said...

I am so very sorry. My heart is with you at this time.

acumamakiki said...

I'm truly sorry Jess. I'm glad you were able to be there to say goodbye. Big love and my deepest sympathies to you and your family. xoxo

Bitsy Parker said...

I am so sorry for you and your family. Know your in my thoughts.

Mama Zen said...

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Blog Antagonist said...

Oh no. I'm sorry very, very sorry. Grandmothers should never die. It should be a law or something.

WorksForMom said...

I am so so sorry. So very sorry.

mothergoosemouse said...

Oh god, Jess. I'm so very sorry.

Matthew said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Misty said...

I am so, so very sorry... My heart ached, reading this... What a horrible tragedy. That is one of my favorite verses because it is such a simply poetic tribute... EVERY TIME. Wow...

dawn224 said...

Sorry is so small. How impossibly hard for you to have been there singing to her. My her Heaven be filled with her very own version of Park Rangers.

ALM said...

I so very very sorry.

CamiKaos said...

I wish I had the words.

I am so sorry

Smiling Mom said...

What a tragedy. I'm so sorry to hear. I can't imagine. My prayers are with your family now.

Erin said...

I am so so sorry.

Seattle Mamacita said...

It must have been terribly hard to see her in that way but comforting to be there by her side. So, so sorry for your loss.

colorbox said...

My heart and prayers are with you and your family.

flutter said...

Jessica,

My love..There is nothing that I can say that will ease this ache for you. It is so obvious where you get your beauty from.

She is now whole and sleeping peacefully. My thoughts are with you and yours.

ms chica said...

Delurking from Liv's to say I'm sorry. May peace find you and your family...I know, words are inadequate, at best, but still, peace...

Major Bedhead said...

Oh, Jess, I'm so, so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts.

liv said...

My heart is broken for you. There are no words, but please know how very sorry I am for your loss. Sending you warm thoughts and prayers. xoxo

Avery Gray said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Not the Queen said...

Your grandmother was a beautiful woman. I am so sorry for your loss. It's so difficult when someone you love is taken so suddenly. You are in my prayers.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Oh dear Jess. I am so very sorry. Nothing good to say here, except that I pray Godspeed to her soul.

Moppet's Mom said...

I am so, so sorry. Thinking of you and your family and wishing you strength to get through this difficult time.

meno said...

That was a beautiful tribute.

King Isepik said...

You have my hugs and sympathies.

jakelliesmom said...

My heart aches for you, Jessica.

Lotta said...

So sorry for your loss, so joyful that you had a beautiful grandmother in your life.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh, Jess. I'm so so sorry for your loss. Sweetie, I'll be thinking of you if that's any consolation at all.

(((HUGS)))

amusing said...

I hope you take some small comfort in this outpouring of internet support for you and yours during this time.

The photos you posted are simply wonderful and capture some of her spirit -- you can almost hear the laughter.

Get out the photos and reminisce up a storm -- tape it or write it down for the next generation. Too often, the women are reduced to those people who cooked and not much else is said. (My dad wrote a miserable tribute to my grandmother, that was essentially about what my grandfather had done in life -- and she was there too)

Celebrate her, laugh over her, cry over her -- it has to be a shock, and bringing her to life in that way may soothe some slight bit.

Cathy said...

I am so sorry.

Ally said...

It is beautiful to think of you stroking her hand, singing a hymn as she found her way from this world to the next. I wish we could do the same for you-- hold your hand, sing you a hymn, listen to you talk, cry together. I'm so sorry for this huge loss, Jess. I'm praying God's peace for you tonight.

Alpha DogMa said...

Oh, sweetie. You have my deepest sympathies.

Posybunny said...

I am so sorry.

ewe are here said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. So very sorry.

mel from freak parade said...

I am so very, very sorry. Sometimes things just seem so unfair. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Joker The Lurcher said...

so, so sorry.

Arwen said...

I am so sorry.

Shawn said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. If anyone understands the connection between a granddaughter and her grandmother, it is I. In a way, I will never lose my grandmother because she is essentially most of who I am today. Take care of yourself.

urban-urchin said...

jess- i am so so sorry for your loss.

K said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What lovely pictures.

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry Jess...I wish there was more I could say.

Tabba said...

I am so, so sorry.
So sorry.

I got goosebumps reading this and feel so helpless as I just want to wrap you in comfort and peace.

I am thinking of you and your family and praying for much peace, comfort, and healing.

Lisa said...

I am so very sorry - I wish I could find the words to make it all better.

KC said...

Oh Jess, may she rest in peace and joy of a life well-loved.

Holly said...

So sorry for your loss. @:-(

mimikatemom said...

I am so very sorry.

Guilty Secret said...

So sorry to hear that. Thinking of you...

Jennifer said...

I'm so, so sorry...

Fanny said...

I'm so sorry. You have my deepest sympathy. I'll say a prayer for your sweet Grandmother. I'm sure she's with the angels watching over you.

naginata said...

I am so sorry to hear this Jess. Our deepest sympathies and love are with you.

Victoria said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Deepest sympathies to you and your family.

v.

Rimarama said...

I am so, so sorry. Peace and prayers to you and your family.

BOSSY said...

Jesssssssss, dear! So so so sorry.

Pgoodness said...

Oh sweetie, I am so sorry! How horrible. Thinking of you and yours as you deal with the terrible and sudden loss.

Beck said...

I am so sorry. This is so very, very sad.

Kara said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. Prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family.

Kyla said...

Oh Jess. My heart aches with your loss.

~JJ! said...

Oh Jess. I'm so very sorry.

My heart is aching for you.

I hug you hard, crying for your loss.

ephelba said...

So sorry.

Circus Kelli said...

I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I'll be thinking of you and your family and saying a prayer.

Annie said...

I'm sorry for your tragic loss. Take care.

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

I'm so sorry for your loss...

You and your family will be in my prayers.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

Jess, there are no words. I am so very sorry. Please know we are all thinking of you and your family.

Shannon said...

Oh Jessica, I am so sad for you and your family. I send my deepest sympathies.

Shelli said...

Jess, I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.

ImpostorMom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Woman with kids said...

My thoughts are with you. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Cat, Galloping said...

I'm sorry.

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Oh Jessica. I am so very sorry. My heart aches for you.

Anonymous said...

How horrible for you all...I am so very very sorry...as I would guess all your online friends are...when
my grandmother died we were all there and just before she slipped into a coma she asked for my son Jeff, wich was amazing since she had over a dozen grandchildren..Bless you and your family Jess...we are all praying for you....mauniejames3

MommyMommy said...

I am so sorry for your loss...

Anonymous said...

Jess,
My husband's grandmother was hit by an unlicensed, uninsured driver the day before Thanksgiving, in 2003. Nana was a vibrant lively woman and her sudden death rocked us all, as your grandmother's has you.
Cry, and remember the best. Your grandparents are together again.
I wish you peace.
Reesie

Jodi said...

Oh, Jessica, how tragic. I'm so sorry. My grandmother has been gone for 14 years; I still miss her and tear up at remembering her.

nikki said...

Oh God, I'm sending you and your family my thoughts and prayers.

Sarah said...

How heartbreaking! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

hello insomnia said...

I'm sorry Jessica. How tragic. My condolences.

radical mama said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss, Jessica. Wishing you peace and comfort. Please take care.

g-man said...

So sorry for your loss. I am glad that she was not alone in the end. Prayers of strength and comfort for your family.

Shelly said...

So, so sorry for your loss. My grandmother passed away last month. It's so hard to lose someone you were close to, especially as a child. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

PT-LawMom said...

How heartbreaking to lose her in such a traumatic way, Jess. ((HUGS)) I am so sorry!!

My grandmother died suddenly in January (her heart gave out between home and the hospital) and then, only three months later, my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer (it had metastasized into his bones). Sometimes I think God has a plan to keep these couples together in heaven. It was horrible watching Grandad die, but also somewhat of a relief to know that he didn't have to live a life without his true love. I hope you can find some small comfort in knowing that your grandparents are together again.

Your grandmother was a real beauty!

Two Shews said...

I'm so sorry for you and your fmaily's loss. Glad that you got to be there for her, to stroke her hand and her hair, and to say goodbye for both of you. There's never a good way to say goodbye, but saying it together is better than apart.

Big internet hugs.

Busy Mom said...

Oh, I am so sorry.

Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

NotAMeanGirl said...

bidyJess-- I wish I could do something to make it all better. I know I can't so I'll just say that I'm so sorry you are having to go through this again. Especially so soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you hon.

Tessa

The Holmes said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

Bob said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you, I grieve with you the grief of knowing the loss of one close to you, that this life is a little less complete without them.

Karen Forest said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

So very sorry......

Jen said...

I'm so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts.

cronznet said...

I'm so sorry to learn of your loss. I hope the grandparents are happy together, once again.

Lisa Milton said...

I am so sorry. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

Wish there was something more I could do or say...

Hetha said...

wishing your and your family peace at this difficult time, her light continues to shine through you...

Dawn said...

Oh Sweetie! I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Jackie said...

So, so very sorry Jessica. Hoping you and your family can find some peace during this very difficult time.

MamaLee said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. xoxo

Super B's Mom said...

I'm sorry seems so inadequate. I wish we could ease your pain. You are in my thoughts. Praying for peace and comfort.

Jenny said...

I'm so sorry, my sweet friend. I ache from remembrance of my own grandmothers passing.

I wish I could hug you but know that I'm with you in spirit.

floreksa said...

I'm so sorry. My deepest sympathy.

Mamma said...

Oh my friend. I am sorry you have lost your beautiful grandmother. I'm glad you were able to be with her as she found her peace. I hope you will find yours again soon.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

slackermommy said...

Of course you are. I'm so sorry for your loss. All my best to you and your family.

deb said...

I'm so sorry Jess.

Leah said...

I am sorry for your loss. ..to a land where joy shall never end, so true. My prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

Holy Shit We are Getting Hitched said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending you peaceful energy.

Lizzi said...

Your family has my sympathy and prayers ...

3carnations said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Catizhere said...

Oh Jess,

My deepest sympathies to you and yours. Please know that I am thinking of you and holding your family in my prayers.

Kelly said...

So very sad...

My condolences to you and your family.

mitzh said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your whole family.

(got here through flutter's blog)

Tuesday Girl said...

I am so sorry.

mommiebear2 said...

Wow, I am so sorry to hear about your losses. My prayers are with you sweetie.

Heidi Hyde said...

God Bless you and your family.

-HH

Selfmademom said...

I'm so sorry about your loss...

Virtualsprite said...

My sympathies for you and your family. Take your time and grieve.

M&Co. said...

Peace.

Amy said...

My prayers are with you and your family. I'm so sorry.

tulipmom said...

I am very sorry for your loss. I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

When my grandmother died six years ago I helped her 4 daughters to prepare her body for burial. It is something I will never forget. I remember holding her hand and despite the cold clamminess of death, I could still feel the warmth of her spirit. Of her 10 grandchildren, she and I shared an extra special bond.

Being there at the end like you were means so much and someday, if not now, it will provide some comfort.

May her memory be a blessing.

Shannon said...

Oh Jess, I am so sorry. You and your family are in my prayers. I wish there was something else I could say or something I could do that would ease your pain....

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Oh...those photos and your words have my eyes filled with tears.

I can only hope that she felt nothing, suffered nothing. I'm so sorry for you and your family.

Ashley said...

*HUGS*

I raise my glass to a life of joy.

Biddy said...

oh jess, my heart is breaking...

i'm praying for you and your family

Sarcasm Abounds said...

My sincere condolences to your family in your time of grief. I am so sorry to hear this. My very best,

SA

carrie said...

I am holding you and your family in my heart right now.

SquidgesMum said...

I'm soo very sorry- my sympathies.

crabapple said...

So sorry for your loss. She looks to have been a spunky lady. Please take care.

momomax said...

I'm so sorry jess. My thoughts are with you and I wish you the best.

Little Monkies said...

Oh, my sweet, I have no idea what to say. I wish I could talk on and on about how she and your grandfather are together, or how her memory will live on...but it seems like there is nothing to say when it's so soon, so close and with such immediacy.

My love to you. It's too hard to let go. I am glad you were with her in the end. Ages and generations your women-folk have...beautiful history, beautiful future.

XOX

Suz said...

I'm so, so sorry.

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh, Jess. What a horrible way to pass, although it was good that you had a chance to see her out.

My sincerest condolences...

Lottifish said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sure she's looking down on you from heaven, with her husband by her side.

Emily said...

I'm praying that peace enrobes you and your family right now. And that you are covered in the same love and grace you lavished on your Grandmother in her final moments
I'm so sorry for your loss.

Mel said...

My heart hurts for you, friend.
You'll be in my thoughts.
(((You)))

Redsy (formerly CrankMama) said...

Love to you Jessica.. I'm so very sorry

~Diet Goddess~ said...

I wish I knew of some magical words or a phrase that would instantly heal broken and hurting hearts. Alas, I do not. I can only say that I am thinking of you during this difficult time and I am so, so sorry for your loss, your hurt, and your sorrow. May you find strength knowing there are so many "strangers" out there that care.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I'm sorry, Jessica. I'm so sorry.

Mrs. Chicky said...

J, I am so sorry. My heart is breaking for you right now. My sympathies to your family and love to you.

Cakabaker said...

I am very sorry about your grandmother, wish there was something I could do besides send internet hugs to you. I pray the Lord sends you peace at this time.

*~*Cece*~* said...

I'm sorry, Sweetie. {{hugs}}

Worker Mommy said...

I'm so sorry. I'll be praying for strength for you and your family during this time.

allrileyedup said...

I'm so sorry for your lost. All the best.

ella said...

I'm so very sorry.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

Oh no! I am so sorry. So so sorry. I remember reading about the loss of your grandfather recently...prayers and love to you and your family.

Mom of 5 said...

I just wanted to send my condolences. I am so sorry.

Amy York said...

I'm sorry for your loss :(

Stephanette said...

You don't even know me, but my thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family. I am so deeply sorry for your loss

nutmeg said...

No platitudes. Just a moment of thought and a prayer. Sometimes life really sucks.

Jen M. said...

I am full of sorrow for you and your family. Words aren't adequate, but I am praying for your family and lighting a candle for you all.

May your precious grandma rest in peace.

Rusti said...

I am so sorry for your pain J. You are in my prayers. My tears are for you now. I wish there were something I could do. Thinking of you...

Karen (Miscmum) said...

Oh, I am so so sorry. xxxxxx

Erika Jurney, Plain Jane Mom said...

I am so sorry. My grandparents died one after the other as well. The loss is unimaginable.

Kristin said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers... I am so very sorry about your Grandma.

Thalia's Child said...

My thoughts are with you are your family

Kimberly said...

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know thye are happy.

-Eskimo legend

Stimey said...

Oh, I am so sorry. I'll be thinking of you.

Andy said...

Thinking of you and your family.

canape said...

Oh God, J. I am so incredibly sorry for you and for your family.

If you are still in the RDU area and need anything at all, or if your family needs anything, you know how to find me.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I am terribly sorry for your horrible loss!

I pray you find some peace during this trying time!


Thinking of you and your family!

FunnyGal KAT said...

Those photographs are wonderful. My prayers are with you and your family.

Emily said...

What a terrible twist of fate for your beloved grandmother. The love of your family and friends and your own strength will get you thru this... but the bottom line is, it just sucks.

Know that many, many people are thinking of you and your family at this sad time. Emily N

Mrs. Swizzle said...

So very sorry. Prayers and hugs for you.

Loralee Choate said...

I am so very sorry, Jess. I always thought when I was younger that dying was not a big deal for "Grown ups" because they were OLD and it wouldn't matter as much or be as scary as when you were a kid.

You are never old enough to lose people you love.

motherbumper said...

I am so sorry.

Mandaroo said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. She was a beautiful lady. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Aliki2006 said...

I am so so very sorry, J. This made me cry, to think of you and to see the beautiful pictures tonight of all nights, when my heart is heavy for my grandmother as well.

My deepest condolences, dear friend. I am thinking of you--of all of you.

PunditMom said...

I'm so, so sorry. I wish I could say or do something more to help you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

jeanie said...

Comiserations to your family - it looks like there are many memories that will hopefully sustain you and your family through the next few months.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

I am so sorry to hear of your great loss. Please know I am thinking of you and your family and sending hugs your way.

ali said...

i don't have the words.

but i'm so sorry.