My grandmother is dying. She’s 94, and her body is finally giving way to the ravages to time—everything from cancer, to heart failure, to blood pressure, are converging on her frail frame and bringing her life to an end.
I was fortunate to have some time with her when she was still able to communicate. There wasn’t much she could share. Mostly, she was able to hold my hand. And just sit next to me. Occasionally she would look over at me and say, “my Car-mousha,” her affectionate term for me.
Sometimes she would watch my daughter play while still holding firmly to my hand, and she’d say, “pretty” or “smart.”
That was my grandmother, never shying away from a kind word.
Something lingers for me from my short time with her, before her body pulled her away into her pain and stole her consciousness. What lingers most is the power of just being together. We were just sitting there, together with very few words. I could feel the strength of our togetherness. How she was grabbing hold of me, saying without words, “I am here, I love you, this love can never be taken from us, we will always be connected.” All just felt in the intensity of the sitting together.
Often, we get caught up in the words that are shared between us, and often the words come between us. But there is so much that can be said without words, with just sitting together. Just being right here with nothing else to do or say. And allowing ourselves to feel the connection that all too often gets lost to busyness, to words, to movement. The power of sitting still with each other, and being accountable to really being here with one other.
Then we are again in touch with a language older than words. The language of togetherness. And in those words without words, we find ourselves and each other. Thank you, grandmother, for letting me find you one last time. I love you.