It has been exactly one week since my life, and the lives of a few family members of mine paused for a while.
All too sudden, all too unexpectedly, I lost the person who had brought me up and given me all the possible love a person can give to someone. I lost my grandma, who I had lived with since I was 2 months old and until I was pretty much a young adult.
She was there for my first words; one of those was “mommy.” I called her “mommy” until her very last day.
She was there helping with my first steps. She would help me cry and laugh. She would caress me, make me pancakes, comb my long, stubborn hair. She would quarrel with my teenage obstinacy, dislike my taste in music (well, some of it), grim at my always wearing black. She would stand by me every time I was heartbroken, be happy for me when I finally settled with the best guy in the world and would be most intensively proud of me every time I reached one of my goals.
She hadn’t had it easy in life, and neither had I. She knew that very well and respected my willingness to fight forward. To fight through poverty, through the pain of being left behind by own parents, through the episode of depression in my early twenties, and through the obstacles on the way to believing in myself and in my right to live and act in this world. She had gone through similar fights, so the respect was mutual.
She would say how weird it was that I had “wondered” into working in the music industry (I was a live sound engineer for 17 years) but would forget that she supported my interested in music since I was like four years old. She would get me various affordable plastic musical instruments whenever she could, and I would play them until they broke. We would sing songs together until I was about 10. She was an excellent singer, but I don’t think she ever took any pride in it.
She wanted to support me with my education and was proud of me being a Ph.D. candidate. Still, she would always say how great my illustrations looked, how amazing my poems were (I stopped writing poems when I was 20), and how convenient it would be if I monetized my creativity and talent for baking. I am glad that I told her about My Sweet Keto at some point. She didn’t grasp the concept of the blog, as well as young people, can, but at least I made sure that she knew I did something creative and also earn a few extra bucks with it.
She was an absolute fan of my baking, Pistachio Matcha Cake taking the first place in her world. I baked it for her birthday in 2017 and wish I would have baked it again just for her last year.
This writing is not meant to be promoted, and I do not care if nobody actually reads it. It is being written for my dearest grandma, my mommy. For the respect and the memory of her. As without her, I would not be who I am today. I would have grown up as a physically and emotionally neglected kid. Being a psychologist and neuroscientist, I know all too well, what that could, and most probably would result in. This writing also serves me as a way of autotherapy.
It has been a week since I stood above my mommy’s body, holding her infusion bag, looking at her eyes staring at something in the distance, her expression saying “just let me be” while the rescue team tried to make her heart beat again for almost 2 hours straight. I the middle of it all, I would think to myself “I’m letting you go,” as I knew her brain had suffered too much damage to ever be the same person again or to even wake up from a coma if ever stabilized. Yesterday, I learned from a pathologist that it was an artery blockage, that she died pretty much instantly, without noticeable pain. So getting a brief ECG signal and a moment of breath during the rescue turmoil didn’t mean she wanted to come back and live. It has been a great relief to learn that.
Two days ago, I managed to fight through a waterfall of tears and write a letter for her. I am probably going to read at the funeral:
My dear mommy,
Ever since I’ve been waking up in the mornings in the numbness of realizing that you have gone, just like that, without warning, I grasp those brief bright intermittent moments when my breath gets a bit lighter, and I can hear you say: “Please don’t worry, Tisa. I am fine and will be fine. I love you.”
In the last few years, we would say such comforting words to each other, again and again, every time we would be in touch as if we were saying goodbye forever each time. Still, I immensely wish for just another chance to hug you, warm and alive, fully knowing that it is the very last time. I know, at this very moment you are saying to me, that it is just your shell I would be hugging, that we loved each other on this planet and will love each other, always, in all other dimensions of the universe. Please, as I was able to understand on the 20th of March, able to tell you, despite the immense pain, that you can leave if you wish, try to understand my tears in this physical dimension. I have just lost my mommy, and, as Luka puts it, the coolest grandma on the planet.
Two years ago, it was in March as well; I received your loving congratulation card for finishing my MSc degree. I felt as if you were saying goodbye to me in your writing, and I shared those concerns with you. You replied: “I haven’t said goodbye to you at all. No worries! This is really not a convenient time for me to cause you all any additional trouble. Don’t be sad. I love you.”
You actually waited. I feel now as you had waited for all of us to be relatively stable and OK in our lives. It sounds egocentric, but it feels as if you waited, since you were 65, for my life, which you had put so much effort into, to become nice finally. As I’d told you many times before, I tell you again, just in case, how immeasurably much everything you had done for me means to me. The values that fuel me are in significant part a result of your work and upbringing. And believe me, every gift ever received from you, being a loving word or another gesture show of support, will continue to form the base of every small or big goal in my life. The values that I got from you helped me survive and await the joyful part of my life. Thank you.
So, in a way, we had told each other everything we meant to. I am a bit sorry to had held back a few of my plans for the future from you. You might not have been totally happy about a couple of them, but I am nevertheless sure I would have gotten your 100% loving support to implement them. As far as loving support goes, I know how much it meant to you that I have also found it in Luka. You were his grandma as well for six years, and your love will continue to grow with him.
In your last birthday card, not too long ago, you wrote to me, again as saying goodbye, taking into account our whole mutual timeline: “My dear Tisa! Life has been flowing away mercilessly, and you, little black-haired cricket, have long been a beautiful, young, adult, successful woman; And still, you are in my heart, unchangeably lovingly present, and this will never ever change.”
Oh, mommy, how I wish to throw away my scientific mind right now and believe every single positive thing about the afterlife that you had told me about! If even a tiny bit of everything you believed or believe in is true, I know you will understand. I am more than ready to feel any sign that you are well; That we have let you leave in peace and into peace, that we don’t hold you in place you don’t want to stay, and that we are truly forever connected anywhere we are, in all dimensions, together in light and eternal love.
My dear mommy! In my heart, you will always be unchangeably lovingly present, and this will never ever change. Thank you from all of my heart. I love you.