Monday, June 15

A Great Grandma

My Nana Giesz died last week. She had a stroke early Wednesday morning, and by the end of the day, she was gone. The events of that day, and the days that followed, culminating in her funeral on Saturday afternoon, have left me with much to think about.
Nana was in the beginning stages of dimensia, and struggled with lung disease. While her death was sudden and upsetting, there were difficult roads ahead that she didn't have to travel, and I am grateful for that.
Nana's funeral and visitation were also incredible reminders of the impact that a simply-lived life of love has on people. There were probably 200+ people packed into her tiny country church, a testimony to how well loved Nana was. Nana didn't have many accomplishments that would be considered great successes in the eyes of the world. What she did have were the firmest, longest hugs, and she would pull back and look at you with tears in her eyes, hardly able to whisper "I love you" because she was so moved by that love. She would make your favourite pie just because she overheard you saying you loved it last time she saw you. She loved so many, so well. I hope she knew in life how loved she was, as I saw this weekend as person after person with tears in their eyes reminded me what a good grandma I had.
I have never lost anyone close to me before. The suddenness of Nana's death has reminded me of the importance of living with intentionality. The day before she died, I was driving home from work in Kitchener, and thinking that I should call Nana. I hadn't seen or spoken with her in a long time, at least 3-4 months, and hadn't yet shared with her that I was expecting her first great-grandchild, news which would have brought her great joy. The regret and guilt I feel over that lost opportunity are feelings I don't expect to dissipate quickly or easily. Those feelings are also motivators to not be put in a position again where I will regret missed opportunities or feel guilty about time poorly spent. I am going to spend some time this week considering who and what is most important to me, and to adjust my calendar to reflect that. Nana, although perhaps not knowing it, was to be, but always had been, a great grandma. I don't want to lose anyone else without knowing for sure that they knew of their great importance to me.
Love you Nana. We'll miss you.

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