So as many of you know my Grandma (Sylvia Goldstein) died this morning at 7:20 am. I found out around 10 am as I was finishing my morning walk.
Grandma was 95 years old. She had recently fallen into the grips of Alzheimers and for over a year she had her good days, her bad days and her horrible days.
My grandma was a very independent, strong and loving woman. She was without a doubt one of the most important women in my life. Since I was little, we always and a very strong bond. She knew how to relate to me. She would come visit from the Bronx to my then house in Yardley (Pennsylvania) and we would play and talk and have a wonderful time together.
As I got older my relationship with my grandma grew. I would visit her at her place in Fort Lee (New Jersey), she had since moved there from the Bronx, as much as I could. When I was dating someone it was very important to me that they met her and when I finally met my wife, Meredith, my grandma quickly met her (and approved, I might add).
We Were Prepared
Grandma’s death was not sudden, we knew it was coming. She had been gradually getting worse. Last Thursday night she slipped into a coma and we all thought it was the end. She was in a nursing home in North Jersey and for a number of reasons I couldn’t make it up. Grandma held on for some reason. Sunday morning my father called me so that I could tell her goodbye. When I did, according to my aunt, Grandma, upon hearing my voice raised her eyebrows and nodded her head. It was as if she knew it was me.
Grieving and coping
To be honest, everyone deals with the death of someone dear to them differently. With sadness comes the need to cope and how you cope is different for everyone. In the Jewish faith, we sit shiva. Shiva is a time, around 7 days, where the mourning family spends time together and remembers the person who died. It’s a coping mechanism and it works.
My family, though doesn’t really sit shiva, it’s a personal choice. After burying our loved one we get together and have lunch and spend time together, but after the evening draws to a close, everyone goes their separate ways. In a way it is a shiva, in miniature form.
Everyone copes differently
With her death, I felt like I needed to do something to deal with the pain of losing such an important person in my life. And though we’re having the funeral in two days, I’ve started to sit my own version of shiva. Being a creative person and having done a Website for my Uncle Lee when he past on, I decided to make one for her. (Click to view)
I’ve also be sharing my feelings publicly with my friends in the social web, Twitter and Facebook and blogging mostly. Many people have asked me why I’m being so public with my grief. All I can say is that I’ve made a conscious choice to share my life with people through social media and by sharing my grief with others, I’m coping and also relating to others who might be going through the same thing I am. The out-pouring of support has be amazing.
All in all, these are my ways of sharing with the world how much I loved her (always will) and how much she meant to me. It relates what I do on a daily basis, Web design, social media and journalism, and helps me deal with the loss.
How do you cope with losing someone special? Do you do anything unique? Post your thoughts below in the comments.