If you follow me on Twitter, you know that a few weeks ago my grandmother died. It was not a shock (she had just turned 88, and she was ill) but it was a surprise (she had just had a good birthday and seemed to have at least a few months left). What was a shock was that I found out from a facebook update. Yes, really. My brother saw a family member's update, and called me up to find out what was going on. I had no idea! We didn't think anyone would post that if it wasn't true....but we also didn't think it would be on facebook before anyone called us. But it was.
The lesson to be learned here: if you have a rather large family and you are working through the tree to let everyone know, ask everyone to keep their mouths shut until everyone can be notified. (Really, can you not wait a few hours to update your facebook friends?) Or, if you know who has the itchy fingers, tell them last. It was so surreal, we got....a bit giddy, I guess. Hysterical, even. We were just like "this can't really be happening! what's next, video wills on YouTube for the whole world to see?" (Actually, I bet someone's done that by now.)
That was the bad. The good? She died peacefully, before she became very ill, and she'd just had a very good birthday. Emily and I made her a photocard - Emily spelled out "Happy Birthday Nana" with her old fridge letters and posed in front of her message -- and we know that she saw it and that it made her happy. I think it made Emily very happy to know she'd connected with her Nana (who she had met, but doesn't remember) and I know it made me happy, too.
Photos I have never seen in my life began surfacing before the funeral, and it was truly bittersweet to see them. On the one hand, every new batch of photos was so wonderful to see. On the other....it was like this door was swinging open for one quick second to give me a peek at a person that it's too late to know. I mean, I knew my grandmother of course...but why was this all like, a secret history? Families are so weird. In any case, here are two of my favorites:
And this one, from before she met my grandfather. She's on the left, no idea who that is on the right. She must be very young here.