Who was the person that died?
My grandma Lola.
How old were you at the time?
How old was the person?
Was it a sudden death or did you know it was going to happen?
It wasn't sudden like a car accident, but it felt sudden. My mom took her to the doctor at the beginning of December, she was diagnosed with cancer, admitted to the hospital and on December 21 she died.
Did you and the person talk about their death?
No. Never. Didn't get the opportunity.
Had you experienced any other deaths in your personal life before this person died?
Were people supportive of your grief or did they shy away when you were grieving?
My mom and I didn't really talk about it, even though grandma Lola had lived with us since I was seven. It was a very strange time and I was in the throes of adolescent angst. I didn't know how to process it.
Is there anything you wish you'd done differently with this person?
I wish I'd told her how much I appreciated her presence in my life. I was kind of a pain. My grandma loved pork and we ate it ALL the time. Even when we didn't eat pork, there was bacon grease in almost everything she cooked. I complained a lot. I wish I'd been nicer to her.
Was she buried or cremated?
Did you learn anything about the grieving process that you'd like to share?
Well, no, but now I know that it's important to talk to kids about death and not to "protect" them when people are dying. I wasn't allowed to visit her at the hospital and I don't know why that was. I wish I would have been able to say goodbye. And to thank her for teaching me how to knit, make kick butt cookies and for helping me out with my paper route.
Last but not least, were any songs played at the memorial that were important to the person?
Okay, here's the kicker. I was fourteen but I can't for the life of me remember her memorial service. All I remember is the three hour drive. My family members started singing Beatles' songs to pass the time and I was so pissed off that I wanted to jump out of the car. It did not seem like the proper way to mourn someone. What did I know?