Wrinkles by Amy Rae

Archive for the ‘Death’ Category

As per usual, school starts and I disappear for the semester under mounds of paper with my nose buried in a book.  Odd objects and dirty clothes start piling up in my house.  My hair and my relationships both start to smell a little a bit.  Then, a brief reprieve:  BREAK!  Days and weeks of having *nothing* to do and nowhere to go.  Glorious, glorious freedom.

After a maddening semester, the winter holiday break was especially good to me (and my crafting soul).  I was able to create a number of Christmas gifts for friends and family while also crafting just to make myself happy!

This holiday, though, had several low low moments for myself, my friends, and my family.  The day before Thanksgiving, my neighbors lost their young son to an untimely accident.  Any death is tragic, but I believe that the deaths of young kids are especially so.  My mom and I witnessed the gorgeous tribute to Andrew’s life a few days following his death.

Then, in December, with the anniversary of my beloved grandmother’s death fresh on my mind, my best friend lost her outrageously fabulous father.  Growing up, Catbird was always so kind to me.  One of the best things anyone has ever said to me came from him.  In eighth grade, standing alongside some of my girlfriends dressed and ready to go to a dance, I was feeling inadequate and outside the group of girls that I was with.  Somehow, I never felt like I fit in – like I was never good enough, like I was never dressed right, like I stood out.  Catbird looked at me standing with those other girls and said to me, “You are the prettiest one there.”  Now I don’t put much stock on beauty, but that was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.  My heart soared, and I was tickled that he had shared that with me.  I never even told anyone.

My best friend is just beside herself with his loss, and who can blame her?  I only hope to be strong enough to help her through this.  Our friendship is old and strong, and one that I am thankful for.  She will make it through this to the other side.  And as my grandmother always said, “This, too, shall pass.”

I just spent the last twenty minutes reading another blogger’s personal experience with SIDS. Apparently, the blogger and her husband lost their little boy before he was six months old. Her story hit me, hard, in the gut. To lose a child – how can a mother go on? My heart goes out to this woman and her family, but I know there are no words to cover that gaping hole where a little boy’s smile used to be…

We attended my grandmother’s homecoming on Wednesday, December 16th. She died the Sunday before, after weeks and months of slipping away from us.
I cannot remember the last time we had a conversation.

Did I know it was going to be our last? No, I always thought there would be another.

Maybe I would’ve written down her words, remembered how we said goodbye. But somehow, I think she knew when it would be her last – she gripped my hand and she wouldn’t let go. She didn’t speak, and if she did – or I did – those words have long since faded. But that grip, her fingers so frail and so strong, held tightly to me, to my heart, to our love.

And that is what I hold on to – that she knew and she wanted me to know.
…I miss her so much.

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In a week, my beloved grandmother is lying down to undergo her third major surgery in six months.  Her hip is being replaced, bone fragments reconstructed, artificial life restored.  But no matter the outcome, she is dying.  Her strength will be spent learning to walk, to stand, to sit up in bed – but still, my mother will come to empty her bedpan, to wipe up her messes, to clean her face at night.

My grandmother’s eyes, which always foretold the future for me, which always could see that “this, too, shall pass” – these eyes can barely see forms in the light, cannot see me standing in front of her, cannot discern my child’s face.  The smiles of her grandchildren are frozen in memories now five years past.


Her passing will mark the death of my extended family.  No longer do we gather at Christmas or other holidays, but still do we enact the portrait of camaraderie, still do we pretend through frozen smiles.

When my grandmother dies, so dies the strength of my life, the force that shaped me, whose criticisms burned and whose love enveloped.  I hope she knows how much she has meant to me.


In a week, my father will lie down to be cut from the base of his throat to his groin as the doctors reach in to re-route his veins.  When he dies, I will finally know whether or not he ever meant anything to me.  Hopefully, I will know soon.

With death, comes hope, and with hope, life.  


I hope to live this life so that people I love never doubt, never question, and always know.

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