Dorothy Norine, 17 June 1928 - 5 February 2005

My grandmother passed away Saturday. I received a phone call on Friday and was able to get to the hospital by the next morning, fortunately, although she never really regained consciousness after emergency surgery on Wednesday. She’s been quite sick for some time now, but didn’t suffer unduly near the end. She seemed so peaceful asleep on her bed in the hospital. I really appreciated being able to see her like that; it’s a much more positive final memory than seeing a corpse pickled with embalming fluid. Her body has already been cremated, and we’ll scatter the ashes together as a family at some point in the summer (yes, I realize this is for some reason illegal).

All of this feels like her dénouement in a way, the climax being the heart attack and subsequent hospitalization in the fall, just a few weeks before I moved away. That really affected me, but right now I’ve been more focused on preparations for the funeral, logistics concerning grieving relatives about to arrive from England, and holding my father’s hand as we cleaned out her room in the nursing home. Today I’m taking advantage of my time in Ontario to visit my remaining grandparent, my maternal grandmother, in Niagara. I’m glad to report that she’s in excellent shape for a woman in her late seventies.

Alright, go phone your grandmothers, all of you who can.