Friday Five, In Memoriam

Well, I probably won't have enough bullet-points for a Friday Five today. More like a Friday Three. But here goes. 

1.) A very close member of Justin's family passed away yesterday. It wasn't entirely unexpected, but it happened so quickly that it shocked us both. We'll be flying out on Monday to attend the funeral. Suffice to say, there's kind of a gray cloud hanging over us today. While we're grateful that everything happened quickly and with little pain, it's still hard to lose someone you love. 

2.) I used to think that I could prepare myself for certain kinds of death. (Oh, the naivete!) Specifically, I thought I could ready myself for my grandmother's death. You see, my grandma---or Popo as we called her in Chinese---had Alzheimer's for many years and had lost the ability to walk or feed herself. After visiting her in the nursing home for two years, I really believed that I would only feel peace when she died. There would be no more suffering. No more pain. And no more nursing home food, which I'm sure my grandma hated. 

Yet, when my grandma finally passed away last fall, I felt like someone had punched me in the throat. I started crying at traffic stops and at trips to the grocery store. She was really gone, and I didn't know how to process that.

So here's one thing I've learned about death: you can't fight the grief. It will inevitably come, even if your loved one has led a long life and even though they were sick for a very long time. It still hurts like hell but it's better not to fight the pain. Let it roll through you. Let everything sink in. Grief is the price we pay for the greatest kind of love.

3.) Next weekend, I need to make it a point to visit my surviving grandmother, my Nai Nai. She always gives me a big hug whenever she sees me and she never lets me help her with dinner, even though it's getting hard for her to move around. She makes the yummiest Chinese food, especially these meatballs cooked with cabbage that I scarf down in five seconds flat. 

I need to visit my Nai Nai and spend some time with her. I need to tell her how much she means to me...