Mar 24, 2010

A Final Goodbye To Grandma........

Letting go is, simply put, not anything close to moving on.....

I've learned that good-byes will always hurt, pictures will never replace having been there, memories good and bad will bring tears, and words can never replace feelings.

Saying a final goodbye to our grandmoher is not easy.  I mean how can you say goodbye to someone you you always had in your life someone you thought will be there forever.  Sounds silly but, that is exactly what we all thought.  Ma will always be there.  We will always be able to pick up the phone and talk to her and hear her tell us funny stories and encourage us and tell us everything was OK when in reality she was the one we should have encouraged and told all is going to be OK.

No one, but no one, ever got the last goodbye with Ma.  Even if she had already told you how much she loved you, and you'd respond "I love you too, Ma," she would have to repeat how much she loved you again, never to be out-loved.  I often tried to get the last goodbye, never with any success. Sometimes it seemed almost as though she waited on the line until she was sure you had hung up!  Yes, that was our grandmother.....a one of a kind woman.

Ma, as you know lived in Canada.  We also have wonderful aunts, uncles and cousins in Canada but, whenever anyone said we are going to Canada it was understood that the first stop would be at grandmas.....and god forbid if you did not go there because you will not hear the end of it.  Ma would be waiting all day for you even if you told her you'd be getting in late at night.  She was up and ready from the wee hours of the morning.....and when you did get there she would say "how come you came so late?...did you forget about me"...this was just her way of letting you know how much she loved you and how much she was looking forward to our visits.  Now we have no grandmother to lovingly scold us....

As mentioned before, my grandmother has 13 children, 39 grandchildren and as I found out at the funeral there are many whom she considered her grandchildren and they considered her their grandmother.  Special mention to a very wonderful young man called Chris.  He is the son of Terry and Diana.  He loved my grandmother as his own and I know she loved him also.

Chris, your final farewell to her touched me in the bottom of my heart.  It touched my entire family and I bet many others.  My nephew JC is still concerned that you are now jobless.  JC actually thought you were a delivery boy after you mentioned how you would deliver food to Ma. For those who may wonder what I am talking about Chris used to take her food that his parents would make.   Chris by the way in an engineer.

My grandmother also has over 25 great grandchildren.

You know what was so amazing is that almost every member of her family...children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were there at the funeral to bid her farewell in this her final journey in this lifetime.

Aside from this being one of the saddest time in our lives it was also a time of happiness.  Happiness in the sense that this one woman was able to hold an entire family of close to 100 members together (without counting friends and other relatives).  She was what always brought us together.  Ma would have been so happy to see the turnout at her funeral.  So much sadness...but like I said also so much bonding and it brought everyone so much closer.  Sad that it sometimes have to be an ocassion like this to unite us. 

At Ma's funeral I met people I otherwiise would not have met.  I never really realized our grndmother had 5 sisters still alive.  I met four of them.  I talked to them and for those moments I learnt some more about my grandmother.  Her sisters were all very heart broken and sad.  Their sadness just increased my sadness...Here are a few of my grandmothers sisters.

I came across a poem and decided to make my own for Ma.  I was guided by the poem I read.  Each word, each emotion expressed here is exactly what I feel...exactly what her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and relatives would have said had they written it.

My dearest Grandma, I will never forget
you .  I am sorry that I was not there with
you when you died.
Grandma...I can't believe the last hug,
the last "goodbye" was just a few days ago .....
I was luckier than others 
because I saw you days before you died.
Your death was a shock,
I know that you are gone for now....
I really just do not believe how this could be...
I called you all that week
You told me that you were not weak.
I came to you and held your hand. 
I saw you, talked and laughed with you
you told me stories of times long gone by and
what a wonderful time it was...
then it was time for us to leave
how was I to know this was going to be my final goodbye??
 the last  kiss, the last hug the last  good bye...
the last time you held me
leaving was so hard for me...
for I did not know when would be the next time
well the next time was only a few days later

You died left us all forever
now there is a grief and void
in our hearts....
You hold a special place right here in my
heart and that will forever be yours. You were
the best grandma in the world and to me
you still are. I miss and love you dearly.
I miss your voice and miss your smile,
I miss your warm embrace.
Ma...I can't believe you're gone.
I will miss your voice saying to me
"I love you"
I am thankful for the wonderful memories
we have together, Thank you for all the
things you did for my sisters and I ...
for all the things you did for all of us
 while we were growing up and until the day you died...
we will miss everything about you
the gently smile on your face
your always kind and loving words
your warm embrace
your always positive you can do it attitude
we will  miss the family gatherings at your house
When I look back 
I will always know that we were the lucky ones
we had you in our lives and for that we are richer
you brought joy and gladness to all of us..
 Without you there is now a void in our lives
each of us has our own sadness we will be dealing with

in our own ways.
My grandmother was such a huge part of our lives
and now that she has died
the realization brings tears to my eyes,
More heartache than we have ever felt before.
Though it seems impossible right
now, I must remember that all she ever
wanted was for us to be happy. How
fortunate I was to have had my
grandmother for so many years.
She was a very good grandma.
She will be remembered for her
kindness, generosity, and selfless
devotion to us.
I shall cherish our memories!
I love you Ma! I'll never
ever stop loving for you..
I will always be missing you,
Hope to see you soon in my dreams.
And hopefully one day in heaven
but until then, you will always be in my heart.
In my heart there will always be a special place for you
For all the wonderful memories you left with me,
I will forever love you and never forget you
Bye bye grandma,
With love
Your granddaughters...
Nad, Nina, Nirvan, Mala & Rima

PS....I know that this same wish goes out to you from all your children, grandchildren and grat grandchildren....

Ma is now gone.  Her funeral was one of the saddest days I have witnessed.  When her coffin was lowered into the ground for the last farewell all emotions that were being held back broke loose.  I sometimes pride myself on being very tough...well that day let me tell you there was not a single person without tears in their eyes.  I did not realize how great an impact Ma's death would be to me and my sisters.  You see we were probably the ones who saw her the least of all her grandchildren.  Not good but true.  Well let me tell you her death left us totally devastated just like it has to everyone else.  At that moment we remembered our days with her in Guyana.  Our visits to her with our spouses and in my sisters cases their children.   We were back to being little girls and at the same time we were grown women with families of our own.  This 89 year old lady has left a void in all of our hearts......
 The picture below was taken years and years ago when my sisters and I lived in Guyana with my grandmother.  The 2 little girls in the front (Nirvana & Nirmala) with the red dress are 2 of my sisters.  The 2 little girls with the blue and white pantsuits (Naleena & myself)  are me and my other sister.  The lady on the right with the white shirt is my mom Valerie.  On her right is my grangmother.  The others are my aunts and cousins. 

These are just a few of us that lived with my grandmother.  On this day my parents were heading back to Puerto Rico and we were not.  Were were staying back with my grandmother.

This picture (below) here is my mom, Mala and the little baby only a few months old is my sister Rima.  Because both my parents worked, my grandmother was going to take Rima back with her to Guyana and care for her until my parents could afford to bring her back.  A heartbreaking day for us but, my grandmother was there and she took Rima with her and we all knew everything was going to be OK.  Rima is now grown with 3 children of her own.  The time she lived in Guyana even though she does not remember it I do because you see my grandmother never stopped talking about it.  She called Rima her baby and on Friday March 12, 2010 she asked me for her baby............another good thing about Ma....SHE NEVER FORGETS!!!

Ma..... Nina, Nirvan, Mala, Rima and I will be forever grateful to you for taking us into your home as if we were one of your own children.  What you did for us no one ever would and from what I learnt in Canada at your funeral we were not the exception.  At some point you took care of everyone of your grandchildren.  We will never forget you.  Our children, nieces and nephews will know about you from the good memories we will forever have.

You have touched all our lives in ways we were unaware of until recently.....

Ma it is now our turn.  We will now carry your legacy to our families and you will never be forgotten.   My grandmother is pictured above with me and my four sisters, my mom and dad.  On this day my dad had just had open heart surgery.  My grandmother was always around......We will miss you Ma.

So much I want to say.  The good thing is that I was never shy to say what I felt.  I never waited until the time was better to say it.  Whenever I spoke to my grandmother I always said "I love you" and I always told her thank you for everything she did for us.............

Ma forever thank you...thank you.  Without you I am not sure how our lives would have turned out.  Thank you for giving us our mom also.  Ma like everyone else my mom is going to miss you sooooo...sooo.... much.  She called you almost everyday.  She set aside a time so that she knew she would have all the time in the world to talk to you.  Then she would give us news aout you.  You made her laugh.  She then made us laugh by re-telling your stories.  My mom will miss you Ma.

My dad loved you as his mother.  My dad will never forget that you took us in to live with you.  He never made us forget that he has a debt to you and as far as he is concerned he could never repay it.   He loved talking to you on the phone also.  He and my mom loved their visits to you in Canada.   Ma you left everyone broken hearted.....

Author: Kidada Maria Savage, USA


Have you ever lost someone you held so dear,
A person you could talk to when no one else was there,
When my Grandmother passed, I was filled with disbelief, but now I can carry on because I know she's at peace,

I guess God called her because she was needed upstairs, but now that you're up, look down, you have a loving family down here,
I looked at her life from every angle, God, I have one question, can she come back to be my angel?

I have a few other messages that I need you to carry on,
To my Grandmother and my Grandfather
Grandpop look after the love of your life, she was your everything, she was your wife,

Hug as a family, and smile with a kiss, and don't forget, you will be deeply missed,

It's okay Grandmom, no need to cry, I just wanted to tell you, I love you,
and say Good-Bye.

Ma, for now it's goodbye.  Hope you find Pa and the two of you walk hand in hand and every so often just take a look down here and keep an eye on all of us for no matter what we all need you in our own special way.  Your grandaugher Corinna has someting she wants to ask of you and here it is:

Corinna Persaud:
 i love you so much grandma!!!!
i just wanted to let you know that i'm going back to gainesville now, and that i miss you so much!!!!
i have my interview this thursday grandma, please wish me the best of luck

Ma please be next to Corinna on this very special day for her.  I bet she and you must have talked a lot about it.  All your 39+ grandchildren were devastated by the void you left in us............

Ma this is goodbye for now.  Please keep an eye out for all of us....
You and I will meet again,
When we're least expecting it,
One day in some far off place,
I will recognize your face,
I won't say goodbye my friend,
For you and I will meet again.
 Tom Petty


"No matter how hard life is sometimes, you have to keep breathing... The sun will rise again tomorrow, and who knows what the tide will bring"

Ma rest in peace......
For more pictures check out this link