To The Dead That Keeps On Livivng With Love

January 26, 2010
By Anonymous

Dear Nanny:
I tried to remember the good old days, the days when you would chase me around your concrete back yard with a spoon of spinach in your hand. The days when I would walk inside your house and smell the warm scent of your delicious cooking. Somehow it felt like those memories seemed more vivid than before, maybe it was because you are gone.

On March 14, 2006, I awoke with a startled shriek. I looked around my room trying to find the source of the noise, but instantly, I realized that the sound came from me. I was afraid. Afraid of my dream. Afraid of the future. Afraid of the present. Afraid of the past. I had every reason to be. Four days previous, you had gone up to Heaven. You were a wonderful, kind Great- Grandmother, and a great Italian baker. You were creative, motherly, and everything else a Grandma should be. Every Christmas, you would bake the most colorful, warm, sticky, and delicious struffoli that have ever reached my taste buds. It was one of my favorite parts of Christmas.

Today was the day of your funeral. We had arrived at the eery cemetery. I was starting to get nervous. My hands were getting clammy and my pulse increased greatly. “Thud, thud, thud, thud…..” was the only thing I was hearing. “This is it”, I thought as I shakily got out of the warm limo. This is goodbye. Tears started to roll down my eyes as my sister grabbed my hand and squeezed. I look down at her; her eyes were red from crying, as was mine. I was surprised that at her age she understood what was going on.
I thought of this as I walked towards the sorrowful goodbye that was soon to come. I felt a chill run down my spine. It was time already? How can this be? I thought there was so much time until that parting moment, but it seemed as if that time was slipping away from me fast. This is the part of the day I was dreading the most. This was the end, and yet it was also a new beginning.
I kept trooping forward, trying to put my fears behind me, clearing my head. I could hear the soft crunches of the leaves and sticks underneath by high heeled boots. I turned around gazing at my family and friends as we all think in unison “Goodbye, Nanny”. We reach our destination point in the cemetery. We start to circle around the grave and the casket above it. I could feel it coming, but I didn’t know what “it” was. Was I about to cry, scream, or crumble onto the dirty, frozen ground? What was coming? I’ve been fighting myself to look at Nanny in her casket. Like my dad said at her wake, “This is not the way you should remember Nanny. Remember her before her death. Remember her without Alzheimers Disease. Remember her as her normal loving, fun self. Forget your bad memories because the good memories are the memories that matter. “, and I believed that. I would always remember Nanny in my good memories.
I finally stole a glance and immediately punished myself for it. I saw the assorted coloring of the roses burying the casket from view. I finally understood what “it” was, it was like a blanket closing over me dragging me into the sadness I was desperate to escape from. I fought and fought and fought until I escaped its anchor. It was way too much. The priest had finally arrived and started to recite the prayers. He had splashed Holy Water on the casket and the crowd. It was then time to leave. As the priest was saying the final prayer, I felt something warm enclose around my hand. I look down in alarm and realize someone was holding it. I look up and see my Great Aunt’s eyes swimming in tears. I squeeze her hand and murmur, “are you ok?”. She looked down with a shaky smile, “Yes I -I….. I’m ok.” Miss you!

With Love,


The author's comments:
I remember when I was little I would scream, "Mommy, Mommy!". My Nanny would then say," Say "mother"". I replied,"Ok Nanny. Mommy,Mommy!"

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