My grandmother died last week. When I write those words, there’s a part of me that feels I am writing a novel. But then I remember I am not Camus*.There is nothing fictitious about my new reality. My grandmother died. Her body stopped working. That fact hangs over me. It is never far away, dropping by to say hello whenever it feels like it. At obvious times, like when I go to bed, and then at the seemingly irrelevant moments, like when I was about to empty the drainboard. Because nothing says “your grandmother is dead” like a bunch of dry dishes that are ready to be put away.
Some people take solace in the spiritual component that often accompanies death. Good for them. I mean that with the utmost sincerity. I fall too deeply on the secular-agnostic side of the religious spectrum to find comfort in the idea of heaven or some deity’s loving bosom. I would rather have my grandmother. The fact is I now live in a world where my grandmother is no longer alive, and nothing is going to change that.
*Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure. – from Camus’s “The Stranger”