Where wild minds come to rest
Two months ago, my grandma, at age 81, was spending the day with her son and his wife. When they came back at around 8, I had just woken up a few hours ago, and my mom told me to come outside and say hi to the son (Michael) and his wife (Myra).
I went outside and walked past my grandma who was standing on the porch and said hello to Michael and Myra and talked to them for a little bit before going inside and walking past my grandma again and not saying or looking at her. I went inside and got on my computer and listened to music and talked to people.
Later, I heard commotion outside. I ignored it. I thought that maybe my grandma fell down or something. She had fallen many times and it couldn't be too big of a deal. My mom came in and told me that my grandma had fallen down the stairs outside our house and was out cold and that they had called an ambulance. "Okay," I said and didn't think much of it. The part of her being out cold stuck out to me and caused me a bit of worry, but still, I didn't think too much. I thought she'd be fine like always. Maybe, at worst, she'd spend a night in the hospital.
I went on for a while, staying on my computer, worrying a bit about my grandma but not much. I didn't hear anything more from anyone until my dad came into my room and told me that I should probably come down to the hospital with him because "it didn't look good." I asked where my mom was and he said she went down to the hospital with Grandma. This time, of course, I heard the "it didn't look good" and immediately thought that she was going to die. After he said "it didn't look good," I did not allow myself any hope that my grandma was going to live.
On the ride to the hospital, I was leaning away from my dad, leaning towards the window, looking out at the full moon for most of the ride. The ride was mostly silent. My eyes stayed on the full moon for as long as they could until the full moon was blocked out.
We walked into the hospital and in the waiting room or whatever it was, there were a lot of people. All of them were calm, fine, not too worried about much. Except for two, sitting in a corner, holding each other, crying. And then my dad started to walk towards them, and realized that it was Myra and a family friend, Brooklyn. My dad and I sat down next to them. Brooklyn kept looking at my dad and then asked him if he wanted to go outside and talk with her and then they went outside for a while.
Myra and I were alone. At first, Myra tried to talk to me about school, but she dropped that quickly. She told me that what had happened with my grandma was very "severe" and that my mom and Michael were in the room making some "decisions" with the doctor. I didn't know any of this, so it was good to know, but still, I already knew that my grandma was dying. If her intention was to prepare me then she wasted her breath, in my mind.
After a bit, my dad and Brooklyn came back inside. "I told her a little bit," Myra said. Later, my mom showed up and everyone went into a small room with a small couch, two chairs on one wall, and one chair on the other wall. My dad, my mom, and I sat on the couch, with my dad and I on the ends, and my mom in the middle. Michael and Myra sat in the two chairs next to each other. Brooklyn sat in the one chair that was alone on the wall. My mom was the first to talk about my grandma, though the only thing I remember of what she said was when she turned slightly to me and said very quickly in between something else she was saying, "Grandma's already gone; brain dead." I didn't know this before, but still, I didn't really react. I just looked down.
We had to wait in the small room until someone showed up to let us see grandma after they put her in a room so that we could see her. While waiting, it was a cycle of silence and slight talking. Someone would say something, someone maybe replied, and then it would go silent until someone else would say something, and it would just go on. Sometimes, we would laugh at something someone said. Nothing that was said was really that funny, but we all laughed anyway. It felt much better than the silence or anything else.
"Well, Janice was a great person and she was great to live with," my dad said once while we were in the room. No one replied to this one. It was in past tense and I'm pretty sure everyone noticed that. Though her heart was still beating, she was brain dead, so it was appropriate to say it in past tense. And soon, her heart would stop beating anyway.
Eventually, a nurse or doctor or whatever, came in and told us that we could see my grandma now. At first, the nurse or doctor or whatever she was was talking to everyone, preparing everyone for seeing my grandma. And then, she looked straight into my eyes and said that she may not look exactly like she did the last time we saw her, and that no one needed to see her if they didn't want to. I felt like the nurse and I might as well have been alone together because it was clear she was only talking to me. "I'm fine," I interrupted her. "I'm fine."
We began walking to the room my grandma was in. I let everyone walk in front of me, I was walking behind. I wasn't completely sure if I wanted to see my grandma, really. At first, I thought I wanted to. And then, about halfway to the room, I decided I didn't want to, but I stayed quiet. And then, I guess I changed my mind again, because I walked right into the room. My grandma's mouth was lopsided and her head was wrapped in something. I looked away and stood near the curtains where we had come in. My mom was at my grandma, almost crying, with a cartoonish frown on her face like she was trying so hard not to cry. The nurse handed my mom the stuff that my grandma had on her. It was mostly jewelry. I felt like I had seen enough and was desperate to get out of the room before my mom started crying, which I knew would be soon. I stood near where we had come in, slightly panicking, thinking that maybe I could duck under the curtains and run out. The nurse then asked me if I wanted to leave and I said yeah. She asked me if I wanted to just stand outside or if I wanted to go back to the room. Before I could answer, Brooklyn suggested that I go back to the room, so I said sure. The nurse walked me back to the room. She didn't look at me or say anything. I kind of hoped she would, but she didn't. She walked me to the room and left.
When I was alone in the room...I realized that it actually wasn't the same room. It looked the same, was decorated the same, had the same furniture, but was flipped. I sat down on the couch and talked to friends on my phone. I assumed that no one would be back for me until my grandma's heart stopped beating. However, after a while, Brooklyn came in. She talked to me for a bit, she told me that when she was my age (fourteen), she lost her grandma. She then asked me if I wanted her to stay or if I just wanted to be alone. I felt like I shouldn't say that I wanted to be alone, because I didn't want her to think that I wanted to be alone, like that would look weak. I also definitely didn't want her staying though. I only really wanted to talk to my friends on my phone. I wished that there was a way for me to say that I didn't want to be alone but to ask her to leave anyway, but I couldn't really think of a way to say that where it didn't sound rude so I just said "yes," that I did want to be alone. And so she left.
The next time someone opened the door, I knew that Grandma's heart stopped beating and that it was over. It was my parents who came in. They sat next to me and talked about how much things would cost for a while. I interrupted them and asked when we were going home. My mom said in a little bit, and then looked at my dad and said that actually, my dad and I could leave now. After that, all I remember is looking at my dad, and next thing I remember, we were outside of the room, walking out. On our way out, the double doors to the waiting room were having trouble opening. When we got them open, we walked in silence to the car. We drove home, in silence. I tried to see the full moon on our way back, but couldn't see it nearly as much as I could on the way there. It was blocked out. When we got home, we walked up the stairs that my grandma had fallen on. Her cane was still leaning on the railing. I wondered when someone was going to move that.
I walked in the house with my dad. My dad immediately sat in his recliner in the living room and turned on the TV. I went into my room and talked to friends and listened to music until I went to bed, at around 5 in the morning.
It's been exactly two months. It happened on July 21st. It's September 21st. I just wanted to share my experience. She was pronounced dead at 9;53pm. Her name was Janice Ann Wilson O'Steen Vincent. She lived from March 9th, 1932 - July 21st, 2013.
Thank you to anyone who read this, if anyone did. I know it was long, but I wanted to say everything. I'm also sorry if there's any typos because I'm not going to read over this before posting it. Just thank you to anyone who read this.