I don’t know where it has been coming from but lately out of nowhere I’ll have a random memory of right before my grandmother died…taking her to the doctor who sent her to the hospital that transfered her to a bigger hospital…me having to tell my mom I barely saw that Nanny was really sick and being sent to the other hospital…that look I’ll never forget on her face when she hugged me after not seeing me for awhile and so unexpected and I wasn’t smiling…she asked what was wrong and I told her. Yes…10 year old me told my mother my Nanny was very sick…although I didn’t know the details…just sick. And a few days later (or maybe the next day?) My dad come in from his station at Langley AFB and took me to see her…tubes and wires everywhere. I talked to her a little and she didn’t remember me at first (if she did at all) and I attempted to hug her…it was very difficult through the wires and tubes.

My biological grandmother (Nanny’s sister) come to stay with me and I remember it like it was yesterday, the phone rang…Mamaw was gone a few min and come back through the kitchen with a towel in her hand wiping her eyes…she told me that Nanny has passed away (I don’t remember her exact words) and I just sat there….in shock. I didn’t cry until it hit me that night, I had helped Mamaw pull my mattress into the front room beside the couch where she was sleeping and I remember looking through the kitchen and seeing a lighted figure at the other end….I turned over and cried myself to sleep.

I refused to see her in an open casket, I stayed at the back of the church. The church I attended with her for years every Sunday…the church I now take my kids to. I don’t remember the service but I remember the drive to the cemetery…my dad had come back (or maybe he had always been there…I don’t remember) and he drove me…I remember I hadn’t cried and when we pulled up a good friend of mine’s mom who worked for the funeral home opened my door…I remember her face and her sympathy for me shown. I was told the grandchildren were to stand in the back (she had 5) and I stood next to my cousin, the one who was always like my older sister. I remember the pastor saying his spill and then it got personal…he said “and please keep this little girl in your prayers” and he pointed at me and I lost it. I burried my head into her stomach and cried as “Amazing Grace” played and they lowered Nanny into the ground.

My life dramatically changed as I sit here now…beside her grave…a few feet from where I stood almost 17 years ago saying goodbye to the most amazing woman I knew or will ever know.

I don’t know why this suddenly come over me…or why I’m suddenly getting the flashbacks…vivid…I can see and feel that day like it was yesterday. Sitting here crying, hoping typing it out will help somehow…17 years later and I still miss her. I wish she was here so I could get advice, or just talk like I need today. It’s still hard!

About Jackie

Jackie is a stay at home mom to five wonderful children, 4 boys and a girl ages from infant to 10 years old. Her life is anything but calm, most days it's pure mayhem. You can follow her on twitter @monkey_mayhem
Jackie Staples


  1. We will always miss those who meant a great deal to us. I think of my Grandmother all the time. She passed away when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I wear her wedding band every day. I even had a pocket sewn into my wedding dress for her ring, right over my heart, so I could keep her close to me that day. I miss her so much. {{hugs}}

  2. Lauralee Hensley says:

    Grief is a hard one to understand. Maybe you hadn’t gone through all the stages of grief that you needed to back then, or hadn’t stayed in a stage long enough for your feelings/emotions to settle comfortably with the loss. I think sometimes we repeat those stages until we do. I took a special hospice class once on death and dying and some of the information in it is not only valuable for the caregiver, but for the patient and their family and friends. Do you have a hospice that offers free classes to the public so you can have more insight into the reasons behind the flash backs of that time. I wish you were having flash backs to more enjoyable moments in her life and time with you. I try to remember the good times of my mom, like her teaching me to make cinnamon rolls. I like to remember the good times of my dad. Both of my parents died slowly from nasty diseases, congestive heart failure, and multiple unexplained strokes. I guess that gave us all involved a long time to come to terms with our emotions/feelings before they died. I hope you feel better and that if you do have to have flashbacks they aren’t of the time she was ill or the funeral, so the experiences will rest easier on you. God Bless.