Remembering Gramma

medalMy commitment to my reader has always been the same as the one I make to myself. I will always tell the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable, heartbreaking or scary. The truth is today I am hurting in every way – physically from racing, mentally and emotionally from bearing the loss of my Gramma. She was 92. She passed away this past Friday, the day before the biggest race of my Spartan Race career.

She wanted for her children and grandchildren to do what made them happy. The fact is, there is nothing tragic about dying at 92. In fact, it’s freakin’ epic! She lived through so much. She touched many lives, bore and raised an incredible family. She loved her family, their animals, the holidays, gardening, yellow roses, pussy willows, vase heads (don’t ask, just go with me on this!), antiques and golf, among other things.
Yes, I’m reaching because honestly, I’ve been “preparing” myself for this for, oh, about 5 years. A little piece of advice: Don’t waste time ‘preparing’ for the death of someone close to you because when you get that jolt, when you get that call or that text that tears your world out from underneath you, there is no preparation that allows you to breathe easier or makes it hurt less. Trust me. I’m living through it.
I was having dinner when I got the text. “Gram just died peacefully.”
Part of me just stared in disbelief. Like I said, there is no ‘preparation’ for this. I got to my car before I broke down and just sobbed til I couldn’t breathe. I copied and pasted the message “My Gramma just died” to about 15 people. I let myself feel every tiny bit of everything there was to feel. I know it’ll come in waves. that that’s how every emotion works. My best advice that you didn’t ask for: feel what there is to feel. All of it. And if you hit a plateau where you’re feeling nothing, or there is no running, but walking, that is OK, too. Just like racing. You’re not always running. Sometimes you’re hiking, skipping, crawling, rolling, walking, or landing on your back side and sliding.
Speaking of living epically. I run Spartan Races. You can volunteer to earn your free race entries. I had volunteered on Friday, the 18th to earn my free race for Saturday at Killington.  The Beast. 13+ miles and 30 + obstacles. About 4900 feet of elevation gain.
You can train for a Spartan Race, practicing carries, running on a 15% incline treadmill (which, as an aside, is actually funny after having raced Killington with its thousands of feet of elevation gain, you’re welcome! – Thanks, Norm, for the stunning views and the workout!), practicing burpees, spear throwing, rope climbing, the whole bit. But there is no preparation for being notified that your beloved Gramma has passed away, even if she’s 92 and you ‘expect it’. It still hurts like hell, it’s still “wait – what?!” There are still tears to beat the band. Tears in the airport, tears on the race course, tears in the moments of reality where you realize you’re going to Gramma’s, only not. It’s different this time. My family has to learn to do something none of us knows how to do: live without mom, Gramma, Great Gramma.

Someone asked me why I was racing – because someday when I die, I want to have lived an epic life! Running Spartan Races stretches me in every possible way. I, as most racers do, leave it all on the course. Blood, sweat, tears, mental gunk, emotional junk and every bit of physical strength get left on the mountain. That’s the point. I can’t say losing my Gramma is “just another obstacle” because it’s much bigger than that but my Gramma wanted us to be happy and I’m happy on the mountain, racing so I raced for Gramma! And finished!

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About spawtyspice

I was once a victim of a horrible act. Now, I'm a thriver, and sharing my experiences with Spartan Racing, training, spiritual awakening, food, yoga, being a fur mom, intuitive and whatever else strikes my fancy! Faith, family, fun! Blessed beyond compare! Won't you join me?
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28 Responses to Remembering Gramma

  1. Dena says:

    Condolences and Congratulations do not often go hand-in-hand. Here they do.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. Your gramma was probably cheering you on as you raced 🙂 i hope you felt her as you ran.

  3. You’re so right. You can prepare for a race, but you can’t prepare for losing a loved one. No matter if it’s expected or not.

  4. Congrats to you on having the courage and strength to finish period, much less under such stressful circumstances! Condolences on your Gramma. My Granny is 87, and had a rough medical year, it’s a miracle she survived the ordeal. I know her time is limited, and call her frequently just to hear her voice 🙂

    • spawtyspice says:

      Thank you! I called my mom the other night to ask about silly videos my step-dad took (that we at the time whined about him taking) at various family events including Gramma’s 85th and 90th birthday parties because it’s the only thing left that might have her voice/image and I want it. My mom said they’d look for them when they returned from their vacation…my regret is never sending Gramma to voicemail but now I find myself saving voicemails from people I love. 🙂 Cherish those conversations with your Granny even if they’re about nothing because they matter.

  5. yosantana12 says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and this is a wonderful story. It is now your job to live her legacy through what you love. This is a wonderful example and it is important to share with other what she shared with you. I admire you and your Gramma greatly! Thank you for sharing.

  6. jillboid419 says:

    I am so sorry about your grandma… I am sure your gramma is happy every time you run a spartan race!

  7. Shalama Jackson says:

    Sorry for your loss. I have never done a Spartan but know others that have. The closest I will ever get is an obstacle course race a few years ago. I’m glad you were able to channel that energy into something that meant something to you during that time.

  8. Your gramma must be proud of you! 🙂

  9. Lindi Mogale says:

    I am so sorry for the loss you have suffered and I hope you will find peace one day

  10. Aimee says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandmother! She sounds like an incredible, inspiring lady. It’s wonderful that you are able to honor her life by racing in her memory.

  11. Malorie says:

    I loved that you raced for your grandma:) You’re right…we should live our lives in a way that would make us proud when we’re sitting on our rocking chairs in our later years. Sorry for your loss.

  12. Wow, this is powerful! I am so very sorry for your loss. You are absolutely right that we should not wait for the moment, or prepare for the moment, but LIVE in the moment. Enjoy our time together, whether we are young or old, sick or not. My condolences to you and your family. Congrats on finishing the race.

    thrifting diva
    http://www.thriftingdiva.com

    • spawtyspice says:

      Thank you! We got through it together, as a family. It’s interesting to witness the new dynamic. I still am stunned that I finished the race…apparently I’m mentally much stronger than I realized. Thank you for reading and commenting; I appreciate you! 🙂

  13. kancell724 says:

    Beautiful post! I’m sorry for your loss! I understand even if you try to prepare for a loss it still comes as a shock. That’s how I felt about my grandpa passing.

  14. slysamblogs says:

    Your grandmother sounds like an amazing person. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Adrienne says:

    Well said! The passing of my grandparents (all four of them) hit me hard. The hardest was my mother’s mother – she passed away in 2008. She was the last of the four to pass. I had the most years with her as my father’s mother passed away in 1991. (My mother’s father died in 1993 and my father’s father died in 2004.) My husband and two oldest boys knew this grandmother. I knew she’d been sick – heart attack a few years prior – she’d always gotten better. I knew she wasn’t doing well the last time we saw her. I thought for sure we’d see her “one last time” and then, well, we didn’t. Thankfully, my mother called my husband and told him. He broke it to me. (I was sitting not too far from him when he got the call.) She died the day before my 10th wedding anniversary. I spent my anniversary packing to travel 300 miles for her funeral. I miss her so much. She was the only grandparent at my wedding. (My father’s father was too sick to attend and lived in Arizona.) I am crying as I type this…she was my rock. She loved me no matter what and I knew it. Now, when we go to her house, it’s not her “house’ anymore. It’s my uncle’s now (my mother’s brother who took care of her). I know she’s proud I published the book I promised her I would write. I know she’d be proud to know I’m almost done with book #2. Thank you for letting me share. Your Gramma is proud of you! ~Adrienne

    • spawtyspice says:

      I’m glad you shared, Adrienne! I’m so sorry for your losses. I know that pain and this last visit to “Gramma’s” showed me that indeed, Gramma’s house is no longer Gramma’s, and that’s rough. The first time I walked into her house and looked at the table, the chair she normally sits in, facing the door, and it was empty, I lost it. Literally had my aunt grabbed and hold me while I sobbed, my mom trying to comfort me, was caught off guard. I’m a highly sensitive person, very emotional; my mom, not so much. My Gramma, like yours, was my rock, my reasoning, my sounding board, the person who explained my mom, her oldest, when I was lost…I miss her so much! Thank you for reading and sharing. Hugs!!

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