Way back in September 2000, my grandma died. I flew back to the Bay Area to be with my sister and help with everything. It was such a weird feeling to endure this with my sister…us having suffered so much loss already, but we were too young during those times to really remember. Well, there we were, all grown up, and needing to take care of grandma. In some ways, I felt like we were catapulted back to early years….but then we couldn’t be…there was no time. Decisions had to be made and even though some of grandma’s relatives were alive, no one stepped up to help. When you are 25 and 30 years old, you don’t expect to have to do all that shit by yourself; the mortuary, the church stuff, the burial, etc….it’s a lot to to deal with when you are shocked, saddened, angry, etc…at the loss that has taken place. But, again…you don’t have time for that. Gotta get stuff done. So, we did.
At that time in my life, I had no money. So, grandma’s mortuary bill went on a credit card. Not cheap. She wanted to be buried and since she had bought a double plot when mom died, whoever died next in our immediate family would be the one to fill that spot. slot. I thought all that was paid for….but when we went to the cemetery, somehow, there was a small balance to pay. Well, about $1500. Swipe the credit card. So, I guess all in all, it ended up costing me about $5000. My sister couldn’t help pay for any of it and I didn’t want her to. I don’t know why, but i was truly shocked when NONE of grandma’s relatives offered to help in any way. Not only did they not offer, none of them never even inquired as to how things were being paid for or who was paying. (I’m glad they are not in my life…glad I won’t die on their watch..)
Anyway…so, when we were at the Cemetery and finalizing all of the logistics, it occurred to me that we would have to pay more money to get grandma’s name and date of birth/date of death on the headstone. At the time, I figured we could pass on that and get it done later. Maybe someone else could pay or I would just pay for it later. Well, 9 years later, I finally got it done. On 12/30/09, I called the monument company across the street from Cemetery and got it all taken care of…cost was $325. I honestly don’t know why I have waited so long. I’ve had the money to pay…maybe it hasn’t always been at the forefront of my mind since I am 3000 miles away…but, It has bothered me. I have felt extremely guilty leaving grandma there, nameless. She was kinda like “tomb of the unknown soldier”. Well, no more. Her beautiful name will now be there right underneath her daughter. I wonder how it’s going for them down there..up there…being so close together again…wonder if they are laughing, fighting…
Well, all I know is that I am so relieved to have this done. On my next trip to the Bay Area, i sure as hell will make a visit to the cemetery and sit for awhile.
I hope grams forgives me. And I hope she is resting, peacefully.