close my eyes

The last words she spoke to me were completely silent. She pleaded with her eyes. Her tiny shoulders shook violently, measuring the intensity with which she communicated. “LOVE!” she finally yelled.

“Grandma, it’s okay, don’t talk. I know you love me. I love you too. I know. I know.” I consoled her with my eyes, assuring a connection with her soul, her beautiful soul.

In all the months of watching her body deteriorate from the inside out, I never struggled to see past the outer eggshell. Week after week I drove out to spend time with her, watching as the light in her eyes grew dimmer, knowing that the light before her was getting brighter.

She never had to say anything with me. We both just knew. Always, the inexplicable joy of being heaven-bound capturing us both; her with anticipation, me with jealousy.

“Close my eyes.”

…There was a twinge of destiny in my hands too that day. I painted. I heard her say it again. I wondered what she meant. I placed my wondering palm on her face and kissed her forehead as I had become accustomed to doing only since she became ill. She closed her eyes.

I turned the lights off in the room before I left. It was the last time I saw her. Tuesdays. The day I would visit. I have decided to take her inexplicable joy with me…and…

Open my eyes.

Perhaps a little brighter than before as I have been able to experience the same joy she found.


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15 thoughts on “close my eyes

  1. It’s beautiful. You paint pictures with words. My Oma is still here, though far away and every conversation is finished with the sense of, will this be our last? Two women longing for home, only one can taste it and the other is still not sure how.

    • feelingpaint says:

      Hi Connie 🙂 Yes, it was just like that for me too. We don’t always live with such a heightened sense of awareness, and I think that was something of a miracle in itself. The awareness of eternity for those visits was the root of much inspiration for me.

      Thank you for your kind, encouraging words 🙂 about how I paint with words. I never saw it like that before!

  2. bottledhobbies says:

    This literally tears forming at corners of my eyes and the way you write is almost like the way paint. You put so much emotion in both
    your paintings and writings. I’m sorry about your grandmother and I know it can be hard.

    • feelingpaint says:

      It was not a popular post it seems. Only a few sweet moments were shared between friends of the heart, and I am incredibly touched that you saw what I saw…with words. Thank you ❤

  3. That was so beautiful… sniff…

  4. Messenger At The Crossroads says:

    Lovely touching story.

  5. Dan says:

    I remember you writing about going and singing at the funeral. At the time, you didn’t post a photo of her. You can certainly see much of her in you. My daughter has a lot of her grandmother in her too. My mother does not feel as loving toward my daughter as my daughter feels toward her though. My mother apparently experienced some things that soured the relationship years ago. I wish she could share the same type of relationship you had with your grandmother. I remember your Easter story and how forgiving she was about it. As you get older, there is much that is disappointing, but less that is truly regarded as heart-breaking. You realize forgiving is about you as much as the one you forgive. Maintaining a grudge or feeding hurt feelings can destroy love and rob us of joy. Your grandmother knew that. She not only forgave, but still shared the gifts.

    I am hoping for more forgiveness toward my daughter from her grandmother. Her maternal grandmother hardly acknowledges her, or any of our kids for that matter. Long ago her life became tied up in her last two children born and those grandchildren. Our kids have pretty much written her off.

    I’m pleased to see the great relationship you had with her and sorry she is no longer an active part of your life but only a memory. I know you miss her dearly and I can see why.

    • feelingpaint says:

      Hi Dan! My grandma that died last Easter was mine. This grandma that just passed was my husband’s. Just a technicality though, as she was every bit mine and I hers. She was the only one who lived closeby too, so we had a unique relationship.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I hope things are able to change between your daughter and mother.

  6. Dan says:

    I do remember you talking about D’s grandmother not doing well a few months back. I thought this was a memorial piece to your grandmother. You two do bear a striking resemblance in that picture, though. Other than age, you could just about exchange the eyes in photoshop, and the smile is much the same other than differences resulting from age. It’s really uncanny. You may be totally different in profile, but that specific picture looks “family,” as it should. My condolences to D and the kids. I never saw my great grandmother on either side.

  7. I’ve just read this post, as last time I was here I just scrolled up and down looking at your paintings. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss…your post made me cry, maybe also because I’m dealing with the loss of my step-father, who passed away in February. I’ve had many losses in my life, and I strongly believe in life after death. However, the ‘finality’ feeling still lurks and lingers, adding to the sadness of that life that has passed.

    • feelingpaint says:

      I agree. It is difficult to process. I believe it will come up repeatedly over time, and I am looking forward to seeing her again one day 🙂 Our time together was so precious. Thank you for sharing tears with me.

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