Saturday, October 30, 2010

Humor in Heartache

Life is so funny.

Literally, ironically funny.

It was Aaron's grandma's second to last day on earth. We'd heard she wasn't going to live through the night. We rushed to the hospital to say goodbye (I shared the serious part of this story in an earlier post). We were walking down the hallway toward her room, faces drawn and serious. We'd just finished giving the kids a firm lecture about behaving themselves in the hospital room. Aaron walked ahead, carrying Sophie. Gabe and Olivia walked after him, and I brought up the rear (as usual).

A nurse in pink hurried past Aaron and dashed up to me.

"I've got you," she said. "We've been waiting."

My first thought was, Oh no, things are worse with Grandma than we thought.

She took my elbow and massaged my lower back.

I thought, Wow, things must be really bad....

"How are you feeling?" she asked as we walked side-by-side.

Boy, the nursing staff at this hospital is so incredibly caring. I've never experienced anything like this!

Then it dawned on me. "Oh, uh, I'm not who you're waiting for. I'm not here for me. We're here to visit someone."

The nurse dropped my elbow. "Oh, you're not--" She pointed at my belly.

The maternity ward was right around the corner from Grandma's hospital room. All the nurse saw a pregnant woman walking in the direction of the delivery room with a pained expression on her face. She zeroed in.

"Don't worry," I told her, patting her arm. "I'll hopefully be back in a couple months and then you can take care of me."

We took time to giggle about it. Okay, giggle is an understatement. I was crying with laughter. Twenty steps down the hall from my grandmother-in-law's hospital room and I wondered if I'd ever stop laughing.

It reminded me how weird life can be. One minute you're sobbing, the next you're laughing. You never know what a day will hold.

I'm thankful for that laughter, because I think we went into that hospital room with higher spirits, ready to feel less grief and more hope. If you read the other post, you know what a blessing that evening with Aaron's grandma was. More than we could have asked or imagined.

So, I'm grateful for the laughter through the tears, and for the unpredictability -- the quirkiness -- of life.

P.S. Thank you so much for all your sweet and comforting words after my last post! We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers so much. *hugs*


  1. (((hug)))

    I was in the room when my husband Grandma passed. I was holding Grandpa's hand. It was a precious moment. Silence. The nurses came in and opened the window to release her spirit to Heaven. We just stood there holding hands for a few minutes. I don't remember the rest of the time at the hospital. We took Grandpa home.

  2. It's funny how humor and hard times seem to go together. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm glad you were able to have some time with your husband's grandmother, and that you had some time to laugh, too.

  3. Beautiful post. What a funny story! I'm glad you had time with your grandma. Really glad.

  4. Laughter is such a release when you're grieving. Thanks for sharing this story.

  5. Aw, it's good to see that even in your loss, you were able to see the humour of that moment.

  6. Another great story, Amy. And I'm so glad you got to see Aaron's grandmother - and that she got to see you - before she passed away. The same thing happened with my grandfather right before he died. My mom and dad stopped by to see him on their way home from somewhere, not expecting anything to be any different (his health had been failing for some time, and he hadn't been able to speak for years), and yet for those few minutes they were there, he woke up and spoke to them, actually spoke to them, for the first time in years. Then a few hours later, he died.

    I think God gives us those moments to hold on to until we can see our loved ones again in the next life.

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