Disclaimer: This is a bit of a somber post, not the usual tone of this site.
Until this past weekend, I was an adult who could say that all 4 of my grandparents were still alive. But on Sunday, my grandma passed away. She would have been 92 years old this December. She was my birthday buddy grandma: her birthday was December 6th, mine is the 7th. Her passing was expected - she had slipped into a coma several days before, and we knew it was time. Her health had been deteriorating for quiet some time, and she had been battling Parkinson's for many, many years. I was able to go to visit her the day before she left us, and I was able to tell her - to remind her - how much we all love her and that she has been a wonderful presence and blessing in our lives for so long. She was able to stay with us to see her grandchildren all grown, to see many of our academic, professional and personal accomplishments, and to meet many of her great-grandchildren. My son will never remember her, but I have pictures of them that are forever special to me.
Even deaths you are 'prepared' for are sad. But this was the first death I had experienced where I felt a strong sense of peace more than anything. Life was SO hard for my grandma in her final years. She barely had the strength to speak, let alone move or do anything for herself. She had lived a long, full life, and was ready to rest. Whether or not you believe in anything after death, you can understand that she was finally at peace. Our whole family was so lucky and blessed to have her, especially as long as we did. She will be missed, but lives on in all of us. We can all only hope to live such long and full lives. Love you Grandma.