Just heard my grandmother passed away last Monday night, a few day short of her 97th birthday. We weren't really close, since my mother and her haven't been on speaking terms since about 1991. In the Eighties she was a great grandmother to me though.
I have mixed feelings about it, she was old, couldn't walk, deaf, and could hardly speak any more. She passed away peacefully in her sleep, so in a sense it must be a blessing: I wouldn't have wanted to continue living much longer in that state.
She was the last true protestant in my family: she had grown up in a cold, hard-hearted Calvinist environment, with a family who wouldn't accept my grandfather, who was an atheist of Jewish descent from the slums of pre-war Amsterdam. She always stayed devoutly religious, even though she changed over to the more relaxed Dutch Reformed Church, in a way I, with my southern Catholic ways could never really understand.
The funeral is on Saturday, there will be family bickering (probably about inheritances) and it won't be pretty. My family is absolutely dysfunctional, and my mom refuses to go: "they'll all just have a go at me".
So I'll be representing my side of the family, even though it's a long drive. It's the least I can do.
I'll be wearing my ring on the other hand that day. My one concession to protestantism.