It was a very rough week at home. Back in November, I wrote about taking the kids to see their great-grandmother, who was terminally ill. She passed away January 27.
My parents kept our children while my husband and I traveled to Pennsylvania to say our goodbyes. It’s never easy to lose a loved one. We find solace in that she passed peacefully.
In comfort of her manner of passing, we found ourselves reminded of how cruel the world truly can be. We arrived to that wintry land of Pennsylvania, finding the warmth and comfort of family as we sat in Granny’s apartment, looking through photographs. We took a short break to sign necessary paperwork and get the obituary going as well as find potential lunch. During our brief absence, we were informed via phone that the locks on Granny’s apartment were going to be changed. Our off-site-to-do-list was quickly put on hold as we rushed back to truly see what was going on.
The information proved to be correct. Heartless management was indeed arranging for a lock change within minutes. Granny passed 22 hours or so prior to this moment. Due to the absence of a doctor, there would be no death certificate until Wednesday. Management never called the family to even confirm her death before locking the family out.
What I found interesting about this whole scenario is before Granny passed, management was made aware of family staying with her. Management had no issues with this and stated it was fine.
So, we were taken by surprise when management began changing the locks and calling us thieves in front of other residents of the complex. Thieves. We were looking through pictures. Two women (management team) knew who we were. They knew what we were doing. Now they were accusing us of stealing and trespassing.
Long story short, the police were called and we came to a compromise at 2:30 pm: we were to be done with whatever we wanted to do by 4. The management team did later admit that most families, once locked out, didn’t pursue entrance further.
This doesn’t come as shocking. It’s a sad stereotype that most of the elderly living in these low socioeconomic apartments either didn’t have family, or had family that wasn’t very attached or involved. Granny had nothing of value. But she held onto things like pictures, Christmas cards, report cards, and old letters. These were items we did not want to be carelessly discarded by someone who didn’t know Granny and obviously didn’t care much for her.
We received no condolences. No one from the apartment complex sent flowers. I told them to remember my smiling face when karma bit them in the ass, amongst other things that shall not be repeated here. Let’s just say, the cops did inform the management team that you can’t press charges for vulgar language.
This all happened the Monday we arrived. I had been up since 4 AM Sunday, with occasional naps in the car. We didn’t get to bed until 11 Monday night.
Tuesday January 29, was the day of services. Granny didn’t want a funeral and originally didn’t want a viewing before cremation. She did change her mind about the viewing. Plenty of tears were shed. A feeling of great loss had enthralled everyone. But I think what will be remembered the most, is the dinner afterwards. We enjoyed a couple of goodbye shots (others enjoyed more than that) and bar food. I devoured several buffalo wings. My husband indulged in a giant ham hoagie. Other family members critiqued poorly made slippery nipples. The entire night was filled with laughter, dirty jokes, and warmth. The waiting staff handled our disgrace with grace. All granny had wanted was a party in the end.
Granny was loved and appreciated by many. I, along with the rest of my family, will miss her greatly. I loved sitting with her and listening to her stories. My children adored her. I am glad we got to spend as much time with her as we did.