Tonight there's an empty recliner. There's a bowling team with an incomplete roster, and a husband of 55 years with an incomplete life. A family without a mother, so on and so forth, you can list the absences for days but Rose isn't coming back to take her rightful place.
Last night was not any more or less special than usual. I worked, I drank, I danced. I took a muscle relaxer and listened to my boss describe a conversation she had with her dead husband through a clairvoyant. I don't remember falling asleep, and am not entirely sure we were alone on the floor of her shabby studio apartment.
It's weird how when you really love someone, you know even in one word when something is wrong. My mom left me a voicemail at 8:30am, and I rolled over to my boss with her dead husband maybe in the room, and said:
someone died last night.
Rose was not my grandmother. She was a loud Italian woman with a fondness for Indian casinos and a living room full of Frank Sinatra paraphernalia.
What she is now, is gone. For me, processing death is like speaking a foreign language - I do my best, but when all is said and done I'm certain I've missed the point.
She was not robbed of a full life, but that doesn't make it any easier. She was simply eating ice cream and then, she wasn't. I find myself wondering about her last words.
Rose didn't know my middle name, nor I hers. She was one of many people that made a cameo appearance in my life, but in her passing I find peace and turbulence, sadness at the loss but joy in the life. Mostly I find myself wondering.
Rest peacefully, Rose Carvelli. I hope you find Frank and say hello and he's everything you imagined. You were his biggest fan.
And you will be missed.