My grandmother died this week.
But she did it in such a way that we were all left wondering, "Will I be able to do this so well?" Honestly, who ever admired the way that someone else died?
All six of her living children were able to drop everything and come to be with her in her last week. Grandchildren came from different parts of the country, just to tell her how much we loved her.
In her last week, she made us laugh. She laughed with us and at us. She gave us, even in the last day, stories to tell and laugh about. She could light up the room, even when she could do little more than smile.
She told stories and listened to stories, and in all her humility, she told us to stop telling her all those wonderful things about her, that we were making her feel uncomfortable. So we told her funny stories about mistakes she had made or funny things she'd said when she was frustrated. And she laughed and appreciated those stories more than any others.
And then, when her body finally gave way, she went peacefully and beautifully from this life to the next.
And, unlike my aunt, who wants to go up in a fabulous dramatic way, I want to go just like she did. With enough time to tell everyone that I love them, with everyone who loves me to come tell me stories about how I affected their lives. And then I want to go. Quickly and peacefully.
Even in death, I admire her. Extraordinary.