Sometimes, the only thing to do after receiving a piece of sad news is to keep busy. So you clean and clean and clean, all morning, and this is satisfying in the middle and throughout the process, and for right around ten seconds afterward you look around with some level of contentment.
Contentment quickly begins to wane, however, and you travel swiftly from, "My house is clean!" to "My house is clean and my grandma is dead."
This feeling is also short-lived, however, which is fine because you long ago decided that your mood swings are not a sin, especially when you're not forcing anyone on the swing with you. This up-and-down is largely internal, and pretty well managed by dedicated daily exercise. So, fine. Back up we go, because yes, your grandma is dead, but how many people get thirty-two years with a beloved great-grandmother? And your kids- man, how many get to know a great-great-grandparent? This is lavish, superfluous blessing, so many decades being so loved by a woman such as Helen Stewart.
Who is now dead. Back down we go.
But, hang on! Grandma was 96. Ninety-six! She'd lived independently for all but her last few months of life, and these last few years, as her eyesight continued to deteriorate, she'd spoken of how she missed reading and sewing and the faces of her family. She doesn't have to worry about that anymore! We'll see her again! Up and up and up!
But now my family is sad, and my sisters are sad, and that makes me sad. Down.
The only thing to be done for it is to go outside, look at my flowers, pick the first of my newly-ripened Pink Lady tomatoes, make myself a thick BLT for lunch, and tell our children I love them, because if I learned anything from Grandma, it's that there is no such thing as too many times when it comes to "I love you." If you want to be like Grandma- and in this case, you do- you won't just say it when you're leaving or hanging up the phone, but as soon as they walk in the door, in any and every lull in conversation. And you'll say it to all the children, all the grandchildren, all the great- and great-great grandchildren, biological, adopted, married into the family, whatever, because she knew that love is no place to practice scarcity economics.
And back up again, where Grandma is.