Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

The Ways to Say Goodbye

Remember these lovelies from Thanksgiving? My dad’s parents, my Popa and Dodie.

Tonight Dodie is not doing well. Today I was called to come and visit because her precious time is ticking away.

I adore my Dodie. She made the simple things seem so very glamorous; eating chips, drinking coke and playing cards in the motor home. The motor home was parked in the driveway but that didn’t matter, it wasn’t the house. We would make up stories about where we would drive….Europe, China, the moon, all while sitting in the driveway in Plano, Illinois.

When we went out for Chinese she didn’t order sweet and sour pork….she ordered shrimp with lobster sauce? Lobster sauce? Is it made of lobsters? My six-year old world didn’t know such a thing existed.

My 7-Up always had cherries.

Making it a glamorous Shirley Temple.

Tonight she is tiny, shrunken, moving onto her next world. She sleeps, breathing tiny little breathes.

I sat by her bed and told her about the time she bought me ruffled underpants and let me eat two hot-fudge sundaes.

I was three. I flashed my ruffled underpants to the entire restaurant.

I think it was one of the best nights of my childhood.

Tonight I placed a lion and frog magnet on her hospital bed and told her Samantha needs a Grandma in heaven to let her eat two hot-fudge sundaes.

She is a good Dodie- dancing on top of her feet at age four, I would look up at her face. I was dancing on top of the world. I was dancing on clouds.

I am 40….and that memory 36 years ago still makes me smile.

Thank you Dodie. Sleep well tonight no matter where you decide to be. Don’t forget to let Samantha dance on your feet.

I love you.

4 thoughts on “The Ways to Say Goodbye”

  1. Heather–A beautiful tribute to your Dodie who adored you from the first time she held you in her arms. I am glad you have such beautiful memories of her.She dances on…..Love,Mom


  2. What a wonderful tribute to your Dodie. A reminder that it is not the money we spend on our children and grandchildren that is important. It's the thoughtful gifts we give such as two hot fudge sundaes one right after the other, cherries in 7-up, underpants with ruffles, and the time it takes to sit and dream of travels together.


  3. Beautiful! Your family is full of amazing women!I wish someone had bought me ruffled underpants. Lucky girl!I wish her peace on her journey. I know there are two special souls waiting to be with her.


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