Slowing Down

By: Anonymous

I remember the grace of my grandmother aging. I mean, heck, we all get older…every passing moment.  But, she aged. She lost. She faded.

And yet, she shone.

She lost friends. Family. Faculties. Body parts. Functions. Sleep. Hair. Beauty. A child. So much loss.

She faded. Her skin. Her eyes. Her mind. Her joy. Her humor. All diminished in time. 

She, in the end, was powerless and weak. Helpless and frail. Sickly. Tired. But…indomitable.  I have never witnessed someone in full possession of the knowledge that every waking breath was unexpected. 

I asked her once if she resented the slowing down process, her body quitting on her. She laughed softly. She said she welcomed it.

I couldn’t identify. Then. 

Patricia Beach showed me what courage looked like, and what the true privilege of aging is.

She changed my entire outlook on both dying and living. I am so grateful. I get it now. Maybe, after much living and loss, it just becomes more clear to us all. 

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