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Goodbye, Grandma

by Marissa Bracke in Live Resonantly

Dear Grandma,

You got comfy in your recliner yesterday afternoon. Snuggled up with your blanket, in that soft pink and white striped top you loved, with a kleenex or two tucked up in your sleeve. “I’m just really, really tired,” you said as you reclined in your favorite chair.

And just a few minutes after falling asleep, you were gone.

Ever since your sister Toodo passed away in her sleep, you’ve said you hoped you’d be as lucky, to just fall asleep and sleep away. You didn’t want to struggle or linger, you said.

You always knew how to get your way. I’m glad you did this time, too.

I saw you for what would be the last time on Saturday. You were in that same recliner, and you teased Mums, Dad and me about “loafing the day away.” And then you laughed, and said that you did “nothin’ but loaf every day,” and then we all laughed.

On my way out of the room, I leaned over your recliner and kissed you on the cheek and gave you a hug. “I love you, Rissa,” you said. “I love you too,” I said. “I’ll see you later.” And just as I was leaving–just a minute after you’d teased us about loafing all day–you said, “Now don’t work too hard!” and we laughed again.

It was our usual farewell routine. It was light and happy and loving.

I’m really, really glad that was how we parted that last time. But I’m really, really sad we won’t do that again.

I could say something about this…

Grandma, you were never at a loss for words. I think that’s where I get it.

Our weekly family get-togethers were never complete until we had a couple of great Grandma quotes to add to our memory banks. Whether you were just getting started (“I could say something about this… and I will.”), keeping your son-in-laws in line (“There’s a million ways to kill your son-in-law, but you really only need one.”), or demonstrating your modesty (“I’m the only one around here who’s got any sense!”), you were witty to the end.

You loved to chat with your grandkids, even though you insisted you didn’t understand half of what we talked about “because of all of that computer business.” And you got the giggles about silly things–when I went to Taos, New Mexico, you kept giggling because you thought the word “Taos” was inexplicably funny. And you loved to ask me about “that Twitter stuff,” but you got the giggles every time I said that someone “Tweeted” to you or called someone a “Tweep.”

The fact that you knew Twitter and Tweeted and Tweep… well, just goes to show you did better keeping up with “all of that computer business” than you gave yourself credit for.

The Foam of Knowledge

You proudly declared that the reason I was smart was because I got the Foam of Knowledge that overflowed from you.

I completely agree.

From the first day you said that, that was our joke. You’d tell me I was smart. I’d tell you it was because of the Foam of Knowledge. You’d tell me I better not forget that. And we’d laugh.

You always asked me about my work, even though you said you didn’t really understand what the heck I was doing now. But you were proud of me. And you believed in me so completely… even when I didn’t believe I could do it, you did.

“You’ve got the smarts for it, kid,” you said. “If anyone can do it, it’s you.”

One day, out of the blue, you called me to tell me how proud you were of me. How much it meant to you that I visited you and chatted with you and “liked spending time with an old lady.” And I told you I never thought of you as an “old lady,” and you just said, “Oh, Rissa,” and giggled. We talked for only a few minutes that day, but it was one of the best phone calls of my life.

Oh, Grandma. I miss you so much.

Gratitude & Memorials

In the past 24 hours, I’ve received an outpouring of support on Twitter, on Facebook, and in my email inbox. It means the world to me that so many of you are taking time out of your day to let me know you’re thinking of me and my family. Thank you..

A few folks have asked what they can do. Grandma had requested that when she died, people remember her through donations to our local animal shelter. If it feels right to you do so, you can make a memorial donation to the Bluffton Animal Shelter, 1613 West Cherry Street, Bluffton, IN 46714, in memory of Larraine Humbracht.

Other things you can do that I know Grandma would love:

  • Eat a piece of really good chocolate.
  • Laugh.
  • Play Pinochle with friends and family, and insist it’s your partners’ fault if your team loses.
  • Reminisce about your childhood, emphasizing the funny stuff.
  • Hug someone you love. Just because.
  • Giggle over something silly. And then giggle because you’re giggling.
  • Have a piece of cake. For breakfast.
  • Call someone out of the blue and remind them that you love them.

Larraine Humbracht
1924 – 2009

Goodbye, Grandma. My heart is full with all the love you shared with me, the memories, and laughs… and it aches that you’re gone.

By the way, I’m proud of you too.

Name: Email:



Great post, Marissa. I’m all teary-eyed now, not from sorrow, but to celebrate the full life she had – and the ones we still have yet to live.

Thank you for this.
.-= Charlie´s last blog ..How to Have A Fun Workspace Dash =-.

joyce lukaczer

so sweet … and those smiles :)

i am so sorry for the sadness of the last few days …

huge hugs and much love


What a beautiful post and tribute. Thank you for sharing her with us. I’m all teary-eyed too…

Hiro Boga

Marissa, it’s truly wonderful to read the story of your Grandma’s life, and the love you shared. She sounds like a great lady. Thank you for writing this beautiful post. It moved me deeply.

You and your family are in my heart today.

Love, Hiro
.-= Hiro Boga´s last blog ..Shining Up That Crown =-.

Pace Smith


.-= Pace Smith´s last blog ..Wedding Wednesday: On the Occasion of the Marriage of Pace and Kyeli =-.

Jennifer Hofmann

I feel honored to be a part of your life, Marissa. And blessed to have been just a little connected with your twittering OssianGrandma. Everyone needs someone like her in their lives – I’m just so sorry she had to go so soon.

I’m sending love and prayers to you and your family. I’ll start the giggling you suggested in her memory – after I go get myself a kleenex.

.-= Jennifer Hofmann´s last blog ..Preventing holiday insanity for you and your biz =-.


What a beautiful tribute to your awesome Grandma!

(((love and hugs to you, Marissa!)))
.-= Leah´s last blog ..Gray Skies =-.

Julie Stuart

Marissa, thanks for sharing the joy you shared with your Grandma. Your tribute is Foaming with Love and flows into us all.

Dave Rowley

Marissa, what a sweet and wonderful woman your Grandma was. Thanks so much for your beautiful post .

Love and hugs to you and your family.

Diane Meal

Marissa, I love this tribute to your wonderful Grandma, Grandmas live with us forever that is for sure. You have been very blessed with her in your life and you know it, that is what is so beautiful. I am sure she had such a wonderful life because of you kids. Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss. Love ya ,Diane Meal


Now I see where your can-do-ology comes from! :)
Your Grandma was clearly a wonderful lady, and you clearly got a lot of what overflowed from her, Foam of Knowledge and more… Thank you for sharing those memories with us.
I’m keeping you and your family in my thoughts. Love and hugs to you, dear Marissa.
.-= Josiane´s last blog ..Noticing – the dragonfly edition =-.



Thank you for sharing with us a little piece of your Grandma. What a fantastic, strong women she was. I know you’re grateful for the time you had with her and it sounds like you used that time well. That’s all we can hope for.

Sending you peaceful, loving energy as you deal with missing her.
.-= Meredith´s last blog ..Pottery Barn does Stainless Steel well: organization for office or kitchen =-.


Oh Marissa, you and your Grandma share so many things. Your smile and sense of humor for one! Thanks for sharing her with us. I send you all my love– Heidi
.-= Heidi´s last blog ..Me and an aardvark, getting down to business. (Heidi is biggifying!) =-.

Robby Slaughter

There is no greater honor we can give to those who have left us than to celebrate their memory with others. Thank you for sharing this story.
.-= Robby Slaughter´s last blog ..Contesting the Contests =-.


Well done Marissa, Love, Gram and GP

Pamela Slim

Marissa, this is such a loving and wonderful tribute to your grandma. I am sure she is very proud of you!

Sending huge hugs to you and your family as you grieve the loss of a woman who, from what you described, knew exactly how to live life.

All the best,



So sorry for your loss, Marissa, your grandma sounds like a wonderful lady and what a blessing to have had her in your life. You and your family are in my thoughts.

.-= Andi´s last blog ..Wishcasting Wednesday =-.

Char Brooks

This picture of the two of you says so much to me about how you both knew what you had together – the twinkle in her eyes, and in yours – is priceless. I’m sure part of what kept her going was seeing your cando-ologist tendencies expanding in ways that she couldn”t even imagine the places you’d take yourself in your life and your career. It must have been fun for her seeing her little young ‘un growing herself up, reinventing her career and helping others.
I’m sure she is and was very proud of you. The love that you share is priceless. My heart goes out to you and your family – life is so very precious.
.-= Char Brooks´s last blog ..Be Kind 2 Mind: Glenn Close goes to Bat for Her Sis =-.


Marissa, that was so beautifully written !Your Grandma again would be so proud of you. As I was reading it I thought so much about my Granny and all the wonderful memories I have with her,and she also always sat in her chair with tissue balls in her pocket not to waste a one. There is no relationship like the one you’ll have with a Grandmother! I hope all your memories always stay as fresh in your mind as they are now. My heart aches with you and for you. Love Terrie

Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)

Having lost my own Grandma earlier this year, this post was particularly poignant for me. Thanx for the perfect expression of what a G’ma can mean & be to us. Yours reminded me a lot of mine & was just a year younger to boot. My Grandma’s birthday just passed — Happy Birthday, G’ma, I miss you with all my heart & all to pieces but forever more full for being yours! — the day proved tough, as you can imagine, but inspiring. May your own Grandma continue to inspire you each day in new ways. As both our G’ma’s understood, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” (E.E. Cummings), so keep giggling amidst the tears. :???:

PS: The post I linked to with CommentLuv below is the one I wrote for G’ma..
.-= Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)´s last blog ..YOU so silly! =-.


Thank you for this sharing, Marissa. You are in my thoughts.


Oh, Marissa. You and your family are in my heart and thoughts. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your grandma.
.-= elizabeth´s last blog ..red, yellow, green, blue =-.

Geoffrey Elander


I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandmother, I know she will be missed greatly. I always enjoyed spending time with her when we would come to Indiana, she was a great soul.
My thoughts are with you and your family.

All the Best,

Regina Reynolds


What an amazing tribute to a beautiful person who inspired you more than she knew. May she continue to be an inspiration to you and smile down upon you and your family.

Much love and many hugs to you all.

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