my beloved grandma iris died one year ago today
just realized that "grandmother" anagrams to "death morn, gr"! though, while i am sad for iris to be dead, and i do mourn her this morn, i do not feel "gr" (short for "anger," it seems.) love to all!
dear beloved fellow internet inhabitants,1
today is march 18, and it is the one-year anniversary of the death of my beloved grandma iris.
so, it seems to me the ideal time to celebrate how alive she was for 91 years,2 how funny she was,3 how loved and loving she was.4
here are some iris-based jokes and thoughts and other units of fun and meaning that i’ve experienced over the past year, years, and my entire life.
1) the diagnosis:
iris died at the age of 91. she had been diagnosed with "having a 90-year-old body," which means she was in good shape for her age.
2) her credo:
she had a sign up in her home's entryway that said "be nice or get out."5
3) her last wishes for us:
she left a note for me and my mom that ended, "now get on with your lives. remember i always love you. cry and get it over with."6
4) i’m glad that i can still talk to her:
i can talk to her at LEAST in a similar way to how Dr. Dolittle can talk to animals. because that part is not the most impressive thing.
Anyone can talk TO animals.7
5) i’m glad that i can still listen to her:
i can hear her voice whenever I want. in my heart.
or on the podcast episodes that i recorded with her.8
6) a thing she said once, that my mom told me about recently:
*a young iris and bill (my grandma and grandpa) prepare for dinner guests* GRANDPA: when my colleagues come over, do you mind toning it down a bit?
GRANDMA: what are you, out of your head?9
7) another scene, this time between her and me on the phone in 2019:
GRANDMA: it’s always nice to hear your voice
ME: i feel the same
GRANDMA: good because one day soon you won’t be able to
GRANDMA: you’ll call and i won’t answer and it will be because i’m dead
ME: or you just didn’t hear the phone ring?
GRANDMA: or that, yes10
8) she knew me (as seen in this post i posted in 2018):
”my grandma just called me to see if everything was all right because i hadn't posted anything to facebook all day yet, and i told her i was all right and that i might be going out for the day so there might not be anything to see on facebook for most of the day but not to worry.”11
9) a silly fun one, just about the word iris:
each eye has an iris, and each iris has two i's.12
10) a final one, for now (with artwork below by the magnificent Ramin Nazer)13:
iris died in the hours just after st. patrick's day ended.
in her sleep.
without telling anyone.
the ultimate Iris good-bye.14
thank you for sharing in all of this.
if you’d like to hear more such sharings, this saturday at 5pm eastern i plan to dedicate much of my live weekly Faucet pod stream to iris-related stories and memories and thoughts and ideas and inspirations. you can listen via Happs or on Facebook Live. i’d be happy to have you there watching/listening.
also, if you have stories of beloved family members, friends, or anyone you’d like to share about, i’d love to hear. how are you? how is your heart?
thank you again. take care, all.
oh PS one more bonus nugget:
LIFE HACK: tell people you love them before they die or you die
(love to you and yours and all)15
i am glad that you live, and that you live here, wherever “here” is.
comedy time: HOW ALIVE WAS SHE?
same joke again: HOW FUNNY WAS SHE?
a misdirection, thankfully: HOW REPETITIVE CAN I BE?
PS the answer to all of these questions is “very very much.”
she was nice, and she got out! and also, with respect to me and my heart, she is eternally in.
YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
i can also listen to animals! the human ones, and the other ones when they’re meowing or making giraffe sounds or flapping wings or what have you.
i really am super grateful that i got to record her voice both digitally and … cardiacally? coronarily? art-wise and heart-wise.
i am glad that she is not out of MY head!
i did talk to her on the phone the night before she died, and i am very grateful. she said some things that didn’t make sense and some things that did. like usual. we said “i love you” and that seems the most important.
she had a fantastic facebook presence. i don’t know if you can still see everything, but her comments on my posts were legendary.
and my iris also had two eyes! she was also almost too wise.
a bonus joke explaining what an irish good-bye is, just in case people need:
an irish good-bye is when you leave without telling anyone.
a jewish good-bye is when you tell everyone but don't leave.
and one final bonus bonus:
i actually prefer to do the irish hello which is where you don’t even show up to the party.
extra bonus always love: i love you