... and I'm not really sure what to feel or how to deal with it.
She was 88 (two weeks short of 89) and had been in and out of the hospital for the past month. First she had fallen and had been stuck on the floor next to her bed for 24-48 hours before my uncle found her (she lives alone in a rent-controlled apartment complex). She went to the hospital where they found out she had a fractured ankle. The doctors decided to put her into physical therapy and recommended (although they did not demand) assisted living. While recuperating at home she came down with a fuzzy memory that was apparently due to an undiagnosed UTI. After a short stay back in the hospital to treat it, she was sent to short-term assisted care and my aunt, uncle, and grandmother decided that assisted living was the only way to go (though my grandmother was very reluctant). She was to move in tomorrow, but this morning she was found unconscious in bed. By the time she had been transferred back to the hospital she was unresponsive, and due to the DNR order she had filled out, she died there.
I had given my grandmother the nickname that stuck with her for nearly three decades: Nini (when I was young apparently I tried to say "Nana"). For the past year or two I had been sending her e-mails, updating her about my life. I felt like, even if she wasn't responding (she was terrible with computers; my aunt set up a program to print out e-mails automatically 3 times a day), at least she was a part of my life, and she always told my aunt how happy she was to hear from me. "He's got a good head on his shoulders and he's such a nice boy, writing to an old woman like me!" was the last message I heard from my aunt right before my grandmother went to the hospital.
On the one hand, I'm carrying on as normal. I learned in the most unpleasant of ways: one of my cousins mentioned it on facebook this morning. At noon I called my father (this was my paternal grandmother) and verified. I managed to complete the rest of the day without any emotional outbursts, tears, or anything.
Tonight I decided to take some time for myself and try and sort out my feelings. I went to a Subway for dinner, and saw an elderly couple there. The woman looked nothing like my grandmother, but at that moment I saw her in the woman. I (hopefully not too awkwardly) said to her "Excuse me, this is out of the blue, but... my grandmother died this morning. Could I please hug you?"
The woman nodded and said "Of course."
I left without buying a sandwich and cried in my car.
I miss my grandmother