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 Someone came up to me when I was standing in line at Starbucks at Portage Place and said “You’re the reason your Grandmother is dead” and then she walked away. I was a little dumbfounded, I didn’t even respond to her and I tried to act like nothing happened, I just kept my head down but I could feel people staring at me.
The lady who said that to me was probably in her 50s, she didn’t look insane, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her before in my life, but it got me thinking, maybe I am the reason my Grandmother is dead. I wasn’t too close with my Grandmother but there’s no reason I’d ever want her to die although one of the last things she said to me was, in front of a room full of people I might add, “I can’t believe how fat you’ve gotten”. It hurt, but she was right, I did get fat although it’s strange because I don’t eat or drink as much as I used to, in fact, I eat quite a bit healthier than I ever did yet the pounds seemed to catch up with me in my 30s. I was never skinny but I admit, I’m ashamed of the way I look. But still, that’s no reason to plot my Grandmother’s demise.
When my Great Grandmother died and my Grandfather a few years later, I sang at their funerals, separately, of course. I sang “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you” to my deceased Great Grandmother which was fitting in a way since she died right before Christmas. For my Grandfather, I wrote and sung a song called “See You When We See You” which was something he’d say when he was saying goodbye to someone.
Now, I think my Grandmother told me “I want you to sing when it’s time for me to go” but I wouldn’t bet my life on it. In fact, when she did die last year, no one asked me to sing at the funeral, and I was fine with that, it’s not like I think it’s a good time to promote my music career at a funeral, however, it ate at me that I should sing a song at her funeral because I think she told me she wanted me to. So I asked my mom if I could sing at her funeral, and with the permission of a few key siblings, I was granted my wish. I sang “Until Next Time” which is the closing track on my CD (which I didn’t advertize at any point during the funeral, for the record). I did that song because it’s a sort of farewell track that seemed fitting. I don’t know if I did the right thing by singing at her funeral. I hope she didn’t mind.
Anyway, my Grandmother died just a few weeks before our son was born, leading up to that time, I never called her as much as I should have. I think it’s because I had a lot on my plate at the time, a pregnant wife, a CD in production, busy with life in general, or perhaps it’s because subconsciously, I knew I was still fat and a part of me was ashamed and maybe even jealous because I knew she lost a lot of weight.
Since that day at Starbucks, I’ve been carrying guilt over my Grandmother’s passing although I don’t know if I should or not. I still can’t figure out why that lady said that I’m the reason she’s dead but no matter how hard I try, I can’t prove that I’m not the reason she’s dead. A part of me also can’t help thinking that there’s a good chance she said that to the guy in line behind me.




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