When my (paternal) Grandmother died last year it was very real. I sat with her in some of her last hours. The look on her face, her breathing - it was obvious she was dying. When I got the call that she was gone there was no unreality about it. I had lost her and I felt it.
When my (maternal) Grandfather died a few months later I wasn't there. I hadn't even seen him desperately ill. When I got the call I accepted intellectually that he was dead, but I didn't feel it in the same way. At his funeral I expected him to be there - like he had been at every other family gathering over the years.
Today my (maternal) Grandmother is dying. My mum is there, along with many, many other relatives. But I'm not. If I got on a plane now, I'm pretty sure I'd be too late. I want to be there. I want to feel it. Right now I'm sad, but not for her. I'm sad all over again for the grandmother I lost last year. And I'm preoccupied with working out different scenarios for flying down in the next week.
Pray for us. Especially for my mother.