My maternal grandmother passed away on Tuesday. We knew before we left the States that it would probably happen soon, as her health had been declining for some time. We saw her at Christmas for the first time in several years, and even then she had already changed so much - the grandma I knew was no longer there.
She was one of the spunkiest ladies I've ever known. She came to America from Austria as a young woman to work as a nurse, and met my grandpa soon after. She loved fast cars (but was an awful driver), had a quirky sense of humor that few (if any) fully understood, was an infamously terrible cook, and never lost that wonderful Austrian accent. She lived with Multiple Sclerosis for the last 30+ years of her life - she was a fighter through and through.
It's hard not being there with my family during this time, but I know this isn't a forever goodbye - I'll see her again someday, for we are not of those "who have no hope."