Sunday, August 23, 2015

Grandma "GiGi" Hahn, 1928-2015

This past Thursday Mike's Grandma Hahn passed away. Mother of three, grandmother of 14 and great grandmother, or "GiGi," of 19 (and counting), she leaves behind many grieving loved ones who were blessed to have known her. Just a few months ago, at the age of 87, she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given less than 6 months to live. Prior to the diagnosis, she was the most active grandparent I had ever seen: she bowled and golfed regularly, was an avid quilter, and loved to travel to see new places, old friends, and her much-loved family. Mike always joked that his Grandma  would outlive us all, and while she had slowed down a little in the last couple years, it was a devastating shock when we all found out about the cancer.

I never had a very close relationship with my own grandparents, the last of whom passed away several years ago. I have a great deal of respect for them and I loved them very much, but I was never able to connect with them the way I would have wanted. There was a gap between the world that they grew up in and the one I'd grown up in, and it always felt like neither they nor I could bridge it. Even though Grandma Hahn was a product of the same generation as my own grandparents, I am incredibly blessed for the gift of inheriting a grandmother who had the gift of bridging that generational gap.

Mike's Grandma was my friend. She was the closest grandparent I ever had, and she treated me like one of her own granddaughters. She read my blog, kept up with me on facebook, constantly complimented me on what a "great job" I was doing as a mother, asked me about my life, and showered love on my husband, my children, and me--in a lot of ways, she became the grandmother I always longed for.

Even into her 80s, she visited us multiple times here in South Bend, making the drive with a friend who was going to a quilting convention, and never complaining about it being any inconvenience- she wanted to be here. She read with the girls and had tea parties with them and joked and laughed with me and Mike. She had sass and pep and energy to spare-- certainly more than I've ever seen in any other woman in her 80s.




After her diagnosis, Mike and I had the beautiful privilege of going to visit her and we spent some of the most treasured hours I have had in my life. I was amazed that while staring down death she spoke to us with nothing but gratitude and had such an honest retrospective look at her life that didn't excuse things she wasn't proud of, but didn't wallow in any self-pity or excessive guilt. There was a confidence in God's mercy and peace in her being. She knew she likely didn't even have much longer to live, but she laughed, she shared, and she gushed all over Joseph, whose red hair she couldn't have loved more.


My sorrow is deep at the loss of this mother, grandmother, great grandmother and dear friend, but I am so grateful that I have her example to remember when I am, God willing, a grandmother some day. I hope that I can be the sort of grandmother she was, and I hope that I can open my arms so lovingly to granddaughters-in-law and do the wonderful job that she did in bridging the age gap and forming friendships, because hers is one that I will always hold close to my heart.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen



18 comments :

  1. So sorry for your loss. She sounds like a truly remarkable woman! Eternal rest!

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    1. Thank you so much, Caitlyn! She truly was!

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    2. A beautiful tribute to a wonderful grandmother and person...Eternal rest grant unto her and may Perpetual light shine upon her! Amen

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    3. Lovely tribute!!! We called our grandmothers GiGi too!!

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  2. So sorry for you and your family. My husband has a grandmother like that, who truly adopted me as a granddaughter while we were still dating! She passed away four years ago and is still dearly missed. I believe she was one of the closest things to a living saint that I had the privilege of calling a friend. She was a prayer warrior when she walked among us and I'm convinced she's still interceding for our family today. May she and your beloved grandmother truly rest in peace.

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  3. So sorry for your loss! We are praying for the entire Hahn family.

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  4. How blessed the Hahn family is to have such a wonderful woman in your family! I am so sorry for your loss, and will remember you in my prayers, and her as well.

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  5. Oh, Ana, I am so sorry! My grandma-in-law passed away two years ago, and she was so loving and tender to me, too. Who knew a grandma-in-law could be such a gift?? I'll be praying for you all!

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  6. Ana - I saw the news on Scott's FB page the other day. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Mike's grandmother sounds exactly like my Dad's mother. She was a force of nature - 7 kids, 17 grandkids and too many great-grands for me to count. She loves us all as if we were the only ones. She passed away about 6 months after a grand 90th birthday celebration. I still miss her every day and it's been a couple years since she's been gone. I'm so very sorry for your loss, as I know the big hole this leaves in your heart. I'm glad you had the opportunity to know and love her and that she knew the kids. I pray that your grief is eased by your happy memories of her.

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  7. what a beautiful witness to a beautiful life, Ana. Rest in peace.

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  8. She sounds like such an amazing woman! I'm so sorry for your loss, Ana, and will say some prayers for you and your family and for the repose of her soul.

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  9. What a lovely tribute to a special woman. You have inspired me to be the best that I can be. I am a mother of nine, grandmother of Nineteen (still counting) and great grandmother of one ( so far...) . I have a long way to go to reach Mike's grandmother's standards but I will have a go - family is so important... x

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  10. Such a beautiful tribute...I was deeply touch! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Such a beautiful woman! Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry for your loss and that of all who knew and loved her. Eternal rest, grant unto her. <3

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  12. So sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was a beautiful gift to your family!

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