I’ve been thinking about killing grandma for days—weeks, maybe even months—and today, I’m finally going to do it.
Don’t feel bad for her. She’s ninety-three—maybe even ninety-seven, I have to double-check, hey, don’t judge, she doesn’t keep count anymore, not since she’s outlived all her friends—Mabel was the last to go, at ninety-two—and she’s had a good life, for the most part. A harsh beginning, child of the depression, and a challenging middle, unwed mother when that was not an ok thing, but until the broken hip a few months ago, she’s really lived her best life. Since the injury, she’s been bed-bound and while not miserable—hers is not a miserable character—she’s not been happy. She’s said to the people around her that she’s ready to go with, with increasing frequency.
I’ve known killing her is the right thing to do for a long time. What’s held me back is not quite knowing how to do it. Should she pass away in her sleep, to be found in the morning by the cleaner, the day nurse or her granddaughter’s roommate? Should Rachel—the granddaughter—be the one to find her? (Generally, I don’t want Rachel to find her—I want the news to be mediated, I want her to want to kill the messenger—I don’t want to miss that chance at drama.) Should she, maybe, die mid-conversation with Dark and Stormy—or, while texting on the phone? (Part of the storyline: she’s catfishing young men on Tinder. Because she’s bored. She’s that kind of ninety-three year old grandma.) Maybe I kill her while she’s sneaking in a wheelchair joyride down the condo corridor? Should she have a big fight with Rachel just before she dies, and leave her granddaughter dealing with even more guilt?
Or should they work all their shit out first?
I don’t want to mess her death up because it’s important. It pulls the rug out from under Rachel—takes away the one constant in her life, which is also her excuse for not doing certain things. It lets me shatter her, completely. The grandmother’s death is necessary.
And, it will let me write the funeral scene, which is key and awesome. I’ve been carrying that one in me for months too—I know exactly how to write it. But I won’t let myself do it until I get the death scene right.
So. Today. The end of grandma’s life. I think she’d appreciate a somewhat theatrical death. Where are we in the story timeline? Is it summer yet? Can I make it Canada Day? Stampede? Pride?
She wants a day at Pride. She dies mid-Parade, but, a la Weekend at Bernie’s, Rachel and her crew take her around the whole island first, because she has a bucket list to check-off. No, not Rachel. Rachel gets called away (work? She’s a workaholic, I’ve established) and leaves her grandmother with her friends, isn’t there for the death and the day… of course, police end up being called in—why, exactly, did they not call an ambulance as soon as they noticed the woman was unwell, dead?—and Rachel extricates her friends from the situation, but she hates them. Oh, she hates them—for being there for Adinah when she wasn’t—and she hates herself.
Ok, I think that will work. I’ll kill her at Pride. I can seed some “My only granddaughter is a lesbian and I’ve never even been to a Calgary Pride parade, never mind New York or San Francisco. How did that happen?” into the first act.
She’ll have heads around her neck and a lap full of candy and condoms.
And she’ll die happy.
(I’m still not sure about Rachel. She should be there—she’d want to be there—but does it all work better if she’s not there?)
I’m off to kill grandma. Don’t call the police.