My grandmother passed away on August 8th, the day before her 89th birthday. She lost her husband, my grandfather, ten months earlier. It was a surprise that she went so quickly after him, but I think she just didn't quite have the energy to fight illness after he was gone.
Grandma was the anchor, the matriarch of the family. She always knew what was going on in each of her children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren!)'s lives, and kept us all informed.
Grandma wasn't one to share a great deal about her past, but I grew up knowing that she'd lost her first husband in WWII before marrying Grandpa.
She was a dedicated member of the legion, and I'll always remember her and Grandpa on Remembrance Day. I was able to take some pieces of her jewelry, and one of the things I took was a poppy pin, which I plan to wear in their memory every Remembrance Day.
Grandma seemed like a very practical person, she was concerned with down-to-earth things like getting dinner on the table and making sure to remember every birthday and anniversary. She was at our house many years ago when I was crying over my breakup with a boyfriend and she said "You're young, there's lots of fish in the sea." Frankly, it was exactly what I didn't want to hear, but she was right and that's the kind of thing she would say.
But she was sentimental too, and a packrat (a tendency I share). She kept every card and letter she'd gotten over the past 60 years, plus. It was neat to glance at a few of the letters my parents sent when they were young parents like me. Grandma was very English as well. She loved the royal family, tea and proper etiquette. Even at 88, she was up to watch the royal wedding earlier this year.
In short, I will miss her. I will miss them both. Even when lives are long, we cannot help but wish for more time with our loved ones.