My Grandmother

Discussion in 'Grief and Bereavement' started by Amber, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Amber

    Amber Active Member

    My grandmother took my dad and I in when I was born and my mother left me.

    She vowed to do her best for me. And she did. She was my grandma, my "mother", my best friend. She did all she could for me. She supported me in every way possible, she was always there for me, I could rely on her for anything.

    A few years ago she started to slow down until eventually she became bed ridden. She tried to walk and she was SO sore. She didn't want to go to a dr. I still don't know why. But when she became bed ridden I started to take care of her. I did this for a year and a half until one day.. a crisis occured. I tried to move her on her bed to change the sheets and her skin slid right off of her arm. her whole forearm was just.. raw.. I felt the most horrible I think I've ever felt.

    I told her, we have to get an ambulance here.. She finally said okay.

    She spent a night or so in the ER and was taken to a private room for a few days. They gave her fluids, bandaged up her arm, did a TON of tests.

    Dec. 31st last year.. I found out my gma only had about 6 months to live. She had an aortic aneurysm.. aka a weak blood vessel that could erupt anytime.

    With the help of a couple of hospice visits a week I was taking full care of her. It was hard because she resented the fact she had to be completely dependent on other people. She kept thinking she would get better and walk again then be fine. It was so hard for even me to accept that this woman who had relied on herself for so many years was now fully in my care. I tried to do my VERY best for her. But she'd get so mad at me and fight me about little things. After a few months we decided on a week respite in the hospital.. for us both to have a break. Well.. She told them.. that I abused her. Which I didn't. And they took her to a nursing home. When the week of respite had ended I wondered why no one had contacted me.. It was because of the allegations. For a couple of weeks I couldnt go see her. Then finally she told my dad it was ok. I went there.. and she seemed so different. A lot more weak.. tired. they had upped her morphine and haldol. She was disappearing. I kept going.. almost every day for a couple of months. She kept asking if she could come home now. I told her I'm trying.. and I was. She said just put me in the car.. I told her I couldnt. I wish now that I did. Anyway.. a couple months passed and we had a meeting with the social worker. They ok-ed her to come home. MY gosh I was SO HAPPY and she seemed happy too.

    The next day though......
    I went to visit grandma. Things were different. I couldn't make her stay awake. She kept drifting. I asked the staff if it could be the meds.. they said that it's probley her declining.. and not related to the meds. That was the last day I heard her voice. The last thing she said to me was.. "I don't want to leave you"

    Each coming day.. was harder and harder. She wouldn't eat or drink and really wasn't responsive at all.. until finally she couldn't even wake up. I'd go there.. and I'd tell her EVERYTHING I wanted to say. I thought it would make it more easy in the end if I told her goodbye. I dont know if it did or didnt really.

    She passed away on May 14th.. a saturday morning. I woke up abruptly around 7, walked downstairs and my dad said "shes gone".. I went in my room and I just screamed "No no no no" and burst out crying.

    We left not too much later to retrieve her things and to tell her a final goodbye before the funeral picked her up for cremation. I walked in and the room seemed empty. Her presence did not seem there at all. But I held her hand I cried. The look on her face I will forever remember. I dont think she was in pain and it gave me comfort.

    A few days later we had a memorial for her. My aunt spoke of the good times. When grandma took them camping, to the beach, When she was active and did so many things. I didn't get that side of her.. but I dont think I mind. I got the side of a woman that had just retired.. that learned so much and had so much to teach me. If you asked her she would have said "I retired and got the gift of having a BABY, another daughter to raise!" We would garden and watch pbs shows together. She taught me how to cook, she read me so many books and poems, she loved me so much.

    Anyway, it's been a few weeks. I miss her so much. I feel alone without her here. I keep asking myself what I should do with my life. How can I be the person she wanted me to be.. WHO would she want me to be? I'm scared to live without her.. but I have to. I can't believe I will never see her again, or hear her voice.

    I also feel guilt. A week ago I had to spend some time in a crisis home. I remember staring at the ceiling, feeling homesick, feeling alone.. I wonder if she felt that way every night at the nursing home. I never wanted her to leave home and I wish I never would have agreed to the respite. I would have had all that extra time with her.

    I feel like I've lost so much. I dont know what to do anymore.
  2. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    You and she were so fortunate to have each other...what you can do is hold her in your heart and know if you loved this deeply, you have something few have of my best friends died not too long ago...for weeks, I could not breathe, and felt I could not go on without him...he was the one who helped me more than anyone else be in this world...I asked myself, what can I do in memorial to him and his loving spirit? He was a nurse until he became very ill, so currently in put aside a certain amt of money and give it away to ppl who are ill to help them is not much, but it is done in his memory...each gift, gives me a little remembrance of the love I had...maybe there is something you can do to memorialize your does not have to be could be anything that represents the love you felt...I am so sorry for your loss, and I wish I could give you a hug in RL, but I am limited to a cyber one...big hugs and G-d's speed...J
  3. IV2010

    IV2010 Well-Known Member

    *tears* what a beautiful story but so sad..
    I'm sorry for your loss

    you did a wonderful thing looking after your grandmother and it sounds like she knew you loved her so much..
    I think you did all you possibly could for her..

    i had the same doubts when I lost my Dad but much therapy has helped me see there is only so much we can do and the rest is out of our control..
  4. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    You did what a loving grandaughter could do and your grandmother felt that love until she passed hun. You cared for her as she cared for you . Hold the happy memories now of her okay She would want that for you only happiness hugs
  5. Amber

    Amber Active Member

    Thank you all.

    It's been so hard on me. Really. But it's good to know I have you guys here :)

    It's hard not to feel alone in the world without her. I'm trying to focus on the positive but I just have this horrible guilt. I'm sure it will pass in time.

    But anyway, I'm sitting here just wondering if I'll ever be whole again.
  6. *sparkle*

    *sparkle* Staff Alumni

    :hug: i hear you hun. you don't need to feel guilt, you did everything you could. my grandmother passed away in September of last year - i know how hard it is to see someone slowly fading away and turning into a person that they never were.... but please try to remember her how she was when she was well.... she wasn't herself in the end.... :hug: hang on in there - things will become easier :hug:
  7. Amber

    Amber Active Member

    Thanks sparkle,

    it's just a really hard time for me right now.

    I would ask you how long it took you to feel better.. but everyone says it's different for everyone.

    I know so many people can relate to me, but the hard part is that each person has to experience their own loss, if that makes sense.
  8. *sparkle*

    *sparkle* Staff Alumni

    :hug: there was no one point that i felt better - it was just gradual that i started to accept it.... and then to start remembering how nanna was rather than how she was in the end... and your right everyone is different and reacts differently to the situation. there is no right or wrong in how you handle things or recover from things. but time is a healer... plus talk to people about how you feel, don't bottle it up hun.... people care :hug:
  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing this story. It really touched me. I had to read the whole thing twice as it was beautiful and sad at the same time. I believe there is one thing that your grandma wants you to be and that is to be happy. Live life as she would want you to live it like you said. I am really sorry for your loss and I can only hope you get better.