Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Last Year

Posted by Anonymous.

December 10 2008 was the date grandma was transferred from the hospital to home hospice care. Friday December 12 I didn't go into work because at 3:00 in the morning I received a phone call from my mother that things didn't look good. I had to be there. I HAD to be there. My grandmother was always there for me no matter what. She was the one person who no matter what loved me. She was my refuge when I needed to escape. She was there to listen to me struggle through the new music I was learning on piano. She was always there for me. So I was there for her.

I stayed all night, I called into work and told them I wouldn't be in that morning because I was at my mothers all night. I went home and showered and made sure the kids and my fiance were ok. Then I would go back. I was there. I was there to administer her morphine and other medications to ease her breathing as much as possible. I was there. I was there to talk to her or listen to her talk. I was there when she was talking to people who weren't there. I was there the entire weekend. With daily shower breaks.

My brother never dealt with things as well as I do. He showed up but wasn't sure he could be in the same room as grandma. I went outside with him to have a smoke. I talked to him. We hugged, I got him to go into the same room as her, that was on Sunday. He also was good enough to come back Monday night as well. I know it was hard on him but he was there too.

Monday morning around 4 am, she told us it was her last night. She told us the running guy told her it was her last night. (and me being the folklore/mythology drenched person I am immediately thought of Hermes, the messenger, the god who guided people into death) I asked who the running man was, because she had spent the last few days talking to relatives or people we recognized by name. She responded, a god. This was one of the most odd moments of her last few days with us. However she was right.

She passed away on Monday night December 15 around 10:00. It was her last night. The running man, whoever he was, he was right.

I did everything I had to do. I did everything I could do. Yet to this very day I still feel like I didn't do enough. I still get upset when my mother or anyone says how much I did. Or how they couldn't have done what I did for her. It makes me angry. What do you mean you couldn't do what I did? I did what had to be done. I did it out of love. They couldn't do what I did? What? They couldn't do what she needed? I loved her, and now she's gone. I made her as comfortable as I could. I did everything I could.

So, this was my second Christmas without her. Last year I was still numb, but I can't hear O Holy Night, because it was her favorite Christmas Carol, and it makes me cry. Tonight I will go shopping with my daughter and hope like hell the noise of the stores drowns out any music. I don't want to hear it.

I miss her, I love her, I'm not sure what else can be said. I know eventually I'll feel better about it. But for now I'm still hurting. But I'll do what I have to do, and make sure the kids and everyone have a good holiday. I know that my nights, when I want to let loose and cry, my fiance is there to hold me.

I'm thankful that people see me as a strong person, I just wish that they would stop telling me I'm strong, because inside I feel weak.


bethany said...

telling you you did enough doesn't help, but I'll tell you it anyway. no one could have done more for her. the pain, oh i feel your pain, and am glad you have someone to hold you. you are NOT weak, the only 'weakness' is not being able to stave off death, and who can do that? you gave her a beautiful gift, the very best kind, sending her off with love. and the running man, how wonderful! and they probably keep telling you because they feel guilty for not doing it themselves.

Crazed Nitwit said...

You will some day treasure the memories of your grandmother's last days.

I was holding my 10 month old son when he died from a degenerative disease. They thought we were the *best parents* at Childrens because one of us was always with him. Well duh. It is what any loving parent would do. My husband and I switched off every other day when our son was at the hospital and when he came home to die, I did all the things you did for your grandmother.

People tell me I'm strong as well. I don't feel strong. My options were to fall apart, run away, or deal with it. I had two other children that needed me so I dealt.

I will tell you I was a functioning depressive for over 10 years after Bren died. It took awhile before the world had color again.

You did well by your grand mother. I still cannot enjoy Christmas as a part of me and of my family will always have a hole.

Your grandmother was lucky to have you. Everyone deserves that kind of care when they are dying.

MommyLovesStilettos said...

*HUGS* I can relate to's similar to what happened with my grandmother. And the one thing I hated to hear was "you did so much! You did everything you could." That doesn't help. because saying that doesn't make me feel better or bring her back.

Barbara said...

Unfortunately, I don't know if the hurt ever goes away. I think it does change over time, however. I was very close to my grandmother, and even though she died 18 years ago, sometimes the pain is still sharp. I find this especially true at Christmas, as her birthday was December 25, although it sometimes sneaks in unexpectedly. She never got to know my husband or my daughters. The sadness of that overwhelms me sometimes, but I choose to believe that, somehow, she knows and she smiles on us.

I hope that, someday, you will be at peace with what happened at the time of your grandmothers death. You were very fortunate that you could be there for her and provide what she needed most in her time of need. I truly hope that you will find comfort in that.

Daniel's Mom said...

My grandfather passed two years ago. I still grief him fresh. Turns out he taught me just about everything I needed to know by teaching me to work a garden. Still, I would not have asked him to stay. His words, his lessons stay and grow and that has to be enough, I suppose. Go through the grief and listen to what it teaches you. This will not reduce its suckiness, but your grandmother will still be teaching you things, and that's what they love to do, I think. Just my thoughts. But I feel your hurt.

Anonymous said...

We are there right now with my dad. My brother can't deal. He wont sit with him at all. It angers me. I sit and sit because I have to...he's my dad. And grandpa to my kids. We are so tired and hurt. Oh we are there!

The Bells said...

January 29th will be the 7th anniversary of my grandma passing. My situation was IDENTICAL to yours. I took time off work to be with her, I helped administer her meds, I watched her whisper to her sisters who had passed before her and to her mother, I slept on the couch so I could be nearer to her in the night... something (and I'll NEVER be able to tell you what it was) woke me up in the middle of the night... I sat up, looked over to grandma and watched her take her last breath. It was devastating. My mother was hardly there. She'd stop in after work some days. She and my grandma had a terrible relationship and she has nothing but negative things to say and still, SEVEN YEARS later, it breaks my heart to hear those things. January 29th, EVERY YEAR, I cry. The day-to-day will get easier, but you never forget the pain because you never forget the love.

nomoresecrets said...

I'm a bereavement counselor with Hospice. Please, call your local hospice. Doesn't matter which one. They should have free support groups, one-on-one counseling, grief info, you name it. You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

i couldve wrote this. my nana died in june the day after my sisters wedding.
it still smarts.
peace to you

Anonymous said...

Please, please, please look into grief counselling. You still shouldn't be feeling so angry and upset over a year later. Your life needs to go on.... I cant' imagine your grandmother would want you to spend the rest of your life -- especially the holidays -- mourning her.


Anonymous said...

It's only been a year. Only one set of birthdays and holidays without her. Be gentle with yourself, the anger and sorrow you feel are NORMAL, and they do grow less with time.
If the really negative feelings are interfering with your day to day life, and you feel you need it, then by all means get some grief counselling.
But, I'll tell you, I hope my brothers-in-law live a long, long time, because even 7 years after the death of my partner, it would be really hard not to kick my sisters when they're down for some of the assinine things they said and did when I was newly bereved. If I dwell on those things, the rage and pain are as fresh as they day they happened. The people who love us screw up, and they do and say exactly the wrong thing sometimes, and sometimes they say them over, and over, and over.
-Sigh- All you can do is try to forgive them. Over, and over, and over.

By next Christmas it will be easier to find the joy your children are experiencing and you won't have to fake it as much (maybe some, but not as much), I promise, I've been there.

If I was there I'd now make a bad joke to hear you laugh.

Bill said...

Oh, and strong isn't "being strong inside." Strong is doing what you have to. And you did. So you are strong.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say thank you to all that commented.

I have gone through counseling, there are some deeper issues that made her passing much more profound than some people could possibly see.

I couldn't post this on my own blog because I just couldn't.

I know things will get easier as time goes by, but this first year was hard.

The woman who saved me so many times from the craziness of my home, my protector...she's gone. It hurts, but I know it'll get better, just as I am getting better as well.


Anonymous said...

Oh, too late probably ... but I am nursing my terminally ill mother and I so identified with your post. People keep saying "I couldn't do what you are doing." And I know they are wrong. Because you just do, somehow. I'm not strong either, just numbly putting one foot in front of the other.

I hope you find some peace somewhere, somehow. And thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said... grandmother's last word was, "momma" when she passed away. I think it is true that before we die we know, sense, or see someone or something and I believe it is a sign of peace. My grandmother sounds a lot like yours. Maybe that is why I randomly found this website tonight to tell you - your grandmother is watching over you and love you.