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Old 08-12-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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I felt grief when my Grandmother died, but I almost wonder if we do start to "detatch" ourselves emotionally from people as they age. We are expecting their demise. I felt sad when my Grandmother died, but not the raw, consuming, overwhelming emotional grief I experienced when my son died. I still feel that pain every day. Anticipated grief is a far different experience.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Duncan, Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabinerose View Post
Sorry about the odd title... I couldn't think of how to word it better.

My grandmother is dying. She is 97 and is finally going downhill. It seems that she's been at the same stage of healthy / elderly for years. There have been very few health issues... just a very slow progression of old age. In July, she was in the hospital for a few days for breathing problems. She wasn't able to go home when she was released (she lives(d) in a MIL home next to my parents' home) and moved into my folks house. Since then, she has been declining fast. I do not believe she will see her 98th birthday in December.

What I am wondering is... I feel like I'm already grieving for her passing. I have always been the closest grandkid to her (my sister was sickly as a child and I spent a large amount of time with my gramma).

I know I will get the call one day that she is gone. It won't be a surprise, but will it be easier than a sudden death? Knowing it's coming and grieving now. I'm realistic about this... I know that nothing can "prepare" you for the loss of someone so close, but I am truly hoping that working my way through some of the grief now may soften the blow when it comes.

Am I kidding myself?
Sabinerose, thank you for starting this thread. I have thought about this for quite some time but didn't know if a thread such as this would be understood or appreciated. I appreciate it.

My father is dying. My mother, my husband, and I kept him at home for as long as we possibly could. He has dementia, is unable to walk, and is incontinent. We were literally wearing ourselves down with his 24 hour constant care. We became unable to lift him, take him to doctor's appointments, keep him clean, feed him properly (choking issues), and take care of both households. He needs continual care and supervision and is awake and needful at all hours of the day and night. We finally had to admit to ourselves that a nursing home was our only option as I am sure if we had continued on as we had been doing that all four of us would be dead. (I had always told Dad that I wouldn't put him in a nursing home. Talk about guilt!)

It is so hard to see the formerly strong, smart, self-reliant, and self-made man who was my father become what he has become. So yes, I am already grieving. I visit him almost everyday at the home. Sometimes he doesn't even recognize me, and he hardly talks to anyone anymore. I anticipate the Hospice call each day telling me that he has physically left us. Mentally, he pretty much already has. My mom is slipping further into depression each day, and I can't seem to "fix" her and Dad's situation. I feel like I'm not doing enough, but I don't know what else to do except be there for them both whenever they need me.

This slow death is extremely painful to watch. I love my dad so very much, and I would do anything within my power to ease his suffering, and he is suffering. He's not really living, just existing. I firmly believe a sudden death is preferable to what my father and my family is going through right now. I don't know for sure if my "early grieving" will lessen the pain of Dad's death. I hope, however, it will because I feel like we are going through the absolute worst time right now.

Thank you all for "listening."
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,465 posts, read 24,299,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by educator1953 View Post
Sabinerose, thank you for starting this thread. I have thought about this for quite some time but didn't know if a thread such as this would be understood or appreciated. I appreciate it.

My father is dying. My mother, my husband, and I kept him at home for as long as we possibly could. He has dementia, is unable to walk, and is incontinent. We were literally wearing ourselves down with his 24 hour constant care. We became unable to lift him, take him to doctor's appointments, keep him clean, feed him properly (choking issues), and take care of both households. He needs continual care and supervision and is awake and needful at all hours of the day and night. We finally had to admit to ourselves that a nursing home was our only option as I am sure if we had continued on as we had been doing that all four of us would be dead. (I had always told Dad that I wouldn't put him in a nursing home. Talk about guilt!)

It is so hard to see the formerly strong, smart, self-reliant, and self-made man who was my father become what he has become. So yes, I am already grieving. I visit him almost everyday at the home. Sometimes he doesn't even recognize me, and he hardly talks to anyone anymore. I anticipate the Hospice call each day telling me that he has physically left us. Mentally, he pretty much already has. My mom is slipping further into depression each day, and I can't seem to "fix" her and Dad's situation. I feel like I'm not doing enough, but I don't know what else to do except be there for them both whenever they need me.

This slow death is extremely painful to watch. I love my dad so very much, and I would do anything within my power to ease his suffering, and he is suffering. He's not really living, just existing. I firmly believe a sudden death is preferable to what my father and my family is going through right now. I don't know for sure if my "early grieving" will lessen the pain of Dad's death. I hope, however, it will because I feel like we are going through the absolute worst time right now.

Thank you all for "listening."
I lived in this house for years caring for my father and I do understand. Don't be too surprised if most of what you feel when he dies is relief. It's finally over.

My father died years before he physically left the planet. Once they get to the point where they no longer know who, what, where, or when they are, it's mentally over and the only thing you can do is meet their physical needs. I had years to grieve his loss while he was still here.

I hope you can find something to get your mom re-engaged in life. She is the one I worry about in this situation. Her life is not over and she needs to find a reason to continue on. And she needs to have something to do other than sitting at the nursing home watching her husband decline.

I feel for anyone going through this and there are no words to make it better. But time will resolve the issue.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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If you can, go visit your grandma now, while she is alive. And talk about whatever she wants to discuss. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she talks to you about her death. She is probably at peace with it. And she wants you to be at peace with it too.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Duncan, Oklahoma
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Yellowsnow, thank you so much for your reply and your words of wisdom regarding feeling relief when Dad passes. I am sure you are right.

Yes, I guess I'm grieving for Mom, too. I can't get her interested in anything. She's always been anti-social, but she just obsesses about Dad all the time. I can't get her to do anything like go to the library (She always loved reading. Now she says she can't get interested in any book.), go out to lunch with me, or just come to my house to get out of hers and watch TV or cook a meal with me. I know this is very hard for her so I don't try to push her too much. I've offered her the opportunity to come live with my husband and me (She could have one whole side of the house to herself.), but she is still in relatively good health and won't hear of it. When Dad passes, I will have to deal more with her issues, too.

Thank you again for your understanding and your wise response.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
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It is normal to begin the grieving process before the actual death, if you can see it coming. In fact, I would venture to say that if you did not, that would likely be an expression of denial. It *can* help the transition, but whether it actually does is impossible to predict. If you can reach the beginnings of acceptance, I believe it will help you.

I began grieving my mother's death before she died. I had several years to prepare. I believe that it helped me through the transition, because I had already reached acceptance. I will say, though, that being "ahead of the curve" as it were, made it harder for some of my other family members to comprehend why I didn't seem to be grieving "normally". They had some difficulty understanding that I had already been through the process, and in their eyes it made me seem cold and unfeeling.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
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Yes, I think your pain will lessen after your grandmother passes. For one thing, you are not in denial about the circumstances, and I've seen this occur time and again with family and friends. I tend to accept things as I see them towards the end of their lives and am, therefore, better prepared to handle their passings when it happens.

But I also agree with some of the postings on here about preserving good memories in tangible ways. You obviously spent a lot of time with your grandmother during your life. Do you like to write? If so, after she's gone, you could try writing a journal of favorite memories ~ funny ones, constructive ones, recipes, etc. Did she like to garden? Get a plant of some kind, like a rose bush, and nurtur it in her honor. You'll figure it out.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
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May I ask how is your grandmother doing?

My ex neighbor just turned 98 on September 14.

I am always worried about her. She has no serious medical problems but at that age you can't help but worry when that day will come.
I've notice a decline in her, she's not eating like she should.
She drinks alot, but in terms of eating, she'll do it when she feel like it. One thing she doesn't deny is bread. She'll eat bread, burnt toast, anything bread, so if that's what it takes to get her to eat, then she'll eat tons of bread, sandwiches and donuts.

Not always the healthiest, but at that age, she gets what she wants.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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The passing of a loved one is always difficult but I do think that when it's "expected", at least you can try to be at peace with it. All you have left is to grieve and not have to deal with the shock of your loved one passing.

My Dad died of cancer so it was expected. I got the call from my brother to fly back as quickly as possible b'c Dad was moved to hospice. I got a plane ticket for the next day and when my brother came to pick me up, Dad had already passed away.

Even though I knew I was going to watch my father was dying and I flew back home with the idea that I was going to watch him die, I was shocked to hear that he already passed on. I got to hospice and cried for like 2 hours. A hospice nurse was kind by lending me a shoulder to cry on when I was out in the hall calling my husband to come as soon as possible for the funeral and I just lost it.

It wasn't any easier on me to have known of his imminent passing only to get there to find out he's already dead. Does that make any sense? I think in a way, it's two grieving processes. One for the person you once knew (while they are actively dying) and one for the actual death.

I hope you can find peace. I'm sorry.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:14 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Default Does grieving before the passing help?

I don't really think so. Both my parents' deaths were inevitable. Grieving "in advance" lacks the element of finality.
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