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Old 08-10-2012, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,500 posts, read 3,754,840 times
Reputation: 3218

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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?
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:11 PM
 
Location: WA
604 posts, read 528,234 times
Reputation: 2050
Your Gramma is bless to have you for a grandchild and yes to are starting to grieve, letting go a of precious loved one.

Was informed Denial is one of the first stages of grief, it hurts to know your gramma won't be there. Pray you have
someone to talk with, a dear friend, and/or something or take your mind off the homegoing of your Gramma. For me,
I lose myself in books, Posting here, computer games, talking to folks.

May I share with you, the Hospice folks told me I may be accepting my husband's homegoing, though when he went
to Heaven, it would hit me like a ton of bricks!

Suggestion, if you can, if you Gramma can talk with you, write down her memories, even it is sentences. I did this
when my husband spent his last days in a nursing home.

Do something you both enjoy, take a walk, bake a cake, her favorite meal.

Bless you dear one, I still can recall my own Mimi Kay, my Mom's mom and she went to Heaven 48 years ago.

Prayers being said and thank you for your Thread.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,236 posts, read 7,350,447 times
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Yes, it's very common to begin a grieving process before someone actually passes on. However hard it is to put that aside, try to so some "memory building" with your grandmother while you still can. You will never regret quality time you can spend with her now that her health is failing. Talking or looking through photo albums, cooking, a walk---whatever, it doesn't matter what you do...it's spending time so she knows she's loved. I had 7 months of purposeful and planned memory building with my dad after he became terminal and we built model planes together which is something he always had an interest in doing but never had a chance. I took him to the airport as well to watch planes taking off and landing. When someone is terminal it's way to easy to rush our grief and in doing so we waste precious time we can't get back.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,500 posts, read 3,754,840 times
Reputation: 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by sera View Post
May I share with you, the Hospice folks told me I may be accepting my husband's homegoing, though when he went
to Heaven, it would hit me like a ton of bricks!
Not sure if I used the quote feature correctly... but this is what I'm afraid of.

Last edited by Keeper; 10-04-2012 at 02:34 PM.. Reason: fixed it for you
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:49 PM
 
2,737 posts, read 4,072,264 times
Reputation: 1785
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?
Grief is a natural response to loss. Any loss. You are already grieving the loss of the grandma you have known all these years.

There is no way of knowing for sure whether your time of mental/emotional/spiritual preparation for her death will soften the blow when the day arrives. Chances are, it will not knock you flat on your back, the way sudden deaths often devastate us.

But the most important thing to remember is that you will be able to successfully grieve the loss of your grandmother when you actually need to.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,724 posts, read 21,779,470 times
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You're not really trying to kid yourself, but the day that she passes will come as a shock and you may very well feel as shaken as if you did not expect it. This has been my experience. I knew that they were failing, knew that time was short, but felt so surprised on the day that it happened. There is always the expectation that it will happen tomorrow or the next day.

It is easier than sudden death. At least you can anticipate what is going to happen.

After my grandmother's death, my mother told me that I was her favorite. Until then, I didn't know that grandparents or parents had favorites; I was quite young.

Take heart in the fact that you have giver her one of life's most precious gifts, the gift of you.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:12 PM
 
Location: WA
604 posts, read 528,234 times
Reputation: 2050
Sabinerose,

Forgive me if I was too blunt, the pain will lessen, the memories grow sweeter. It does get better, one day, one moment at a time.

Please know too, some folks open mouth, insert foot when trying to comfort you, like myself. Am truly sorry for this time of your life.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,500 posts, read 3,754,840 times
Reputation: 3218
Please don't worry Sera, I was not offended by anything you said. You just managed to hit the issue directly on the head. It is helpful to hear from someone who has walked the path I am on and who understands. I also realized that I was trying to "rush" through the stages of grief to lessen the pain - first one to the finish line wins, right?! I have the feeling that I will be around this particular forum more in the coming months... I can use all the support I can get
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:15 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,441 posts, read 18,159,189 times
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Sabinerose, I am sorry for your grandma's impending death.

When my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer and told he had 2 weeks to 2 months to live 7 years ago, I grieved him like crazy. Then he went into remission and all was right in the world. I was even a little angry that I had put myself through all that angnst for nothing. 8 months ago he died and all I went through did not help me one bit. I was devestated. I thought for sure my previus grieving would make it easier, it did not. It was with God answering my prayer to help ease the pain in my heart did I start to heal.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:05 AM
 
3,893 posts, read 9,365,086 times
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Personally, I don't know of a way to lessen the pain of the death of someone we loved. I don't believe in a "pecking order" of grief, meaning which death scenarios are harder or easier to bear. In my experience, pain is pain, grief is grief, and loss is loss. I fear the cost of tremendous love is tremendous loss, but I suspect you wouldn't trade your time with her for anything in the world.

That said, I am glad you have this chance to say goodbye in your own way to your beloved gramma. You're lucky to have each other. Talking openly with her about her effect on you and your life might mean the world to her. Only you know the truth of your relationship, and I feel sure you are already doing/saying what is most meaningful to you both.

Blessings to you both.
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