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Old 12-28-2015, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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I went back home for Christmas and talked to 3/4 of my remaining grandparents. I'm 29 and only one is dead, and he died when I was 23, so I've had all my grandparents well into adulthood.

I went to see my father's parents, his dad was a lifelong severe alcoholic, and his mother seems to be mentally slipping. They're both 80 and 81. He's mentally fine, but she'll prattle on about how the grandchildren will do after her, how she wants her final wishes, how she feels like the Lord is coming back soon, etc. She seems to be talking about her death and the end of the world as if they are absolutely imminent, but she has no serious health problems to my knowledge other than some bad knees.

It just seems strange that she is so obsessed with her own demise and talking about it with her children and grandchildren endlessly. It's also hard to tell whether there even is much cognitive decline, as she's always just babbled on about the end of the world, talked in circles, etc.

Did you talk about your own decline/death with your grandchildren? How did the younger family react?
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Austin
29,546 posts, read 16,475,253 times
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At 29 you have no idea whatsoever about the issues facing older people. Trust me, when you get old you will do exactly what your grandparents are doing.

Somewhere around age 60 - 70 you realize you are not going to live much longer and your entire perspective on life changes. My advice is to enjoy and value your grandparents as much as possible while you can.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Close to an earthquake
890 posts, read 676,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I went back home for Christmas and talked to 3/4 of my remaining grandparents. I'm 29 and only one is dead, and he died when I was 23, so I've had all my grandparents well into adulthood.

I went to see my father's parents, his dad was a lifelong severe alcoholic, and his mother seems to be mentally slipping. They're both 80 and 81. He's mentally fine, but she'll prattle on about how the grandchildren will do after her, how she wants her final wishes, how she feels like the Lord is coming back soon, etc. She seems to be talking about her death and the end of the world as if they are absolutely imminent, but she has no serious health problems to my knowledge other than some bad knees.

It just seems strange that she is so obsessed with her own demise and talking about it with her children and grandchildren endlessly. It's also hard to tell whether there even is much cognitive decline, as she's always just babbled on about the end of the world, talked in circles, etc.

Did you talk about your own decline/death with your grandchildren? How did the younger family react?
I was very close to my grandmother and towards the end of her life, she would bring up the topic. I was a late-teenager at this point in my life. Her discussing it made me feel uncomfortable but I listened. When she died, I was very sad but learned her discussing it was helpful during my grieving and mourning journey.

Spend all the time you can with your grandparents and take many notes about the lives they lived. Once their gone, that treasure chest of oral history will be forever gone.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:25 PM
 
Location: U.S. (East Coast)
1,231 posts, read 1,050,233 times
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I'm older than you and the two living grandparents I have do the same whenever I visit.

Which I'd why I don't visit them a lot.

We're all going to die; focus on LIFE until then.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:38 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,875,914 times
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I turned 70 the week before Christmas. For some reason this is a big birthday to me. Maybe it is because only one other sibling has lived past 70. We all have the same genes.

There are things I have tried to get my children to listen to and all they ever do is get uncomfortable. That we won't always be here is as much a part of life as being born. It is like you know that some day you are going on a trip and it would make things so much more peaceful if there were no loose ends left.

Your grandmother is just making sure she has done everything to prepare you for her not being here some day. She loves you.

My granddaughter is 20 now and I remember when she was about 10 I gave her a good talk about how she should always say no to drugs. I told her drugs will take over the life of anyone that gets involved with them. She is studying to be a doctor's assistant and recently told me she will take care of me in my old age. I guess she is expecting me to live a while longer. Today on the telephone she took up for my doctor when I was upset he would not just send me medicine without an office visit. It is a new experience having a granddaughter act like my parent. I think I like it.

Last edited by NCN; 12-28-2015 at 09:48 PM..
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
At 29 you have no idea whatsoever about the issues facing older people. Trust me, when you get old you will do exactly what your grandparents are doing.

Somewhere around age 60 - 70 you realize you are not going to live much longer and your entire perspective on life changes. My advice is to enjoy and value your grandparents as much as possible while you can.
I would hope I don't mostly focus on my own death or the end of the world around younger relatives. A simple conversation about how we're both doing would have been preferable to listen to her talk about the Lord coming back and all her problems, real or imagined. It's hard to get in a word edgewise with her, as she just never stops talking.

I helped my grandpa clean the garage, and while we were cleaning, he said to not take her seriously. It's amazing that he's the most lucid of any of my remaining grandparents after a dozen DUIs and multiple felonies.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borninsac View Post
I was very close to my grandmother and towards the end of her life, she would bring up the topic. I was a late-teenager at this point in my life. Her discussing it made me feel uncomfortable but I listened. When she died, I was very sad but learned her discussing it was helpful during my grieving and mourning journey.

Spend all the time you can with your grandparents and take many notes about the lives they lived. Once their gone, that treasure chest of oral history will be forever gone.
The other grandmother never really brings it up. I'd rate them in equivalent health - good shape for eighty with relatively minor problems for the age. I could easily see them making five, maybe ten, more years. I don't think it's a really lucid discussion of these types of issues as it is more an older person losing their grip a bit, mixed with an already chatty/wild personality. If anything, I think her cognitive decline has just magnified other traits that were there earlier.
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,404 posts, read 5,919,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borninsac View Post
I was very close to my grandmother and towards the end of her life, she would bring up the topic. I was a late-teenager at this point in my life. Her discussing it made me feel uncomfortable but I listened. When she died, I was very sad but learned her discussing it was helpful during my grieving and mourning journey.

Spend all the time you can with your grandparents and take many notes about the lives they lived. Once their gone, that treasure chest of oral history will be forever gone.
If he spends as much time getting information out of them as he does here grilling total strangers for some purpose we have get to figure out, he will certainly have a treasure trove.

Once again, your topic sounds like a "serious conversation" about whether we have talked to our grandchildren about our inevitable deaths and what will happen when we're gone. But then you give an example of your not-wrapped-too-tight grandmother who just prattles on incessantly -- not a "serious convo" at all. So if you're asking if we act like your sorta-crazy grandmother, then the answer is no.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,656 posts, read 1,521,066 times
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My Southern great grandmother used to carry on like the OP described. She was in her early 80's and confined to her home as she had broken her hip. My mother acted in a similar manner her last years in a nursing home. Both were religious, not well educated or sophisticated, and dirt poor. I always attributed this behavior to being crazy Southerners and not having desirable living circumstances so the afterlife looked very attractive.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,388 posts, read 9,131,891 times
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My grandkids are five and one, respectfully. So, no the conversation has not occurred.
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