My heart is heavy today.
I obviously understand the basic concept of the cycle of life and family, but I have to say, it’s really hard to watch as the end gets near. Your parents raise you so that one day, among other reasons, you can take care of them. I am witnessing this happening with my mom’s mom right now, and I am far from the best in dealing with these situations.
About five years ago, my grandfather died pretty suddenly. He was 84 and in great health besides having lost his vision, and he took an unexpected fall at a casino one night. He lived for just three more weeks and was never the same after that fall.
My grandma and grandpa were married for 64 years before he died… sixty-four! It’s crazy to even think about how long that is. When he died, my grandma lost her companion, her soul mate, the person she talked to constantly every day for 64 years. I think deep down she was hoping she could just go with him so that she didn’t have to face life alone after he passed.
Her health has remained pretty good over the last couple years despite having emphysema and needing oxygen. She’s been “with it” until the last few weeks even though she’s 89. Back over the summer, she was having really bad pain in her leg and when she got it checked out, the doctors discovered that she had cancer. It would have almost been better if they hadn’t found it, because she didn’t want any treatment and the diagnosis just put a grave shadow over everything.
Despite the diagnosis, her health remained what seemed fine until the last few weeks. Since Christmas, she has been declining rapidly, and she was placed on hospice over this past weekend. I went up for the day to see her yesterday, and I could not believe the drastic change since the last time I saw her, which was just about 6 weeks ago for Thanksgiving.
She could barely speak, had little to no color in her face, swollen hands and arms, and was just miserable and crying out in pain. It is so devastating to see her like this, and I mean obviously I’m sad that my grandma is dying, but she is 89, has lived a good life, and honestly wants to die at this point so while it is sad, it happens.
What gets me the most is thinking about the fact that it’s my mom’s MOM. Her MOTHER. I can’t even let my mind venture to the idea that one day my mom could be in a similar situation. I also know that my mom is lucky to be 61 and still have her mother, but having to watch her body fall apart just tears my heart out.