View Full Version : Crying my eyes out now

12-04-2011, 10:26 PM
Let me start by saying how incredibly, amazingly blessed I am to have 2 living great grandmothers. I'm nearing the age of 30 and the fact that they're alive and got to be at my wedding is amazing. Since I got married, both have gone downhill, but one in particular. We knew then she was starting in the early stages of dementia, but was able to understand what was going on and loved the wedding.

Last year around Christmas time, she was at the point where she'd sit with my grandfather and tell him all about her son without ever realizing who she was talking to. These days, she mostly sleeps. It's like her body is giving out on her.

Today I just opened a box from my great aunt (my grandfather's sister, this great grandmother's daughter). My great grandmother collected dolls. She always wanted one as a kid, but they couldn't afford one for her, so she collected them as an adult. The box had one of her favorite dolls in it with a note from my great aunt telling me my great grandma wanted me to have it. I lost it and have been losing it every few minutes since.

This means a few things. First of all, she thought of me during one of her lucid moments and wanted me to have something special. I also know, though, that people give away special things like that when they know they won't be around much longer.

I've never lost anybody I was remotely close to. Right now, I'm feeling a bit lost on how to deal with the idea of losing her. I know she's not gone yet. I also know we've been oh so slowly losing her for some time. It just feels so much more real now that she'll likely be gone soon.

To compound matters, my other great grandma (my grandmother's mother), broke her foot three months ago and has shown no improvement. It's looking like she'll likely never walk again. She's always been so feisty and independent (she only gave up driving a few years ago), this is going to be extremely hard on her.

12-04-2011, 10:51 PM
Oh Cookie! :hug:

12-04-2011, 10:52 PM
*hugs* That's so incredibly sweet. Sounds like you've had a wonderful relationship with both of them. Do you have any of their stories written down or recorded?

lupo pazzesco
12-04-2011, 10:53 PM
Oh, Cookie, condolences, hon. *HUG*

Come into chat?? We can listen, if nothing else. and give hugs.

12-04-2011, 11:08 PM
Just wanted to offer a quick :hug: I had my great-grandparents until I was nearly 30, too, and it's really hard to deal with that loss.

May I offer a tiny bit of advice? It might be useful to take a few minutes to make a list of what to do when a family emergency occurs. Especially if you have to travel, it's nice to have a list of what you need to do, buy, or pack before you can leave, and who you might need to call to house- or pet-sit. Even when you don't have to travel, it can be be a small comfort. That way, the practical matters are already on paper, and your mind is free to deal with the emotional.

12-05-2011, 01:25 AM
That's amazing. I only knew two of my grandparents, let alone great grandparents...and my last grandparent died ten years ago.

Big hugs to you. I know it's hard. :hug:

12-05-2011, 01:27 AM
I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. Remember that she loves you.

12-06-2011, 11:56 PM
I know what its like to watch someone you love slip away through dementia and then on to the end of their life. Its hard. I lost my great grandmother and then my grandmother that way. /hugs
We're here for you.

12-07-2011, 05:23 AM
Cookie, I'm really sorry. It's so hard to lose loved ones, especially the ones you've known all your life. I never knew any of my great grandparents and all my grandparents are gone now too, but I treasure my memories of them. What's scary to me now is that my parents are in their 80s (mom) and 70s (dad) and Dad has Parkinson's. I have no wish to keep them around longer than they want to be if they're very ill, and I will let them go when the time comes...but wow, will that be hard. :( ***big hugs*** to you.

12-08-2011, 08:31 AM

Your grief will take whatever process it takes. However you feel is right.

When you hear of the death, you may well feel numb: your body throws a special sort of endorphin around like confetti at that point so that you can continue to cope. Sort of. It takes about six weeks (or five, or seven) for that to wear off; at which point it might feel like the grief is hitting you all over again.

Start saving now. Money, so that you will have airfare and the price of a cheap hostel (cheap backpacker hostels are, in my experience, better than cheap motels). You will want to visit periodically, between now and their deaths, so that you know, deep in your bones, that you were there for them.
And when they do go, there won't be room for everyone to couch-surf. That's why you save up enough for a room at a good-but-cheap hostel.

Save another sort of thing. Meals. You probably won't want to cook, and won't want to eat. If you make a point of making soups and stews on your days off, and storing one or two serves of those in the freezer now, you'll have a stock of meals ready when the time comes that you need it.
Once you've built up a stock, cycle through - take the oldest as work lunches. :)

If you're a member of a church (mosque, synagogue, etc), tell your priest (imam, rabbi...) that you're dealing with grief, and what sort. Religions and religious leaders are our oldest forms of handling grief, and rituals such as sitting Shiva (a Jewish one) can be both a great comfort, and full of practical assistance.

If you aren't, consider speaking to your doctor about grief counselling services.

Almost everyone handles almost every form of grief they experience just fine. But occasionally someone does go off the rails. "Mrs Havisham" is a classic fictional example; it happens in real life as well. Religious leaders and grief counselling services are capable of monitoring you for that, as well as helping you get through a perfectly normal grieving process.

Having friends to lean on - either face to face, or across the net - is your best thing, however. And we're here.

12-29-2011, 01:19 AM
Just a bit of a note about my great grandmother that's suffering from dementia. We sent a framed picture of us for Christmas. My grandma told me that my great grandma sat and stared and stared and stared at it...then smiled real big. :)

12-29-2011, 01:58 AM
Just a bit of a note about my great grandmother that's suffering from dementia. We sent a framed picture of us for Christmas. My grandma told me that my great grandma sat and stared and stared and stared at it...then smiled real big. :)

That's so sweet... :) Hope it gave her a happy moment of clarity.