Friday, July 29, 2011

Rest in Peace, Beautiful

My Grandma passed away at 3:30 this morning—July 29, 2011. She opened her eyes wide and took a few last breaths. My Mom and Dad were there with her when she went. Her last week was fairly peaceful, which in some way was harder to witness than her constant agitation because it meant she would be leaving soon. For days she didn't eat or drink, didn't talk, no longer held my hand while I held hers.

One day last week she started crying when I arrived at the hospice and said, "I guess I have to say goodbye to you. But I'll see you again in heaven." It broke my heart, yet amazed me. She spent so much time in a world of dementia that I didn't know if she could grasp what was happening to her, or if she did I wondered if she could find the words to communicate about it.

The sense of relief that I thought I would feel has yet to come. She had been suffering physically, mentally and emotionally for quite some time, and wishing for mercy for her had become my state of mind. In my rational thoughts on this matter I had strength. I was ready for her to go. I said this daily to friends.

For months I have been anticipating a giant sigh of relief. But now, I just feel loss. The house feels emptier today even though she had already been away in hospice for a month. I sat on the deck this morning drinking coffee and watching the bird feeder like we used to do together. I lay on her bed and sobbed. I kissed the wedding photo of her and grandpa, I apologized for all of the times I screwed-up while I was with her. I thanked her for this opportunity.

I think now of how I'll never get to have her potica ever again, even though she hadn't been able to bake for the last couple of years. I think of how long it would take her to walk from the toilet to the shower in the morning and of how I would smirk at the cute little s-curve of her wrinkled little bum as she ambled the ten feet with her walker. I want to make her some bread and butter—her favorite meal.

I miss you Grandma. Thank you for this rare opportunity of when my heart is bigger than my brain and I get to feel instead of think. I love you Grandma. I hope you are with Grandpa, and your Mom and Dad. Thank you for everything. I miss your song.


  1. Brenda, I am so sorry about your grandma. This made me cry, as usual.

    Bless you a million times over, and sending you love and hugs.

  2. Sending you a milling big hugs too! I hope you get to feel relief soon. xoxo

  3. So sorrY for your loss,feeling it here in HI for you and want to call you but also give you time. How sweet she said goodbye to you,and also a bit of a surprise with her state. wishi could give u a hug. Your grandma's spirit lives on in you now,just like my brother's. she will be watching on your big days.

  4. It's always sad to lose someone in the family but I admire the time you spent with your grandmother. Having dementia is very difficult to deal with since fear and anxiety always accompany delusions. Staying with her was the right choice and I believe she is very grateful to know that you were taking good care of her even on her last days.

    Taneka Carl @Heal at Home Care