they just gave my pawpaw 2-4 weeks to live.

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve received such terrible news. 🙁 Losing a family member is so painful and my thoughts are with you and yours as you go through this. Having lost my dad at a young age, I know that I wish I’d spent the weeks leading up to his passing with him in the hospital rather than giving a half-hearted attempt in school and in my extracurricular activities. I think you’ll realize once you’ve started visiting him how much time you “need” with him to feel achieve closure.

That being said, as painful as it is to lose a family member, I’m sure your pawpaw is terrified as well. I can’t speak for him but I know that if I were in his position, seeing my granddaughter regularly would help me feel safer and at peace when the time comes. 

Again, my thoughts are with you. 

Post # 4
Member
7531 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

So sorry to hear the news.  I think more time is better than less.  (Hugs)

Post # 5
Member
8910 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I’m so sorry : ( 

Post # 6
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’m so sorry for everything you and your family are going through. I can truly relate as I got the same exact news in June for my own grandfather. Like you, I had never lost anyone close to me besides pets, and I was at a complete loss of what to do. How much time you would like to spend with your pawpaw is 100% up to you and what you feel comfortable with. Personally, I am so glad that I spent as much time as I did with my grandfather in the 9 days before he passed. I spent every minute that I could out of my day with him. I learned so much about him and who he was during those last days, hearing unknown stories about his life and looking through old albums, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Some people in my family weren’t comfortable being there as things progressed. In my grandfather’s case, he was completely himself 6 days and the last 3 he was almost entirely asleep/on high doses of meds. Because of that I recommend that you spend more time with your pawpaw in the beginning (if this is what you feel comfortable with, of course), just in case his last days are similar.

Of course you have to do what feels best for you and truly take it one step at a time. It’s not an easy process, but somehow knowing it was coming made it a little easier. We all got to say our goodbyes personally to him, and make sure to give that extra hug before we left each day. If you have any questions or just need to talk to someone that’s been through it, please don’t hesitate to PM me. It will be 2 months on the 18th since I lost my grandfather, but I remember everything like it was yesterday, and I would be glad to share more of my experience and more than an anything, just an ear to listen if need be.

Post # 8
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

theEguarantee:  Oh wow, I totally understand about your dress. We got enagaged two weeks ago and I found out after that my FI had my ring rushed here to make it in time, and he took a picture of my grandfather holding it. It means so much to have the picture now and know that he knew what was coming for us. In fact, in my “goodbye talk” with him, he told me that it was easier for him to go knowing that I had my FI (SO at the time). I’m sure that although yor pawpaw is in a such a state that it’s hard for him to communicate with you, he is so happy for you and your FI just as mine was. 

You are very lucky at 26 to still have all your grandparents. My FI is 28 and still has all of his, I’m 21 and just lost my first. So many people lose them as babies, children, or teens – not to mention before they were born. He got to see you in through so many major life events and you are at an age where you will remember so many things about him and your time with him in your life. It’s definitely a helpful and positive thought in a time like this.

No need to thank me at all, I’m glad that I could share it with you and I hope it made you feel some kind of comfort during this difficult time.

Post # 9
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

theEguarantee:  I’m so sorry you and your family are going through this. I’ll be thinking of you and your pawpaw. 

I can only say, from the perspective of someone who lost two grandparents very suddenly, that you should spend all the time you can with them. We had no warning with my grandmother (she died within ten days of her cancer diagnosis), and I wish that I had had more time. 

With my grandfather, he too was in a nursing home and I hated seeing him like that. Hated it. Because of that, I really didn’t go to the nursing home as much as I now would have liked. I feel awful about the days when I wasn’t really ‘present,’ even if I was actually there, because it just made me so sad. If I could do it over, I’d deal with the sadness just so I could be there. 

I know regrets are bad, and in many cases, they’re not even valid. Case in point: I have a dairy intolerance and it’s a complete surprise to me whether or not something will make me sick. One of my last memories of my grandfather is him offering to buy me an ice cream at the nursing home ice cream parlor, since when I was little he’d do that all the time. I said no, because I didn’t know if it would make me sick or not. (I don’t remember now if I told him that. If I didn’t, I hope he remembered. I hope I said it. It’s a vicious cycle, I know.) I really, really regret not having had that ice cream. I thought there’d be more time, a day when I’d have eaten something else so the risk of getting sick would be less, but then there wasn’t. 

If I were you, I’d visit lots. I know it will be painful now, but in my experience, you’ll feel better later on for having had those extra moments.

Also, I am SO happy that you have photos of you in your dress with your pawpaw, and I am sure you’ll find a beautiful way to include them in your wedding day. My FI and I met working on a freelance work assignment, and it was one of the last things my grandpa saw published. I remember him excitedly telling his roommate about how I’d collaborated on it with someone in England! I’m so very happy that he at least knew about her.

Post # 10
Member
3637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I’m so sorry. I have a lot of random advi e about things that worked for my family. But everyone grieves very differently. 

My advice is a little different to above. Both of my mum’s parents passed within 3 months of each other. My grandfather we knew was coming, my grandmother was so sudden and unexcepted that when we went to the nursing home to clean out her room one of the staff cheerfully asked how she was doing at the hospital, it was just a UTI after all. We had to be the ones to tell her that she passed, she was extremely shocked. Anyway, that’s not really the point, I just felt like sharing.

In their last moments neither grandparent was mentally present. My grandfather was unconscious/asleep for days with only soft moaning, he was in a lot of pain and we knew that the sooner he moved on, the better. I don’t know that I 100% regret seeing him like this, but I don’t think that he would like to think that my last memory of him was like this. He would much prefer that the last memory be him swearing about politics at the hospital the days before. Seeing him so helpless and lifeless was awful and I truly believe that my presence was not a help to him at that time.

My grandmother was the same, I went to visit but those last hours were awful and she also didn’t seem to know that we were there. I don’t treasure those memories at all and sometimes think I would be better off without them.

So, visit if you are still a benefit to them. If you aren’t, some times we don’t need to see our loved ones that way. But everyone is different.

As for coping with afterwards, try and talk with your FI now about what you might need from him. Obviously it’s hard to know exactly but if you feel now that you’ll need to be hugging your mother and not him at the funeral, or vice versa, say it now so that he knows the best ways to support you. A lot of people might call to see how you are, that was awful for my mother, here she was trying to get on with life and deal with the practical aftermath of both parents dieing (wills, nursing home bills, the house, bank accounts etc etc) and people kept trying to talk to her for hours on end about how she was feeling. BUT for others they would love nothing more than to talk about it with people. You don’t have to know now what you want but at least give your FI a heads up that he might need to be the one to answer the phone for a while and tell people to give you space. 

Also, once it happens, take care with who you tell, what you post on social media etc in the following hours. I know many people who found out about a death through a mutual friend or Facebook, not from their families because the family was waiting to tell them later that day, in person or until after work because it was their first day at a new job etc. It doesn’t go well when people outside the family know before family does.

For the funeral, do what is right for your family, not what you think people will expect you to do. My grandparents had a good role in the community so the funeral could have included a lot of non-family. We didn’t want that. We had the ceremony at the grave site to make things simple, no flowers, simple coffin, very low fuss and very much focused on just the family. It was perfect for us and them. My grandmother would have hated the thought of us spending money on flowers that die when we could have bought clothes or jewellery. For my grandmother, we didn’t toss ash into the grave, we emptied bottles of glitter in. It was spectacular, absolutely perfect for her and made us feel very comforted.  

Again, I’m so sorry. You will get through this.

Post # 12
Member
2364 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

theEguarantee:  I’m so sorry for your situation, and I know it all too well.  My mom and I were with my grandma in hospice until the very end.  Like you, I didn’t know how to cope or what to expect really.  My mom didn’t know what to do when she was faced with the decision to take her off the medication that was keeping her alive.  It’s painful, exhausting and heartbreaking.  But I can say this, when my grandmother did finally pass on, it was the greatest sense of bittersweet relief I’d ever felt.  It’s cliche, but honestly, it DOES get better with time. <3 

Post # 14
Member
13012 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m sorry to hear you are going though this.  I just lost my grandfather 2 weeks ago tomorrow as well. It came as a shock since the week before, my monther was just telling me that he was able to speak again (he fell about a month or 2 ago and had a brain hemorage, but before that he was still sharp as can be with only physical issues).  I found out the day before a planned vacation with DHs family and has planned to visit him after coming back.  Now instead of going to visit him this weekend, we’re going to his funeral.  I think I take comfort in knowing that he lived a very long healthy life.  I’m really sad that he will not see my children which he had been hoping for since we got married 3 years ago though.  (TTC for 2 years, but he never knew that)  But I am actually more concerned with how my grandmother will be without him now after 60+ years with him by her side.  There’s no way to prepare yourself for how you will feel and react, but you will move on and don’t worry if what you are feeling or doing is ‘normal’, just cope the way you feel is best for you.  <3 to you and your family during this hard time.

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