Post # 1
I know this is a bit heavy for WB, but I am dealing with my grandmother being on hospice. We’ve been taking care of her for months and she seems very near the end right now: restless, sad, crying, etc. She is completely bed-bound and on morphine, but still completely lucid and talking to us.
Someone please tell me how to cope with this if you’ve dealt with something similar. Every time I think of her it makes me cry and I have to figure out how to be strong in front of her.
Thank you, Bees.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
The hospice should be able to offer you some guidance in this area. Talk to her nurse and request a visit from the social worker or other counselor. The hospice’s spiritual services may also be of help to you.
Post # 5
I’m probably no help at all. I kinda used my kids as an excuse not to see my grandfather and grandmother and I wanted to KILL my mother when she forced to see my grandfather before he died.
Yes, I was a coward in not going to see them during their last days, but I wanted to remember them as I knew them BEFORE they were weak and near-skeletal.
As for coping, I talked to my Fiance constantly when my grandfather was sick. I kinda had no one with my grandmother so I had TONS of self-guilt that my Fiance had to help me with later. (To keep things straight, my grandmother passed away before I started talking to my Fiance again, back in ’03.)
I’m probably the worst (I know, that isn’t a word :P) one when it comes to giving advice or help on this.
I will say, though, that I’m soooo soooo sorry you’re going through this. 🙁
Post # 6
I am so sorry to hear this. It seems by your post you think very highly of your grandmother — I know that feeling. My grandmother is extremely important to me. I’ve lost quite a few loved ones, and I hate to say it that way. I’m trying to be very touchy with how I word this, but please know that none of this comes off negatively or bitchy, I’m just typing it as I think it.
I don’t care what anyone says, it never gets easier. At least it hasn’t for me. I lost my 17year old brother January 2010, wow — I can’t believe it’s been that long. He was in an accident December 7, 2009 and was in a coma and in the ICU for 30 days to the day that he died. It never gets easier. Some days are simply just better than others. I remember him and the happy thoughts. I watch home videos and read old messages we have with each other time and time again. I talk to his friends, his close friends and we reminisce of the good times.
Holidays are hard. Birthdays are hard. His senior graduation and senior football night were extremely hard. My family has never been the most functional and they definitely aren’t right now — so it’s hard for me to talk to them at all. My FH has been a big help and my best friend/MOH have always been there to listen. They always encourage me not to hold anything in. If we’re happy and having a great time, and all of a sudden I get a wiff of a certain scent or hear a song, they can tell it on my face — they ask me to talk about it and it helps me feel better, for the moment. I cherish photos and letters, and drawings from when he was younger. I still call his cell phone and listen to his voicemail, I refuse to let them shut his phone off. His facebook/myspace accounts are still open, so his friends can post on his wall, I feel that it’s theraputic and it helps them as well.
I know a brother/grandmother are different, and she might not have a voicemail/facebook — but talking with those who are close to you, will definitely help you get through your days.
Best of Luck, and please feel free to PM me if you have any questions or just need to talk.
Post # 7
I second lovekiss’s suggestion; however, we’re all different, and we don’t all deal with things the same way. Having gone through a similar situation with several family memebers, not everyone deals with it the same, and not everyone’s path through hospice is the same.
She’s lucid, and that’s wonderful, hopefully they have her pain under control, and she isn’t hurting. When you visit her I would suggest talking about present things that have nothing to do with the future or the past. She’s still with you, and she’s lived a full life. As hard as it is, be thankful for that, it’s seems like a small gift, but is huge.
My sister (13 months younger than me) passed away a little over 3 years ago, at the age of 20. She suffered for a really long time and was sick most of her life. She was the most positive person I’ve ever met, despite knowing what was going to happen. I took strength from her. Even though it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through to watch a child and my only sister suffer in pain, I was able to tell her bye, and that was very valuable.
On the other hand, my husband’s best friend passed away while running cross country (at the time he’d run for over 10 years). They still don’t know why he passed away, autopsy inconclusive. His family told me that their biggest regret is never having the chance to say goodbye.
It’s the little things in life – laugh with her – laughter soothes the soul.
Post # 8
I remember when my Grandad was dying…it was like a nightmare, the kind where you know someone is dying and can’t do anything about it. It’s really hard, feeling hopeless and crazy. I think that for me….there wasn’t much that really helped, but what did help was talking to him and knowing that he was okay with it, and telling him that I loved him very much. The other thing I took comfort in was knowing that I had this chance to say all the things that I wanted to. Not a lot of people get that opportunity. I was a hospice volunteer myself, so I know what a good group of folks do the work. I recommend utilizing them as much as you can (you should be eligible to meet with their grief counselor).
I’m really sorry you’re going through this. I’ll be thinking of you.
Post # 9
((hugs)) sweetie. I understand what you’re going through. My grandmother had a stroke and was in the hospital for about 2 months before she passed. It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. There was hope for recovery, then not. Then hope, then not. Early on she was able to communicate, although not verbally, and I had a few precious moments with her that I hold close to my heart. I still miss her every day. I have her photo on my fridge and I call her my kitchen angel because she was the one who was always baking and cooking, encouraging me to come over and learn with her.
The last time I saw my grandmother she was unable to talk, looked incredibly uncomfortable, and I told her it was okay to go. It was so hard but I felt like she needed to know she wouldn’t be letting any of us down. Just tell her that you love her. Tell her what you’re planning for the wedding, how much you love your Darling Husband and what your plans for the future are. She’ll want to know you’re being taken care of.
There’s no easy way through this. You just have to take it one day at a time. Big big big (((((((hugs))))))))). PM me if you need to talk honey.
Post # 10
Thank you, everyone. Your words and support mean more than you know.
I have talked to the hospice folks–both the nurse and the social worker. They’ve given me copious advice and reading materials for dealing with this. The thing that I’m finding the most comforting, however, are the real-life examples and how you dealt with this sort of loss.
Thanks again, I really appreciate everyone’s input.
Post # 11
My Great Aunt was living with us for about 5 mos when her Dr.s informed us she had leukemia and that we should take her home and have hospice come in. The people from Hospice are amazing people who helped us take care of my aunt. She passed away holding my hand. (sorry getting teary here at work). She had been a huge part of our lives. She never married and she lived with my mom, when my mom was a single mother. The four of us (one brother is crazy and we do not deal with him at all) with my dad, my nieces and nephews, sat around our dinner table and just all talked about her. Crazy stories some of us didn’t know. It felt really good to just laugh about some of her antics.
A PP said that you don’t really ever get over loosing a loved one. My mom’s passed away 16 years (wow ..just wow) and I miss her everyday and still bawl at her gravesite. BUT it gets easier, with time. I know it’s cliche but it helps having great stories to remember about the people, and it’s great to have family that remembers your loved one. Just talking about it helps too. I know that writing some of my feelings down or things I remembered about them are helpful too. Somedays I just pull out the journal and reread things and that helps.
And probably the best thing that helped me was actually being there when my Aunt (and one of my brothers has passed since she did) when they passed away. It might be morbid but I know they were surrounded by the people that loved them, and I can’t imagine passing any other way.
I’m so sorry you’re going thru this but your grandmother is very lucky to have caring people around her.
Post # 12
@HisIrishPrincess: Thank you for sharing that. As hard as it is, I am glad I can see her every day if I want to and just hold her hand.
@bakerella: Thank you for that–that is what I told her today, and I feel so much better now.
@MissHelen: Thank you for the thoughts, and all of the times you were there for other families during your volunteer work.
I’m sorry I’m not responding to everyone… but thank you all again and lots of hugs.