Post # 1
I wondered if I should put this in family board, but that’s on the wedding related boards, so I put it here.
I am heavy with thought this evening. My 95 year old grandma broke her hip a few weeks ago and has really slid downhill mentally. I’m not in the same state as her; I’d have to fly in for a visit. I am trying to figure a visit home next (as in when can I be of help, ie moving her stuff). My mom might try to move her from the nursing home back to Gram’s own home and hire 24/7 help to live in her home. The woman still lived alone up until she fell and broke her hip! However, she’s so confused and thinks she’s staying at a hotel where my mom is footing the bill so Gram tries to not eat much food to keep the bill down 🙁
I just lost my dad to cancer in June 2012. I was able fly home in time so that I was able to spend the last 5 hours of his life at his bedside. My sisters are nurses so they told me, “It’s time.” And I got on a plane that day. Now I have to consider do I want to try that again with my Gram, or just visit her soon (in the next month) which could be my last visit. I mean I don’t have the ability to take countless flights home every weekend. Luckily my sister is actually a nurse at this exact nursing home, so I’m counting on information from them.
My cute grandma in May 2012 on the left (95th birthday), and her on the right from yesterday. She looks so much worse.
Post # 3
@sienna76: I’m very sorry that you and your family are dealing with this. =( As for your question, I think you should visit her as soon as you can. Though I know your sisters are nurses, medical issues and conditions can change very rapidly. I’d hate to think if you went to visit her at the very end and something changed or happened to hinder you being able to say goodbye in time. Also if her mental capacity is decreasing as you mentioned, I think it’s even more reason to visit her asap on the chance her condition declines further.
Post # 4
@Olive12: Thank you. My mom said she is going to try to move her back into her (Gram’s) house either the 1st or the 4th, but I’m waiting for some confirmation before I buy a ticket. I’d like to be able to be of use and help do things while I visit but I can only stay 3 days.
This is doubly hard because I was kind of on hiatus with my visits to see my family. I haven’t seen them all since I got married or before that even since they did not go to my wedding (yet again).
My H did not fly home to visit his Gram when she was ailing. I guess she was ailing for a long period of time perhaps? But he only visits 1x a year. I was going 2-3x a year before the wedding stuff. But his parents were handling things themselves just fine as in they did not appear to need emotional support; my mom cries daily and seems like she’s on the verge of a breakdown all the time.
Post # 5
I’m sorry you are going through this. 🙁 I think you should try to get home asap. I was with my Papaw (who was like a father figure to me) when he passed, and it was the most heart wrenching thing ever. I cherish the memories I have of him prior to that. I think you would be happier seeing your Gram mobile and able to talk to you than when you lose her.
(Obviously if getting home for both is possible, I am for that)
Post # 6
you got me choked up. Beautiful pictures of your grandma, god bless her heart. You should get home to be with her, sorry you are going through this.
Post # 7
After talking with my sister, she said I don’t need to come in on Feb 1st or 4th (there are plenty of people to help move things); but if I were thinkig of flying in, I should wait until Feb 16th when she’s throwing a 1st birthday party for my nephew Several family members will be there – who otherwise I wouldn’t see if I came in next weekend. So I coud see Gram, extended family and celebrate my nephew’s birthday all at once. UGH! I may book a ticket then instead. So that’s 3 weeks away, rather than 1 week away. A week is kind of too soon when nothing seems urgent right now.
I held my dad in my arms as he sighed his last breaths and that was so very heart wrenching to witness. In fact when I think of my dad, that moment is what comes to mind when his body lay empty, and that’s what makes the tears start. It’s not the missing him that makes me cry, it’s reliving that moment of death.
For my dad, I really wanted to be there at the end. Thankfully I was there visiting two weeks before he passed when he could talk too. Then I flew out and was with him for 5 hours before he passed. But with Gram, I’d rather see her talking than at the end.
Post # 8
@sienna76: Sorry to hear about your grandma. I just went through something similar with mine (who was 93 when she passed) recently. It is really tough to make these decisions. It is really awesome that your sister is a nurse at your grandma’s nursing home. It probably means a lot to her that she can be so close to family even when she is sick. I’m sure your grandma knows you’d like to be there, and if she doesn’t, then tell her. Phone calls, video chats, etc. are possible options to help cheer her up even if you can’t physically be there. If your work gives you time that you can take for medical issues in family members, that may be an option as well.
What I know from my experience is that when my grandma passed, I didn’t have regrets. In the weeks leading up to it, I had taken a lot of time off work to be able to hang out with her in the hospital. She was in hospice at the time, but still fairly alert and chatty. I personally worried a little bit about slacking off on work until I put it in the perspective of, work is forever, my grandma isn’t. I got behind but I don’t regret being able to be there for the day when she told me she just wanted to sit up in bed with me and rest her head on my shoulder. Having that time means a lot to me and I know it meant a lot to her, too. If you can get some of that time and make it work, I’d suggest doing so. You might not be there at the last second even if you mean to. I actually missed my grandma’s passing. I went out for a walk and planned to go to the hospital right after, and in the span of about 10 minutes she changed dramatically and passed away. I don’t really regret my walk, though, because for as important as it is to show your love and support to your grandma, it’s also important that you take care of yourself too. Do what you can to make the time you can take meaningful, and figure out what the most meaningful time is. It might be now, it might be when it’s closer to the end — up to you to figure it out. But I think as long as your heart is in the right place you will make good choices. Do what you can’t and don’t beat yourself up about what you can’t do. If she’s anything like my grandma, she loves you regardless or how much time you can spend there and above anything else wants you to take good care of yourself.
Post # 9
@fallsgirl: That is so sweet, and I’m glad you were near to your grandma so you could see her. I would too if I lived in her state, but I don’t regret not living near. I was glad I timed my visits with my dad the way I did too. It was way more agnozing to time those flights because he’s a parent, not a grandparent.
The thing is I was NOT going to fly home for a very long time. It took guts to decide that; to break my pattern. I am disappointed with my family after not seeing me get married yet again. I didn’t want to see them this soon.
I am going to have to force myself to put those hurt feelings aside (and try really hard not to even mention it when I am in their presence so I can visit Gram. In fact if any relative even says “wedding,” I will probably tense up.
I cannot do a visit there without seeing my mom and sisters however. I will have to stay in mom or sister’s houses, have them drive me around, it’s my nephews 1st birthday. So I am dreading that part. I’m not ready to be chummy with them, but I’m going to have to do it.