Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Expected Unexpected

My grandmother, "Granny Goose," passed away yesterday morning.

It was unexpected...

Well, kind of. In 1985 she had a massive stroke and the doctors said she was brain dead and would not make it. That arrangements needed to be made. So my mom began making arrangements. The doctors then advised the removal of the feeding tube. My mom said no. They could cut off all other forms of aiding her, but we had to leave the feeding tube in place. Then my mom realized that when she asked Grandma questions she could blink in response.

Very slowly she made a recovery. But she never regained the ability to talk and she was paralyzed on her left side. She was still there though. She would laugh when you told jokes. She loved seeing family and made friends with EVERYONE at the nursing home where she lived for the last 23 years (incidentally, the longest she ever lived in one place).

Then shortly after my wedding she began heading downhill. There is a family history of dementia among some of her siblings. She began having gran mal (sp?) seizures about two years ago and then just over a year ago the nursing home recommended hospice care.

At that point when we would go visit she would seldom open her eyes and she could barely hold up her head. When she was awake she didn't know us, and would just stare into space or randomly start laughing and pointing at nothing.

But then she started getting better. She would be awake when we would visit. She loved seeing and hugging the babies. She would make eye contact and be engaged when we spoke to her. She was improving.

Then yesterday morning she passed. I know she is in a better place now, no longer held captive by her body, but it still surprised me.

How does something so inevitable, and long time coming, come as such a shock?


Traci said...

I'm sorry to hear about Granny Goose. When my grandma died I was glad for her though because her quality of life wasn't very good. I'm sure it was the same for Granny Goose. It still makes you a little sad though.

Veronica said...

My friend on Oklahoma just had her grandmother pass away. She posted a passage out of a book she was reading that really made the sorrow of death more understandable especially at times when you had time to prepare yourself:

"It is natural to feel sorrow at such times. In fact, mourning is one of the deepest expressions of love. The Lord said, "Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die" (D&C 42:45) The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life."

You loved your grandmother, and mourning for her is another expression of that love. I am sorry for your loss...

Jamie said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandma. My grandma died of cancer and we knew it was coming, but it was still a shock because I was like, "wow, she's really gone." I knew things would be different with her gone and I think the shock I felt was more a reaction to how things were going to change and actually feeling the loss rather than just imagining it. Anyway, I hope you are doing well.