My grandmother passed way on June 18th of last year. I have barely been able to function this past year. I'm doing good if I'm up and dressed before noon. It's so hard to focus on the important things like going back to school and working. I've spent a lot of time trying to distract myself, but I rarely go more than a day at a time without thinking about her. My dad was never part of the picture, so she was my other parent. She loved all ten of her grandchildren but she was more involved in the lives of my brother and I. I saw her or talked to her everyday. I have a lot of guilt and anger about her death. I begged her to go to her cardiologist when she started feeling bad and that led to over two months in the hospital. It was horrible for her; she really wasn't treated very well. I dropped out of college so I could spend more time at the hospital with her. She went through months of pain, frustration and poor treatment for nothing b/c she died. I am angry at the hospital staff for not treating her better and I really think they could have saved her. They seem to disregard her b/c of her age. I feel guilty for asking her to go there in the first place (she had already told my mom and uncles she didn't want to go). It's been a year and I know she wouldn't want me to feel so sad. She would want me to get on with my life, but that just makes me feel guilty for letting her down. I need to get it together; I would like to go back to school in the fall. I just don't know how to do it.
Rottluvr, I'm vey sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, we always tend to blame ourselves for a close relative's death, one way or another. You actually did the right thing for your grandmother by sending her to a cardiologist. There is nothing more that you could have done for her.I don't know what her age and condition was, but I'm sure the cardiologist did everything in his power to help her. Sometimes there is only so much you can do for an ailing elderly lady, especially with a cardiac condition. I agree, nurses can seem hard and uncaring. Some of them are run off their feet, and some are just plain burnt out. I'm sorry that you had to go through that experience with your grandmother. I know how much you miss her, and you will never forget her. The pain and guilt will ease with time, but there is no time frame for grief. Try to focus on all the things your grandmother taught you, the years you spent with her, and how she would hate it if you felt guilty about her passing. One day you will have peace, it's a hard road to get to, but one day you will feel better. My thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to you.
Sorry about your Grandma, Rottluvr. My Grandma passed away when I was 15, so its been 15 years now. It does get less painful, but I still miss her like crazy. I never had the feelings of guilt about how she died, but I did feel guilty that I didn't spend enough time with her while she was still here. I don't know how old you are. But when I was younger I used to spend about every other weekend at my grandma's, but then I got to high school and I got "too cool" to spend much time there. I felt so guilty about that, and still wish I hadn't been such a brat back then. Even though she's been gone half my life, she's still very much a part of it. I have a lot of her in me, and I still see her in my dreams. I still get choked up when my dad tells me "your Grandma would be so proud to see what a strong young lady you've become." I don't want to make you feel guilty, but the best thing you can do for your grandma is remember the good times you had with her, and move forward with your life. Continue to make her proud!
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there. (Will Rogers)
Thank you for your comforting responses; they helped. Hopefully, returning to school will help. I'm just not looking forward to explaining why I left. I know I did the right thing by leaving. I got to spend a lot of quality time with her. I'm just afraid I'll fall apart everytime it comes up. Again I want to thank you guys. Sometimes it just easier talking to someone online.
Rottluvr, I understand how you feel. My father died on June 25 of last year.He was my rock, the foundation that made my world a safe and positive place since I was a young child. My birth mother never wanted me and left me in the care of my two grandmothers while she moved 600 miles away. My grandmothers were very strict and in their 50s and 60s when I was born. I know they loved me , but it was a very lonely childhood as there were no other children nearby. My father and stepmother became the center of my world from the time I was 8 years old. Thanks to them I was able to have contact with other children and a more normal life. I always knew I could go to my dad with any kind of problem and he would help me work thru it so I could make my own decision on what to do. I miss he wise councel very much. He only had a high school education, but he spent his whole life learning about a variety of things and was always eager to share information.I believe no one ever really dies as long as there is one person who keeps their memory alive. The body fades away but the spirit lives on. Be strong and remember your granmother's love and you will be comforted.
I sincerely hope that by your reaching out to others to share your overwhelming grief & loving memories of your beloved Grandmother it indicates one giant step forward in helping you overcome your tremendous loss. I wonder, too, if perhaps seeking out a grief counseling group may not help you to come to terms with your loss. If by "returning to school" you mean college, I suspect your guidance counselor might have some resources available that she could suggest to you & I encourage you to seek support there as well.
You have to believe that your Grandmother would not have sought medical help, despite your urgings, had she not realized a need herself. I remember when my Grandma was "nearing the end", during one of my last visits with her the only time she cried was when she plaintively said, "I don't know why I'm still here". She was one of 12 children, born to dirt poor farmers at the turn of the 20th century & she had watched all of her siblings pass away, & her husband (my Grandpa) as well. It was the loss of her "baby sister" that seemed to be the beginning of the "end" for her & in the end you could tell she was very much at peace & just so very tired of "hanging on", watching her loved ones move on to greener pastures one by one.
My mom & her sister never lived near each other during their entire adult lives, each following their military husbands around the world, & it wasn't until they reached their husbands' retirement years that they were able to once again live within a few miles of each other. Very early on, when starting their newly married lives, they came up with the plan that when either of them came unexpectedly upon a bird's feather, that sister would know that the other sister was thinking of her with love.
When my aunt passed away my mom took a cutting from one of the geraniums left at my aunt's grave site &, sticking the cutting in the ground, we watched that tiny cutting blossom into a humongous bush of gorgeous peach colored geraniums. My mom put a bench out by the bush where she would often wile away her sunny afternoons & one afternoon, shortly before my mom passed away, we discovered an absolutely perfect bird's feather resting on "her sister's" bench!
When my mom passed away in April, 2007, my husband bought me a beautiful set of huge wind chimes that he hung for me in what I call my "Deer Garden Oak", a beautiful oak tree out in back across our driveway from my kitchen window that's surrounded by deer (& other assorted critters) garden statues.
Now sometimes when I'm out in the back yard hanging clothes, when there's not a BREATH of wind, those heavy chimes start ever so gently chiming & I know in my heart that it's my mom stopping by to bring me comfort & let me know all is well, bless her heart. (I also shared my grief & my loving memories of my mom on this forum last year, "An Early Mom's Day Tribute" if I remember right.)
As with Dusty's cherished "dream", & as others here have said, our loved ones do find ways of letting us know they're with us always.
I know the pain of not being able to hug a loved one who has passed away but I also know the joy of those precious memories of the lives we shared. I've always said "it's not the 'going' that's the hard part, it's the 'being left behind'.", & I truly believe that.
It's obvious to all that your Grandmother loved you very, very dearly (& vice versa), & you know in your heart that she wouldn't want her passing to cause you paralyzing pain & heartache. The best tribute you could offer to her is to live your life fully, joyfully, & lovingly, spreading the "lessons in life" your beloved Grandmother taught you, God rest her soul. Gosh, I'm sorry this is so darn long but I truly do feel your pain & I hope you are able to find peace within yourself.
Dogs have taught me all I need to know about life, love, loyalty, & laughter; & (heartbreakingly), loss & "letting go" of a loved one as well. God bless ‘em…
Hi Rottluvr, My mother passed away almost 3 years ago, a very painful end after she was finally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was operated on (a mistake with hindsight) and spent 2 1/2 months in intensive care before being put on a ward for 3 weeks where I lived with her in the hospital (we were fortunate she got a single room). What happened during my time there made me very bitter and when she finally passed away I was consumed with both guilt and anger, the what if's kept popping up in my head no matter how hard I tried to function normally again, my then husband was aghast, I became detached from even my kids, I just didn't know how to get myself out of the big pit of despair. Then I decided to buy myself some spiritual books to see if that helped, they did. The Power of Now by Eckhart Toll was one, Deepak Chopra - The Way of the Wizard was another (this I had to read at least 3 times its heavier reading). They helped me to understand the importance of "now" and learn how to deal with the past (no matter how painful). I'm not saying its easy, but it helped me tremendously at a time when I felt very vulnerable and opened my eyes to lead a fuller life with my children for which I am grateful.
I'm 23 years old. When I was a child my mother and father both worked 9-5 jobs. They bought a brand new double wide and made our home in the land right next to the house my maternal grandma lived in. Needless to say, my grammie and I were never apart. I spent all of my days with her. She was my very best friend, the brightest part in my day. I remember her so vivid sometimes. Always up at 7am on the dot, watering her flowers and filling her bird feeders, feeding the goats in the pasture across the street, going to her mailbox. She was an early bird for her entire life, always on the go.. always doing something. It was in early 2005 when I noticed something was very wrong. Grandma would get up in the mornings with me and my mom while we got my little sister off to school... only she'd go back to bed and sleep until 11 or so. That just wasn't like her, then she complained of 'pressure' in her abdomen. After 3 visits to the 'doctor' and a diagnosis of a freaking bladder infection.. I had had enough. By this time she had withered down 60lbs. She was acting/looking like a mere shadow of her former self.
Two days later, two days before Easter we got the news. Stage 4 liver cancer. That's the devils disease right there. It had started into her colon, and her liver was already eaten up with 4 baseball size tumors. They put shunts in, but it only bought her barely any time. She only had one round of chemo, and was too weak/jaundiced to take any more. She withered away in front of my eyes from the 5'10", 220lb woman I knew her as to a 82lb bag of bones. I can't explain the anxiety of watching that, knowing that it would eventually come to an end.
November 25, 2005 it started. She quit eating -anything-, she was delusional.. even out of all the delusions she asked for me. She wanted me to help her bake wedding cakes. *smiles* Even though the delusion had nothing to do with the time, she wanted me to make them with her. Her lungs started to fill up with fluid early morning on the 28th, and we lost her at 12:43pm. The cancer had spread from her colon, to her liver.. then to her lungs and her brain.
People speak of signs, and things. My grandma absolutely adored her red birds. The only bird I ever see in my yard since I bought this house is a red bird. They absolutely cover my back yard. Another thing was my grandma took a nightly drive EVERY evening out in the boondocks to look for deer. I have had deer in my yard in the middle of town, I have had deer stand in front of my car and just stare at me.. and once I've had a deer walk UP to my car and stick it's nose on my window while at a stop sign. There are even times when I swear I can smell her avon perfume. Some things can't be explained, I guess... but I like to think she's still with me. It will be three years very shortly, and it seems like an eternity since I saw her face.