Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why does it have to be so hard

to say goodbye?

The end of life is a difficult time whether it comes too soon or if it is an extended drawn out event. My grandma is sick. In fact, truth be told she is dying. Albeit slowly but she is dying. She is 95 years old. I love this woman more than I can express and I am heartsick. My gut reaction is that I don't want to go see her. Just writing that down makes it seem worse than it even is in my head. The reality is that if I do go down there it will be to sit and watch her sleep most of the time. When we saw her at Thanksgiving she spent so much time just sleeping or staring off into space. It was so hard to engage her in conversation. I fear that she is suffering. She cannot do anything for herself anymore. She can hardly even hold herself upright. She was just released from the hospital where they determined that she had a minor heart attack last week and that her heart is also not functioning well. The surgery to fix the major issue with the aortic valve would be too much for her. In short her heart is simply wearing out. So on Monday she was discharged home. She is not eating much and if asked just says she is not hungry. Hospice has been called and will be starting care on Friday. Mom said that the caregiver told her that grandma had a hard time coughing today and brought up a bunch of stuff from her lungs. It appears that possibly congestive heart failure is setting in. The caregivers are letting her sleep as much as she wants, not waking her to get her to eat or whatever. I realize this is the end of life's road but why does it have to be so hard?

I love my grandma so very much. I feel so guilty for feeling this way. I was there within hours of my grandfather dying but had to leave before he actually passed on. Really I should go down. Maybe I will change my mind when my brother gets here. I know that he wants to be down there. Right now he is stuck in a class he needs to get finished for his job. I hope he gets to see her. Mom has been holding off letting him know just how bad grandma is so he will concentrate on his class. He is stressed to the max already because he is changing jobs, trying to get his house ready to sell and find a new one to buy in a town several hours away from where he currently lives.

As I sit here typing this, I find myself second guessing. This is such a hard decision. I love grandma and would love to be able to go down and sit with her chatting and playing cards like we used to. But those days are long past. Furthermore, none of us have a crystal ball. We have no reliable way to predict how long she will be with us.

Mom was so understanding when I voiced my feelings tonight but still I find myself second guessing. Will I regret not having that one last visit or will the memory of her like this haunt me?

Why does this have to be so very hard?

1 comment:

  1. Hugs!!!

    I know how you feel, I had a really hard time right before my mom died. I wanted to be with her but I didn't want to see her in a coma. I wanted to remember her as the vibrant woman she had been for most of my life.