Monday, January 22, 2007

It's Over

The definition of crappy drive home: crying in the driver's seat over the death of your grandmother in the morning while your daughter screams in the back seat because she misses her own grandmother, who left on the morning flight to go home and get the paperwork she needed to prepare for my grandmother's death.

As she did in all things in this life, the old bat (as she was fondly called) chose her own time, and the doctors be damned. In late October they gave her days or weeks to live. On January 22 she finally left us, only after she had finished all the things she wanted to finish, said goodbye to everyone she loved, driven at least one of the home health care workers to quit because of her obsessive compulsion about the placement of objects on counters and the arrangement of tupperware in cabinets, and (most importantly, I think) survived the anniversary of her husband's death one last time.

I have never seen a human being in so much visible pain, and I hope I never do again. I have made the appropriate pacts with my mother and sister in law that we will put pillows over each other's faces before allowing any of us to die like that. I am amazed that she had the strength of will to stay alive through that for anything, but she did. When the extended family left the house yesterday, she began to slip away. She never said another word after we walked out the door. Just quietly struggled for breath until the morphine and the tumor carried her out into deep water.

It is now up to us to settle her affairs. And decide whether to continue the search for clues about what made this woman leave home at 13, never to return or speak to her family again.

My own feelings aside, my heart is breaking for my own poor momma, and with the knowledge that one day I will hold her hand while she dies - something I cannot even fathom without struggling for breath myself.

11 comments:

Phantom Scribbler said...

Oh, SG, I'm so sorry.

mc said...

(((SG)))

I'm so sorry for all three of you.

susan said...

(o). I'm so very sorry for your loss.

oshee said...

oh wow..I am sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was an admirable woman. May you find comfort in knowing even in death she did it her way.

cubmommy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. She sounded like a strong woman.

Sugarmama said...

Hope you're hanging in there ok, my friend. Don't even think about your own mother like that. You'll drive yourself nuts if you don't put that our of your head.

bon said...

So sorry, just so sorry.

Ditto sugarmama... just love your Mom now.

graymama said...

((((SG and family))))

I am struggling for the right words to say to comfort you...

I lost my gramms when I was a sophomore in high school. Today I find solace in the wonderful memories she gave to me, and her person, which I try my best to emulate. Remember your grandmother will always be with you :-)

Try to build upon the memories you already have with your mom by enjoying the days to come with her by your side.

Hang In there!

Piece of Work said...

Oh SG, I'm so sorry. Really.

Inkling said...

Losing a grandma (or two, or more) is so difficult. I've lost three now. Memories of each one still haunt me; I'm surprised at how often I think of them, wonder which parts of me come from them, wonder what they would say or think about what I'm doing now. I wasn't with any of them when they died. I wish I had been. I'm thinking of you.

Belle said...

I am so sorry about your Grandma.

*Hugs* to you and your family.