My Great Grandma Annie - Hard Time Getting Through It

cjmg85November 30, 2008

Yesterday was the two week mark since she passed away. I love her and miss her so much. We were very close and very special to each other. Though her death wasn't exactly unexpected when it happened, it was kind of on short notice.

She died at one month and three days shy of her 95th birthday, and I always always always thought that she'd make it to 100 years old at least. (I myself am currently 23 years old).

She was in such great shape and didn't even look her age at all. She looked so much younger and was a very pretty woman. The only thing she had against her was lung cancer. She was diagnosed with about a year or two ago (don't remember when exactly off the top of my head) but the doctor said that it was such slow moving that it wasn't even a real threat to her. She could have it for years and die of something else before the cancer got her.

So like I said, aside from the cancer, she was in GREAT shape. She was a very strong and very tough woman. She had gone through so much in her life and always came out on top. Even when she was in her late 80s (in 1999) after having a stroke and could no longer live on her own, she moved into my grandma's house and at first walked with a cane, but then no longer needed it. She got up and down stairs by herself just fine and everything! And her mind was just the same as ever, just as smart and sharp witted and full of as much wisdom as ever.

My grandma and her husband go to Arizonia ever winter, and while they were gone one of my cousins would stay at the house with my great grandma. Every once in a while when she'd have to be gone for more than a day I would stay there with her, and for a few months at the end of 2005 and the very beginning of 2006 both my cousin and I were staying there with her. Not because my cousin couldn't handle it herself, but because I just enjoyed being there and never wanted to leave.

Well just after the beginning of 2006 I met who is now my wife, and she lived on the opposite side of town. I started being with her almost all the time, and soon stopped living with my cousin and great grandma. Ever since then I barely saw my great grandma anymore. My visits with her became farer and fewer between. Earlier this year she was moved into a nursing home. My cousin had her own life to get on with and it was getting more difficult to for my grandma and her husband to have my great grandmother there. They had taken her to Arizonia with her the year before she went to the home.

Well, and I REALLY regret this SO MUCH, I didn't go to visit her once in her nursing home and only saw her once the whole summer of 08, at one of my other cousin's birthdays. I didn't even call her. Not ever since she had been in her home, even before, I rarely saw her since getting together with my wife, and even more rarely called her. Why did I do this? Sure, my work schedule was always changing and it was difficult to even plan anything, but why not just go up to see her at least once a week? Why didn't I do it?

In early October she fell and broke her hip. She went in for surgery. I went to the hospital immediately upon hearing this news. The surgery was a success, and she had a partially artificial hip now. It wasn't until then, and this kills me, that I started to go and see her every single weekend. (I had just gotten a promotion at work which gives me all weekends off). It took for her to break her hip before I went to see her there in her home. So many regrets for so much lost oppurtunity!!!!!

After her hip breaking she had her good days and her bad days, and sometimes my visits were on the good and sometimes on the bad, but it seemed that each week that went by she had less and less good days. Her medication made her so tired all the time that she'd fall asleep easily, right in the middle of conversation. Her downward spiral from the broken hip wasn't just because of that or the surgery. It caused her cancer to spread as well. The cancer that was before not a huge threat to her now was serious. It had spread to her bones and to her brain. My poor great grandma!

I was just clocking out at work on November 13th when my mom called me. Great Grandma had an estimated 48 hours to live. I told my manager that I wouldn't be in for work the next day and immediately went straight to her home and sat at her bedside with some of my other family for seven hours, before going home to get some sleep. I woke up the next morning and went straight back. I spent the whole entire day at her bedside with a couple of my aunts. She couldn't talk and her eyes were barely open. They were like slits. I don't know if she could even see out of them or not, but she was aware of who was there and what was going on around her, and she could hear us. I spent a lot of time just sitting next to her, rubbing her head, holding onto her hand, telling her that I love her.

At one point I was staring directly into her eyes when all of a sudden she raised her right arm out towards me. Her nurse, who had just enetered, said that she thinks my grandma wants to give me a hug. I bent over her and gave her a long, big hug. Tears started up. My great grandma could tell. She started to move her mouth, and though no sound came out, I knew she was telling me "don't cry." I said "okay grandma, I won't. I love you!" and tried my best to stiffle my tears. Later she "talked" to me again. "I love you." to which of course I answered "I love you too grandma" and gave her a kiss on the forehead. I made sure to tell her that I love her extra lots while I was there, and kisses on her forehead.

Well it was after midnight when I finally left to get some sleep. I had intended to get up and go back again the next morning, but before I was even fully awake for the day, I got the text from my aunt. "8:24 Gramma went home. Rejoicing with Jesus and enjoying a glorious reunion."

For the first week I was okay. Sad, yes, but I was getting by. But ever since the funeral, exactly one week after her passing (a week ago yesterday) I have just been so sad and so depressed, crying at least one good hard cry every day, plus many times where tears will just stream down in a lesser sort of cry. Even at work as I'm doing my job in the store, I'll catch myself wiping tears from my eyes all day long. Sometimes I even get very comforting feelings that she's with me. Extremely comforting feelings, especially at night, and my crying will cease abruptly and I will actually smile, feel comforted, and happy. Despite moments like these (which I've even talked some about in a couple of other threads) I still get really upset, really down and depressed, really sad, and just can't help but to cry. I have my most favorite picture ever of the two of us together (taken in December 2005) and made an 8x10 of it and paid more than I normally would on a beautiful frame for it. It now sits on top of my piano, and at times I grab it and just give it a big hug and say "I love you grandma!" Hugging that picture like that is now the closest thing that I have to actually hugging her.

I miss her SOOOOOOOOOO much. I have A LOT of regrets about not seeing and talking to her as much during the last two years, and it's just really all getting to me. I can't believe that she's gone. I really can't. On a side note, she's been saying that she's tired and has been ready to go for a while now, but it was never expected before she broke her hip, and then that happened and all of a sudden it was downhill and a little more than a short month later she passed.

My depression is really getting to my wife too. She wants me to stop this but I just can't. I just can't seem to move on from it. It's probably just still too soon, but how much longer will the pain last? I mean, I know from past experience with this that the pain never goes away, but that it does get better. But there is just so much more regret I have with this one than with others. So much more lost oppurtunity I had with this one than with others. This pain just doesn't seem to be getting better. Not at all.

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PS. Another thing that really gets to me is that I have a child on the way. My first one, though it would have been my great-grandma's FIFTH great-great-grandchild. Family was more important and specail to her than anything else in the world. She was SO HAPPY when I told her that we were expecting. She was just thrilled. We found out ourselves a couple of weeks after she had broken her hip. However my great-grandma already knew! She tried to talk one of my aunts into believing that my wife was pregnant, and after my aunt kept telling her that wasn't the case, great-grandma said "we'll see" and had a very smug look on her face. She knew before we knew!

Oh how I wish that Great Grandma Annie could have lived long enough to hold my baby in her arms at least once. It's not due til July, but I thought she might be able to hang in there. I really did. I thought she'd be up and walking again too after her hip healed. Even if only for a while. I thought she had months left, not just weeks. And the fact that she was taken from us right at the beginning of the holiday season also just kills me on the inside. We were so close to having just one more with her. So close. Why were we robbed of it?

I know she'll be and is with us all in spirit, but I can't hug a spirit. The loss of the physical touch is the most painful of all. Oh what I'd give to see her smile, hear her laugh, hear her voice, and give her a great big hug just one more time.....

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 5:27PM
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