What? I was just speaking to her the other day. She was fine. This can't be happening. But it was. My grandmother was going to turn 91 in just a few weeks and then as the night progressed, her doctors determined that if she had surgery, she would most likely not make it due to her age and it would be impossible to control the bleeding at this point. There was no going back. She wasn't going to recover.
I really didn't know what to do with myself. Should I go into work to keep myself busy? Should I visit in the hospital right away? Should I wait for more information? I decided to go into work and when I thought I could hold it together to update my boss on the matter he following day, NOPE the second I sat down in his office I started blubbering like an idiot. Fell apart. I left work to go to the hospital where I finally saw my grandmother there unresponsive and....oddly sounding like she was just fast asleep. I hated not being able to go into her room without a gown and gloves since she contracted MRSA in her ears.
The nurses kept on talking - and they were wonderful - but any outside noise was quickly drowned out by the millions of thoughts and memories rushing through my head. This came out of nowhere. She was 90 years old, but man was she in great shape. She even kicked cancer's ass just a couple of years back with no problem. If she hadn't slipped, none of this would have happened. She would be fine and we would still be planning her birthday party. I would still be taking her out shopping for her fall/winter wardrobe at Nordstrom like we always did. She was one stylish lady and was always put together.
But then I snapped out of it upon hearing the news of her condition from the doctors. The decision was made to take her off of life support and let her pass painlessly and naturally since if she did live for a few extra days on life support, she would be a "vegetable" as my grandmother's brother put it. It made me mad to know that we had to make these decisions for her, but I know too that she would never want to go on living in her current state. It was only a matter of time. My cousins, aunts and uncles were there sharing memories and not only that, but it was lovely to hear about how many ties and relationships she had at her church and how involved she was within the community. Nothing but good things to say about my grandmother. It was heartwarming to know that other people - not just her family - knew how special she was as they came by.
I have to say though, making funeral arrangements for someone who is still technically living is the worst. Anything related to dealing with a death of a loved one is just something I can't handle. One of the Pastors at her church stopped by and said a prayer with us. I'll always remember her as a smart, strong woman who always stood up for what she believed in and was a strong advocate for education and working hard for what you have. Always dressed to impress and respected first and foremost. She'll always have a special place in my heart. I hope to live a long and wonderful life just like she did. She's an inspiration.
How do you grieve? Do you cry and let it all out right away? Get mad? Make light of the situation? Everyone grieves in their own way and as one who hasn't gone through this experience too often, your thoughts and prayers mean the world to me. It's moments like these that remind me to love life and to live each day to its fullest...because who knows when it may be your last.