So, it seems that my sole surviving grandparent, my Grandma is dying. She has been sleeping since late last week and we don’t expect her to come round from this state. She has neither eaten or drank and is being medicated round the clock to keep her as free from pain as possible.
What a sad, sad end to a life so well lived.
There is a beautiful poem about death by Canon Henry Scott Holland, it begins like this;
Death is nothing at all.
Hmmm; what do we think about this?
Death maybe nothing at all; but what of dying?
I wish that death could be as painless as switching off a light. Of planting a kiss on a loved ones cheek, wishing them well until you meet again but alas, that is so rarely the case.
Dying is messy, emotional, inconsiderate, inconvenient, inevitable and often awful. For everyone.
It is the opposite of nothing at all.
My glorious Grandma has ebbed away, she is a shadow of the wonderful woman that she was and it is so bitterly unfair.
I wish so deeply that she had not suffered the pain and indignity of this death. That she had not had her memory pilfered, stolen away from her piece by piece until she could no longer remain in the home she loved, could no longer recall our names and half of her history.
I wish she had not stayed quite so long at this party and her family and friends were saved the grief of this period.
The dying bit.
It is the natural order that you get old and you die; I am not mourning that.
I am mourning the interim period where the person you love is in pain, frightened and unable to manage even the most basic of functions alone.
Gone in all but body but with enough remaining to feel the physical pain.
That is not nothing at all. That is simply awful and feels inhumane.
I know that one Grandma has passed away time will heal this hurt.
I know too that the remainder of this beautiful poem will hold true and, as a family we will be able to share jokes and fond memories and cherish the long life she lived but for now I just feel so very very sad.
Sad for her. She would not have wanted this and we don’t want this for her.
I want her to go to her new home now, with her son and her husband, watch the birds from her easy chair with an earl grey and a slice of lemon cake.
I want her to look in on us occasionally and smile before going back to the crossword and perhaps having a cheeky sherry in front of Songs of Praise.
I want to be able to smile at the memory of baking with her and my cousins, of visiting her church at Easter and making the model of the crucifixion and the tomb.
I want to recall the hot chocolates and bedtime stories, the different voices and her soft soft skin which smelt of Oil of Ulay.
I want to have a wry smile when the girls wear something ‘too grown up’ and recall our shopping trip to “Tammy Girl” and her request for cutlery in McDonalds.
I want to replay her 90th birthday and her face when I told her she was going to be a Great Grandma and I want to remember her seeing the girls on her birthday last year. She was delighted with them.
I want this bit to be over now. Not because I don’t love her, but because I do.
God Bless Grandma.
You are loved.
**Grandma passed away on Wednesday night so is now at peace at least.**