Sunday, June 8, 2008

My grandmother (Dad's mother) had been feeling very lonely and depressed as of late. All her children and grandchildren are working and busy raising their own families and her husband has recently taken a part time job to ease his own loneliness. She finally called and told some family members about this depression and people took steps to spend more time with her. About 2 days later, her husband, Pa-Pa, decided that she, Me-Me was not feeling any better and he was so concerned about her that he took her to the emergency room.

The emergency room decided that she should be taken to the mental health care facility for observation and treatment for this depression. Both Pa-Pa and one of my uncles wanted to stay with her, but the facility would not allow it. She was even more lonely and those places can be really creepy, so she was having trouble sleeping. The facility gave her a sleeping pill.

On her third night's stay (Friday night), after taking her sleeping pill, she attempted to get up to use the bathroom and fell hitting her head. I don't know the details of how she fell or how long it was before she was found, but they took her to the hospital and notified the family.

She had a subdural hematoma that was putting pressure on her brain. The took her into surgery and cut a small piece from her skull to relieve the pressure and remove the clot and stop the bleeding. During the operation her EKG had "some changes" but they told the family that they would not know the extent of any brain damage until she woke up.

Smug-Sister and I were supposed to do some shopping and see a movie on Saturday. But after hearing about Me-Me's fall we decided that we wanted to drive up to Richmond to see her, even though she was supposed to be stable and their was nothing to do but wait for her to wake up. We decided that our significant others should not need to make the trip unless something else happened since she was stable.

We were about an hour out of town, still 2+ hours from Richmond when we got the call. There was another bleed in her brain and significant brain damage along with diminishing cerebral activity. She was not going to wake up. The decision had to be made to keep her on life support or take her off. The doctors were thinking that even with life support she would only last 24-48 hours.

I listened to my dad choked with sobs trying to fill me in and after I got off the phone, Smug-Sister and I held hands and cried for a long time. We decided to keep driving rather than heading home for the husbands because there was still a chance that we would make it before the life support decision had to be made. I called my husband and asked him to mobilize the other boys (Sister's boyfriend, our brother, our step-brother) and get heading up to be with us.

We drove at a safe speed and arrived at the hospital without incident. They showed us into the cubicle where Me-Me was so we could touch, kiss and talk to her one last time. The whole family took turns telling her how loved she was and missed she was going to be. Then Pa-Pa took his turn, thanking her for being his best friend and wife.

We all gathered by her bed as they removed the tubes and wires. She quietly died about an hour later.

Several friend and a few family members were too late to see her in time. Smug-Sister and I only made it there 2 hours before she was gone. The nurses at the hospital told us that they had never seen so many people, so much family there for someone. The family all took turns holding each other and crying for a long time.

We headed back to one of the aunt's homes and family, friend and pizza began to poor in. No one felt much like eating, but the general mood was light. People stayed away from too much discussion about the day. My husband finally arrived and took me into his arms, held me close and made me feel safe. I told him that it seemed like so long since I had seen him, my whole life had changed in the few hours since I had laughingly kissed him good-bye assuring him that she was going to be fine.

We decided to get a hotel room for the night, since there would probably be people stopping by all night, not to mention several young, hyper, loud children. I was feeling like I needed a hot shower, a dark room, and my husband to hold me in the quite for a bit. We found a room close by and the hot shower put me right to sleep. I thankfully slept until about 5am without bad dreams and without waking.

The funeral is going to be on Wednesday morning. We came back home tonight and will work tomorrow while making some arrangements with work and school. I need to get some clothes, order flowers, make hotel arrangements, etc. I think that we will drive back up to Richmond Tuesday afternoon for the wake, stay overnight for the funeral and then come back home Wednesday evening.

When my cousin died, the wake and funeral were the hardest things that I ever endured, this will be much harder. I was close to my cousin, but not as close as I was with my grandmother.

I am struggling with a good deal of guilt, because I was also too busy to make the trip to see her much or even at all. I saw her at my wedding in Sept. and again at Easter, but nothing since then. I had a wedding picture blown up to mail to her, but kept putting off getting a frame for it and getting it mailed - now it is too late.

I am thankful that my family is so close and not at all the type to fight over her possessions or blame each other. We are tight and stand together to hold each other up in tough times. We all have our own faults, but when push comes to shove, we unite.

My heart is broken and I have sobbed and sobbed while typing - I don't know how I am going to get through the next week.


  1. Oh Smug I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. *hugs* so sorry sweetie....let me know how I can help you.