My paternal grandmother passed away unexpectedly. We knew it would happen at some point, she was going to be 99 next month. My parents moved in with her five years ago when it became apparent that her short term memory was not what it used to be. She became worse memory wise and weaker physically. She caught a cold and then went to the hospital. She then went to a nursing home for rehab (she was a fall risk). She liked being there. I think she thought that she was at a resort. We all visited her at Christmas and I held her hand. It was nice.
On 1/16/17 my mom called me and told me that the nursing home was concerned about Grandma b/c she had congestion in her chest. They were taking her to the hospital, where she was later admitted. She was not responsive, but my mom held her hand. I was unable to drive there b/c of the weather ( I live an hour away). She passed away peacefully later that evening.
My grandma and I had always been close. I admired her, growing up. She was never old. She was very talented with poetry and was in many organizations. When I was little I thought she knew everyone in the world. I asked her questions about faith and about when she met Grandpa. They were very much in love. They would even dance in the kitchen when I was younger and before I was born (my mom told me that). He had passed away in 1989. She really missed him. She told me ten years ago or so that she wished God would just tell her what she was supposed to do so she could do it. She was laughing when she said it, but still.
She had dementia. She knew who people were, for the most part. She would sometimes refer to my grandpa as my uncle, and she called my mom by her sister's name once. She would call my dad by his dad's name, although to be fair, my dad does look a lot like my grandpa. She always knew who I was. She was always delighted to see me. She always asked my mom how I was and if my husband was being good to me. He is:)
I am sorry, I am all over the place. She did so much for me. When I first got married, she bought my wedding dress for me. When I was graduating from college, she had the diamond taken out of her wedding ring and had a ring made for me. I "borrowed" books from my grandma and read all the time, like she did. I have a pair of amethyst earrings that she gave me that I wear all the time. I have a coat that I wear when I take my dogs out, that she gave me a long time ago. And it isn't only the tangible things. I could talk to her, tell her things I couldn't tell other people. She strengthened my relationship with God by introducing me to the Bible. She listened and she cared. Before she passed I had the diamond taken out of the ring she had made for me (with my dad's permission) and put back into her wedding ring. A few years before she had forgotten what her wedding ring looked like and I had found it with some costume jewelry. She always wore a gold band, that was her first wedding set melted together. The small diamond, her original engagement ring, is set next to the bigger diamond. I think the gold band meant more, she wore it all the time. Anyway, I visited her and told her what I was doing. She didn't recognize her wedding ring. She told me that she liked rings b/c they were sentimental. And I have been wearing her wedding ring on my middle finger, next to mine.
This is hard for me b/c I didn't think she would die. I thought we had more time with her. And I hated seeing my strong, independent grandma reduced to a person who was like a small child. I went from being able to talk to her, to having to use short sentences for her to understand, to not knowing if she did not comprehend what I was saying, or if she just didn't hear. We had so much fun before the dementia. She would come out to my parent's house for dinner and we would laugh and have so much fun. She, my dad and I have the same sense of humor, and we just had fun. She was more than a grandparent, she was my friend. And I miss her and can't believe that I can't go visit her. I have so many good memories of her. Going to her house to pass out Halloween candy, going to her house after sports in high school and hanging out with her, baking Christmas cookies (although I went sledding more than helping her, I was kind of a brat). And now all I have are a wedding ring and things. They do mean something, but what I really want is my grandma. I feel (and am acting) like a small child. I should be happy that she is in Heaven with our loved ones. That she has no physical or mental limitations anymore. That she is happy. But I am not there yet. Mostly there is a grayness (greyness?) over everything. I don't really care too much about anything. And at night it is harder. I think I have "sundowner's grief". I am sorry this is a long, odd post. Just miss my grandma, and I am wondering if I am going to feel okay again. Thank you for listening.