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I lost my grandpa to Covid-19.


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Hello! new member here. I realised I need some sort of a grief group where I can just talk because I’ve been struggling a lot lately and I don’t what else to do. So I would like to share how I lost my grandad. 

On 28th of March, I called 999 because my grandpa who lived alone in London was experiencing covid symptoms; shortness of breath, severe coughing and even fainted. For his age, he had no underlying health conditions and was healthy. Two hours later the ambulance still hadn't arrived so I called back and they said they were stretched but were coming... It was the next day that they finally arrived and, in the midst of a pandemic, diagnosed my grandfather's symptoms as a chest infection. They left him but told me that I shouldn't visit during social distancing. A week later (next Saturday, 4th of April) we had to call 999 again because my grandpa lost his appetite (another main Covid-19 symptom) and he was so weak he couldn't speak. The ambulance arrived and diagnosed him with Covid-19 and took him to a hospital. They left an 85 year old man alone for a week after misdiagnosing him despite him having nearly all the Covid-19 symptoms and when he was in the hospital, he tested positive for Covid-19. 

3 days later and we spent half our time on the phone to the hospital for updates on his condition until we received a call at night that he is not going to make it and we should visit him. Mum wanted to come down but was told “3 hour drive from Leeds (city in North England) might be too late for it” and then the doctor started crying and hung up the phone. So I needed to get to the hospital without any family members with me. 

After a 40 min Uber, upon arrival at the hospital there wasn't a single receptionist or anyone to help in sight. After 20 minutes of running around in circles fearing I wouldn't find my way to my grandpa before he died, I made my way into the Covid-19 ward. Everyone looked as if I shouldn't be there but no one came to help until I started yelling "hello, hello" at the empty reception desk. When a nurse came over and asked why I was here and said I shouldn't be here, looking blankly when I said I had received a call to say goodbye to my grandpa.

While the nurse was questioning who called me, another nurse walked past and heard me say my grandpa's name and said he is fine. But when I asked "is he dying or not?!?", no one could tell me. Eventually, a nurse took me to my grandpa’s ward to find out what was going on and instructed me to put on some PPE. As I stood there crying, trying to put on my gloves and thinking this would be the last time I see him, the nurse turned to me and said "Hurry up, I have better things to do." 

I was taken into the Covid-19 Ward and sat next to my grandpa until a doctor came over and said "I don't know who called you or why but he is critical yet stable and you should leave"... I was ushered back out the ward with again not another person in sight and left to handle my own PPE and all of the soap dispensers were empty..

Later that night when we recieved a call at 23:45. I expected the worst and didn’t want to answer but it is as a call to say he seems better. Why call at that time when we are in bed to say that? More false hope and misjudgement as the next day, unfortunately my grandpa passed away... I had to self isolate for 14 days after being with him on the Covid-19 Ward. Until the funeral which was on the 27th of April, and mum could come down, I was all alone. 

I was really close to my grandpa and I think he deserved so much better. He was the best grandpa anyone could ever asked for. I love him and will miss him so much. 

Now I’m in Leeds with my family but we are struggling. And seeing my mum and brother also cry and their down moments is making me more upset. I’m unintentionally pushing my boyfriend away as I can’t even have the motivation to talk or be happy. I’m angry and sad and lonely. I’m working during the day or try to do things to put my mind off things but everything is just so hard.

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OMG, it sounds like things are really messed up there, I don't know about the UK but here in the US I would complain to the head of the hospital AND the medical association.  No excuse for how they handled all this, frazzled, overworked, or not.  I am so sorry for your experience AND your loss.

Talk to your grandpa, tell him you tried your best to visit him and didn't want him to die alone and how much you love him, what he meant to you.  Who knows but what he can hear you.  So much we don't know about the spirit world.  One thing is for sure, death cannot destroy our love or our relationship.

Have a frank talk with your BF and let him know that with what you're going through, it's sapping everything out of you and you have no room for anything else right now.  It's a shame to throw away a perfectly good relationship but only time can tell if that can be salvaged, both of you's feelings will come in to play, but just be honest and respectful.

I hope you feel free to continue coming and posting here, it does help to get your feelings out and know you're heard and understood.  Sending you hugs from afar.

https://whatsyourgrief.com/unique-loneliness-grief/

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Thank you so much... Honestly I even thought suing. After we got the call of him passing away, the nurse said to me I should come again to collect his belongings. And I was like I’m supposed to be self-isolating how do you expect me do same thing all over again? And the Nurse said “oh okay then I wrote this down, you can come anytime”. I felt awful so I still decided to go. The very next day of this phone call, I was going to go and gave the hospital a call just in case to say I was coming and why. They said they can’t find his belongings and I should come the next day. This went on for 10 days. We complained, phoned the hospital management. At the end of the 10th day finally the Ward Manager admitted that they have disposed his belongings... 

I just can’t believe this is happening here. I’m angry that people are being treated as if they are disposable.

I’m trying to be there for my brother as he is only 13 but i can’t do anything for mum which makes everything harder. I did try and talk to my bf but it feels like we are both on different levels. He said we should watch a film while facetime but when we did he told me off for not being energetic enough even when I said i love you back and he complained about his work or how he was struggling being alone too and I just got so angry. I feel like this became a routine, us trying and then one of us getting angry or something. 

I will come back to the group, I think this has been kinda of a saviour. Thank you for the link too I will read it

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I'm so sorry, ilayda, both for your loss and for the awful way your family has been treated by that hospital.

If you're feeling up to doing some reading, I'm hoping one or more of these articles will be of help to you. Note that each article has additional resources listed at the base:

Helping a Grieving Parent

Helping Grieving Children: A List of Suggested Resources

Is Anger One of the Stages of Grief?

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Wow.  I can only say, wow.  If you have the energy, it might not hurt to sue them so they revisit their practices and treatment of people and no one has the same experience you did.  It's not about money, it's about needed changes and sensitivity...or lack thereof.  I am so sorry.  Hard to believe they can behave this way.

I picked my FIL up from the hospital one time, they'd called and said to come get him, it was lunchtime so I let my boss know and left work.  I got there, he's Diabetic, they hadn't fed him lunch, they lost his clothes.  We lived 1 1/4 hours away from the hospital so not like I can just run home and get him some and run back!   I told them to bring him lunch, by this time it was after 3.  They didn't find his clothes until 5 and never did feed him.  He'd had a procedure in the morning so hadn't eaten all day and he was in his 90s!  I don't get how a hospital can bungle so much.

The articles will be of help to you.

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I know.. No matter what happens, there should have been some sort of measures to follow. No wonder UK has the highest death rate in Europe right now. i mean how can they throw away people’s phones, wallets and their personal items. I would have liked to have his watch back.. 

Omg! I’m so sorry hear that. Must have been such a horrible experience for you and for your FIL. It is crazy how we leave our loved ones in hospital care believing that they will be taken care of and if we can’t even trust hospitals to do what they are supposed to, what are we even left with?.. I’m constantly worried about my mum now, thinking what do we do if she got corona or if anyone else I cared is left alone like my grandpa?

Now I’m often having flashbacks, looking at him on a ventilator and how I wish I could have known what he was thinking or if he knew he was dying..

 

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I encourage you to talk to him as if he can hear you, tell him your feelings, he may in fact be able to.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi ilayda. 
I’m just new to this group and I know you posted in May 2020.  But I’ve just lost my grampa too and feeling the exact same way.  
just wanted to reach out and check how you were doing. Life can be so cruel and I hope you can remember the lovely memories you had with your grampa. That’s what I’m trying to do, as hard as it is. Xx 

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