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larussel03

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Oct 22, 2005
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I originally was not going to post about this, but I'm just so upset and I guess I just need an ongoing discussion or something like that.

Last Monday around midnight, my 85 year old grandmother passed away. She is my mom's mom and lives in IL, and since I'm from MA I did not get to see her as much as I maybe should have growing up. I recently moved to MI, so I was only 4 hours away and promised her that I would start visiting her every month and a half as soon as I got a job because I just didn't have the extra funds to travel back and forth at the time. So, I got a job and FI and I were supposed to go down and see her and my uncle for thanksgiving. Unfortunately she had a sudden heart attack in the emergency room on Monday night and she passed away. I should have started going to visit in September, but I let myself be too "busy" to go down before I had a full time job.

I flew down on Wednesday and met up with my mother (Fi and I were going to drive, but our dog was sick so we decided to have him drive down on Friday) and we had thanksgiving dinner (low key version...my grandmother didn't cook anymore so she'd already ordered the meal precooked we just had to pick it up) with my uncle and my grandmother's caregiver who lived with them to give my grandmother 24-hour help (she had parkinson's and had had a couple minor strokes, but she was starting to get alzheimers and everything was sort of compounding). We attended the wake all day Friday and then the funeral on Saturday.

I talked to my grandmother last Friday before she passed and she was so excited that we were coming down, and she sounded weak, but not bad, and she had me take down her order for a McDonald's breakfast that I said I'd pick up for her (she LOVED egg mcmuffins, but she didn't get them often because they were trying to keep her on a healthier diet). She was saying how she wanted to go buy a car (she told 2 other people that that week as well, her lisence had been taken away about 5 or 6 years ago). Unfortunately I just missed her by a few days.

I'm just so sad and I feel so bad and it's starting to really sink in...at first I was really comforted thinking that well she is in Heaven, as the priests who came and her friends would say, but I'm starting to realize that if there is no such thing, then she's really gone.

I don't really know why I'm posting all this, I just feel really bad and wanted to get a little of it out.
 

Dee*Jay

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Mar 26, 2006
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Sweetpea - Big hugs outgoing to you and your family. My grandmother, who really is the one who raised me, is 83 now and I worry about her every day. I really do feel for you and I hope that you remember all of the wonderful times that you had together as a comfort during this time.
 

HooCares

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 2, 2004
Messages
199
SP, I''m so sorry to hear about your loss. I know it is hard to lose someone you love, especially when it is unexpected. I''m sure you have lots of memories to cherish. And remember to be patient with yourself. It will take some time before you will start to heal. Talking to your family and friends about your feelings might help you to feel better. That''s what works best for me.
 

Kaleigh

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Joined
Nov 18, 2004
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29,570
Oh sweetpea, I am so sorry.
I lost my Nanny a while ago, it was a huge loss for me as she was like a mom to me. HUGS!!! When I feel sad, I just remember all the fun times we shared, and the laughs we had. Don't beat yourself up, it doesn't do any good. Just remember the good times. Lisa
 

cutes814

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Jun 28, 2005
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1,803
sweetpea, i'm so sorry to hear all of this.


it's very hard when to comes to a loved one passing away. i know you're beating yourself up because you missed her by a few days and were 'too busy' to go down to visit her. please don't do that. it's not healthy for yourself. you couldn't have done anything. we cannot control these things. when it's time, it's time.

instead think of the long and happy life that your grandma lived. she lived till she was 85 which is a very long life. i'm pretty sure she passed knowing what a fantastic family she has raised and all the thoughtful grandchildren she has. remember her for who she was.

i know it must be so hard letting go since the pain is still so fresh. time will do the healing. don't give yourself too hard of a time, kay? it was out of your hands. if we could predict or see into the future, there are many things we would all do differently.

my heart is with your grandma. i hope she rests well, she deserves it. 85 years is quite a life to live!
 

justjulia

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Apr 4, 2006
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2,308
I feel for you. Many years ago, I left the country on a volunteer teaching tour, and my grandmother died rather suddenly after I left. It''s a terrible feeling. I hope you don''t beat yourself up too badly about this. Stuff happens. All you can do is all you can do and you did what anyone would do.
 

Blenheim

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Feb 27, 2006
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3,136
SP,

I''m so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
 

robbie3982

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Joined
Jun 28, 2006
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3,960
I''m so sorry. I didn''t used to believe in heaven, but after losing a few people who were really important to me, I just started to. It was like I just had to because I really couldn''t deal with them just being gone. I think what''s real and what''s not are less important than believing in what you need to get through this difficult time.
 

KimberlyH

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Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
sweatpea,

I am so sorry for your loss. Please go easy on yourself your intentions were good and your heart was in the right place; life happens and sometimes we have no control. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Kimi
 

Miranda

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
4,101
Oh sweetpea...I''m so sorry for your loss. My grandmother passed away a year ago. I know what an empty feeling it leaves you with. I''ll keep you and your family in your thoughts.
 

diamondfan

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Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I am sorry for your loss and hope it has done some good to get it out, whether it be just here or anywhere.

It is sad to lose a loved one and even more sad if we feel we have maybe let someone down or not followed through on things we meant to. But do not feel bad, I am sure she loved you and knew how much you loved her. My pop pop died after I got married and it has been years but I get sad sometimes thinking about how all of his grandkids (6 including me) never really spent a lot of time with him, and we lived within minutes of him. As we got older we got busier, but we would try to gather for brunch on Sundays, just the kids, when we all could drive. I remember like yesterday him sitting at the table, just watching his six teenaged grandkids, two boys and four girls, with a beaming smile on his face. He was alone and living in the house my parents and uncle had given to him and my grandmother and really was not in the best of health. It would have been easy to spend more time, but we were all so busy and consumed with our own lives. I think it is normal that this happens. You did not live close by and your intentions were good, so try to recall happy times and know that she was happy to see you or talk to you.

There is a lovely passage and I cannot recall all of it, it is for when someone passes away and goes something like, Do not stand at my grave and weep for me...it really has inspired me when I have had to deal with loss, it sort of lets the mourners know that the person is in the breezes and the snowflakes and all the beauty around them...maybe someone knows it and can post it.
 

gailrmv

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Nov 8, 2005
Messages
3,136
Sweatpea,
I'm really sorry for your loss. My beloved grandpa passed away this past summer. Since I've been living out of state the past few years, I haven't seen him as often as I would have liked and definitely not as often as I "should." In fact when he was in the hospital before he died, I didn't go to see him but I talked to him every day. I feel guilty too that I didn't see him that much. But like the other posters said, it doesn't help to beat yourself up, and it won't change anything so please try not to have those thoughts. I have a photo of him and my grandma up prominently in my house and I try to reflect on all the good times that we had while I was growing up. I miss him every day but it does get easier.
 

Ellen

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Jan 13, 2006
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24,426
Sweetpea, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma, they're special people aren't they?

From what you've said, I can imagine how you feel, I've felt that way too. What may help you is what helped me, just make sure to start telling the people still in your life how much they mean to you. Take time out to be with them, don't put it off. That's all you can do, just learn from this, instead of beating yourself up.


And diamondfan mentioned a poem I was given years ago, and know by heart, it is truly comforting.


Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004)

 

AmberWaves

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
3,672
SP, that is so sad. I wanted to give you my condolences, and tell you that I know how you feel. My grandma had a brain tumor when I was in high school, and I couldn''t bear to see her suffering so much, so I didn''t visit as much as I (now) wish I did. Now, ten years later, it''s something I regreted every single day, until I spoke with my two cousins, who also didn''t visit as much. They told me that although they feel guilty every day as well, it''s not how g-ma would want us to be, which I know in my heart is right. If she loved you even a tenth of how much is sounded like, she wouldn''t want you feeling bad, what''s done is done, and all you can do is let those feelings go. And let me tell you, my Dad didn''t believe in Heaven either, but when they went to bury her, and a little butterfly followed them from the entrance to the resting place and stayed there, he felt she was there in spirit. And I dream of her, and smell her perfume when I don''t even realize it''s hers- so I believe. I wish you to be strong, and know that she loved you.
 

diamondfan

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Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Ellen, thank you for posting that, I am glad someone knew what I was talking about. I hope it give Sweetpea a bit of comfort...
 

Rosebud8506

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
665
Sweetpea: I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I too, lost a grandparent just two months ago as well.

My condolences to you and your family.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
I''m so very sorry for your loss. My grandmother is 84 and I worry about her every day. Just the thought of losing her makes me sick. You and your family are in my prayers.

*M*
 

pearcrazy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2004
Messages
1,438
I''m so sorry about your Grandma.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,011
I am so sorry for your loss. Please don''t feel guilty. Your grandma knew that you loved her. My thoughts are with you and your family.
 

larussel03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
1,747
Thank you Dee*Jay, HooCares, Kaleigh, Milly, VegasAngel, justjulia, Blenheim, Robbie, KimberlyH, Miranda, diamondfan, gailrmv, Ellen, AmberWaves, Rosebud, Anchor, Poptart, pearcrazy, codex, bling*diva*, and Tacori so much for the condolences. I've never had anyone this close to me pass away before and it's so hard.

I guess I've been more upset than I thought b/c it's affecting my dog and she's having accidents all over the apt (since the day my grandmother died). I think she can tell that I've been really upset and it's stressing her out a bit too, since we took her to the vet and they said she's fine. The vet said it could be b/c I'm upset that she's doing this. It's just so frustrating because I'm really sad and now I'm also concerned about the dog.

I just really thought that I was going to have at least another year with my grandmother, especially since I lived closer to her and my uncle (he still lived with her) but unfortunately it didnt turn out that way. I told my uncle I'd still come every month or 2 months to visit him, as I had planned to do when my grandmother was still around.
 

larussel03

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Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
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Date: 11/27/2006 5:53:55 AM
Author: Ellen

Sweetpea, I''m so sorry to hear about your grandma, they''re special people aren''t they?

From what you''ve said, I can imagine how you feel, I''ve felt that way too. What may help you is what helped me, just make sure to start telling the people still in your life how much they mean to you. Take time out to be with them, don''t put it off. That''s all you can do, just learn from this, instead of beating yourself up.


And diamondfan mentioned a poem I was given years ago, and know by heart, it is truly comforting.


Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning''s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.


Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004)

Thank you diamondfan and Ellen...that actually is comforting.
 

hlmr

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
2,870
Sorry to hear about your Grandmother Sweetpea! It is never easy to lose someone you love, especially the first close loss like that is so hard. Take good care and remember that she will always be with you in your memories.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,120
I''m so sorry to hear this as well. But how wonderful that you spoke with her just last Friday and have warm memories of that conversation! And I''ll have to tell you, not that it will take away your sadness, but a heart attack is a true blessing since many people go through long illnesses and end up in nursing homes. And I do believe in the better place.
 

larussel03

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Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
1,747
Date: 11/27/2006 7:44:20 PM
Author: diamondseeker2006
I'm so sorry to hear this as well. But how wonderful that you spoke with her just last Friday and have warm memories of that conversation! And I'll have to tell you, not that it will take away your sadness, but a heart attack is a true blessing since many people go through long illnesses and end up in nursing homes. And I do believe in the better place.
I actually feel the same way. Her parkinson's was starting to get bad and she was having trouble swallowing, so if she lived for another year or so, chances are she'd get really bad really fast and she really just wasn't happy the past 6 months or so. Her mobility had quickly declined, she did not want to do her exercises or get out of bed and she was starting to get Alzheimers. It's a blessing because she didn't even know it was going to happen, so she didn't have to be scared or worry about it.

Even in the emergency room, she was talking to my uncle telling him to make sure that the food she'd ordered was right and was coming on Thanksgiving for dinner with FI and I. She was always a social butterfly and very into charity work and entertaining, even up to the minutes before she passed. It's what she really enjoyed.
 

firebirdgold

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Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
2,216
I may sound a bit callous Sweetpea, but... She died happy, looking forward to the holidays and to seeing you. If your grandmother was developing alzheimers this was a far better end to her life than what she was facing. I wish my Grandfather had died that way, and given the probability of my father developing alzheimers, I hope my father dies someday anticipating a fun, family-filled event.

I can''t say if there''s a heaven or not, but our loved ones live on in our memories. Don''t let your memories of your Grandmother be clouded with your guilt over not visiting her earlier. Remember her with love and in happiness.
 
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