My Grandfather Died Today

My grandfather died today. No really, you don’t need to be sympathetic. He was nearly 94 years old and his quality of life was not what it should have been and honestly, it was one of those things where we were just waiting for him to die.

The last time I saw him was about a year ago. He had no idea who I was and he kept staring at the meal schedule and asking me if it was time for dinner. I would scream in his ear “Dinner is at 4:30 and it’s about 2:30 now so, another two hours.” He would accept my answer and after a few seconds, the process would repeat itself.
The truth was, although it would have been kind of me to continue seeing him right up until The End, it was difficult for my children (he scared the bejeezus out of my daughter) who I had to take along, and he really didn’t know who I was, and, within about 2 minutes or so, he had no memory of ever seeing me. Not to mention the obscene amount of gas it took to get there and back. But I suppose, this is all beginning to sound like a lame excuse.
I imagine the women who worked in the nursing home seeing less and less people coming to visit the patients there, myself included, and thinking that it was sad…
I’m sure many people know how it is caring for old people. It is burdensome and expensive. My mother is not young herself, and her husband, quite a bit older than her, is also in failing health, I give her lot of credit for staying there and hanging on until the end.
I’m not going to lie. At the end, there was a lot of morbid jokes being made.
My mother sent me the news in a text today when I was at work. She tried to keep it light hearted, something like, “your grandfather passed so see ya!” How did I feel? Well a bit relieved, yes, but also sad. My grandfather was a bit of a curmudgeon, but he was the man who supported me when my dead beat father walked out. He was a good guy in the end.
I wrote back to my mother, “I actually feel a bit bad”. And her response came “Me too”.
Those two words written on the electronic screen just looked so sad and lonely that that alone brought tears to my eyes. After all, after our parents go, what is left between us and death?

4 thoughts on “My Grandfather Died Today

  1. I know that scenario well. My dad at 97 was the same. Always saying no-one came to see him when in fact, i know they did. he just didn’t remember. You cannot blame people for not visiting when they’re not recognised or their visit is promptly forgotten. My dad was always asking my hubby if he’d come to shave him, or cut hs hair. He also thought I was his sister, or sometimes his auntie. Don’t beat yourself up over this Marissa. If your grandfather had all his faculties, he would have understood. You have a young family, and as you say, it was a long way away. This was a year ago so I hope you’ve let it go now. You have nothing to forgive yourself for.

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