My grandmother is slipping away. I went to see her last night after hearing that she may not make it through the night. What a weird opportunity to visit a woman who knows she’s dying, who is still with it enough to hold a conversation and tell you she wants to ride a Segway, to hold her hand knowing it may be the last.
With the three deaths I have “witnessed” (been there to hold their hand near or at the end), a patient at a retirement home, my Husband, my Grandfather, neither of them were really there when I was. Kevin was quite oblivious from the massive amounts of painkillers, and both the patient and my grandfather had severe forms of Alzheimers that took their memories long before they died. But to hold my Grandmother’s hand last night, and talking to her knowing she heard every word and understood it all, was difficult to comprehend.
We’re all dying, but to know that death is so imminent must be one of two things: excruciating, or liberating. Which will it be for me? Will I look back at all the amazing things I was able to do in my life and feel blessed for those experiences? Or will I talk about the things I did not get the chance to complete, the things that I still wanted to do, but know I do not have the time?
This time of year is really eating me alive. Kevin died two Octobers ago. My mom was diagnosed with Uterine cancer last October, along with half my family contracting the Swine Flu. This year my father was diagnosed with Lymphoma after a 9 year remission from the cancer, and now my Grandmother is slipping away. I would not say this is a good time of year for me. Much like my Mother DREADS Christmas for all the bad things that happened that time of year, this Fall season for me is quickly becoming noted for its’ bad moments.
I would say that I am going through a bit of an identity crisis. Determining how to do it all while giving some of it up. Wanting to please others, please myself, achieve my dreams, and find the confidence and belief that I can do it. I realized this morning that in me trying to do everything, I may just be trying to prove to myself that I am worthy to do so many things. It seems I cannot just believe in myself that I can without having to prove it.
Death takes so much, cancer takes much, and it continues to steal from me, my family, and now my spirit…again. I don’t want to let it.
Brenda, my thoughts are with you and your family. And yes, I think a lot about how I will die. Gracefully, I hope.
Stop by my website at http://www.widowsphere.blogspot.com to register to win a copy of The Five Ways We Grieve. It’s a wonderful book for someone facing loss of any kind.
Take care, Thelma
thinking of you and your family