It’s true, I am back. It might be a day (or two) before you see a real post from me. I’m sure I will mention this in future posts, but for now I will keep it simple.
My grandma had dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s. With the rate of decline, we were expecting her to pass, which is why I took a break from writing. I couldn’t focus (at all) and quite honestly, I didn’t want to. Being with her the last couple months was really all that mattered. What we didn’t know is that Grandpa would go first.
Grandma and Grandpa were both in a nursing home with an awesome staff. Grandpa hadn’t always been easy to handle, so when he was his sweet, funny and lovable self, the staff grew close to him. Grandma, even with dementia, was a sassy as ever. She continually beat all the odds leaving the staff and hospice workers baffled at her continued stability.
“She’s a fighter!” They would say.
Her and Grandpa had been married nearly 60 years. Those years weren’t always fantastic years; they had their fair share (maybe more) of arguments mixed in. One thing is for sure every moment was memorable. In the nursing home, they found each other again. He was the one person Grandma always could remember. As long as he was there, she was never lonely. She’d walk with her walker and he’d follow her in his wheelchair, if he could keep up. They started sleeping in the same bed together again. They went to church together. They ate every meal together. They talked and remembered together. Now, don’t misunderstand, they still fussed at each other, even so, it was like they had rediscovered the love of long ago.
Unfortunately, no one could convince Grandpa to take his medicine–his very important medicine–not even Grandma. His body had lasted as long as it could. We believe (have no proof) that he probably suffered a stroke (maybe many, but this would have been a big one) sometime on late Friday or early Saturday morning. He was unresponsive for the weekend and on Monday we were told he probably would not make it through the night. They were right, he passed Monday afternoon.
We made arrangements, but given certain circumstances, waited until Sunday to have the visitation. We spent the week with Grandma. We wondered what she knew, or if she knew anything at all had happened. We spent the week visiting with guests what would drop in. We talked to her and loved on her until Thursday came and once again we were told she probably wouldn’t make it through the night. She passed at 12:20am late Thursday/early Friday. And just like that, in less than a week, two of the most important people in my life were gone.
Grandpa was one month exactly, to the day, older than Grandma. After nearly 60 years of marriage (three months shy of that mark), he passed just three and a half days before she did. That visitation on Sunday turned into a double visitation, followed by a double funeral on Monday. Some visitors had noticed both obituaries in the papers, others were shocked to walk in and see them both together. Through unbelievable circumstances one thing was clear: their love and dedication to each other.
There is beauty in everything. They were both amazing people in life. Loving, funny, tough, hardworking, and ever loyal–even when things stunk. I haven’t enough words to express how much they meant to me. I have no measurement for how much they taught me. What I do know is this: I do know how lucky I was to have them. Believe me, I miss them terribly. Even so, I know this, the pain will lessen, but the lessons, character, and love will always remain.
Unfortunately, grief doesn’t wait for us to be ready and it doesn’t give us a good dose of pain and disappear forever. Grief finds us all every now and again. This grief is fresh, the pain is sometimes intense. I know being sad is okay and I know I will get better; we will all get better.
My rhythm in life has changed and I need to learn where I am and how this all works–just like many of you. Even though this is still fairly new, the initial fog is clearing and I feel this need to get back in a groove, which includes writing. I don’t know that I will feel like writing every day, or that I will have time (I am still catching up on my stuff around the house that was left untended for months now), but I will be here often. I will try to write a few times a week and if I am not writing, chances are I am reading, so please drop me a line or two. Keep reading, share with friends–we all could use a helping hand because no one should have to do this alone.