Hospital visits to Grandma...

My Grandma [87 years old, so she's done well!] was recently taken in to hospital, prior to that she had been living with us for about 9 weeks now, as she simply couldn't cope properly on her own. Now, as ever they're "still testing" and "can't confirm anything at this point", but she is, basically, nearing the end. Might be days, might be weeks, but she doesn't have long left - as far as we can tell, she has secondary cancer all over her body, from which she will not recover. And we have no idea where it started [GI or liver most likely], as it was caught late due to her utterly incompetent former doctor.

The thing is, I don't know whether to go and see her or not. I love her dearly, she's been a huge part of my life, and I want to say goodbye - but the child-like 17-year-old part of me can't face the thought of seeing her so frail, jaundiced and bedridden as she is. However, the more mature side of me needs to see her. She doesn't know she has cancer - they haven't confirmed, technically, but even then she probably won't know, and I'm concerned that my obvious distress at seeing her the way she is will make things harder for her; again, the girly childish part wants to cry every time I even think about it. I did go to see her yesterday, I only got a few minutes as she had a few visitors to fit in in that hour, and it was very hard to see her like that - it did, I confess, make me rather tearful despite fervent attempts to hide it [not good with crying in front of people, I try to avoid it.]

So, yeah. More of a teenaged whiny ramble about something that's perfectly common and natural, I'm just a bit lost about seeing her die [she might come back to us at the end], or not seeing her, or, well...I don't know.
Thanks for listening [reading?]
Nikki, a sad and touching reflection on our human frailties, There is no easy answer to help you come to your own decisision and the regrets you may feel in later life.
Why not give a quick call to CRUSE, they are bereavement councellors are compassionate and understanding of your grief. They do have empathy and will give you the options you need to reflect on your situation. It is a free confidential service and they just don't do the post bereavement bit.
best of luck and am sorry to hear of your circumstance.
From my own experience, I would take every opportunity to see her. You never know when the last time might be. I doubt seeing her will make things harder for her and seeing you may give her the lift she needs.
Jimmy_Green said:
From my own experience, I would take every opportunity to see her. You never know when the last time might be. I doubt seeing her will make things harder for her and seeing you may give her the lift she needs.
Got it In a Nutshell Jimmy.
I'm going to see her today - because we've cared for her at home up until Wednesday when she was admitted, I'm not in a "want to remember her as she was" situation because I've watched her go downhill. She's got a few days left, so I'm telling my tutor at college to stick it [many reasons for that, mainly a pointless induction week 'helping' new students for no good reason] and taking all the time I can.

Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated.

I'll write something longer later but I just wanted to say that, as long as this is possible, your Grandmother will appreciate you talking to her in the same way you always have; telling her your news, talking about the things she likes and is interested in. If you can, and I know that this is hard, try to stay cheerful when you are with her; if you had asked her, ages ago, what she would like from her family and friends if she were ill and in hospital - would she like sadness and tears or conversation about what happened on Corrie this week and who you saw down the shops yesterday, she would have said she would prefer the latter.

Let us know how it goes.

PS send your Tutor an e-mail today explaining that you can't go to college this week and then forget about it and concentrate on your Gran.
Saw her yesterday - was very hard, wasn't expecting such a rapid decline [the nasal cannula for oxygen was what did it for me, I think]. She was sad when I left, but I am glad I went to say goodbye. Brought her some little fairy statues when I saw her Friday [no flowers on that ward] and she seemed to really like them, she said how pretty they were, so I'm glad she's enjoying them.
My Dad has told me that I need to go to college - he wants me getting on with my life, because my Gran has hours, a few days at most; he also doesn't want me to see her any more. It's his mother, so I have to be guided by him, I suppose - he's concerned about the effect it will have on me, and wants me to 'remember her as she was'. Since she lived with us, and I was one of the ones in charge of her care, it's a bit late for that, but I generally listen to my Dad because he's generally right. I'm telling my tutor today that I'll be keeping my phone on, and will leave college and drive home when the time comes and my Dad has to go to the hospital, but I'm not allowed time off according to the family. Still, if she's still awake tomorrow [very doubtful] I might ask to see her tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks for all the help and support on this one, guys, it really means a lot.
I am absolutely no good at this sort of thing,i get upset if i hear or see children who have had it rough but otherwise it just doesnt effect me,( its all too do with the crappy chilhood i had) what i would say is why dont you celebrate the 87 years of life that she has had,just a thought
Thanks, guys. The support means a lot to me.

I'm officially not allowed to see her anymore, although that was already kind of a given - today she was in and out of consciousness, and didn't even recognise my Dad [her son], she's too ill to know what's happening. We were otld that she had days or weeks - that surprised me, as I thought it would be days [actually, when my Dad still had his phone off and his wasn't home till a long time after visiting hour, I thought it was already over.] It sounds awful, but I don't want it to be weeks, she has no quality of life and wouldn't want to live like this - but I highly doubt it will be. We shall see.

As I said, thanks for everything.
Update, more because venting is kinda helpful - my Grandma passed away last night at about 11:50 p.m. Her children [my Dad inculded] had been at the hospital all afternoon, they then went home at about 10 p.m. as she was still hanging on. I suppose she just didn't want others to watch her die - and, like in life, had to do things in her own time!

I'm very grateful that it was this quick, and not painful - the morphine took care of that - and I have found that the advanced notice on her death has helped with the grieving process. So today is keeping busy, and starting to sort out her affairs e.g. house and clothes.

Thanks for listening.
Sorry to hear of your loss, it is never easy, I have gone though it several times since I was your age so that I am now the oldest of my family left. Keep thinking positively and it will get better. Good luck.
Sorry to hear abouth your loss. All our thoughts are with you.
Be strong and comfort your dad, I don't suppose he's one for showing emotions, and wants only to protect you. Best of luck for your future.
Thanks guys, it means a lot.

Strange as it sounds, it's more of a release than anything - at least that's the way me and my Dad are looking at it. We saw her go downhill, and we saw her at her worst [well he did - I saw her when she was pretty close to it], and we knew how much she hated hospitals. So now it's comforting to know that she's free of the pain, suffering and fear that blighted her final days.
Although I will confess that I have cried a bit today when I was given her fairies back - I bought her them on Friday because she couldn't have flowers on the ward she was on, and they stayed on her table by the hospital bed in her room till the end. They're now on my shelf - looking at them makes me sad, but I want them there.

And, Trelawney, you're spot on - I sat with my Dad last night, we watched the Led Zeppelin DVD, had a laugh, did as we usually do on such evenings [drinks, music and chatty laughter]. That's the best I can do for him, I think, because he refuses to show emotion, he will never cry in front of us kids, and he insists on protecting me. I just try not to get upset in front of him - and I haven't, really, since I came back from the hospital the last time I saw her.

Thanks again for the support.
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