Dammit, not again

Two months ago, I was awakened early one morning to a rather depressing phone call: My grandfather, Dad’s dad, had passed away.

This morning, history repeated itself. Once again, an early morning phone call, once again, depressing mood, once again, death. This time, it’s my mother’s father.

PaPa Ed had pneumonia on top of bad congestive heart failure. Apparently the fluid was building up so much around his heart that the lasix (diuretic) couldn’t keep pace with it. He was suffering so much, my mother tells me, that toward the end, his wife and family were praying for him to die and end his misery. When he first went into the hospital a few weeks ago, he had been more chipper; at one moment, he would be saying, “I’m just so tired, so very tired.” Yet next, he would ask Kathy (my aunt) in a cheerful voice, “So, Kathy, have you bought plane tickets for Laura’s wedding yet? Would you look into prices for me?” That still warms my heart.

Last week, he cried for the first time about his physical condition. He said he was just so tired of fighting; he just wanted to take the long road Home. This morning, my aunt and uncle were bracing him on either side, helping him stand up to try to drain the fluids built up in his chest; PaPa said, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m so tired. I’d just rather die.” They set him back down on his bed, he lied down, rolled over, and died.

PaPa was a very quiet man, but of all my relatives, he is the most like the man I’m marrying. Tall, quiet, contemplative, big fan of electronics and gadgets, very much a plane fanatic. When Brian and I visited a month ago, the two of them spent a day at a field where model airplanes are flown. My PaPa has several models that he used to fly there; unfortunately, his vision got too poor for it (he couldn’t see the planes once they went a distance, and several were crashed this way).

I haven’t cried yet. It hasn’t really sunken in.

My grandmother will be a basket case. I want to fly out more for her than the funeral. I missed my PaPa Carl’s funeral and all the goings-on around it; I don’t want to miss this. I feel very close to this grandmother, and want very much to be there for her.

School starts Tuesday. I may very well miss the very first day of school, and almost certainly a part of the first week. I don’t know what I’m goingto do.

What a shitty way to begin, and then end, my summer. Everyone’s time comes, and it was both of their’s, but…well, saying good bye is never easy or without grief.

I know. I lost my grandfather when I was 13, followed by my father a month later.

Death is always hard to take, but when it sem to keep claiming loved ones, it can be a little hard to deal with.

You have my thoughts and sympathies.

{{{Ruffian}}} There aren’t words to express how much I feel for you at this time. It’s always hard to say goodbye to any loved one. Wish I could help somehow.


I suffered two painful losses last year, my father-in-law and my grandmother. I’m still feeling the pain of those losses. I know how bad it hurts.

I will be thinking of you.

yea, you can always kinda tell those awful phone calls, can’t you.
One thing I personally cling to, is that as long as I have memories of these people, they are with me. So, keep them with you…

Oh, Ruff, honey…I’m sorry. FWIW, I’m glad he’s not “tired” anymore. Big hugs to you and your family, love.


In February, I had up-front tickets to see my musical idol of 16 years. The day before the concert, my grandmother passed away. Her funeral was the day of the concert, 300 miles away…
…I feel very certain that Gran-Gran knew how important this concert was to me and would have wanted me to make the decision I did.

Looking back it seems horrible that such a day ended up being one of the happiest moments of my life. The world is quite backwards that way. Sometimes you just have to postpone grief.

Note: This is merely an anecdote and I’m not even remotely trying to tell anyone who to view death. I totally understand that some people may see my choice as “wrong.” Just wanted to share.



Please accept my condolences. My father-in-law died about this time last year, also of congestive heart failure. We got that phone call early in the morning. It’s so hard to see someone who was so active and intelligent gradually weaken over time. Like you, we all knew his time was coming to an end. Didn’t make it any easier when it happened, but it was a relief to know he was over it.

Take the time from school. Any school worth its salt will accomodate your need for grieving, and your need to support your grandmother.


My beloved mother and much loved brother died almost exactly one year apart, two/three years ago. In between, I lost my two older cats. As years go, that one really took the “worst year I can ever imagine” award. If I live to be a hundred, I don’t think I will ever entirely get over it.

Please accept the hugs of a person you don’t even know, who is sitting here crying like a baby for you. I am glad that your grampa is at rest, but in my experience, that does not make it easier for those who loved him to deal with it. It will help eventually, but right now it is just something that people who are trying to help say, because they don’t know WHAT to say, and that seems the most comforting thing they can think of. And, bless 'em, at least they are trying.

I found a book that really helped me. I lent it to my friend who lost her (young) husband to cancer last spring, and she agreed with me that it was a great help. It is called “Living With an Empty Chair.” Nothing is going to help very much at this point, but I think that you would find some help in this book.

All I can say is that I understand, and I care, and you are going to get through this. Thank God that you have your Llama to hold you, that is the best medicine there is.

Wish I could do more, but I am going to be praying for you, and sending loving thoughts.


I’m very sorry, Ruffian. I know how hard it must be to lose both your grandfathers in the space of a few months. You and your family have my best wishes.

I lost my last grandparent–my mother’s father–five years ago next month. I still forget he’s not here anymore sometimes.

Ruffian, I’m so, so sorry for your pain. Nothing shakes the foundation of one’s world like losing loved ones. When those losses pile up it’s incredibly hard to cope.

The three senior members of my family all died–on major holidays–within two and half years. Shellshocked by grief, we “younger” folks said in all seriousness we had to get together for some holiday without a funeral. The last, and worst, was losing my mom. My marriage was on the rocks, so I drove home when alone when she was admitted to the hospital. She died before I got there.

The grief and loss do fade with time, and acceptance sets in. You’ll be able to remember their lives, and be glad that death released them from suffering.

Chris is right; he was too tired to go on, and is at peace now.

With deep sympathies to you and yours,



I am so sorry that this has happened to you again so soon. I know nothing any of us can say will take the pain away.
Just know LIONsob and I are sending good thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

I really don’t know what to say.

I sympathize with you. What a terrible thing to happen AGAIN, in so short a space of time!

All I can do is to encourage you to face this terrible situation with the strength, courage and intelligence and other great qualities that anyone who’s ever met you (as I was fortunate enough to do) knows you have. Give your loved ones the support they need and share your strength and compassion with them.

You will be in my thoughts.

Thank all of you for your kind words, hugs, and support. I am still amazed by the sense of community this board provides. Well, it isn’t a sense of community…it is a community.

An update: difficult as this decision was, I have decided not to fly out for the funeral. If I did so, plane ticket prices would be outrageous; in and of itself, that isn’t so much an issue…however, it would mean I wouldn’t be able to go to Ohio at Christmastime, as the Llama and I had been planning. I love my grandmother dearly, but know that she has all of her daughters there with her to help her through this; two of them live locally in the area and will be able to assist her when the funeral and all related hub-bub passes. By coming at Christmas, it gives her something to look forward to, and that time will be even more difficult for her.

Also, she adores Brian; he’s been adopted as a grandson by her (all of his grandparents have passed away). I know that he would be a wonderful comfort for her as she loves his company so; but, Brian cannot get the time off work as this is not a blood-relative of his (in addition to the costly ticket prices). This way, she’ll get to see him, too, in just a few months.

Yesterday I wrote up a little something to be read at the funeral, printed some digital pictures from our visit last July, and drove it all over to my parents’ house with Brian in tow. I went more for my mother than anything; I figured she could really use the company. All four of us went out to lunch, and then Mom and I shopped for a while. I know that may seem odd, but she really enjoys getting out, and she actually cried when I suggested we go look for new clothes together…she said she would love to. Once we got back to the house, we just kind of hung out and helped out. My parents’ pastor actually made a house call to pray with them, and Brian and I joined them in that.

I went with Mom to a teacher friend’s house (Mom teaches as well) to deliver her lesson plans. During the drive, Mom just talked about her dad…the last thing he ever said to her (“I love you”), how he worked 80-hour weeks so she could be the first in the family to go to college, how marvelous a father he was to her, and so on. It was honestly very good for her, and really, me too.

I haven’t cried all that much yet…it still hasn’t sunk it. I went to take care of Mom yesterday, and that was more my focus than anything. Funny how different grief can be from one death to another.

Anyway…thank all of you, again. I’ll just hug all of you back! {{{DRYAyeshadropzoneTVeblenMysterEcksScotthierjtiFarisGoldsteinAudreyKChrisCTPwringPersephoneSmoothOperatorSealemon88}}}


I know how you feel Ruffian. My natural father died when I was 10, and I missed my senior prom so I could be a pall-bearer at my paternal grandfather’s funeral. Grief can be an unbearable burden. Just hang on to to the living, and respect the memory of the departed. If or when you have children, tell them what their grandparents were like, what kind of people they were. I think that’s the best way to honor the dead.


from your Fan Club founder who is respectfully yours,

i’m so sorry for your loss ruffian, may his memory be eternal.