I told myself I wasn’t going to do this, but here goes.
My grandmother is going to die in a week. There, I said it.
Granny has been a diabetic for upteen years, and more recently has had almost full kidney failure. So she takes diabetic drugs (not sure what, but its not insulin) and has dialysis treatments three times a week. I guess I should say that she USED to do those things. Yesterday afternoon of clear mind signed papers stating that she did not want to have these treatments continue. Her doctors warned her that she would die within a week if she did not continue.
She didn’t care.
You see my Granny is tired. She is tired of the pain of the treatments. Tired of dealing with a hip that was broken. Tired of dealing with the pain in her legs and feet from the diabeties. Tired of being blind. She’s just tired, and wants to die.
I respect her wishes. I want her to be free of the pain. I want her to see Paw and be happy again. But why am I being so selfish?
Today, my wife and I went to see her. My mother had warned me that she was a little loopy (some screaming for God to come take her, incoherent at times, etc.) so be warned. I steeled myself over the last 24 hours before we went. Hard face, no emotion. I need to say my goodbyes, and she needs to say hers, but neither one of us got what we wanted.
Granny was asleep when we arrived. I pulled a chair to the side of the bed and sat down. We awoke her gently, and I grabbed her hand. I can remember as a child sitting there holding her old, wrinkly hands asking her to tell me stories about far off places. Watching the red birds eat the figs outside of her bedroom window. Hugging me when I had a hard day at school. Pouring me a glass of Tropical Punch Kool Aid during the endless summers. Those hands of her’s have raised 3 kids, and 2 grandkids (my brother and I). Needless to say, me and those hands have a history.
She still could remember who we were, and knew what we were there for. I even saw her smile slightly as she heard my name. Then she started raving. “God take me now! Lord take me home. I am ready to go home. Take me now God. Robert let me go to God. Let me go Robert. Let me go. Let me go…” She had never been like this. I have never, ever seen her like this. Totally wrong for her.
I stayed together primarly by dropping every emotion. I was a complete and total Vulcan in there. After a few minutes of raving, I stood up, and grasped both her hands. I kissed her forehead lightly and said “I love you, Granny. Goodbye. Go to God.”
She said in almost total clarity “I love you too” and started raving again. I left her and walked out to the car waiting on my wife and mother to finish their goodbyes. I broke down in the parking lot of the hospital, and I haven’t stopped crying since. It just won’t stop. Even though tears are not coming out anymore, and the sobs are hurting my chest.
It seems like when you lose a loved one suddenly it hurts. I know, my grandfather died suddenly. Granny chose this course of action, and she is dying slowly and painfully. At least I said goodbye.
And selfish old me is dying on the inside. As I close this out and hit Submit Thread I am sitting alone in front of my comptuer crying like someone who has lost a piece of his soul.
I just want her pain to end.
Mine’s not going to end for a long, long time.