Leland Stottlemeyer: People this old they die -- It's like their job.

My nan died in her sleep last night, she was in her mid ninetys.
Thing is she’s effectively been gone for years, she had Alzheimer’s and hasn’t been able to recognize/remember anyone, family even, for about the last ten years. Last time I saw her she mistook me for my dad (her son) and that was before she got really bad. Where do you draw the line when someone gradually fades away, it seems odd to have a funeral now when her personality died years ago.

Mundane, pointless, thought I’d share.

How sad to have the shell live on when the person faded long before. I hope you have lots of wonderful memories of a younger, more vital woman - memories that will bring you pleasure. Certainly that’s not pointless.

Peace to you and your family as you lay her to rest.

I’m sorry to hear about your Nan.
Hopefully it comes as a relief and the family can both pay their respects and share memories of happier times at the funeral.

Certainly not mundane, nor pointless. Sharing like this can benefit others a lot.

We need a new forum - perhaps ‘emotional issues’?

I finished college in July '94 and immediately left to go to graduate school in the USA.

Abuelita (Dad’s Mom), who had recently and of her own will moved into an old folks’ home where she had friends, told me “ah, I don’t know if I’ll see you ever again!” (She’d been living on her own, but with family nearby, for over 20 years; lately she’d been feeling dizzy and figured she’d rather be in “a place with doctors”)

I told her yes, we’d see each other in Christmas.

That Christmas, we met on January 4th, which is both my aunt’s Bday and the anniversary of Abuelito’s death. Lilbro and two other cousins were born the same year; she kept confusing all three (all were present, all are ash-blond and have the family’s color-changing light eyes); she also confused her sons (but always the ones who do look alike, they’re sort of paired). She kept asking the same questions and must have kissed me goodbye like 15 times.

That time I knew I wasn’t going to see her again.

She died February 25, Saturday, Feast of the “Anunciación” (not sure what it’s called in English, when the angel told Mary she was going to have a baby; Abuelita was very devout of Our Lady). The nuns noticed she wasn’t coming down for breakfast, went upstairs, found her lying on top of her already-made bed fully dressed in her best clothes, holding her rosary. She hadn’t been dead more than a few minutes.

I was sad that I’d never see her again, but glad that she’d been able to go the way she wanted, and even in a day she would be likely to choose. And unlike Abuelito, I have 20 years worth of memories of Abuelita.

As we say around here, “I share your feelings”.

This often happens as people who’ve thought of the next generation as “the kids” for years mistake the following generation for them.

After 90, my great-aunt called me by my dad’s name as often as by my own. Funny thing, though – both me and my dad were my dad as far as she was concerned.

Well said. Pretty much what my sister and I were unable to put into words when we decided mom didn’t need a funeral…well that and her living brother and sister were too sick to travel.

Sorry to hear about your gran.

My gran is early-nineties, alzheimered to pieces for the past five years. I agree with your assessment: I think my granddad, the same age but completely compos mentis, has already gone through the grieving process. He even makes gallows-humour jokes about when she’ll “kick the bucket”.

I feel lucky that my grandmother, who is also in a nursing home, is at least still alert and mentally capable, at 101.

I’m sorry for your grandmother, I hope you and you family treasure the memories of the good times.

Thanks folks. Having the board down yesterday was frustrating.

I’ve seen some really heavy posts in this forum, people with real problems. I thought I’d just post my little share (between the cat stories) because I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, it does help to know other people’s stories.

My parents and I talked about this as their parents have gotten to that point. I think we all need some way to grieve for those people who are still alive, but who have lost so much of their memory, cognition, etc. that they aren’t really there any more. My grandma is in that category. She’s still healthy as a horse, but she’s not the person I grew up knowing. That person is gone, and we all need a way to grieve for that loss, but there’s no accepted way to do that when the person is actually still alive.

You remember them by telling stories they’ve told you and holding the person you knew in your heart even when that physical body is no longer that same person. I went through this with my father. That’s what helped. Oh, it still hurt to see him going down and it was still sad when he died, but remembering him as the man I knew as dad helped a lot.

Small Clanger I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Same thing, the Annunciation, but it’s March 25, or nine months before Christmas.