Death, I been told it will get better with time, your heart will heal. So, you keep waiting, year after year for it to get better. But it doesn’t get better, don’t let anyone fool you. Truth, at least and the way I see it…the pain never lessens, we just learn to cope, we handle it better and in time we can push it out of our mind for longer periods, so that we can function. That’s how I see it, the truth is the depth of our pain, is the depth of our love…think about that for measure. So, know this, you will cope better in time, but the scars will last a lifetime.
My Grandmother, my Mom, my Hero died in 2007, it has been 10 years and there has not been a day that I haven’t thought her. She was a very special person and I miss her very much. Death is not always easy, sometimes people will pass away quickly, some pass in their sleep, so are tragic, and some suffer for days. No matter which route your love one passes, one way is easier than the other. Whether the person is terminally ill or dies suddenly, you are never prepared.
I watched my Grandmother pass away, it was only of the hardest deaths that I have ever witnessed. She did not pass an easy death, the one everyone hopes for. You know the one I’m talking about, were you just pass in your sleep. We were informed by the doctors that her kidneys were shutting down and that she would become unconsciousness and would pass peacefully, liars! That was not my Grandmother, she was strong willed and even in her last dying hours. I can’t even put into words the pain and suffering that we all as a family suffered watching her die. She would go unconscious, then become lucid. She kept going in an out of it, she complained of having difficulty breathing, but she kept telling us that she loved us.
My Grandmother was unable to swim, she always had a fear of drowning, that is exactly what was happening. My Grandmother’s body was filling up with fluid, including her lungs and that is why she was having difficulty breathing…that is what happens when your kidneys shut down. Basically, drowning in your own body fluids.
I believe she was strong willed that is why she didn’t go into a state of comatose and remain there. She just had to make sure she told us that she loved us, and more than once.
If this wasn’t difficult enough, I was the one that had her medical power of attorney, the hospital had already had a discussion with me about turning off her pacemaker/defibrillator. I wasn’t probably the best person for this task. They wanted me to let them know when to give them the go ahead, this was excruciating. I felt like my own heart needed a defibrillator, I knew I wanted to do the right thing but I just wasn’t strong enough and couldn’t give them the go ahead. I told them I wanted to wait until she was unconscious. They told me they would pass a magnet over her chest and that would deactivate the device.
We were all exhausted, we didn’t leave her side for over 3 days, from the time she was critical and they told us they couldn’t do anything until the final hour. I even slept for very short spurts in her room. I didn’t care I wasn’t leaving her side, she never left mine…so yes, I even slept on a sheet on the dirty hospital floor in her room. I was told several times that I shouldn’t be doing that. I was also, told by family that I shouldn’t be holding her hand…yes, I was told this over and over by her son. He keep telling me that if she passed I was going to get shocked because the defibrillator was going to go off because I hadn’t let them deactivate it. I told him I didn’t care if I got shocked, she was my Mother (Grandmother)! You couldn’t have stopped me for the world, that is how much I loved her! I would crouch down beside the bed, still holding her hand to hide my tears, I didn’t want her to see how broken hearted I was to let her go. I was having those feelings of abandonment, not intentional abandonment but it is still abandonment. She was leaving me, but she had to go. It was God’s timing and plan.
During my Grandmother’s final dying hours, family betrayal was still happening. Her son kept disappearing for periods of time. I just thought he couldn’t handle it…which in the end he couldn’t handle his guilt. He was actually going down to the parking lot of the hospital to give play by play details of what was going on to my biological mother, just like it was a base ball game. He never told us that she was down there. Another family member actually spotted her and that’s how we found out what was going on or we would have never known. They were cowards, but guilt did get to her son later after she died…
This was a crazy night, and God had his hand in it, finally my Grandmother was so uncomfortable, I went to the nurses station and I said, can’t you do something for her? I asked them if they could reposition her in the bed because she was laying there looking so uncomfortable, I just couldn’t take it anymore, I didn’t want her to suffer…I was going out of my mind and I was still struggling with allowing them to shut off the pacemaker/defibrillator. I don’t know exactly what moved me at that moment but I did…I had been praying to God, “Lord, I don’t want her to suffer anymore, I don’t understand why the suffering, I love her so much God but I don’t want her in pain, please take her home.” I think this is where God took the wheel. The nursing staff told me all I had to do is ask for the pain medication, that they could give her what ever was needed, so they came down and gave her the medicine, then they went to reposition her, they lowered the head of her bed, the told us “Get over here quick, she is passing”. I understand the science behind what happened when they lowered the bed, but that was God all the way! She was finally at peace from a life of lies, deceit, betrayal and loss. She was finally home with the Lord and with her baby boys, her first and last born, she passed at 2:20 am on February 21, 2007. RIP Mom!
Honestly, she was our rock, I think she worried how we all would do with her passing. And she had every right, to have concern.
As for her son and his guilt…
After they cleaned her up, they let us come back in and say our good-byes. There is such a peace about death, it is one of the most difficult but most beautiful moments in life. We all took our time with our mother after her passing. We went home to rest and so that we could prepare for her funeral the next day. Her son was staying with me. He was sleeping on my sofa because my guest room is where she had stayed in the last month of her life. I had been asleep for about an two hours, when suddenly I was awaken by a very, very loud slamming door that almost sounded like a gun shot…
I got up to see what was happening…he was gone, his car was gone! I was worried so I called him and he told me that he just couldn’t take it. He said he could smell her and just had to get out of my house. The smell he was describing was the smell of cancer and the smell of death. Previously, in the last month of her life, you could smell a slight fowl odor from cancer lesions. My house had been cleaned and that smell was no longer there. It was only his mind, it was overworking him that night, maybe the guilt of betrayal.
One more last detail, remember how I was so worried about the pacemaker/defibrillator…it never went off and I never got shocked. God stepped in and took care of everything, his love, his protection.
You’re not alone, you are loved,
The Girl that was Abandon