Monday, October 5, 2009

Death of a Matriarch

Well, if you've been following me (what's my readership now, I wonder? How can I get one of those people counter thingies?) you probably noticed that I've been MIA for about two weeks.

My grandmother has had Alzheimer's for about 1.5 years now and over the last two weeks she fell extremely ill. She has been in the hospital undergoing multiple surgeries--kidney, gallbladder and so on. This past week she was completely unresponsive. Not even the almighty Occupational Therapy could help her. It was like she was in a coma. Her eyes were always closed, she didn't move much, she didn't speak at all.

Nurses would come in and turn her (at our prompting, they were NOT on their game! tsk tsk!) and wash her. She had to be fed through a tube in her nose. This is my mother's mother. My mother was at the hospital nearly every day. She would talk with her Mom (even though Grandma didn't respond or blink an eye), moisturize her face, put Cocoa and Shea butters on her lips to prevent dryness and soreness and call the nurses to care for Grandma.

It seemed as if my Grandma was holding on...but for what? Her body was failing her. The woman I knew as my grandmother didn't quite exist anymore. When she saw me she would request that I leave the house because I was not welcomed. The disease had taken over her physical and mental state.

My mother has been grieving internally for months. The end was inevitable, we all knew it.

So, through the advice of close friends my mom went to the hospital, sat with Grandma, and said what she knew would give Grandma ultimate rest.

Mom: Mom, we love you so much. You've been a good mother to us. You raised us to be good, productive people. You're tired and I hate seeing you suffer. It's ok to go rest. We'll all be okay. You did an excellent job raising us. We love you.

Grandma died a few hours later.

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