Gary’s grandma passed away last night. She suffered a massive stroke and went into cardiac arrest yesterday morning, and when we saw her yesterday afternoon, she had just been taken off life support. We were told she was basically ‘brain dead’.
I watched as the family said goodbye. I watched her 50-something year old daughter -who is mentally handicapped and thought to be too fragile to handle it- cope better than the rest of the family did. She had written down a prayer, and she read it to her. She asked Jesus to “pray for my mom that she’ll get better”. She told her mom that she was OK, she would take care of daddy and Kaity (the dog). She told her, “I remember what you told me mom. I know you want me to go into a nursing home and help people. I want to do that. I know I need to take care of daddy too. We’re OK mom. We miss you honey. We’ll see you later.” She was such a trooper.
I watched as a 96 year old husband of 66 years said goodbye to his 86 year old wife. He kept saying, “It should have been me. I’m supposed to die first.”
We gave him time alone with her. I told him the nurse said grandma could hear us talk. He said he didn’t think he could talk, and he wasn’t sure what to say. I said he could just sit and hold her hand if he wanted, but before I could walk out the door, he was calling her name. He was telling her he loved her and missed her. A part of me wishes I could have heard it all, to know what you tell someone when you know it’s your last moments together. I’m thankful they had that.
They didn’t have a wonderful marriage. It’s no secret. They fought often, they were harsh with one another… They didn’t even sleep in the same room. But after what I witnessed last night, nobody can tell me he didn’t love her with all his heart. He wept a lot. Kept saying he hated to see her that way. I know he has regrets, but it’s clear he loves her deeply.
Grandpa is 96 years old, legally blind, either in a wheelchair or using a walker, very stiff and has plenty of his own health issues. When it was time for us to take him home (he had to take his pills and needed his rest) we told him we’d give him time to say goodbye if he wanted. He cried and said he just wanted to give her a kiss. We got the nurse and had her bed lowered and sat her up. We helped him out of his wheelchair, led his hands to the railing so he could hold himself up, and watched him tenderly kiss her forehead. 3 times, through tears.
I know God’s will is perfect. Marge is not suffering any longer. These last 2 weeks have been hard on her body, hard on her mind, and hard on the family. She went from looking and acting like a 60 year old woman, to a frail and dying 86 year old woman in the blink of an eye. He knows, and He took her to be free from it all.
My 4 year old reminded us this morning that, “Great grandma is in Heaven with God and Jesus now. It’s more beautiful there than anywhere. She’s in the most beautiful place ever.”
So although we mourn her loss, we rejoice in her eternal life with Christ, in the “most beautiful place ever”.
Goodbye grandma, we’ll miss you.
We said Goodbye
February 26, 2009 7 Comments