My Week in Review Blogs are usually happy blogs - reflecting on the positive people/events/whatHaveYous that have happened during the week. This week was such a struggle to stay afloat, that it was incredibly difficult to find much that put a smile on my face.
For starters, Sunday morning I got a difficult call. My beloved Grandmother - Matriarch of a huge family - was in the hospital having suffered a stroke. At that point that was all I knew. I have enough medical knowledge to know what causes strokes and what the damage could be. I also knew it wouldn't be pleasant. On top of the stroke, my Grandmother has dementia, which of it's own accord, has been causing brain damage. She's been in a long term care facility since May, just a few short weeks after our Wise Ole Grandpa passed away from cancer in March.
Yes, 2016 SUCKS.
Not long after hanging up the phone, I flipped through FB. I've been closely monitoring one particular page - THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES - a long time friend, whom I worked with back in my late teens, was fighting for his life. He was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer in the Fall of 2014. Spend anytime reading his page and it's easy to see what kind of a guy he was. I knew he was in the final stages of his battle. Sadly, he was losing. Sunday morning at 10:35, he lost, and so did we all.
My 35 year old friend gone. My 87 year old grandma practically gone. It was a lot of information to take in within 90 short minutes.
I cried. I sobbed. I hugged my children. It was an incredible tough day. But the week wasn't finished with me yet.
I worked on Monday, in a total zombie-like fog. Although thankful for being at work, and happy for the mental distraction, I shouldn't have been there. That night, I took a sleep aid and had the best sleep in probably two months. So I'm thankful for that magic pill as it allowed me to feel more in control of my emotions on Tuesday. However, by Wednesday I was a wreck again.
The team of doctors in charge of my grandma declared the damage done to her already dementia-weakened brain - was SEVERE. She was blind in her right eye, deaf in her right ear and limited mobility to her right side. Unresponsive, she'd look at you but look through you. According to family, she was no longer there. She was already gone. The doctors don't give her much time. Could be tomorrow. Could be Christmas Day. More likely somewhere in between.
Merry F-ing Christmas to our family. It wasn't hard enough knowing Grandpa wasn't going to be there, now it's exceptionally likely Grandma won't be either. Awesome. (insert raging sarcasm)
Whether I needed to see Grandma's damage myself, whether I needed to sit with her and hold her close, or whatever he reason was, I needed to see her. Now. Maybe to make peace with where the future was going? I don't know. But it was almost hard getting "approval" to see her. And approval is the wrong word. She's my grandma and no one would dare stop me from going. But I don't want to ruffle feathers from her children either.
So Friday morning, I went to her. I was alone, and I was okay with that. I held her hand. I rubbed her back. I told her everything I wanted to tell her. I told her how much I loved her. I cried. I snuggled with her. And when I finished praying over her, I said goodbye. And saying goodbye to someone who's body is there but the mind is gone is one of the hardest things I've ever done.
I'm thankful for that time together. She was my grandma and will always hold a special place in my heart.
It's been a trying week, and the end of her pain and suffering is near. For all of us. Watching her fall has been hard and painful, but seeing her suffer in her stroke controlled world is hell.
So forgive me if I seem less chipper than usual. I know in time, the grief will hurt less and the sting will subside, but the hole will still be there.
As always, thanks for reading. :) Hug your loved one and hold them close.