Reality

And just like that, the honeymoon is over.

I had to explain to my grandmother that her husband is dead.  He died over ten years ago, and today she asked when he was getting home from work.  I sat her down, told her he was in heaven, and she was crushed.  She seemed to understand though, and after sorting out who I was, where her sons were, and what she had on her meatloaf at lunch, she was able to carry on with her afternoon. 

I, on the other hand, have not been able to shake the feeling of utter sadness.  Not only did I have to re-experience the grief I have felt over his death, I am finally beginning to understand what my life is going to be.  I know I’m going to have to do this again.  I’m going to have to tell my grandmother that her husband of more than 50 years has long since passed, and she’s going to have to grieve again and again.  It’s heartbreaking.  And it’s exhausting.  And I don’t want to do it.  But I will, because I know it’s what I’m supposed to do, what I’m called to do, and what’s in my heart to do.

It’s sad knowing that my 2.5 year old that has never met the man, understands that Mommy’s Bapa is in heaven, but the woman who spent a lifetime with him can’t get a handle on his whereabouts. 

Every time I think about my grandma these days, the chorus from a song, by I can’t remember who, pops into my head:

Mom’s a little girl again

Talking to herself

Laughing with her friend

Some folks say she’s at the end

But me, I think it’s preschool for heaven

So while my precious grandmother continues to deteriorate, loosing her sense of self, and loosing her sense of control, I will sit in my room, sneaking bites from the hollow chocolate easter bunny I have hidden in the bottom drawer of my desk, and pray.  Right now, it’s all I know to do.

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6 thoughts on “Reality

  1. It’s so so so so hard. I went through this with my grandmother and for her, it was her brother that she just grieved for again and again and again. If you want to talk, I’m here to listen.

  2. {{{hugs}}} I’m so sorry, Tiff. That is really painful. My grandfather has Alzheimer’s and though we were never emotionally close, he was totally a part of my childhood, since I spent weeks in the summertimes with him and my grandma. It was totally bizarre for him to look at my little sister and ask who she was. Or for him to attend my grandmother’s funeral with all of us, then for him to totally have forgotten it on the ride home to the old folks’ home. He’s asked where she is a few times too, and I have not had to confront that — his sons do that now. But I can’t imagine how mind-bending that’s got to be. Sitting in the beautiful garden of his new home and having him ask if this is where he lives was just really trippy and was emotional even though I didn’t grow up geographically close to him. I can’t even fathom what he must be thinking and feeling. He seemed in good spirits and even had a slight sense of humor about his condition. he seemed to know his memory wasn’t what it used to be. I dunno. Alzheimer’s is mind boggling. I wish I could share some chocolate and a logn conversation with you in person <:)

  3. So sad….crying and praying. For you and your beloved Grandma. Praying for strength, praying for courage, praying for wisdom, and for compassion. I’m sure days will come when compassion won’t be the easiest feeling to find!

    Love you, girl. Praying for you!
    Aunt Linda

  4. Just stumbled upon your blog through Dooce. I will be back.
    I have been taking care of my beloved Grammer until we put her in assisted living last month. On my birthday. I know exactly what you’re going through. I am somehow comforted that even though I have to tell her Granddaddy has been gone for almost twenty years and she experiences the pain again, she won’t remember it in a few minutes.
    But she does remember my almost two-year old granddaughter! And watching my grandmother play with my granddaughter was one of the highlights of my life!
    Stay strong. It’s a wonderful thing you are doing. Hugs.

    • Thank you so much for stopping by! I love connecting with other people that have been through this too. It’s hard, but what an amazing privilage to help my family like this. 🙂

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