Friday, February 8, 2008

letting go

I have been agonizing over writing this post, but this has consumed me for a while now and it is finally coming to and end. My grandfather is dying.

He has been since my grandmother died May of last year just after they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. My grandfather is 97 years old. He has seen his children grow up, get married and have their own children who have grown up and had their children. He has lived a very full life, and is a tough old bird so he isn't going down without a fight.

For months he continued to live alone in his trailer home until my aunt and dad placed him in a nursing home against his will. He has been in and out of the ICU always on the brink of death. Two weeks ago they had to insert a feeding tube into his stomach because he could no longer swallow and was starving to death. He seemed to be getting better, but this past week he has taken a turn for the worse. He has developed pneumonia, the food he is being fed is causing his sugar levels to rise, and the insulin they give to combat that is causing his blood pressure to rise. His body is giving up on him, but his mind is not. When he is awake he is lucid and understands what is happening to him. He does't want to let go.

The passing of my grandmother was difficult on me. Not because I am close to my grandparents, just the opposite. I have never had a "good" relationship with them. I simply had a relationship of grandchild/grandparents. Their are a few factors that I don't really want to divulge, but one of the main issues was the cultural differences. English was their second language and I don't speak a lick of Tagalog. Their open criticism of my appearance was difficult to take as a teenager when I simply needed them to be loving grandparents.

With all of that they are the only grandparents I have ever known (my mother's parents died when I was very young). With the impending death of my grandfather I find myself in the same cloud of sadness. Of course I mourn the loss of my grandparents, but even more I mourn the fact that I don't have those happy memories. Because of this I have almost become obsessive about Little 'Ny spending time with her grandparents. My mother-in-law used to come by 5 days a week to visit with. We spend one day every week with my parents. I want Little 'Ny to have what I didn't ... a real relationship with her grandparents.

I know my grandfather loves me in his own way, as I love him in my own way. It is time for me to let go of my resentment and sorrow.


  1. I just stumbled upon your blog.

    Your family is an important part of your life and I am sorry for your grief.

  2. I hope that your grandfather finds the next step an easy and painless one. I think that this stage of the journey is always more difficult for those who are left behind.

    Sending good thoughts your way....

  3. I'm sorry to read about this, but I am glad that the love is there, despite the obstacles in the past.

  4. stumbled over from your wonderful interview of Frogdancer.. I see that your Grandfather has passed away..I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful couple your grandparents can see the live and pride in their are a very lucky girl to have had them so long.

  5. It's so strange, Monday when I commented was like any other Monday. Yesterday afternoon we lost my husbands 89 year old Grandma suddenly. I so understand.