The worst part of my grandmother dying when she did is that I cannot go to the funeral.
I do not travel well. It takes me about a week to recover from a cross-country flight (though I recover quicker on the end where my parents live, because the weather is nicer and steadier). It’s near the end of the semester – classes end at the end of this month. So I cannot afford being at less than my best, because I have an enormous research paper that I am already horribly behind on and I have an exam to prepare for. Have I mentioned that in law school, with few exceptions, you have one thing – in this case, a paper or an exam – that is worth your entire grade? Makes it a bit more stressful.
I have no family on this side of the country. Most are clustered around where I grew up (and my parents still live), with the rest of them within a few hundred miles.
The phone call from my sister giving me the news came after my boyfriend had left for the week, so…it’s just me here.
I feel very much in limbo. The woman who was the grandma I grew up with has slowly slipped away the last few years as the alzheimer’s has gotten worse. I’ve been grieving for losing my grandma for years now. And now, she’s finally gone.
It’s a bit of a relief, though, because it means her suffering and wishing to join her husband is gone. One of the last things that made a really indelible remark on her memory was the death of my grandfather, and because of the alzheimer’s, it is always fresh to her, so she has been torn apart by this grief for years. She has wanted to just stay in bed all day for at least the last 2 years.
I think moving her into a home was the best thing we did for her, because few of us had the heart to sit there and fight with her and drag her out of bed, or force her to eat or take her medication. When I was taking care of her, I often ended up telling her that her food was ready, and when she asked why I made her food I’d say why, you asked me to make you this! Come on, come have lunch with me, my food is ready too. I’m sure you can imagine how hard it was for us, to have to lie to her to get her to eat, or get out of bed, or…well, do just about anything.
So now she is gone, and we’ll never find ourselves in that position again. I think this will be a great weight off of my mother, who will then just be raising my nephew. My sister is emotionally unstable and has not really bonded with my nephew, so my parents are really raising him. This is likely to become official soon, as my sister is planning to join the Army, and they will not accept single mothers who have custody of their children. So my parents will then have custody of my nephew. I do not think my sister will ever be able to parent him herself, and frankly with my disability we have come to the conclusion that neither can I. So my parents are in their early 50s with a baby. It is obviously not an ideal situation, but there aren’t really any better alternatives, because my sister doesn’t want to put the baby up for adoption. I hate that they will be raising the boy into their late 60s and early 70s, but what else is there to do? I wish sometimes that I was on the other side of the country so I could help more, and I do plan on moving back eventually.