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New break resistant panels

This is a discussion on New break resistant panels within the Grieving forums, part of the Life's Other Challenges category; I'm in a hotel 200 miles from home near my grandma and the title is something on a little sticker ...

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Old 05-18-15, 11:10 PM   #1
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I'm in a hotel 200 miles from home near my grandma and the title is something on a little sticker on the front of her hospital-style bed. This was originally something I wrote up sitting on the couch with no Internet access, just going through my thoughts and trying to put them somewhere without anyone seeing them, but the fact is there's that weird feeling of not knowing how to react. See, very long story massively shortened, very dirty story massively sanitized, my grandma had her first stroke about four years ago. She went from an independent lady to losing more and more of her ability to move and communicate as the years passed; it kinda felt like she was just...fading away. Like she mostly died when...I'll let the story get dirtier now.

See, my uncle was supposed to be her caretaker down here since she wanted to stay at home. He played the game whenever the county nurses came in and pretended to care about his mother and treat her well. Meanwhile, he wasn't doing the physical therapy with her and I can't help but to think that even before the additional strokes this was a big factor in her steadily declining state and eventual inability to as much as walk a single step...he would say right in front of her to others that her mind was gone and don't even bother when she was trying to communicate with others and he would call her a "pig" and such if she ever wet herself, though she didn't have much of a choice, what with being alone in her room all the time, lost mobility, lying in silence...

I thought we should do something about it at that point since that wasn't right to her in any way...the family always said, she wants to live down there and there's nothing we can do. Done and done, and I always gave up eventually instead of going ahead alone. But things just kept going the way they did...my grandma's state kept deteriorating until she was unable to communicate, my uncle would always pull her out of the hospital as soon as insurance stopped covering it 100%, all her accounts mysteriously vanished...and the whole time I always thought that there had to be something we could do.

My grandma had her last rites done a few days ago. Well, the part they could do since she couldn't do any of the parts requiring her to be communicative. And now it feels like the fading away...I don't know if it even feels that way. The family says that it seems like my uncle is finally feeling sorry for things, that he's finally showing emotion, showing that he really loved his mother all along right at the end with his change in behavior, that it's not just him playing games yet again. There's the thought that no matter how many times it was said that there was nothing the family could do...I should have just gone past them and done something. Tried making her life better. Then there's also the thought...should I grieve at this point or is it that her pain, pain that I can't help but to think we all created more than any strokes, is going to be gone soon?
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Old 05-19-15, 04:38 PM   #2
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No matter what, you will feel sad. Its inevitable no matter how much we rationalize death of loved one. But trust me, never ask "what ifs". I myself have issues with it and i made a lot of those "what if" question when my best friend died. Nothing would change if you helped. Maybe she would get few more days, weeks, months tops. But its inevitable, the death. It comes for all of us eventually, we cant avoid it.

Keep being strong
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Old 05-20-15, 10:49 PM   #3
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It's hard to feel sad right now. My grandma is gone and the question on if anything could have been done is going to sit there. It can stay there for a long time since right now there are four other family members involved with this whole "funeral" thing (tomorrow is the viewing, then the burial is Friday). There are four people to think about right now, of which I really feel horrible for two of them. My mom and my sister are taking this hard and need support. How do you give support in this case? Then there are the other two and the hatred is just reaching a fever pitch. There's not the slightest sign they care at all. My dad (admittedly the son-in-law of said grandma), as an example, was getting mad at the fact that my mom and sister were talking about the funeral back at the house when he was trying to watch TV. He started turning it up to drown them out since, you know, they're getting ready for tomorrow and grieving and have the gall to speak quietly while he's watching his crime show (here in the hotel room he gets pissed if they're louder than whispering, sometimes even getting mad at that, when he's trying to watch television). He was also upset that their taking so much time getting ready for the funeral led to him missing The Flash last night and today they had to hurry up since he didn't want to miss Supernatural at the hotel...and of course, then complaining about how this whole thing just costs so much money. Hundreds of dollars, you know, for days in a hotel and eating out while getting ready for the funeral. And then there's my uncle, being the same guy he always is, telling everyone how he's doing so much work for the funeral and it's so hard, chatting up anyone in earshot to the point where the guy working at the funeral home basically told him to shut up (not an exaggeration, it was "stop talking and let me do my work"), and making all the standard comments and rants about how horrible basically every type of minority is (today's biggest example was him saying "nothing lost" when something on a show came up about a serial killer targeting black women though in additional there were all the standards about Jews, trans people, and such). So basically, the guy who...I'm going to say it this time. I almost said it before, but didn't, so I will this time. It was flat-out elder abuse for years and I feel horrible for not stepping in, taking "you can't do anything" from the family as the last word, so she died an invalid when she didn't have to and she couldn't have had happy last years, and he doesn't care at all.
Still, I have no idea what to feel about my grandma after everything. Is it that she's gone or that the pain is over for her? But what I'm not confused about is the fact that my mom and sister are feeling so horrible and the other guys around are making it all into a game that's halfway between "who cares" and "me me me". How is it possible to be that uncaring toward a dead family member and two living ones who are taking things so badly?
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Old 05-22-15, 05:52 AM   #4
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The viewing was in two parts today. I went to the first and had the family drop me off at the hotel instead of going to the second. The whole feeling there...everybody drops by, people who haven't seen or thought of my grandma for 30 years, probably, and then they just chatter along with each other like, hey, she died. The funeral director did a great job with the flowers and coffin. Now let's all go just chat about random stupid crap back and forth since this is a social club where people who haven't bothered to care about each other for decades spend a few minutes together, not to spend more minutes together for more decades (wedding or funeral, if ever) while there's a decoration in the back. That's what it felt like people saw my grandma as the whole time. A decoration for the social club. Is this how funerals work? I haven't been to many, but it looks, sounds, and feels like a bunch of people spending 10 seconds pretending to care about the person they didn't think of once for decades and then just chippity chatter about nothing in the name of pretending to care about the people who are around them. Or maybe just for momentary entertainment since they took so long to get here, who knows. Either way, tomorrow is the rest of it...last viewing, the ceremony, the burial, and then people meeting up for food and a little more social club, except this time with no decoration.
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Old 05-23-15, 12:34 AM   #5
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So it's all over...and nothing seems to have been closed. There's still all the not knowing what to feel except that my mom and sister need support. Whether there's any chance of forgiving the family for not making moves, me for not just stepping out and doing it, my uncle for being horrible to her...well, he showed a sign of emotion with what looked like an authentic tear or two briefly shortly before the casket was closed for the last time...

You know, the funeral director did such a good job that my grandma looked...more alive than she had for years. There's the whole "going for peace" idea and it worked so well. Another thing to figure out what to think about.

Also, my sister has been to the Catholic masses before burials more than I have and she liked this one about the rest of us. Less, really, since it seemed my grandma was shoehorned among some seemingly-random passages and political statements (yeah, make your statements about abortion when you're supposed to be doing the final mass for someone) in...a sermon that seemed less thematically coherent than the ones I went to 22 years ago. My sister had a remark: when she was at a funeral for a friend's mother, acting as support for her friend, that mass was really about the deceased. Well-chosen passages and such combined with a lot about her. Everyone cried at that mass, but nobody cried at this one. That should say a lot.

On the lighter side, in that mass there was one thing the priest did that really got me going, "what?" See, when I used to go to Catholic mass two-thirds of a life ago, you used to take the Eucharist in your mouth and let it melt. This dude's up there and just goes NOM. Half of it's gone and he's going *crunch* *crunch* like a potato chip. Then he goes and slugs down the whole thing of wine. It's like, uh, I'll admit to being the atheist heathen here, but I don't think you're supposed to do that. I had to imagine the Rowan Atkinson skit where the priest did that, but then dipped the second half in the wine before chowing down on that. I half-expected this guy to do that, really, but slamming the chalice of wine is about as good, I guess. At least the mass gave me a hilariously sacrilegious mental picture...you know the game Cut the Rope? I'm imagining the big candy you feed Om Nom being replaced by an oversized Eucharist wafer and he goes NOM *crunch* *crunch* *crunch* when you get it to him. I mean, that's basically what the priest did, but in one bite instead of two.

So that's that and we'll see what happens...
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