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Grandfather is dying- Chelonia needs a friend to talk to
July 22, 2009
10:37 pm
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chelonia mydas
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I went to the states last week to visit with him in the hospital. I got the call tonight that he is now in a coma and has decided to give up. He is in his mid 90s and has lived a good life. I think he was hanging on to the hope that he would get well enough to return to the farm where he was born and lived his entire 90+ year life- once it was obvious that he could never leave the hospital because his lungs had deteriorated too far- he said goodbye to the love of his life and wife of 74 years and took off his oxygen. When my uncle called me, he had slipped into a coma and wasn't expected to live the night. I am just waiting for their call now.

He lived on his terms and tonight he is going to die on his terms. Life didn't give him the death in his sleep on his farm that he wanted, but when I saw him last week he was greatful for so many blessings his life did offer him. He was very fortunate and I learned more about him last week then I ever had in a single week long visit prior.

Please let me know that someone is out there with me. I'm feeling so alone tonight. I'm back in Mexico and can't really afford another trip up. At the same time I could charge the $1000 it would take to get up there, but at the same time it would take me so long to pay it off, and there is so much family up there right now. I would be the only one to represent my dad at his furneral though- my father died over a decade ago and my two sisters can't afford to go out again either. They went to see him two weeks ago. Another concern is my grandmother. She is still on the farm by herself. My uncle promised that she wouldn't be alone tonight or tomorrow... but she is so picky about who stays at the farm anymore that unless one of her chosen grandkids wants to stay with her, she will be left alone. There is a lot of issues that I don't want to get into right now- but I'm the only person that has stayed with them on the farm in teh past 2 years. When I was out there last week, grandma kept saying how she really wants someone to stay with her. So now I'm feeling guilty for even considering not going.

But the dynamics of the family are very ugly- I have my own issues with many of them that I'll probably get into later on, so I really don't want to subject myself to all the pain- but I feel bad for leaving grandma by herself at such a horrible time. But at the same time her meanness has cut her off from most of the family, so she is partly responsible for her current situation and why should I have to be her knight in shining armor? But at the same time its bitchy of me to not go, especially since its partly financial and partly because I've healed enough to not want to dive into the crap. I am strong enough to handle it, but I just don't want to.

OK- this is getting long and I think I should go eat. It has been a long day with many misfortunes that also gave me an opportunity to see how many caring people there are in this world... but I'll share that on the Coffeeshouse thread while I'm getting a bit to eat.

July 22, 2009
11:16 pm
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sdesigns
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So sorry, Chelonia.

My thoughts are that if you were just up there and saw your grandfather, there's really no need for you to go again if he's in a coma and he wouldn't even know you're there. You had a nice visit with him prior (it sounds like) and thats what you can remember him by and feel good about.

going now wouldn't necessarily be for him, it would be for the rest of the family. No reason either why you should strap yourself financially if no one else is, no reason why it should be different for you.

I'm not clear on the grandmother situation- she and your grandfather didn't live together? Or he was just in the states temporarily for medical reasons?

I don't know what I'd do about the grandmother. maybe id she asked me to come over I would. Or maybe I'd call her and see if my company would be welcome. But if she were to treat me miserably I probably wouldn't go.

((((Chelonia))))

sd

July 22, 2009
11:17 pm
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(((Chelonia))) I'm so sorry to hear this about your grandfather. I remember when you said you were coming to the States to see him and I'm glad you had that opportunity. I think someone must be with your grandmother at this time since it was mentioned she wouldn't be left alone. I hope something worked out. Please take care, okay. Love, TW

July 23, 2009
12:04 am
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Chelonia,

I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandfather. It's wonderful that you got the chance to see him one last time. As far as another trip, do what works for you.

Tricky situation with Grandma. You've done so much healing for yourself. It's not up to you to heal Grandma. I know that may sound harsh and I know you will make a good choice.

My H's family wanted us to move into his Grandmother's house to take care of her. I was the one that refused because I knew it was beyond me. She was a difficult person when she had all of her faculties. It just became worse. Looking back, I made the right choice. His family was looking for a quick fix because they didn't want to take responsibility.

Peace to you on whatever you decide.

July 23, 2009
1:04 am
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chelonia mydas
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Sdesigns, TW, Lani,

Thanks so much for your support and thoughts. I really appreciate knowing that you are here tonight.

I live in Mexico by myself- my family all lives in the states. My grandparents have known eachother since they were infants- they have lived together since they were 20. He was admited to the hospital a few weeks ago and is dying in the hospital tonight. I don't know if anyone is staying with grandma tonight or not. She was at the hospital most of the day and went home late this evening. I don't trust my uncles to tell me the truth.

I talked to my sister tonight and one of my uncles told her that they had grandpa in a drug induced coma because the pain is so bad that he is screaming and his muscles are spasiming- so it is best for everyone, especially him, that he stay sedated.

If I went back to the states, it would be to represent my dead father at his father's funeral and to be there for my grandmother. Neither of my sisters plans to go to his funeral, there are too many bad memories from my dad's funeral there.

My grandma and I get along great, once she realized that her games didn't work with me. I also stood up to her (and others in the family) on several occasions as a child and even in recent years. So as a result I'm usually the peacemaker and adult of this dysfunctional family. Even now, part of why I feel compelled is because everyone is falling apart. I know if I were there I could help them keep it together. But at the same time, is it really my place to do that? I assumed that role long ago because I didn't know any different. I knew my needs weren't met, so I learned early on to meet them myself. I also learned to meet everyone else's needs too and eventually put their needs first. And now as I'm getting older, I see the twistedness of that situation and am trying to break free of that.

So yes going would burden me financially- I could pull it off, but it would be more than I can realistically afford at the moment. I wouldn't be going for myself. I got to make my peace with him last week- I would be going to his funeral for my father and my grandmother. I don't get anything out of funerals- I have my own way of honoring the dead at home in private meditation. I only attend furnerals to support the survivers in their greiving, rememberance and honor of the one that transitioned to the next existance.

July 23, 2009
1:17 am
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chelonia mydas
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A thought just occured to me... My grandpa told me last week that he was worried that I didn't like people because I had such bad experiences as a kid and that I shouldn't give up on people. That there are still lots of good people in the world and I just need to look for them. Yes there were lots of bad ones too, but he was glad that he took the risk to get to know people because his good experiences were worth all the bad.

If you read my post in the coffeehouse thread about my day today, you will see that I had a very eventful day where I encountered kindness from strangers in abundance. I wonder if on some level my grandfather's wish was granted. Irregardless of the reality of that, I'd like to think that perhaps the poetry of that possibility is there.

July 23, 2009
2:25 am
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chelonia mydas
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So there are secrets that I've not told him- things I've debated about for years and still to this day have decided that they are best kept secret. And at this point I have lost the option of ever telling him. These secrets are buried, hidden in the darkest corners of my soul. Usually I don't even notice them- but now that my grandpa is dying it is consuming me.

My grandfather has lived a full and adventurous life. He is no longer able to live the life he wants and I have accepted that at this point it is kinder for him to pass on to the next existance.

I am sad to say that I am not so upset by his dying. I will miss him dearly, but at the same time he has slipped slowly from this life. In almost the same fashion of a cliff eroding into the ocean. With each day a little more goes, but its such a small amount each day that its hardly noticible, except if you leave for a while and come back later to find the changes. At this point he is just a shell of the person he was- clinging to life with a strong soul. Living because he loves his farm and my grandmother. He doesn't want to break his promise to her that she could die first- that he didn't want to leave her here alone. But now too much of him is gone, there is nothing of the cliff left, except a sandy beach, slipping into the ocean with each wave and tide. He cannot hold out anymore. He has beat cancer and a variety of other ailments. He has lived when all of medical science has said he should die. The past 3 years we all have said that his love for his farm and my grandmother is what has sustained him beyond what his body could bear.

Even this year, he planted and tended to his small gardens. This is after the doctors said that his cancer would probably kill him by valentines day even with chemo treatments. He had only palitive treatments and by May, they couldn't find the cancer, not a bit of it was left.

When I was there last week I weeded his gardens for him. There were already ripe tomatos and peppers. He even asked after them during one of my visits with him and talked about how much he missed his gardens and couldn't wait to get out of the hospital so he could harvest them.

The year before, he fell and broke his hip and had a full hip replacement under local anaestesia and within a year he was up and walking again... just in time to put in last year's garden.

My biggest sadness tonight is that he isn't dying at the farm. But when I was there last week, he seemed to accept that wasn't going to be an option for him in this life.

He doesn't beleive in an end to life, only a transition. So I guess tonight I should focus on helping him transition. My burden of secrets can wait to be brought out into the light for another time. But they are weighing especailly heavy right now.

I am really fighting the urge to dive into work and numb out from fatigue. Its already well into the night and I need to work tomorrow and I'm not the least bit sleepy. But I also have work I can do tonight, because I know tomorrow I won't be able to think really well- and there are some big issues there too and major deadlines coming up with additional assignements getting handed to me tomorrow to finish too.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on. My only friend in Mexico isn't as much of a friend as I thought he was. He is being very selfish and not understanding at all. The past few months he has gotten really rude with his responses to my concerns and conversations- so I'm really feeling all alone tonight because I just don't want to share this with him and risk his harsh words. I really want to talk to him, but only if he is nice. Being able to share this here is really helping me. It has given me the strength to have the choice to say no thanks to my only friend's selfish rudness. It has allowed me to share my thoughts and get support from caring folks. Thank you, I appreciate having you on this site.

July 23, 2009
7:27 am
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Oh. ((((Chelonia)))). I think it was much more important and more honoring of you to be with your grangfather last week when you could talk to him. What good will it do you or him to be there for the death or funeral. He won't be there.

Bitsy

July 23, 2009
7:31 am
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chelonia mydas
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He died in the middle of the night. My grandma was left alone at the farm last night. Some of my uncles and aunts were with my grandpa when he passed. They just called me this morning and now I have to call my sisters.

When I asked my uncle how grandma was, he said that she is an old farm girl and she'll manage the way she always has. My cousin and uncle will go tell her this morning. I'm sure today there will be lots of visitors. When my dad died grandma kept busy keeping notes about who visited and what they brought/said. I hope someone stays with her to take notes for her (she is blind now). Based on her reaction to previous family deaths, it is important to her healing process for this information to be recorded.

I still don't know if I'm going to the states. They can't find one of my uncles to tell him. He went mountain climbing this week and isn't expected to come off the mountain until later this weekend.

July 23, 2009
7:50 am
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Just know that you were there when it really mattered

Bitsy

July 23, 2009
8:09 am
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chelonia mydas
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Thank you Bitsy, I really appreciate your support.

It looks like most of the grandkids are staying where they are because they are in the same situation I'm in... no money for another last minute ticket.

I agree that its better to see them while they are alive than to go to their furneral. I'm glad I had the chance to see him one last time. He was very fortunate to be able to say his final goodbyes over the past 2 weeks to his family.

July 23, 2009
8:12 am
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(((Chelonia))) Just sending hugs your way this morning and hoping everything will work out if you do decide to go. If you think it is best to go then I wish you the best and a safe trip there. Please take care, okay. Love, TW

July 23, 2009
8:28 am
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chelonia mydas
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Hi TW-

Thanks for the hugs this morning. I still haven't talked to grandma yet, but I'm really thinking of not going, or at least not going yet. Maybe going in a couple weeks when all the excitement is over.

I appreciate the ongoing support from all of you here,

July 23, 2009
9:35 am
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(((chelonia))))i am so sorry about your grandpa, I am glad he lived 90 plus years of life, and most importantly you did get to spend some time with him last week.

Go with your gut, if you don't want to go/can't afford to then don't...it will be ok, you spend your last week being there for your grandpa when he was alive, and spent alot of time talking and being with him...that is what is important.

(((((((sending you huge hugs)))))))))) camer

July 23, 2009
9:49 am
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Chelonia it might be best to go in a few weeks when all the hoopla is over and your grandma is alone and lonely and will need you more

Bitsy

July 23, 2009
10:29 am
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atalose
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(((chelonian)))

I am sorry for your lose you are in my thoughts.

I think spending the time you did with your Grandpa was far more valuable to the both of you then you can imagine.

((((hugs))))

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

July 23, 2009
2:46 pm
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chelonia mydas
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Camer, Bitsy and Atalose,

thanks for your friendship and support.

I called my grandma this morning... they left her on the farm by herself last night and she was alone this morning. She said they told her this moring at about 5am that he had died, although she said she woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. When she found out that was about the time he died, she felt that he had woke her on his way to the afterlife.

One of my sisters has the day off, so I asked her to call her later this morning, and she did. My sis said that one of our cousins was at the house when she called and that he is talking about moving in with her for the next week or so. Which is wonderful, and means that I don't have to go. I asked her if she wanted me to go up and she said that she had others that were helping her, although she'd prefer me but not enough for me to go into debt to be there.

She doesn't plan to be far behind my grandfather. She is tired and he was her reason for living. She hopes that she will be able to die on the farm so at least she can live out his wish for him.

And now I have to go back to work. As it was when I was driving in this morning, I had to pull over and just sob on the side of the road. I came home for lunch so I could try to nap, but my spoiled cockatoo won't stop squawking for attention... so back to work now. But hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight.

Thanks for your continued support and friendship. I really appreciate having you here to listen to me.

July 24, 2009
2:56 am
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hi chelonia, big big hugs for you. i'm sorry that i haven't been around when it actually happened. i was so busy and always tired, and always feeling sick from being always tired.

you know, i really wish i was here. it would have been the perfect time to tell you to give you my support, coz i too had to go through the same thing for my adopted little girl last november. she was in terrible pain and illness, that the doctor could only recommend that she remain sedated. sometimes, she would open her eyes, and i dont know if she was aware that i was there, (i wish she did), and i would sing to her so she could fall asleep again, and not have to know and feel the pain that she was into. i am crying now as i am writing here, because it is hard for me thinking that she was in so much pain. and i really need to believe that she's in a better place now. she would have been 8 years old last March. sometimes i look at her picture, and talk to her, and ask her, are you alright where you are? are you happy? are you comfy? are you playing and not in pain anymore? i really miss her, and i want to see her again. i want to be with her again, and hug her again. nobody can bring my little girl back.

it's a pain that nobody understands unless they go through the same. and this is why, i thought i would take the time to tell you, chelonia, my sweet friend at the coffeehouse, that i share your feelings of grief, and know that i am grieving with you.

put up a small memorial corner in your home for those whom you've lost. that's what i have done, and it has helped in grieving my little girl.

am sorry.. .but i cannot say any more than i have .. am crying hard now, and i can't think anymore.

so sorry for your loss, sweetie. big big big big big hugs for you.

July 26, 2009
8:24 pm
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chelonia mydas
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OH Sunshine,

I'm so sorry to hear of your daughter. What a huge loss. That sounds so difficult, but I agree that sedation while they are in such pain is the best and kindest thing to do. I am sure she was aware of your love and presence. I could see your angeldaughter surrounded by a rey of sunshine infused with all of your love, caring and compassion you had for her. I know that helped her feel loved, comfortable and cared for as she crossed into the next existance.

I love your idea of a memorial corner for all the deceased. Here in Mexico Dia De Los Muertos is a holiday in October where the dead are honored and everyone has altars dedicated to their dead loved ones. Maybe this year I will set up an altar early.

Sending you lots of big hugs too.

July 27, 2009
11:51 am
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((((((((Chelonia))))))-

It makes my heart ache to read this thread, and I feel so sad on top of it that I missed it. You are such a caring and sensitive person, a great loss must have such a deep impact on you.

Your grandfather sounds like he loved you and wouldn't have wanted for you to do anything that would cause you even further upset or stress than the loss already has. Some times all you can do is to release yourself of certain obligations sometimes and realize that you have your limits. Just because you can't do things or be in a certain place for someone does not mean they don't think you love them, or that your love is any less real.

When it comes to your friend could it be that he is reminded of losses that he had in his life? Instead of being able to relate and be supportive, and turning experience into compassion... maybe he is afraid of revisiting his own pain? Not to stereotype men, but males are often taught to stuff their feelings any way they know how in order to appear strong. I'm not excusing him or making light of how painful it is to be alienated by a friend, but that might have something to do with it. What kind of rude things did he say?

I hope you are okay. It is so difficult to suffer a loss, and then have to deal with the family dynamics that make it more difficult rather than comforting.

much love, we will be here for you on aac,

ella

July 27, 2009
12:01 pm
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((((Chelonia)))), ((((Sunshine))))

I'm so sorry to hear what has happened to both of you!

It's always hardest on those who are left behind. At least they are in a better place and pain free.

My thoughts are with you.

Big HUGS to you both!

Hep

July 28, 2009
12:57 am
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chelonia mydas
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Thanks for the hugs and support Ella and Hep, its greatly appreciated,

The memorial service was today.

I was so busy at work that I didn't even get a chance to call to let everyone know I was thinking of them. One of our regional coordinators neglected to inform me that the executive director was the guest speaker at our routine community info night tonight at the research station. These are always planned and implemented at the region level- all we usually do is supply one staff with keys to lock up when they are done. But with Dr. B.D. presenting the session, I had to be there. The community didn't know or care who she is, and turn out was lower than normal. Everyone is still celebrating here from the futbol/soccer game (Mexico beat the US). I am so pissed at the lack of communication- but I'm more pissed that the day went by so quickly and I was so wrapped up in it all that I just didn't call. Now its much too late and I'm feeling so alone.

I did light a candle for my family as a way of sending my wishes and prayers to the states.

I should be focused on my grandfather, but right now I'm really mad at my friend. Ella, good suggestion about him blocking his feelings and not wanting to deal with past losses, but this rudeness has been going on for a while before my grandfather. I just kept thinking it was related to external factors and waited to give him time to work through it all. But with his rudeness over my grandfather- its a huge indicator that we probably have enjoyed the friendship while it lasted and now it is time to either grow as friends or walk away.

I called him on my way home from work to talk about what I'm going through. All he could say was how I had choices and I shouldn't regret them now. If I really wanted to be there, I had my chance. WTF??? I told him that I really just needed a friend to listen to me. He said he was, but that all this whining about everything was getting old. So I asked why are we friends, if we can't share what is happening in our lives? He said he didn't know and added that we really didn't have anything in common except that he listens to me whine and I am there for him when he has anxiety issues. So I said I called to talk to a friend and if you're not it, sorry for wasting your time. Good Night and started crying. Then he told me he just can't handle all this crying and said that I was toxic and caused his anxiety. So I said all the more reason to say good night. so he said good night and hung up.

So I guess I am now officially without human companionship in a foriegn country. At least I still have my pets and my job.

I'm feeling so guilty for being so focused on my friend and not as much on my grandpa tonight. But I think its because there is just too much with my grandpa to deal with and the loss of my friend is more immediate to my life.

But I really think that I need to just let my friend go for now. Focus on other things and not worry about him any more. The past little bit has been too hurtful and not really helpful- so why keep going back? I can be fine on my own.

I'm just so sad now with my grandpa and I really want a local friend. But at the same time, I also want enough money to go to his funeral today and I didn't get that either. So I just need to accept that this is my situation right now.

At least I have contact with caring folks through this website.

Thanks everyone.

August 1, 2009
9:13 pm
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Chelonia-

It's so hard when a friend turns into (forgive me) a total assh*le like that. It probably didn't so much as come out of the blue, as you did not inconvenience him before by being a friend who required... um... a real effort of friendship. No matter what he has done for you in the past, chances are it just didn't require him to go outside his comfort zone like this does. Too bad, because that's what friendship is. I'm so sorry for your loss of your grandfather, but also sorry for the loss of this friendship. As you know from my last thread I can relate to feeling like you need good friends. I know you will find some because you are a good friend to others, and there are bound to be people who will appreciate that. (You might not find them if you moved to NY however :/.) But I think good friends are rare and that's why they are so special. Not everyone can be one.

Sorry I didn't get this earlier and I don't have anything more cheery to say, but I understand how much this guy must have hurt you. Maybe he's going through something and is really inept at dealing with his own problems, but still... you deserve better company.

hugs,
ella

August 1, 2009
9:15 pm
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It was a joke about NY btw. Just because we talk about it a lot. I'm starting to think most people can find friends here, I just can't.

August 1, 2009
9:31 pm
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Chelonia,

Sorry to hear about your friend ducking out at this time.

Ella,

I don't think it's just in NY. I've had difficulty making friends in my area. I think I haven't found folks that are available but I keep working on it.

My friend that I talk to the most lives in another state. I love her to pieces but I would like to find people in the area just to have coffee with

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