Sunday, January 25, 2009

That Warm Fuzzy Feeling

Today was another long day at the hospital. Goodbyes were said yesterday and Grandma has begun her journey. One of the intriguing parts of this process is how people handle dying and death. I admit to crying everyday since Wednesday.

Selfishly, I wish Grandma would live forever and when I wrote yesterday that I saw love and fear in her eyes, I think what I was seeing was my own fear and not her's. But I know she had a good, long life - she's said so many times - and I know she wouldn't want to go on living without her freedom of mobility, comfort, and peace. Grandma is my equivalent of that warm fuzzy feeling inside and she's an important part of my life. She's been my strong tie to family and to the community. The Grandma I know is gone yet, I have many happy moments and experiences to remember her.

Love and Tears

Since rolling off the plane following the Presidential Inauguration I've been spending every available minute at Sarasota Memorial Hospital to be with Grandma. Today was especially hard, understanding what a living will is, when it's implemented, and if there's turning back. Also learning about hospice (from the folks at Tidewell Hospice, Sarasota, Fla.) and learning to let go.

I held her hand doing my best to hold back tears. There were laughs, she hasn't lost her sense of humor and that's the frustrating part. She still has her mind but her body has failed. I saw love when I looked into her eyes but I also fear, which is a side of her I've never seen. It seemed as though she was disappointed in herself for not getting well from her disease. I wonder what's going through her mind and wonder if she's truly ready to let go. She said her goodbyes, telling me to look for a tablet of paper at her home with a note for the family. She asked for her last rites and we prayed with her.

I wonder which is the better way to die. Quick, without warning, like Peter did or slowly so there's time to say goodbye and put life in order. Is it better for the living to be prepared when a loved one moves on?