My Grandmother is less than a month away from her 91st birthday. She has been there for me since the day I was born. Over the last month, I have been forced to see three real truths exist in this world. I always knew she wouldn’t be here forever… somewhere in my head, I know people don’t live forever. But when you’ve lived over 33 years and someone you love has been there for you the whole time – healthy, independent, loving and supportive – it’s hard to really internalize the truth about this world.
This world is a cruel place.
Truth 1: Grandma won’t live forever. Her time on this Earth is coming to an end. There is nothing I can do about it. There is nothing I can do.
Truth 2: Everybody ages and age is only graceful to a point. The body and the mind cease functions one by one. I have no control over this. I cannot plan for it. I cannot stop it. I cannot help her. She will continue to decline until the end. I think I maybe believed there was a chance this wouldn’t happen. I think she has lived so long that I hoped she would just pass on peacefully in her sleep before any of these horrible things took place. It’s pretty scary to think that even the healthiest person can’t escape this one horrible truth.
Truth 3: I will go on living my life without her. This is by far the hardest to accept. When she is gone, the world won’t stop. My life won’t stop. I have to learn to live without telling her about it. My holiday plans will have to change. I’m going to get married. I’m going to have kids. But I’m guessing she will not see it. I have to somehow find a way to accept that all this can happen – and is good – even without her in this world. I haven’t had nearly enough time with her.
My Grandfather died 22 years ago. She has lived all this time without him. She loves him and misses him every day. She always talks about him. I hope that I can love my husband as much as she and my Grandpa loved each other.
I am breaking. A piece of me is dying with her. My family won’t let me see her right now. I can’t help. I can’t even be there with her when she is confused and scared. I feel helpless. I am angry.