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How do you deal with losing, yet another, grandmother??

My mom called me yesterday. I was at work, but she sounded upset, so I asked her what was going on. She reminded me of recently when she came to pick me up with her mother, whom I refer to as 'nanny.' She asked if I remember her continuously coughing, and I said yes. She told me that my nanny has a serious lung complication, and that basically she has 5 years before they collapse. Nanny isn't the grandmother that sits around knitting. She is the one out there swimming in the pool with us, and joking with us. She is well, versatile, to say the least. As of now, the most she can do is walk around for about ten minutes before she has to sit down and breathe from an inhaler, and soon an oxygen tank. My family is about to watch her suffer for 5 years. How do you deal? How should I be there for my own mom. Whom I couldn't imagine losing. I don't get it.

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Asked by armyangel02 at 9:12 AM on Mar. 17, 2009 in Relationships

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Answers (8)
  • I am very sorry, armyangel. It is heartbreaking to see a formerly hardy relative or friend go downhill. Enjoy every moment with her. Make her feel as though she is not being considered an invalid but is a valuable and valued part of the family. Laugh with her, reminisce with her, don't let her disability change who she is and what you think of her. Don't let your mother become despondent. After all you still are blessed by having your grandmother around, even though ill and failing. Love her, love your mom. It is a good thing to talk about the past and the good times you've had. And you try to find good times now, as well. Having your family over for a meal, pushing your grandma in a wheel chair around the mall, or take her to a movie, or a park. There are lots of things that a person in a wheelchair can do, and she would find a wheelchair less exhausting than walking.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:19 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • Death is a part of life. We all have to face it at some time or another, and it never gets easier. You just have to keep going and remember your nanny.... talk about her often and even to her. I have my grandma's rosaries, some jewelery, and a couple of her purses. I use them (not the rosaries, I'm not catholic) and think about her every time I look at them. I have lost 6 loved ones in the past 3 years and it's very difficult. My last grandma isn't well, either. I just hope to have her here for a few more years. ((((hugs))))

    Answer by drowninginboys at 9:20 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • I can relate. My grandmother who is 75 is the same way. Shes a very active person who cooks, cleans and works in the yard. Shes much younger than her years. I couldn't imagine losing her either. I am so sorry your family is going through this.

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:47 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • This sounds exactly like my fiance's grandma. His grandparents actually adopted him when he was 7 and they've raised him since he was born so he's very close to them. His grandma is the type to get out, go tanning, take cross country road trips, go bowling, to margarita mondays, all that. She cusses like a sailor but not in a bad way, she acts as young as me. She's on an oxygen tank now, has to take I don't know how many pills a day uses an inhaler, and can barely walk around. She might get up for a few minutes and then have to collapse onto whatever's close. One of her lungs is 1/2 or 1/4 (I can't remember) scar tissue from being sick a lot. But you know what, no one treats her like she's dying. She might say some things about how this might be her last Christmas or whatever but everyone treats her the same. She's enjoying getting to eat whatever she wants. I say just treat her like nothing's happening, have fun while you can

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:22 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • I know what you are going through, my grandfather has Emphazyma and is slowly dying from it.
    he is already on Oxygen and using it every day.. I really don't expect him to live until Christmas. This is very hard for me because he raised me.. however I make a point to visit a minimum of 3 times a week, either just to visit, or help him out with chores that he can no longer do. The only thing I can tell you is to try to spend as much time as possible with them, and help her out to make it as easy for her as possible.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 10:27 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • ps. pm me if you wish to talk more.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 10:27 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • My grandpa who I was very close with died in October. He had a heart attack and lived but only the bottom half of his heart was working so he had to be put in the hospital. We went and saw him, talked to him like we were at home, asked what he had for dinner, asked if he was going to plant a garden this year and he'd answer like he was going to get better and do all those things. Of course he didn't but it's better to be happy than to sit around sad and make the person dying sad too. I know it's kind of harsh but everyone dies. I still have a hard time going to my grandma's grave, seeing pictures of her or thinking about her since I was very close to her while she was dying but there's nothing you can do. Everyone has to go sometime. Enjoy them while you can.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:29 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • I agree with what the ladies above me have said. I lost my grandmother to progressive emphasima in the late 80's, and it was very hard on me as she literally taught me to walk again after having both my legs broke in a car accident.

    This is never easy, but once the end comes, be sure to go to her funeral. Seems silly to say this, but having lost my mother to the accident that broke my legs, I couldn't attend my mother's funeral, and I still have a difficult time with her death more than 30 years later. I've been better able to deal with my grandmother's death after having gone to her funeral. Closure helps more than a person realizes.

    Answer by rhope4 at 10:34 AM on Mar. 17, 2009

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