A question for God.

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I have been faithful (not perfect), but faithful my whole life. My Dad is a pastor and so was my Grandpa. I just don't understand why God is keeping my Grandma here! She is 94. That is too old. She is confused, tired, frustrated with her body, incontinent, her teeth are literally falling out of her head, she can barely walk anymore, she is tethered to her oxygen tank and even sleeping makes her tired. She cries a lot. Sometimes because she can't remember something, sometimes because she can't remember what it was she couldn't remember, sometimes because the sky is blue. Her quality of life is crappy. And ours has really gone downhill since we moved her in with us. There is not much peace. She is very uncomfortable and needs us all to know. There is much moaning and groaning and "oh I cant's". If we ignore it then she fakes an "attack". I realized yesterday she was faking a big one when I left her for a second to get the phone (she wanted me to call an ambulance) and when I walked up behind her I saw her petting the kitty and acting totally fine. Then when she saw me she was dying again. Her pre-Dementia self would have been mortified with this behavior. She is just not herself. It feels mean. Like God is punishing her. She is ready to go. We are all prepared. We will miss her but to be honest we miss her already.
Just needed to vent. I can't say these things out loud.

19 Comments

I don't claim to speak for "God" but may I suggest -

"When you truly can't change a bad situation all you can change is yourself."

This is a time where YOU (and other family) can learn about loving someone who is older and hurting. She WILL be gone shortly, and the important thing is that you are able to look back on this time with her with no regrets. So keep your integrity about you, do the best you can one day at a time, and know that this experience is teaching YOU some things... whether you like the lessons or not.

That's my opinion about your "question for God."
My boyfriend's mother is a lot like me...we both ask GOD questions and we patiently wait to get the answers we seek in various ways, suited to our respective personalities. Often we compare notes! And we've found a mutual validation in doing that since GOD's answers are consistent and His voice is always known.

So, having said that, I want to share with you something she had learned when she had asked GOD why (a certain person in her family) people sometimes have to go through so much pain and suffering at the end of their lives.

And what she was told was that it was a way of persuading the soul to 'let go' of the body...of the earthly wrapping of flesh and bones and etc.
Evidently some souls are more attached to this world/life/reality/perception than others. And oddly enough, it seems that sometimes it is the very devout who are most hesitant to go...maybe they haven't quite completely trusted in the idea of being forgiven and GOD's mercy and all that...I don't know!

But I do know that the answer she shared with me rang true and so I'm sharing it with you to take or leave as your heart determines it rings for you!

Personally, I don't know GOD to be a punisher of anyone for any reason...but I also know what you mean when you say it feels like He is. The same I felt for my dad in his last years because he suffered so much! But now I understand!
I very much like your "answer" here, babalon. I watched my devout grandmother cry and beg "God" for 10-15 years to take her out of this world ALREADY! She finally got her day to die in February at age 103. In her last few years, I was her primary caregiver and she stopped wanting to "go already" and we had a really wonderful, loving relationship where we "talked" (as much as you can "talk" with someone who is completely lost to dementia) about Jesus and God and recited her prayers from her Catholic past... and this was great comfort to her.

Even though I don't believe in God in the traditional sense, I do believe in people all day long.
Just thought I'd bring this one to the top again. Interesting question. Could be an interesting discussion in my humble opinion.

I think God is omnipotent. We don't really need to know why he chooses to let people live long past their best before date. Maybe it's for us, the loved ones to say our final good byes and things left unsaid. I know when my Mom was in the hospital dying her last week, I took the opportunity to voice all the little thoughts I'd kept inside. I don't know if she heard me or not but it helped me. So, perhaps that is God's purpose for letting your loved one linger on. If you haven't already, use this as an opportunity to talk freely and get it all out.
Thanks Gershun. I think we all ask these questions. I wish God did find a way to keep my dad with us longer. But since my dad's stroke he was not a happy man. I tried and tried so maybe God did buy me a little more time.
Lesa,
This is still a problem 4 years after your post and will continue to be until we find a cure for dementia.

I, too, have been faithful, trying not to doubt God when the hard times hit, trying to realize that we don't have the 'mind of God' and can't realize the "greater picture" that is unveiling. I'm trying to put trust in Him and not sweat the small stuff.

Today is my mom's first day with us. We picked her up from the memory care facility because it has gotten too expensive. My husband is very optimistic and happy she is here, I am realistic and feeling pretty depressed.

I've taken her to the bathroom 4 times since she's been here (7 hours). Each time she said she needed to have a BM and each time she didn't.
I have answered, "How old am I? at least 50 times, have heard, "I have a terrible headache." 40 times and "Who are you and who is he?" 30 times.
I had to resort to taking an Ativan to keep calm. Thank God for Ativan.

I have cut back on my nursing job to 2 days a week, because I don't think I can work any more than that and keep my sanity as her primary caregiver. Hubby works from home and is helping out a lot too. (90% of cooking, 90% of laundry, 70% vacuuming, etc.) He's a Godsend.

I hate to say, I feel trapped. I'm the only child and there is no one in the family who wishes to afford/send the remainder of the money she needs to stay at the memory care facility.

I'm trying to think that this is the last time I will have with her. Maybe we can have a better relationship than what we had when I was young. Even she said, "We didn't get along too well when you were young, did we?" Funny, she can remember that but she can't remember who I AM!!

She says she wants to die...that nobody should live to be this old. (She's 94 1/2) She can't stand up or sit down by herself, she can't sit on or get up from the toilet herself, she can't cut her food and certainly can't prepare it anymore. She can't figure out who we are, who anyone else is, why she's here, can't navigate her walker, etc.
She says she is ready to die. If she wants to go, I can let her go (because she has NO quality of life anymore) WHY doesn't God get on with it? (Yeah, I know, His perfect timing.)

I've been doing a stupid thing and trying to second guess Him as to why all this needs to take place. It's so very demeaning for the dementia victim-they know they've mentally lost it. It's a huge sacrifice for the family (financial, emotional, relational, physical, etc.) that care for them. Is the suffering happening down here so we can revel in the perfect glory up there?

Is this, "That what you've done for the least of these, is what you done for Me."?
Will I hang on by the skin of my teeth and a thread of Godly hope if she lives another 5 years?

I will be picking up an antidepressant from the pharmacy tomorrow (for me). Maybe that will change my attitude. I don't begrudge my mom the care. It's just that it's going to take a toll on all of us.

I WILL die before Alzheimer's captures me, one way or another.

When I get to Heaven, I'm going to ask why dementia needs to be part of people's lives. I'd really like an answer.
Sue, I truly sympathize...........My Mom had voiced to us she wanted to die too. If only we could see the bigger picture. My Hubs and I were discussing this just a little while ago. You know the butterfly effect and how some simple little act can change your whole future or someone else's. Sometimes when we feel there is no rhyme or reason to something and we wonder why we or someone we love has to suffer I guess we have to just remember that "God works in mysterious ways" Sometimes it seems like cruel and unusual punishment, sometimes we may even want to curse God and say why me............but then why not us? Why anyone for that matter.

Take comfort in the fact that you are not suffering alone and that God may not always take away our suffering when we think he should but that he will always hold our hand through our suffering. Small comfort at times maybe but it's a comfort of some kind.

Take care!
God bless, Sue

Can you get mom assessed to qualify for medi-cal and get an aide in to bathe her and give you respite ?
Thanks Guys,
I knew ya'll would understand.
Gershun,
I'm pretty "nearsighted" right now, not being able to see the "big picture." I suppose it's a bit of a pity party too. I'll get over it. I just hope I don't loose my mind in the process. My faith is mostly strong but I get moments of weakness. I'm not mad at God, just weary and the future looks even bleaker.

MsMadge,
Thanks for the blessing. I need it!
Hubby and I live in Tijuana, México. We know a couple of people that we have lined up to assist us. One friend would have to cross the border to help us but she is an experienced care giver. The other gal lives here and is the sister of a good friend of my husband. She, too, is a previous caregiver. At least it wouldn't be too costly paying with pesos.

Regarding applying for Medi-Cal, the problem is that my mom and I have "mixed" our money in an account where she is the primary on the account. This greatly complicates things. If her care becomes too much for my already bad back, and threatens to "undo" my recent female surgery, I will have to check into this option. Of course she would be placed in the south San Diego area, which would be fine. I cross the border with a "fast pass" to work and shop anyway.

I hooked up the baby monitor last night. I got 3-1/2 hours of sleep. 'We' went to the bathroom at 1 am and 3 am. I have insomnia and couldn't get back to sleep. My dear hubby slept through it all, (snoring, in fact.) When he woke up at 5:30, I asked for 2 hours undisturbed. Fortunately, mom conked out at that time too and he had a quiet early morning.
We're learning how to adjust our schedule to fit her with also trying to keep some semblance of our 'old' life.

Thanks for being there.
I don't know why but when things get hard for me that is when my faith seems to get stronger. I think whenever things are going well and I start thinking I can do things on my own, that is when I feel a distance growing between me and my faith. I do feel that is why God lets us struggle sometimes cause otherwise he may never hear from us. Sometimes the answer is right there in front of our nose and we don't see it. It's like that old joke about the guy stranded on a desert island praying "Oh Lord, help me, help me Lord" Then a yacht shows up and he turns it away and says "that's okay, my Lord will save me" Then a few more mths go by, nothing happens and he cries"Lord, Lord, where are you?" Next day a helicopter comes by and he says"oh, that's okay, I'm waiting on the Lord" More mths. go by and the man says "Lord, why have you deserted me?" Then suddenly a booming voice comes down from the heavens and the man hears the Lord's voice "What do you mean I deserted you, I sent a yacht, a helicopter............."

Anyway, I know I've told this one before but it always applies. It goes the other way too. Sometimes, something bad will happen. Not real bad, but inconvenient bad. Then, something even worse will happen, and so on and so on. That's the only way he can get some people's attention.

I'm not saying that it's anyone's fault if they or their loved ones get dementia and all that but anyway...............what am I saying? Just babbling at this point maybe. LOL!

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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