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This is not so much a question, as it is me looking for support. My Grandma is 102 years old. I have always looked up to her. I always found it so neat that she was able to cut grass, work in the yard, drive a car, and do everything on her own until she was 98 years old. Yep. You read that right. She is the feistiest woman I have ever known. Unfortunately at the age of 98, she suffered a fall, breaking her foot, and injuring her back which even after it healed, it led to arthritis which made it impossible for her to do anything that required standing for a great period of time or walking any distance which pretty much eliminated all the activities she so enjoyed. Still these past 4 years she kept her feisty attitude and continued to stay on top of everybody's business... But from her chair.


This summer, she went into the hospital because she was having fainting spells. It was determined that her blood count was low, which can be fixed by medicine. Unfortunately, even with the medicine, she has continued to go downhill since then. A few weeks ago, she was put back in the hospital for pneumonia and a UTI. She recovered from both of those, but has gone even more downhill since then. She is no longer on top of everything like she used to be. She now sleeps about 18 hours a day and doesn't eat much of anything. We fix her a plate, she takes a few bites, and then says she's full. I honestly, don't know what is keeping her alive right now because she doesn't eat hardly at all.


We have all come to the conclusion that her body is just shutting down due to natural causes and old age. This is something that is very hard for me to accept. For one, this will be the first death in the family since my dad passed away 13 years ago, and to put things nicely, him and I were not close, and I was living on the other side of the country at that time. This is the only grandparent I have ever known, the rest of them all died young, either before I was born or when I was very young. I also worry that she is the glue that is holding the family together. I know for a fact that when she passes, our family definitely won't be the same. I just wish I could see into the future, and see just exactly how much time she has left. A week? 3 months? 6 months? I just want to know what to expect. But, I know that that is not possible. I don't really know what the purpose of me posting this is. I guess I just needed to get my thoughts out. Maybe somebody will read this, maybe nobody will.

((((((hugs)))) and sincerest condolences. Grandma ran a fine race!!! She was a great example.
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I’m very sorry and wish you peace and comfort
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So sorry for your loss of your grandmother. Many hugs!
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Thanks guys for your encouraging words. Grandma passed away last Friday.
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I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I get it completely about your grandmother being the glue that holds it all together, I’ve lost that glue and it’s truly a hole that never fills the same. I’m also glad you’ve been blessed to have this incredible lady in your life and know you’ll treasure the time and memories the rest of your days
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How blessed you are to have such a special bond with your grandmother. She will always be with you even after she dies, for the memory of her and her determination and feistiness will live on in you forever. So for now, just enjoy whatever time you have left with her, let her know how much she means to you, and how much you love her. Don't waste your time worrying about what the future holds for your family after she dies, just live in the moment. And remember that only God knows the day and time that He will call her home. Praying for God's peace and comfort to be with you in the days ahead.
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I’m glad you are with her as grandma is nearing the end of her journey here. Just love her and speak to her gently and let her know.

It’s such a peaceful yet unsettling time on a vigil waiting for death. It’s an almost divine experience.

My mother passed when I was asleep next to her in the empty bed in her NH room. I didn’t see her take her last breath. I think she wanted it that way.

However she passes don’t despair. She’ll do it her way.

Prayers for you today.
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"natural causes and old age"

Yes.

Yes to understanding the glue, yes to the family never being the same.

This is grief.
This is love.
This is life.

This is you adjusting to a world without your wonderful Grandmother.

You write beautifully. Keep writing if it helps you. A journal. A book. Your memories.

I remember sitting for a long time with the newspaper, unable to open it to read the death notice of my Grandma. To see the words in black & white.

I have wonderful memories & am blessed to have them.

Who said "I would rather have loved & lost then never loved at all"?

Embrace this full circle of life. A life well lived.
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No one knows when a person will die.

Appreciate the long time your grandmother has been able to be with you.

Some people bring out the best in others. My grandmother did this. I adored her.

You say that she is the glue that holds your family together.

Yours grandmother sounds very special.

When she dies she you will miss her but will live in your heart forever.

Take care.
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Mitchell, thank you for posting such a clear description of your feelings.

Everything that is happening sounds both natural, and in many ways ideal - after a very very long and very well-lived life, your grandmother is reaching the end surrounded by people who love her.

None of which makes it any easier to bear, I know.

I just wanted you to know that we're here, and listening.
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mitchell - I highly recommend you read the book "Final Gifts" by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelly. It's about the final life journey of the dying, what their needs are and how they communicate those needs, and even a glimpse into the after life.

Your grandma's hospice doctor or nurse should be able to give you their professional assessment as to how much time your grandmother has.

Also, as very often happens, many dying people wait until certain event happens before they let go. That could be someone they need to see, some assurances that people left behind will be OK, some special date to pass, etc.

You can ask your grandma if there are things that she wants to be done, or people she wants to see. Sometimes, the dying won't or can't give you a straight answer, so you might have to decipher their answers.

It is very hard watching and waiting for someone to die. I understand completely because I have had to do that very recently.
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