Saturday, April 18, 2009

please don't die

I am so sad. I haven't been sad like this since my boyfriend left me a year and a half ago.

My grandparents are dying. Three out of four of them are very sick. On my mom's side, my grandfather has been dealing with prostate cancer for years. We are not close, but I still feel badly for him.

On my dad's side, my grandmother just recently fell, as she has several times now, and when taken to the hospital, she found out she has congestive heart failure.

My grandfather has dementia, then recently developed blood on his brain. He has been through two brain surgeries in the past couple of weeks - one on each side of the brain. He is not getting better. He is hallucinating at night, and getting very agitated, so he has been put in restraints, I was told. He's claustrophobic, and so am I and I know exactly how horrible it is to be psychotic, and tied down to a bed when you're claustrophobic. I know because of experience. And he's 77 years old, and his prognosis isn't a positive one.

I lived with my dad's parents from the fall of 1998 until the summer of 1999. They fed me. They even bought diet foods for me because I wouldn't eat regular food some of the time. They let me sleep in their house. My grandfather even went to Washington DC with me to see a doctor down there. My grandmother told me when she kicked me out of her house, "Jenny, you need to see a psychiatrist". And that pissed me off at the time, but obviously she was right, and in retrospect, if I had seen a psychiatrist, it might have helped.

I don't want my Nanny and Pop Pop to die. I feel like a scared little kid thinking about impending deaths. I remember being five years old, going to my grandparents' big, old house on Kenwood and Glenmore in the Overlea section of Baltimore, Maryland, and playing hide-and-go-seek with my cousins. I remember how we ran up and down the stairs with glee, singing "Freak out, Nanny, Freak out!!" to drive her nuts. She would yell, "Bap Bap Bap!! I'm gonna beat your ass, you kids!" and we knew she didn't mean it.

I remember Pop Pop's freezer in the basement, the big horizontal freezer full of ice cream. Gallon upon gallon were kept in there, just waiting for my watering mouth to pick them out. He would pick me up, let me bend over the side of the freezer, and reach in for Rocky Road or Mint Chocolate Chip. He loves ice cream, and would continue to have a freezer stocked full of it in his basement for the next 30 years. Going to the basement with Pop Pop was one of the most special treats I remember in my entire life. I loved it. I loved that big, old house. I loved my grandparents.

I don't want to lose people, and I have no experience with death in anyone close to me, so I am afraid that I will spiral into depression because I won't be able to handle it.

The thought of Pop Pop tied down in restraints and hallucinating breaks my heart.


  1. Im very sorry about your grandparents. It's OK to be sad.

  2. Hi Jen,

    How are you doing?

    I'm sorry to hear that your grandparents are not well and may be dying. I haven't been around dying and death much either, except for my cats. My ex boyfriend died almost 10 years ago and my Nana (my mother's mother) died about eight years earlier and that was hard because I loved her. My mother also has congestive heart failure, but she's had it for a year or two. It is possible to survive for a while if you take all sorts of medications, which my mother does. She doesn't talk about it. I wouldn't have known except my father told me. Last Christmas I was worrying about her. I even tried to imagine what it would be like without her and it made me feel so sad and helpless. It would be terrible to lose her. But I've had a weird reaction which I have to reverse and that is I've been distancing myself from my parents lately. That's partly due to the schizophrenia--I withdraw from others and not intentionally; it just sort of happens. Not good.

    You will get through this and when the time comes for me to let go of my parents then I will get through it. You have to believe that. I deeply believe that there is a much bigger picture for all of us, in our lives and afterwards. I think we are connected to the people in our lives for good reasons and that dying and death are not the final answer. My family doesn't believe this of course, but when death does come then we will have the answer to the puzzle. I pray we all become liberated. There's no doubt that this life can be hard, but it can also be really good and we all have to go through it. There are no favorites really.

    So hang in there and stay in touch with me if you can,



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