1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. sophiem121

    sophiem121 Registered User

    Nov 19, 2015
    For the past 20 years my granny had Alzheimer's, last week she passed away. I am 20 years old and i feel i have grieved for my granny in at least 3 stages; once for the granny i never got to know, another for empty vessel that she became and more recently grieving for now having nothing. When i imagined my granny's death I expected myself to be relieved as now she is free but I can't seem to think like that. Leading up to her death she lost the ability to swallow. We all expected it to be quick as we said our goodbyes, but she lasted a week. During this I saw her waste away, her eyes wide open but nothing there, gasping for each breath, pumped full of morphine she still seemed in pain and when we wetted her lips she seemed to say 'more,more'. These memories overshadow the relief that she is in a better place, popping into my head throughout the day, distracting me from what i was doing. When will it stop and I move into acceptance and the grieving to settle? I feel stupid for even feeling sad as for the past 4 years she has had no quality of life. When will I agree this was the best thing for her?
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    It isn't really about agreeing that it is best for her - you know it is in your heart - but you have lost someone who was a very big part of your life and that isn't going to vanish. BUT gradually the memories of the final week will fade and in their place will come happier times, sharing the photos of the times with her as you were growing up, she has always been there and if you nurture the happy memories, she always well be. Soon you will find yourself saying 'do you remember when Gran did......, or when she said........'

    My Mum died last Christmas in hospital in difficult circumstances and it is still painful but we do now remember the good times and the funny times and that is what she would want. Your Gran would feel the same, she wouldn't want you torturing yourself with those painful days, she would want you to remember the days when she was a girl, the times when she was growing up, the things that she did for others and the things that she taught you and laughed with you about. They will come but this stage is just as important, it is a cleansing, a time to cry (and weep and wail) together in grief and soon the happier memories will return.
    Thinking of you at this very sad time xxxxx
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    And I forgot to say 'welcome to TP' you will find lots of support here xx
  4. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    Greif when does it end

    Hi Sophiem, welcome to talking point and I am so sorry to hear about your Granny. I am on talking point because my Mum has alzheimers but your description of your feelings made me think about my own recent experience of death and loss, not with a person but with my cat who had to be euthanized because of kidney disease 4 weeks ago. All the things you describe feeling from thinking you should be glad she is no longer suffering, should be feeling relief but in fact just keep going over the traumatic last week(s) are exactly the same as I have felt over my pet. Now I don't say this to compare in any way your loss to mine but hopefully just to illustrate that your feelings are normal and part of the grieving process whether we lose a person or a pet. I think also if you live through a traumatic ending like watching her disease progress and then seeing her suffering it is a traumatic event that impacts on your brain. It keeps replaying until you eventually accept and process it- and perhaps eventually decide not to stay in that place but think of happier memories. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and be kind to yourself. Maybe looking at photos or videos of you and your Granny in happier times will help bring back some better memories to replace the ending which however sad was short compared to the whole span of a lifetime. Sending love and a virtual hug xxx
  5. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Welcome to TP, sophiem121
    What a wonderful granddaughter you are - to write so thoughtfully of your circumstances, with such warmth for your grandmother in all the 'stages' you knew and loved her. I'm in awe that you found the strength to be with her at her end; what a gift you gave her. How proud she would be of you and how sad that she won't be able to share the stages of your life in person - she will, though be with you in spirit.
    Your loss is so recent and so raw - be gentle with yourself and just allow yourself to be. There's no timescale or pattern to follow. Slowly you'll discover your way to grieve and the acceptance you seek. Your memories will mellow and the most recent will be put into perspective as a minority amongst all the others.
    Will the grief end? No, not really - it changes, though. I lost my mum 10 years ago and my nan (her mother) many years before that, yet I still miss them - because I cared for them and they made me who I am, because we were important to each other; they deserve to be missed and remembered.
    You miss your granny, she deserves to be missed, so be sad, of course you feel sad, you cared for her, and granny is special no matter what.
  6. Gigglemore

    Gigglemore Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    British Isles
    So very sorry for the loss of your granny. It must have been so hard for you and her other loved ones watching those final days.
  7. hisstessa2

    hisstessa2 Registered User

    Feb 19, 2015
    I feel the grief fades a bit. I get triggers all time that sets me off and it's been 7 months since I lost my mother. This week has been rough since I will be my first holidays without her, but she had no idea what a holiday was anymore. The visions of her final moments will I'm sure, stick with me for life, but I was there and that's all that matters. Remember the happy giddy times you shared with her, and don't dwell on the pain. Shes free now. She would not want you to grieve over her. She loved you. Peace to you.

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