• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can access this area by going to the Health and wellbeing forum >here< or you can directly access the area >here<.

What now....

angelbee112

Registered User
Nov 18, 2012
23
I'm afraid I didn't make as good a use of these forums as I probably should when my Gran was still here, but I'm hoping I can do so now (I apologise in advance for this overly long post, but once I started I couldn't seem to stop so I hope you will bear with me)...

My Granny passed away in a care home last December. She was diagnosed with dementia about 5 years ago, although there were signs a long while before that. I lived with my parents and worked during the week, then stayed with her each weekend. I was very happy with this arrangement, however last year it was deemed necessary for her to move into full time care, where she straight away went dramatically downhill and lasted only a short time there.

I always pictured how I would react when she died - a moment I knew in my heart of hearts was never too far away, yet in all the ways imagined I never thought it would be this... I was there when she went peacefully about 10 minutes after I arrived with my parents in the early hours; the home having called to say she was in a bad way. I was too scared to even hold her hand, or stroke her hair in her final moments. I was simply frozen to the chair. After, we packed up some of her more valuable things and left. She was just lying there on the bed. I didn't even think to pull the blanket up over her head like I've seen so many times in films. I went home and phoned work to say I wouldn't be in. In all other ways it was like any other day though. I then got up the following morning and went to work as normal, only having a day off for her funeral since.

I can't seem to get my head around how I acted when it happened. Is what I did normal? We were so close, yet I find myself trying to stop remembering her even in happier times now, as I know ultimately I'll end up thinking about the moment she died and get upset at myself again.

I'm an only child, 27 years old and close with my parents but have no one else in the way of support, bar a couple of friends I can count on one hand. My Gran always said I should get out more and have fun with people my own age at weekends, but I was more than happy with our little routine. I know now she was thinking of the time when she'd be gone. The trouble is I have no idea how to meet people and make new friends. I've tried joining some activity classes and making an effort to go out with colleagues after work etc, but I find myself daydreaming of what me and my Gran would be doing instead, and again the cycle of tears and anger at myself begins. I hate doing the things most people my age are doing - I find no fun in sitting in a bar drinking myself silly, and dread social situations where I might have to meet new people, yet at the same time feel so incredibly lonely.

I have no idea if any of what I've said makes sense (or even if anyone has managed to read this far..sorry it got a bit long!) but if you have made it, I just want to say thank you for hearing my story.

I don't want to forget her, but the pain of remembering seems so much worse right now.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
There is no right or wrong way to grieve or to see someone pass. Numbness is common, I know I felt numb for a week after my Dad passed, it was like watching a film unravel and I was in someone else's nightmare watching tens of people in and out at all hours of the day, busily doing something from washing up to making sandwiches.

What would your nan have been doing at your age? Your nan wanted you to experience new things and socialise, the grief doesn't just stop but I think it would be useful for you to continue to try new activities until you find one that suits. Don't give up trying, you are too young and it's not what your nan would have wanted for you.
 

Composer

Registered User
Sep 29, 2010
19
78
Devon
What now

Dear Angelbee, It sounds as though you were, and are, in shock. It is very obvious how close you and your Grandmother were/are to each other. Her dead body wasn't the gran you knew/know. The pain of her passing will remain with you. In time, the other part, the grief and loss, will stop taking over your life as you concentrate on other events. You will still cry, still wish she was there to talk to and share things with, but the hurt and guilt won't be as bad as it is now. The answer to what now, is to go on living, because that is what your granny wants of you. x
 

CeliaW

Registered User
Jan 29, 2009
5,643
Hampshire
Angelbee - I am sorry to read how sad and disorientated you feel but, as others have said, its normal and part of grieving. Your lucky gran having someone to love and care for her as you did. Maybe your actions after she died were your minds way of protecting you in the short term until you were stronger and could be more able to come to terms with her passing?

You obviously are a caring person and I wondered if maybe you could use your abilities in a volunteering situation? It would enable you to have worthwhile activities plus meet new people without the having the pressures of the down the pub social situation and the spotlight being on you trying to meet new people - if that makes sense! In various ways I am involved in and around various things related to volunteering so, if you have any queries or I can help you move forward with that, please pm me and I will be very happy to help.

Take care of yourself x
 

Merrymaid

Registered User
Feb 21, 2014
304
Hi Angelbee, so sorry for the loss of your Gran. As stated in the previous posts we all respond to the death of a loved one in our own way, however certain responses are identifiable as part of the process of grieving. The shock you felt and which stunned you when you witnessed your Gran passing is a very normal response to this situation, as is the constant revisiting the scene in your head. Eventually over time more positive recall of happier times with her will rise to the surface of your memory banks & will help to deaden the pain of loss you are experiencing right now.

Your Gran was right you do need to spend some time with people of your own age when you feel ready. I can understand that the drinking culture might not be to your taste and that meeting new people can be a bit scary, but there are other ways. Take some time to identify what you enjoy e.g. sport, hiking, cycling, art, music, theater? Do some research into courses, clubs, societies in your local area. You will meet people from all backgrounds & age groups and will make some good friends into the bargain. If the first one doesn't suit keep trying until you find something you enjoy. This may take some time as everything may leave you feeling a little once removed for a while as you respond to your grief & your loss. Keep going through the motions though and eventually you will find real enjoyment in your life again, with lovely memories of the wonderful relationship you shared with your Gran, to take on your journey. Best wishes :)
 

krissymc

Registered User
Sep 24, 2012
75
hi angelbee
So sorry to hear about your gran.

Your story is very similar to ours, my mum passed away in november last year, my son lived with his nan and cared for her for years till she went in CH. He is similar age to you (25) and couldn't understand why it had happened to his nan and was convinced that one day she was going to wake up normal again. His way of coping is talking about all the good times they had together. He has recently decided that he is going to do a fun run for dementia.
 

Lindyloo62

Registered User
Jan 12, 2014
13
Yorkshire
We all deal with the loss of a loved one in our own way. My mum passed away last Sunday, I was in a daze and very upset all day, then got up and went to work as normal on Monday, had day off Tuesday and sorted everything out registering the death, seeing undertaker for funeral, dealing with council etc etc and went back to work on Wednesday and Thursday. I Was going to work on Friday but driving there I knew I couldn't do it. I just started crying and couldn't stop. I went to my cousins for the day, I just needed to be with someone who had also loved my mum and I could talk to about her. We cried and laughed together most of the day. Still keep asking myself why I went to work.
 

angelbee112

Registered User
Nov 18, 2012
23
Thank you all for your responses and advice. I'm sad to hear some of you have been through similar situations, but your kind words do give me strength, and Lindyloo62 I'm so sorry to hear your loss was so very recent. I ask myself the same thing about work - it should have been the least of our worries at that time.

I think it's just the complete void of emotion on that particular day that is getting to me now. I can accept that she is gone in a way, but my memories of that single day will haunt me for a long time, despite the fact it was as peaceful as could be.

I have tried a few clubs, although I didn't say before but I have a speech disability, which makes it hard to be understood sometimes. I tend to have hobbies which are solitary or don't involve talking so as not to draw attention to myself - which sort of defeats the point (I'm my own worse enemy I know)

Best of luck to your son for his fun run too krissymc! That sounds like a good way of dealing with it all and helping the charity too.

And Noorza - my Gran had been married 6 years and had 3 children by my age..! Luckily in recent years she seemed to think of me as eternally 10 years old, otherwise she'd have had me marry the first guy who passed by the house I think!!