February 16, 2010

Two weeks.

Tomorrow will mark two weeks since my grandfather passed away and it somehow feels like an eternity. A few nights ago, was the first night I spent alone in the house and thankfully, it wasn't as bad I feared it would be. It was difficult but I did it. I figure I need to get use to the fact that this house is empty - after living here for 53 years - my grandfather is gone.

He passed away at home, in his own bed, just hours before we were going to move him to a hospice facility for 5 days. He needed more care and my mom needed rest. He had fallen the morning before around 4am and my mom and I tried but couldn't lift him up so we had to call 911 for help. Later that day, my mom and uncle spent time talking with his nurse, social worker and hospice team to figure out what our options were. He wasn't able to walk or move himself from his scooter to his bed anymore, and without strength on his part, my mom just couldn't physically take care of him at home. It was a really hard decision, but was one that would give us time to figure out how we could continue to care for him.

Later that evening on February 4th, he seemed to be pretty agitated. We called the nurse around 8pm because the medication they told us would relax him wasn't doing it's job. He was talking about things that didn't make any sense to us and kept wanting to get out of his bed. He kept motioning like he was buttoning his shirt or eating something or taking off a sweater - none of which he was actually doing. The nurse ended up staying until about 11:30pm. She had given him some more medication and he was finally starting to relax - still talking and motioning but with not as much energy. The blessing is that I was able to sit at his bedside that evening, hold his hand and tell him how much I love him and how much he means to me. I would ask him questions to try to pull him out of the agitation - about his work in Oregon or the time he met boxer Joe Lewis and he would answer me! I asked him what his all time highest bowling score was and he answered with a clear "279 in a practice game!" There were a lot of tears that evening and I remember thinking that watching someone die has to be the worst thing in the world. It's flat out horrible. But because I trust in the Lord, I can find hope and joy through the heartache. I am so thankful that he wasn't suffering long! It was a short eight months from the time he was first diagnosed with aortic stenosis to the time he passed away. We knew it was going to happen, although it doesn't make it any easier.

When I finally went to sleep around 1am, I prayed the Lord would have mercy and compassion on him, ease his suffering and take him home. And He did. He passed away around 8am on February 5th at home, just like he wanted with his dignity in tact.

For anyone who's interested, you can click here for the link to his obituary.

This probably won't be the last post about my grandfather, so be warned :-) I feel like I have so much to say about him and I think it might help with the grief. But until then, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your support and prayers! I love you guys!


  1. I'm so glad you got that precious time with him. I'm so thankful that you have such a strong faith to help you get through this too. Hang in there sweet friend.

  2. No apology necessary, write on. We love to read about your grandfather and I will never forget those laser pens, which I still have! Cherish those memories you have of him and know that he's waiting to reunite with you so you'd better start bowling!

  3. Hi. I am so sorry to hear about this, but i do think that you have been a very brave and courageous person through it all. May the good Lord bless you and keep you happy always.

  4. I know the heartache of being there as someone close to you dies. The paradox of wanting to be there for them, but having to watch the suffering is such a hard one to come to terms with- still one I struggle with. I'm glad you were able to talk to him and say goodbye- he was in good hands, and even better hands now :)