My Gramma’s Passing
|Hello, my friend!|
How are you today?
In this blog post, I want to share with you some of my feelings about life.
My grandmother exited the physical this morning. She had been literally withering away for quite some time, so her passing relieves her from anymore suffering. I am really grateful to my family who dedicated themselves to visiting her on a rotation at the hospital as well as at the palliative care centre. I am grateful for the staff and beautiful environment she was cared in as she departed.
My grandmother was my living grandparent. So, what this naturally means is that my parents generation is now the next to go. And after them would be me… that’s the cycle. But of course, there are still many things to do, and experience before exiting.
I am very grateful for what I had learned from the passing of my great grandmother, maternal grandmother and grandfather. From their passings, I learned that it was important to just go visit loved ones while they were living no matter how inconvenient it was. Excuses are always available: kids are young, you live far, you don’t need to come…etc.
Knowing that my grandmother was my last living grandparent, I made it to see her at the hospital in freezing rain storm, walking in toe pinching boots from my house to the GO Train Station, from Union Station to the hospital and then back. I also managed to drive on a weekend with my husband to see her. Then twice I was able to wake up early after a late night of working, to see her at the palliative care centre.
The two times I saw her at the hospital, she was in bed but able to recognise me and talk to me. She posed with me in a selfie. I was able to be with just her conversing about how wonderful life was. She was grateful to see her children in Canada thriving. She said she couldn’t have imagined such a wonderful life living back in China. I interjected, “you must have dreamt this.” I was happy that she had no regrets, no complaints.
Her kidneys just had 10% function. Her limbs were extremely swollen, and she was uncomfortable head to toe to say the least. The caring doctors said that they had done all they could for her. What did that mean?
They transferred her to a palliative centre in the area where I grew up. According to my uncle, she was able to recognise places, naming them. She pointed to where she used to work. She was in a peaceful end-of-life environment. Then she tried to get up to use the toilet by herself. She lost her footing, fell and suffered a brain hemorrhage.
They transferred her back to the hospital. Again, doctors said they did everything they could for her. She suffered through much pain. They gave her painkillers via IV to lessen the pain. They thought she would pass then…
A couple of weeks later, she was transferred back to the palliative centre to live her remaining days. I went the first chance I got. My aunt and uncle were there with her. “Who is this?” asked my uncle to my gramma. She was different from the last time I had seen her at the hospital. She spoke like she had brain damage, and her eyes couldn’t move and focus like before. She kept saying I was my aunt. My uncle asked me to stand on the other side of the bed. Then she recognised me.
Through visiting my grandmother, I also got to commune with my aunts and uncle. I got to speak with them more in depth about life. I got to talk to them about them, their health, their children, their life.
My last visit with my grandmother was the Sunday before Mothers’ Day. I arrived just as the nurse was cleaning her up and changing her bedding. The nurse (Beth) smiled at me warmly and asked if I would put hand cream on her. Of course, I willing accepted the task.
My grandmother looked like a thin skeleton under covers. She showed only three lower teeth. I would not have been able to recognise her if I didn’t have the sign outside the door with her name.
I tried to gain access to her hands from the right side of her bed, but couldn’t access. So, I walked over to the other side. I lifted the covers and found her bony hands on her chest the same way a corpse would appear in a coffin. She seemed to startle when I felt touched her hands. Just for a brief moment. I held her warm hands one at a time gently smoothing on the moisturizer lotion. Then, I put them back on her beating heart and covered her once again. She continued to breathe with her eyes closed. She slept, but I believe she knew I was there.
Before I left, I took a selfie of our hands on her heart. It’s a precious moment. I am glad that I went to see her.
What did my grandmother teach me about life? My grandmother was always very active with helping her children whether it was through financial contribution, watching their children or working in their businesses, she was always there. My grandmother suffered physically a lot in her life, but despite those challenges, she also worked a lot. She worked while she could, and slept a lot in the end. She went through several surgeries to improve the quality of her life including two knee replacements. My grandmother was very tough. She gave birth to 5 children naturally and by herself.
So, her passing reminds me of the limited time we have in this physical plane, and it is wise to take action every day toward what we truly desire. It also reminds me that I should write my own eulogy, and live my life according to how I want to be remembered. I must live my life each day to inspire the best in people.
It also reminds me of how I want to be leaving this plane: healthy, wealthy and happy. And to do this, I must take action every single day to create this life.
What do you desire most? How do you want to be remembered?
Thank you for joining me in this post.
Until next time, be awesome!