Traumatised after watch grandmother pass

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My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 8 years ago. We did everything we could to avoid her going into a home but 1 year ago it was evident that she needed 24 hour care. From there, she deteriorated quickly and one month ago became her bound. 2 weeks ago she lost large amounts of weight and on Thursday, doctors declared her “end of life”. From that moment myself and other family members never left her bed side. We did everything to make her comfortable and family came to say their goodbyes. As the days passed, she became completely unresponsive. Her breathing was rattly, and her feet and legs began to mottle. By the last day she dedicated herself various times and her breathing became really shallow. The mottled skin travelled up her body and my Sunday evening, it had reached her face. We knew we were at the end. Her breathing became lighter and irregular and eventually she took her last breath. I will always be “glad” I could hold her hand till the very end, but watching her die has left me somewhat traumatised. It was peaceful or dignified. It was like a watching a fish that had been taken out of water. Watching her body die and her gasping for breath is all I see in my mind. The carers said she wasn’t in pain, but I feel traumatised by it all. I can only take comfort that she is no longer suffering.

Has anyone got any advice on how to cope with this part of the grief?? Thank you x

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  • Posted

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sadly death is often like this...a slow departure from this world. I too experienced this last year. It is true thankfully they don’t usually suffer as much as the relatives looking on. Their senses diminish...the last to go is hearing and touch so it is wonderful that you were there for her. Take comfort in the knowledge that she would have been aware of your presence etc. I did a lot of research myself to try and understand what to expect. As someone told me ‘dying is hard work’. 

    Please please rake comfort from the fact that you were there for her. It is true time heals but it does hurt for a while. Xx💕

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  • Posted

    I am sorry for your loss a Grandmother is very special.

    Grief affects different people in different ways. Was your Grandmother in a Nursing home or care home?

    I'm very surprised you were not given advice on her condition and support after her passing. My husband is in a Nursing home, I am given support every day I'm with him. He is not just left to pass away, the carers are doing so much for him in his last days. I sit and hold his hand, he sleeps 90% of the time. I used to nurse dementia patients in a hodpital.

    It all depends on how you view death, if you are very religious then the soul will go to where ever your beliefs dictate.

    It was wonderful you were with your Grandmother when she passed. You have to realise she is no longer lost or suffering, she is at peace, you might even think she is an angel now.

    I know what you're going through, I was at my Dad's bedside in a hospital when he passed away. Now I sit beside my dear husband's bedside as he slips away. The carers in the Nursing home are wonderful, they not only do everything for him but support me too.

    Please do go

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  • Posted

    Sorry my finger caught the send button.

    Please see your Dr who could send you to see a councillor, he/she is the best person to help you.

    Please talk about your granny to friends and family, remember the wonderful or funny things she did. This helps too.

    Take care, remember no two people will grieve in the same way. Grief takes many forms and can take years to get through, other people get over a loss easier, it's not that they don't care, it's the way they perceive life and death.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi JJ  ((((((huggs))))))

    You have my deepest sympathy.  I too was with my Grandma holding her hand as she passed away. 

    She had Alzheimer’s too.  I would like to share my story with you. At the time of her passing, my Grandma lived in Florida and I was in Pennsylvania.  Through the years We were very close. One Sunday in Church I was praying for her.  In my mind, I heard a voice, loud and clear, say one word ... GO!  The next day I caught a flight

    to Florida.  That next night around midnight I was holding her hand, and the Lord allowed me to be there with her

    as she peacefully passed.  I am so grateful that I was there with her. My Grandma was a strong, beautiful, dignified Lady.  Now I can tell you this JJ, that your Grandmother would tell you that she was glad you were with

    her holding her hand.  She would also tell you, that she does not want you to be Traumatized, because she would never want to cause you that pain. So it is not easy and there is no time frame for our hearts to heal.

    We simply have to take it one day at a time.  Think about Good memories of your Grandmother. Listen to your

    Heart, You know what she would tell you.  Most of all, it is so important to talk about this, with family, friends,

    or even a therapist who knows how to help us through this grief which is painful and difficult.  So let your emotions flow freely.  In time, you will get through this, and just know that your Grandma is always in your

    Heart.  Take Care (((((((huggs)))))))   ~   Faith

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