Sunday, 22 November 2015

Goodbye Gran


On a Sunday I usually post my Sunday Snippets – photos of things that have happened throughout my week. But this week things are a bit different, and I’ve decided I don’t feel comfortable carrying on and posting as if nothing has happened. On Wednesday morning I went along to my Gran’s room (she’s lived with us for four and a half years) to wake her up for breakfast. As soon as my Dad and I opened the door we knew something was wrong. I’m not going to go into massive detail because it’s still very raw and there are some things that just don’t need to be shared. But we quickly realised that, very sadly, my darling Granny had passed away during the night. She was just over a week short of her 92nd birthday. 



As I’m sure you can imagine, it was a huge shock and we are all devastated. She had been fighting dementia for a number of years; slowly deteriorating and losing more and more of her sparkle and personality. But she was still my Granny – the Granny who took us down to the beach when we were little, who baked fairy cakes with us and let me lick the bowl, who gave the best hugs and was always smiling. We couldn’t always see the ‘old her’ but we knew she was still there, underneath the bleakness that dementia brought with it.

Over the last few months she gradually stopped eating and drinking, which was heart breaking to watch. So we knew she was fading away, but we honestly didn’t think it would be this quick (neither did our GP). The house just feels so empty without her and we’re finding it really hard to come to terms with. Before she passed away I had actually started planning a blog post about dementia, as I feel it’s such a misunderstood disease. I’m putting it on the backburner for now – it’s just too raw at the moment – but I will still post it at some point.

I try not to talk too much about my mental and physical health here, as it’s a bit of an escape for me, but at the same time I think it’s important for me to be honest. I struggled with the idea of posting this, but I count you guys as friends and I think you deserve my honesty. My mental health has been gradually deteriorating, and with what’s happened this week it seems to have just pushed me over the edge. So I’m working with my GP and mental health team to keep myself out of hospital, just trying to put one foot in front of the other and get through an hour at a time.

I know this post probably won’t be of great interest to a lot of people, but I couldn’t continue posting without acknowledging what’s happened. Plus I’m sure there are a lot of you who can relate to losing someone you love. The next few weeks and months are going to be a challenge, but I want to keep my blog going if I can. It would have been my Gran’s birthday on the 5th December, then we have Christmas to get through. At the moment it all just feels like a dream and the last thing I want to do is go out, be jolly and do normal things. But my Grandparents loved Christmas, so I want to make it special for them. I know they wouldn’t want me hiding away and putting my life on hold, so I will try my absolute best to push myself to do things, but at the same time I need to focus on my health and put family first. I thought it might be nice if I shared a few of my favourite photos of my Gran with you. Like I said, this may not be of any interest, but I feel I owe it to my Gran to remember the happy times with her and my Grandad.

This was my Gran's 91st Birthday last December. From L-R: Me, Gran, Bekkah (my sister) and my Mum

Gran's 91st Birthday - one of the last times we saw her smile

My Gran before the Dementia hit. She's with my Grandad soon after he had a huge stroke

Gran and Grandad on holiday

This is one of my favourite photos of them, and is how I like to remember them as they look so happy. This was my Gran and Grandad on their 50th Wedding Anniversary. I've never seen two people who loved each other as much as they did


My Gran and Grandad on their wedding day. I remember my Gran showing me their wedding video every time I went to stay with them - I loved watching it so much!

Gran and Grandad out for a meal

My Mum, Gran and I went out for afternoon tea to celebrate my birthday. A couple of days later we sadly lost my Grandad

This is my Gran and my Mum when she was little

Another of my favourite photos - I think it just captures the love between them

I always remember being so happy whenever my Gran and Grandad were around

I was my Grandparents' first grandchild, and from an early age I could see how much they doted on me, and later my siblings

Thank you for your on-going support and kindness. Please bear with me as I try to keep myself going at this difficult time.


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14 comments:

  1. Oh Jenny, I'm so so sorry to read this. What beautiful photographs of your Granny, what lovely memories to share. It must be so hard for you, and there's not much I can say to be of comfort except, as you say, to put one foot infront of the other and keep ploughing on. It won't be easy, but remember your family and the good times as much as you can. I'm always here if you want a chat, and I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts xxx

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    1. Thank you Katie for your kindness and support - it really means a lot xx

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  2. I'm really sorry for your loss.

    It's incidental but I just wanted to say how much you look like her in wedding photo. Both very beautiful women.

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    1. Thank you Becca, that's really lovely to hear :) xx

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  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your pictures with your Grandmother are precious xxx

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    1. Thank you - I love these photos so much xx

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  4. So so sorry for your loss. My granddad suffered from dementia and nobody knew until my gran passed as she had kept it hidden so well. He ended up in a locked hospital ward and it was so sad, he didn't know who we were. I find it difficult to process as my gran and grandad both passed away within months of each other but I'd like to think that they are hopefully together where-ever that might be. Be strong and sending big hugs your way xxxx

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    1. Thank you hun. I'm so sorry to hear your Grandad also suffered from dementia. It is such a misunderstood disease, and I hope that I will at least be able to raise awareness of it after seeing my Gran lose her life to it. It's very difficult when two people pass away so close to each other - are you having any bereavement counselling at all? Like you, I now hope that my Gran is back with my Grandad and they are happy together. Here if you need a friend xx

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  5. Jenny, first let me say that I am so sorry for the loss of your dear "gran". It's always a struggle to move forward after the death of someone we loved. I am proud of you for pushing through and I'm sure your readers will understand a little "lag" for a bit. Mine have! I started a blog a couple years ago about my journey as my mothers' caregiver and the nightmares we faced along the way.......and, certainly some of the joys! I have posted very little since my mother passed, but got back in the saddle today (only the second post in about 6 months)! I want to thank you for sharing so much of yourself! I invite you to read some (or all) of my posts, if you're so inclined. My blog address is: http://homesbythecase.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment - it really means a lot that there are people out there that care. Thank you for including your blog link - I have had a little read already and will continue to read more. I think it's brilliant that you are sharing your experiences - people need to understand the importance and difficulties of caring for an older relative at home. My thoughts are with you xx

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  6. So sorry for your loss. Your Granny sounds like a wonderful person.

    It's been almost 9 years since we lost my Nanna and I still miss her everyday. x

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    1. Thank you hun - she was brilliant, even when she was overcome with dementia I still loved her so much. Sending you hugs - I don't think we will ever miss the people we lose any less, but hopefully it gets easier to manage as time goes by xx

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  7. it is a terrible thing to have to go through. People underestimate what its like to lose a grandparent. Sending you lots of love. Keep your head up. Thank you for sharing your precious photos. God bless x

    Much Love,
    Peachy

    www.tro-unicorns.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Peachy that means a lot. It is definitely a hard thing to go through, even if someone has lived a long and happy life, the loss is still so painful. Sending you love xx

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