Death is not easy for anyone. It is a fear for many. I have never been comfortable handling losing a loved one; however, I have to be strong and there for my child.
My grandfather has stage 4 cancer. We have known for a few years. He is slowly getting worse. He has undergone chemo and radiation. The cancer spread to bones, kidneys, and liver.
My daughter thinks very highly of my grandfather. So, when I had to tell her he had cancer it was heartbreaking. She asked if he was going to die. I have kept her informed about his condition over the last couple of years – we do not live close to my family, so going for a visit does not happen often.
Two Christmases ago, we were at my grandfather’s house and he passed out in front of everyone. Scared my daughter. That was completely new experience – seeing someone sick. We went to the ER with him. I took my daughter because if it was serious I wanted her to have the chance to say goodbye. The doctors released him that day – it was actually just an issue with medications.
We have seen him a few times since then. Each time he is more fragile. Doesn’t look like the same person.
We were supposed to visit everyone this past Mother’s Day. I had an allergic reaction and had to go to the ER on Mother’s Day. So, I did not feel up to making the trip. Selfish on my part – I’m sorry.
Last night, I received a call from my parents saying my grandfather was not able to get out of bed and is fading fast. Obviously we could not just hope in the car and go over there due to distance. We called him. Let my daughter talk to him. Tell him she loved him. I was proud of her – her voice never cracked. She talked to him and told him everything she’d be busy doing over the summer.
I just hope I am strong enough for my daughter. I hope when I have to tell her he has passed away I can provide the support she’ll need. I hope I can handle going to another funeral.
I’ve never handle death well. When I was seven we lost my grandmother to cancer. My parents didn’t want my first funeral to be hers, so they took it to several funerals before hers. I remember not crying at her funeral – I was numb to the situation – until I saw my dad cry.
I never did say goodbye to my grandmother because I had been told not to let her see me cry. I have lived with that regret for so many years. I hope my daughter doesn’t have that same regret, since she did get to speak to him on the phone last night.
This will be the first person’s death my daughter will have to deal with. We have lost pets – several. The hardest one was last November, my cat – I’d had her for over a decade – she was hit by a car. Her back half was crushed – I knew there was no saving her – but she’d managed to drag herself back home. My daughter was with me when I found her. I called the vet. I told my daughter what was happening. We walked into the vet’s office, tears pouring down both of our faces. The cat was meowing – I know she was scared and hurt. They asked if I wanted to be there when they put her down. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t sit in that room and watch my cat die. I wanted to go home, and cry.
Like I said, I don’t handle death very well. There has been lots of hard situations in my life dealing with death. I just hope I can be the emotional support my daughter needs. I hope she doesn’t follow in my footsteps – when I lost my grandmother, I became an emotional eater. I didn’t talk to anyone because everyone seemed to just move on so quickly. I couldn’t. I missed her. I was scared of going to sleep – they had told me she’d died in her sleep.
I hope I am strong enough for my daughter.