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RandomEmo Offline
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Name: Kayla
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At a loss for what to do - May 3rd 2010, 04:43 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of death or grieving, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I found out recently that my grandfather has Leukemia, which did hit me hard, he's been my best friend for as long as I can remember. He's been diabetic for I don't even know how long and for the past 3? 4? years he's had Alzheimer's which is definitely getting worse.
I've spent a lot of time at his house the past few days and today he commented on how he was sick but that it must just be a stomach bug and it'd pass.
As hard as I think it could be to mix Leukemia up with a stomach bug, it's possible right?

But I asked my mum anyway and she said that he didn't know about the Leukemia. They hadn't told him and they weren't planning on telling him!

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I knew a man who had Alzheimer's and his wife Maisie died. He went to her funeral and everything but he forgot she was dead. He would ask 'Where's Maisie? Where's my Maisie?' and they had to tell him that Maisie had died. He was completely devastated but the next day he was asking for his Maisie again. And every time they told him she was dead, he was heartbroken all over again. Eventually they stopped telling him and just said she had gone to the shops or something. That's why we're not telling him, because he'll forget and everytime we tell him, he'll be really upset and it'll just keep happening.
How is that fair?
They already treat him like a child. 'It's okay, dad, come on. We'll go sit down and I'll make you some tea, okay? Okay, come on.'
He's not an invalid. He still lives alone. Granted, they only let him out of the hospital last month on the condition that he had someone in the house with him as often as possible, but he can still look after himself!
I heard my mum crying on Friday night, I'm too scared to talk to her or anyone else in my family, I can't talk to them because they won't get it. If I tell them the truth, that I don't plan to outlive him by long, then they'll just get even more upset.

A couple of friends that know about it are scared because the last time a family member died of cancer, I blamed myself for it and I stopped eating and started selfharming and it just wound up in a huge mess that I'm still not over.

I'm at a loss for what to do about it. My friend says I'm acting like a zombie and she, and a few other people, just don't know what to say to me about it.
Why can't they just be normal? Like nothing happened?
Meanwhile, what am I supposed to do?


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We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless, we don't get to choose all the endings but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won't solve all mysteries and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers, bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we're called home.
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Re: At a loss for what to do - May 3rd 2010, 06:39 PM

Hello, Kayla.

First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. =( My grandmother died of Leukemia almost one year ago... and even though I wasn't particularly close to her, it hurt to lose a family member. It hurt to see my mom holding back the tears when she was around me, trying to put up a brave front and coping in a way that wasn't very healthy or effective. If you ever want to talk (even if it's just to rant), you're welcomed to PM me. <3

Everyone gets sick (and eventually dies)... but to your young friends (friends who probably haven't experienced the illness and/or death of a loved one), it must seem abnormal... so how can they treat the situation in a normal manner? All I can really suggest is that you keep talking to them. Some of them may be able to handle the information without behaving abnormally... and some of them may want to be there for you, but won't be able to shrug off their uneasiness as easily as you'd like.

If NONE of your friends can handle the information, then perhaps you could talk to an adult who isn't emotionally invested... maybe a teacher, neighbor, religious leader, or coach/club leader? There are also grief counselors, both for severe illness and death... so that may be something you'd be interested in checking out. Given your history of ED and SH, I think it would also be a good idea if you sought out mental health counseling (unless you're already seeing a psychological professional for the previous death).

As for the Alzheimer's... I understand what you're saying, and I agree that it isn't fair... but here's the thing: it's possible for your grandfather to retain his motor/behavioral skills, but NOT his cognitive skills. So he may be able to feed himself, run errands, and even take care of the bills with some assistance... but that doesn't mean that he's capable of processing novel knowledge (like having Leukemia or, in your example's case, the death of a spouse). I'm sure that your parents don't WANT to treat him like a child... but they can't deny that the Alzheimer's is taking its toll on his cognitive abilities, either.

Hang in there, Kayla. The TeenHelp community is here for you.





   
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