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Death and Grieving Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
sunflower Offline
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Alzheimer's - May 13th 2014, 01:08 AM

I don't know if this belongs here, because it's not about death... but I think am grieving.

I have only gone to one funeral in my life, and I was little. As people got older, I started to pray and prepare myself for their ultimate trip. I didn't want it to be a shocking ordeal. I wanted to be ready for the inevitable. I thought the hardest thing would be seeing my loved one's pass, but I was wrong. My grandma has Alzheimer's Disease. I lived with my grandma my entire life, I spoke to her everyday, I played jokes on her, and I laughed with her. A few years ago, my grandma moved to a home because she needs 24hr supervision. The grandma who I lived with for 16 years is gone. We see her every week at Mass but she doesn't really remember us. She can't really talk (her English is pretty much gone, and her Créole and French are garbled.) Everything is different now, she is someone else. It's like her soul died and went to heaven but her body didn't get the memo. Yesterday, we went to visit her after church, and she has forgotten me completely. I introduced myself, as always, and she said my name. Usually her memory is jogged and she says my name in créole as she always has. but yesterday, she didn't. She said my name the same way I had. I tried saying it differently, how she says it. nothing. blankness. I gave her a mother's day card with flowers on it and some new pink frilly pajamas. She looked at them for a moment, and then asked me for some cookies. She loves cards and flowers and pink "girly" things... It was getting harder to see her, but now I don't think I can ever go back. She doesn't smile or laugh anymore, no matter how hard I try. I'm bawling as I'm writing this. I can't think about her without sadness. Sometimes something in the house will remind me of her and its over. They say that families should visit alzheimer's patients till the end, but I don't think I can. I am stranger to her. Everything started changing so much at the same time, my grandma not coming home was the straw that broke the camel's back. That's around the time that I fell into a deep depression. They said she just needed to go to physical therapy for a few weeks and that she'd come back home. But she never did. She never came back. I told my mom that she lied to me, but she said no, that they thought grandma was going to come back home but she got worse and worse during the time at the physical therapy... I told them that the illness would progress faster if she wasn't home. She's lived in this house for over 40 years. This is her home, her life force. but they took her anyway... I just feel like a part of me left with her. like I'll never be whole again.
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Re: Alzheimer's - May 13th 2014, 02:09 AM

I'm going through something very similar to what you're going through at the moment and I want to share to make sure you know that you are not alone in this. My grandmother has dementia and she's pretty sick right now. Like your grandmother, mine had some strong interests, too. She really enjoyed gardening and making her yard look nice. But, because she keeps getting injured by falling and hitting her head, she's not allowed outside anymore. The doors are locked and the closest she can get to the outside world is to look out of her window.

Seeing someone go through this is especially hard because they still physically hold on for so long although they are dead mentally. It is heartbreaking to see someone you love so much in that state. I know how hard it is to see them forget your name when they once could remember so much about you. And although she cannot go back home, I'm sure that a new home can be made for her where she is staying and you are included in that home. A home is where the family is and even though your grandmother might not realize that right now, I know that she loves you. She loves you, you're her granddaughter and there are so many memories that you have with her. Those are beautiful. <3 Remember those moments, and remember her for who she was when she was well. I can understand why you don't want to go back to see her and that is completely up to you. But if you can, try and see her while you still have the opportunity to.

If you ever want to talk about your grandmother or anything else, please don't hesitate to send me a message, okay?

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Re: Alzheimer's - May 13th 2014, 04:16 AM

Sweetie, I know how hard it is to go through this. My great grandmother is the same way right now, and every time we see her, she doesn't remember us. Her mind is like a gold fish now, she could ask me something and then five minutes later ask me the same thing, and it would continue like this.

Moving is not making it any faster, or making it progress even more. Some people it hits them, and just takes control, some it takes years, some months.
Don't think of her like this, think of her like the grandma you knew. Its hard to see her, but if you stop going, when she passes, you will regret not being there with her while you could, even if she doesn't remember you. When she gets to heaven she will remember that you were by her side the whole time.

She still loves you, it will be okay.
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