Posted by: GeekHiker | July 11, 2010

Passing On

(Not sure what to write here, and slightly embarrassed that the loss for words isn’t due to anything emotional, just that there doesn’t seem to be much to say on the matter.  Still, I can’t help but feel that, as I’ve told a couple of tales over the years at the holidays, I would be remiss not to write something.)

After spending all of Saturday at the library studying, I accepted an invite to head out on the town for dinner and drinks with my friends.

My only hope was that having a couple of beers would not delete the information I’d stuffed into my head while at the library, alternately studying and looking out the window at what is, apparently, a never-ending cycle of June Gloom.

We left the bar after dinner and drinks, and headed to a coffee shop.  On the way I checked my voice mail, where my Mom had left a message asking her to call her “as soon as [you] can.”  I pretty much knew exactly what the call was the moment I heard it.

My Grandmother’s suffering with developed delusional disorder (essentially, dementia) had come to an end: she passed away Saturday night.

Now things go into motion as they always do with things like this.  My studies will be sidelined for a few days as plans are made and airplane tickets are booked.  The service will be small: at 96, few people that she knew in life are still around or healthy enough to travel themselves.

It’s a strange feeling, you know?  On the one hand, you’re naturally sad at the passing of a close family member.  On the other, there’s a sense of relief that her confusion, suffering, and pain has now ceased.  The woman I knew as my Grandmother, frankly, slipped away quite a while ago.  That’s often the nature, I’ve found, of these long-term illnesses and slow declines, nor does it diminish the fact that I’m saddened that she’s passed.  I suppose the feelings always complex in situations like this.

Selfishly, too, I must admit I’m relieved that the stress has been lifted from my parent’s shoulders.

Anyway, I’m doing fine, and The Parentage are doing fine, no need to worry.  We’ve talked a couple of times and we all agree: she lived a long, good life, and has finally moved on to a better place than she has been these past few years.

Any way you look at it, that’s a good thing.



  1. I am very sorry to hear about your grandma, and I wish I could say something comforting, wise, or both, but nothing profound came to mind.

    I just want to say, I completely understand how you are feeling. My grandma on my Mom’s side passed away a few years ago and even though I was really sad, I was relieved that her suffering finally ended (brain tumor). I still cry whenever I think about the last time I saw her in the hospital, she all frail and in pain, knowing that I would never see her again after that (damn, I try so hard not to think about it…). It’s dreadful to see your loved ones slipping away bit by bit and there is nothing you can do about it.

    You are right: your grandma lived a good and long life, she had a great family, and these are blessings that many people don’t have. May she rest in peace, and my thoughts are with you and your family!

  2. GH – so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathies as your family grieves.

    I could go on, but mostly that would be ramblings that are just me working out my own experiences.

    I will say that your grandmother was a very lucky woman, to have such a wonderful family to care for in those last moments.

    Be sure to take care of yourself, and don’t be too surprised at any responses (especially on the part of her caretakers) – this is the nature of grief.

    Take care

  3. GH, it’s difficult to lose a family member and when that loss is combined with the fact that your grandmother was not herself over the past few years of her dementia adds additional layers of loss. It’s like losing her all over again and dealing with relief that she’s not in pain and maybe even guilt that you are glad it’s over for her. I’m not stating that well but I hope you know what I mean. Relief plus sadness. I wish the best for you and the Parentage during this time.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your Grandmother but I also understand the feelings of relief. Everyone, including your Grandmother, will be much happier know.

  5. I concur with Homer-Dog. I’m sorry to hear this news, and I can relate to the feelings of relief from the passings of my own grandparents. If there is anything your humble blog readers can do to help, just let us know.

  6. You’re a good man, Geekhiker.I hope the next few days go smoothly and that it will be a good service for your gram.

  7. Wow 96 is really impressive. But I’m sorry you didn’t get to keep the clear-headed grandma you knew a little longer. I remember feeling the same way – like my real grandma was sort of gone even before she actually passed away. I still miss both of my grandmas all the time.

    Like your parents, mine were tethered to the ailing grandmas and it has been really neat watching them able to get away more often since they don’t have anyone to tend to. Hopefully your parents will experience something similar.

    My sympathies to you and to them.

  8. I’m so deeply sorry Hiker. I’ll have your family in my prayers, that they are blessed with unity and strength during this time.

    I send you lots of virtual hugs.

  9. I’m sorry for your loss, gh, and my sympathies to your parents, as well.

  10. gh, i am truly sorry for your loss and your parents’ loss. hugs.

  11. Even though you said ‘no need to worry’ I worry. I hope you are doing OK, love.

  12. K – thanks for your kind thoughts, and your understanding. Thanks for sharing your feelings about your grandmother as well. 🙂

    M – A couple of the caretakers were at the service, actually. They said some quite nice things about her. Thanks for your sympathies.

    Dingo – I do know what you mean. Oddly, I don’t feel that guilty about the feeling of relief. Sometimes you just know what the best path is, you know?

    Homer-Dog – Thanks, HD.

    TGAW – You’re too kind. The fact that you all stopped by and commented is wonderful.

    MissMcCracken – Thanks. All went well, as you’ll see in the latest post.

    Mel Heth – Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the Parentage will have that opportunity now, more than you might imagine!

    Narami – Thank you for your prayers!

    AbsurdBeats – Thank you.

    BlakSpring – I appreciate it. 🙂

    TheCoconutDiaries – Aw, shucks. Thanks but, really, we’re all doing quite well. 🙂

  13. Oh no, Geekhiker, I’m so sorry about the loss of your grandma. I always feel like loss is complicated because you can have very different emotions all at once, like mourning and relief. ::cyberhugs::

  14. […] worse, what about the old birthday cards from my Grandmother?  The ones where she wishes me the best and writing how much she loves me?  I have a whole series […]

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