My last remaining grandparent, my mum’s mother, died on (last) Saturday night.
I have mixed feelings about it as I am happy for her but have to cope with my own grief and the grief of my family too.
She lived a full life until dementia and alzheimer’s started to destroy her, stealing her memories until she was no longer the person she used to be, but an empty husk, increasingly getting angry and suspicious at the people around her. It was heartbreaking to watch.
The last 6 months she really started to get worse and there have been a few occasions when she took ill and the doctors advised us that she may not survive the night, but her will to live was strong and her recovery was remarkably good each time.
Still, we knew that this would not continue indefinite.
Late Saturday afternoon my mother was advised by the nursing home that she had slipped into a coma so my parents went along to be with her. Carol, my mums older sister also joined them and later Malcolm, nans youngest brother arrived having just come from a wedding that most of that side of the family were attending.
At 9.05pm she woke from the coma and looked at the people in the room and smiled at them, gave Mal’s hand a squeeze and then left.
It was twenty five years and one day after her husband died on a cold English December morning. As he was Australian by birth his ashes were returned to Perth. She will be next to him forever now.