Sad Goodbye

My Grandmother, all 80 years of her, is lying her bed dying, at home, with all four of her children by her side.

When I went to visit her last night, for what may be the very last time I get to talk to her, this incredible rush of memories and things I wanted to say flooded my heart. It knocked me out. I broke down crying. She was woken up for us to say our “Hi Mom-mom’s,” and our “I love you’s!” but fell asleep quickly after. But with that eager look on her face, I think it was the first time in the past month that she actually recognized my sister and I. Oh, the smile! And the nod! I was so afraid to kiss her goodbye – I was scared of unhooking a tube or dislodging an IV.

They brought her home to die. She’s been in the hospital for about a month, and decided she’d be happier and more comfortable at home. How can anyone be comfortable in this pain? Both her kidneys have failed. She’s gone into congestive heart failure. It’s simply a matter of time.

But that Mom-mom, she’s a fighter. As much as I would love to see her pull through and live, I think I would much rather have her put to sleep peacefully. No pain, no sadness, no dragging it out. That, is so incredibly hard to say though. Would you be able to make that decision for a loved one? There’s always the possibility of “what if…?”

I know now where my father stands. As he puts it, “Give me the big brown pill that will put me to sleep forever.” But I’m too much of a wuss to ask my mother right now. It’s her mom that is dying, and I don’t want to bring her death up to make matters worse. It’s something however, that needs to be discussed.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mother so stressed and at peace with herself. The entire situation is stressful, but she’s also ready to say goodbye.

My other grandparents went quickly. Heart Attacks took them away in a speedy fashion. A surprise, yes. But fast. The worst thing about this situation is it keeps going and going and going. Which I think is more of an emotional torment than anything.

So when your time comes, how would you rather go? Fast? Slow? Do you want the “big brown pill?” Or would you prefer for your family members to say the long, hard, sad goodbye?

5 Responses to “Sad Goodbye”


  • Wow..when my grandmom on my mom`s side passed away, she had suffered for a long time. She had a form of Alzheimer`s and had been out of it for years. As sad as I was, it was a good thing because she was finally at peace and with my grandfather.

  • My “second mom” died this past May. I had lived in her home from November 1999 until a few days after she died, so I saw everything from the time she first realized she was ill with ovarian cancer. That was a sad time, as her children and doctor desperately tried to save her. They didn’t want to let her go. But she told me at one point that she was so very tired. She’d worked hard her entire life, and wanted some rest and peace.

    She also died at home. And on the day she died, I’d wanted to stay at the house and be with her, but she said that I should go to my volunteering that I was doing at the time. She died when I was on the train, with only a son-in-law and two daughters at her side. I think it was best that way; the rest of us would have been hysterical. Having to see dying up close makes me thoroughly realize that we’re not here forever, a dim thought before that now looms large. When I need a little extra help, I talk to her. She was a rock, just an incredible person who always said: Do what you want to do in this life, you only get one chance.

    How do I want to go? At home, no heroic measures. But most importantly, I want to live knowing that I did the best I could, went where I wanted to go, did what I wanted to do, and with all the love I could give from my heart. Thank you, Mommy, you taught me this. I love you and I miss you.

  • My great grandmother is 83 now, she’s been in pain for the past five years since my grandfather died. They were married for 52 years. He had alzheimer’s and I was 15. I couldn’t take it, I couldn’t see him anymore, he didn’t even know my name. He was still this hilarious old man whom I loved with every ounce of me. I was in another state when he died and I didn’t get to say goodbye. In the end, it was a matter of him just not wanting to fight anymore, what was the point? He’d raised his children and then some, he’d raised me (and look how I turned out;), he had made his peace and left. The grieving process is a long and tedious one, but I know that when the time comes, sleep is what I’ll want.

  • this is going to sound gruesome, or something, and I’m not trying to be funny about this… I’m totally serious. when the time comes, i vote for a nice clean decapitation or something. I want it fast and hard and painful for only that split second. something odd and memorable. something for my great great great great grankids to talk about.

  • you see the rest of my life is based on dying due to my profession of a funeral director.
    i choose this because of what everyone is saying, some can’t or won’t have the chance to
    say “goodbye”. I want to have the ability to leave a peaceful and lasting memory by ways of
    a funeral etc. for each and every family that has horrible memories of watching someone
    go though the phases of death. It is very gratifying know that a funeral director is in the
    place to form these memories. My best word of advice is this, we all realize that we must die
    sometime, but we must dwell on moments that made us smile and laugh with this person and
    realize that someday we will be missed just as much as they are. My theory is that there is no
    such thing as goodbye just a see ya later. I just wish that everyone could be there when i die
    so they can have some closure and peace, if not i hope they come to my rockin funeral.

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