She told me she felt that in the last couple of months before her grandmother passed away, that lady did not belong to the family. Her grandmother was a very participative lady, she undertook the education of her granddaughter. She supervised the homework, helped her in all her school projects and was a very gentle soul. The two had bonded from the beginning.
But this lady started failing in health and soon two months before passing away, she was bed ridden. She drifted in and out of diabetic coma and would hardly recognize people. The granddaughter would go to her, but there was hardly any recognition.
The young girl slowly started withdrawing. The grand mother no longer joined them for dinner, which was a ritual earlier. The whole family would eat together, and the young girl loved it. But it was no longer possible for the old lady to join at the dinner table. That was what she meant by her grandmother no longer belonging to the family. There was no interaction at all. In her young mind, the lady on the bed did not resemble her grandmother in any way.
She had shrunk in size, was only skin and bones. The young girl told me she could actually see the bones in her grandmother’s arms. Also, for hygienic reasons, the lady’s head had to be shaved. So further resemblance had diminished.
This young girl felt sorry for her grandmother, but was getting used to seeing her sick and helpless. There was a maid to attend to the elderly lady and so there was not much interaction with the family. She had given up talking and would not leave her bed. She was too sick.
Finally the lady passed away. The young girl was affected, but I feel seeing her grandmother fade away little by little everyday, had kind of prepared her for the final passing. She told me she missed her grandmother, but did not feel any association with the lady who passed away.
This young girl’s father too was very attached to his mother. He would hardly move around without missing her. He wanted to provide for all her comforts, because they had suffered a lot in the childhood. His mother had borne a lot of burden, she had brought up the kids in an exemplary manner. Once he started to earn, he wanted to give her all the comforts possible.
He was sad, saying when she was free of her burden, her body ditched her. You see, she was diagnosed with diabetes and that was not coming under control. So she was confined to her home, she was on injections and generally her quality of life had decreased.
He too felt her passing away was not so devastating, because her manner of passing away was such. She lingered for two months, she was taken care of in a good manner, but she did not realize it. She was too far gone for it to register.
If she had gone suddenly, I think the whole family would have been devastated. She was very well loved, full of humor and easy going. She bonded well with her daughter-in-law and she taught the young woman a lot.
She will be missed, but she kind of prepared them for her going. It was like she wanted to leave in this fashion. She did not want to distress her son or granddaughter and so she lingered in a fashion where they got used to seeing her sick. So the final passing was calm and the family did not go into shock.
I had in fact felt the son would go to pieces, he was so passionately fond of his mother. He did sound tearful on the day of her passing away, but soon recollected himself. He had answers to her passing away. She was sick, slipping in and out of coma and she had started losing all her bodily functions. So the next best thing was she depart.
Sometimes life gives us such a preparation time. We are able to steel ourselves and we feel sad the person passed away, but not devastated. Not all get this opportunity. It is saddening to see the loved one suffer, but it is preparation time for the family to come to terms with the finality.
Not many will agree with this thinking, but the alternative of knowing your loved one passed away suddenly can lead to severe shock. There will be so many questions, and the feeling of guilt will also be there. The family was not given enough time to fulfill all that person’s wishes.
Of course death is never really welcome. But if you are given a chance to prepare for it, I guess that will be a blessing.