Viper Squad Ten

[ Tuesday, June 26, 2007 ]

Last words
Starbuck [15:34] Comments: 6 []
 
The last words that my Grandma said to me were during a visit to her care home, when I kissed her on the cheek during a moment of relative lucidity...

"Oh, that was a nice one", she said, with a smile in her voice.

She may have recognised me, she probably couldn't make the connection, but details aren't really the important thing with dementia - it isn't so much who you are, its how you are.

I wish I'd seen her more during her final months. But seeing my dad beaming with love and joy during that rare afternoon of wakefulness was a wonderful, lucky thing.

Some weeks later I visited Grandma again, knowing that this would probably be the last time that I would see her. Just over a week ago.

My last words to my Grandma, as she lay there apparently unaware, were simple.

"Night night".

It's difficult knowing what to say when the life of a loved one is slipping away, whether you think they can hear you or not. The only time I wish I believed in heaven is when I'm struggling for words, to say that I'll see them there. But sleep - peace, rest, respite - is the only thing that seems appropriate.

Sleep well, Grandma.


6 Comment(s):


Comment by Blogger The Saturnyne, at June 28, 2007 3:10 am  :

Maan... that made me sad.

One of the best and most moving blog posts i read in a long time, my friend.

Sleep well, Grandma Starbuck.

S.x



Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at June 28, 2007 6:25 pm  :

Thanks, Saturnyne.

I got quite moist-eyed writing it.

It was a real relief writing it, however - expressing some proper pure emotion. There's stuff bottled up that can never be vented round here. Sometimes you need the release of sharing.

(By the way, I tried to pop round your virtual-place the other day, first chance I'd had in absolutely ages to do some blog-reading, and then life got in the way. Make sure the kettle's on the boil for next time...)



Comment by Blogger Astolath, at June 30, 2007 11:20 am  :

Sorry to hear about your Grandma...

I was reading Alan Bennett's 'Untold Stories' recently. He writes about his own mother afflicted with dementia and living in a care home. He'd sit there for hours holding her hand with her oblivious to him but with the occasional flickers of memory and understanding that you mention. He also talks of trying to make eye contact with her before he left each time - trying to make some connection and to let her know that he'd been there.

I'm glad you got your moment...



Comment by Anonymous birdy, at July 01, 2007 8:10 pm  :

that's such a beautiful post - rest in peace Grandma S.



Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at July 02, 2007 5:58 pm  :

Thank you both.

And I might so easily not have had my chance to say goodbye. As has happened with previous family bereavements I think that my family try to protect me, with the very best intentions of course, and its more by chance that I am around when a visit is being made.

Its good to make your peace, to say your piece.



Comment by Blogger 3rd daughter, at July 06, 2007 2:47 pm  :

i'm so glad the last words i said to my gran were 'i love you', even though she was not conscious at the time. she waited until 5 minutes after we left the hospital to quietly slip away.

night night, grandma starbuck.


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