My dd's might never get the chance to say goodbye to Nanny

(20 Posts)
Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 26-Aug-12 22:16:30

I posted on MN a couple of weeks ago about how poorly my lovely DMil is. Well she's gone rapidly downhill since then. She's almost comatose in a hospital bed. She comes round occasionally to open her eyes and look at you but she can't really speak or move much.

I am acutely aware that her beloved granddaughters, my dd's, may never see her again now. Grandad doesn't want them to see her like that and I'm inclined to agree with him. However I'm also wondering if they should all be allowed a chance to say goodbye together. If she wakes up for a bit.

I don't know that they'd be very upset by it. They might be upset at not being able to see her anymore. I don't know if seeing her in hospital would clarify to them that she is poorly, or just upset everybody. I don't think DMil is in any state to make a decision.

Dh doesn't really want them to see her like that. He and DBil are in bits. My DFil is beside himself. I know the dd's will be upset when she dies but I don't want to regret not letting them see her one last time.

I know I'm over thinking this. I'm so gutted about her. She's been like a second mum to me since my own DM died and she's the only Nanny my dd's have ever known. I keep crying every time I think about it.

Am I mad to want them to see her like that? Should I just let them remember her as she was? I want to do the right thing.

OP’s posts: |
QOD Sun 26-Aug-12 22:19:12

How old are they?
My mil died last week, I massively regret taking dd to see her the week before. She was delirious, distressed and it ended with dd (and dh) in tears.

I'd leave it, it's not a nice picture to hold in your mind.

At the funeral my dd will be picturing that, not funny nana with the microwaved fish fingers offer.

kilmuir Sun 26-Aug-12 22:25:11

Depends how old they are.
I saw my Nan in hospital to say goodbye, yes the image of her lying there was at forefront of my mind for a bit , but in time that fades and i remember the happy times.
I was glad I got to say goodbye, many people can still hear even when very poorly,
Sorry you are going through this

pumpkinsweetie Sun 26-Aug-12 22:25:32

I wouldn't tbh, it isn't nice to see someone you love dying and its a memory they will hold foreversad. Its better that their last memories of her are nice ones.

rubyrubyruby Sun 26-Aug-12 22:30:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CharminglyOdd Sun 26-Aug-12 22:33:11

Honestly? I wouldn't OP. All four of my grandparents died before I was 11 and I didn't see any of them anything less than healthy (my GM expressly forbid my Mum from bringing me and DSis into the hospital). I have very, very fond memories of them.

We 'adopted' some grandparents as we grew up and one of my 'aunties' died two years ago. I was an adult so made the decision to visit her, thinking it would be the appropriate thing to do. It tore me to pieces seeing someone I loved so much in such a state and, given my time again, I don't think I would do it. She didn't know I was there and got very distressed (she had dementia) to the point that I had to call a nurse, who then sedated her sad The other thing that I hadn't realised was how much she would have changed physically - something you may, as a regular visitor, not have noticed to the same extent. My Mum warned me but it was still a huge shock, almost physical. It doesn't erase the happy memories but the image doesn't go either.

I'm sorry your family is going through this.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 26-Aug-12 22:50:09

Thanks for all your replies. There's some very good advice there.

Perhaps they could draw some goodbye cards to bury with her. I hadn't thought of that. She does look quite different now. She looks old and ill. I've seen people like that before but they haven't.

They're 5 and 3. So little. They've hardly had time to properly know her.

OP’s posts: |
CharminglyOdd Sun 26-Aug-12 22:59:25

Ilove I was 5 when my Nanny died (not quite actually, I turned 5 in May and she died in February prior) and I promise you I have many lovely memories of her smile Two things my parents did to help us remember were a) keeping a photo of her in the living room so that we could always see and b) occasionally we would all sit down and watch videos of us as children that included days out with her. We also each kept something of hers in our rooms - for years I had her kitchen clock on my bedroom wall.

pickofthepops Sun 26-Aug-12 23:03:21

I rushed to my grandmother last year and was told she had days left. Stayed with her all day and though glad I was there, for her, (though she was unconscious), the day and her skipping away(she actually died that night) is not nice to recall. In particular her breathing and colour and frailty. I know to be expected but my point is, I'm an adult and I wouldn't want my DS to have seen her like that. In some ways I wish I only had image of her as somewhat more her old self.

pickofthepops Sun 26-Aug-12 23:08:20

Oh gosh what an awful typo, skipping should of course be slipping. She was a lovely nanny. Actually I can hear her laughing at that one (hope I don't sound macabre)!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 26-Aug-12 23:15:19

No you don't sound macabre, thanks for the memory.

I keep trying to picture my DMil as she was. Being the life and soul of the party. She was also so loud and chatty and sociable. My dh said what upset him was her not talking to him. Sometimes you couldn't get a word in edge ways. I'd give anything to hear her talking now.

I still think the card idea is nice. I hope they do too.

OP’s posts: |
pickofthepops Sun 26-Aug-12 23:19:37

Thanks and all best wishes. I did sing quietly to my nan, her favourites, and it seemed to comfort her as she was restless in her last hours. They say hearing goes last don't they. I'm sure your dear MIL will know how loved she is.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 26-Aug-12 23:27:46

Ilovemydog, sorry to hear about your MiL.

I didn't see my grandma when she became seriously ill, as my dad decided he wanted us to remember her healthy rather than frail. This meant we didn't see her for nearly two years at the end of her life (she had a sever degenerative disease) but I think he made the right decision.

My husband's grandma had a long decline, which gave our son a few visits where we thought it would be the last time. It was good for him to see her and talk to her, but at the point where she began to lose consciousness we decided not to let him see her any more, and again I think we made the right decision.

It's tough, but I'm sure you'll work out what is right in your circumstance

TeaandHobnobs Sun 26-Aug-12 23:33:26

DGM passed away recently, following a rather recent diagnosis of cancer which progressed very quickly. I didn't know she was ill, as my parents hadn't told me as DS was still in hospital after a prem birth and they felt I had enough on my mind.

I was very upset that I didn't get a chance to see her and say goodbye. But then my mum explained that the last time my dad saw her (his mum) she wasn't even conscious, and she was very frail and ill - and I am glad that my memory of her is of her well and happy.

I saw my extremely beloved granddad in hospital just days before he died, and the images of him so close to death will never leave me.

So OP I think it would be better not to take the children to her now - let them only have happy memories.

I'm really sorry for the pain this is causing your family thanks

likelucklove Sun 26-Aug-12 23:48:02

I'm so sorry to hear this I.

I was in a similar situation, but it was my Great-Nan meeting DD for the first time. It was a blessing she even made it through to DD being born. She was a week old when I took her to meet her and like your DMil, I had been told she was basically comatose and non-respondent.

She woke up and played in her bed with DD for an hour. She remembered her name, when she was born and how much she weighed. It is amazing how a person can, lack of a better word, 'perk up' when seeing little ones. Two days later, she was put to sleep with morphine and died 3 days after.

Sorry for my epic story, but I suppose what I'm trying to say is do it. It will always be a regret. Obviously, you and your DP talk about what is best for them. But if you prepare them, it will give them a better understanding of what is happening and what will happen sad

FWIW, my Nan died of cancer when I was 5 and I wasn't allowed to go see her because my parents didn't think it was appropriate. I hate it and wish I had but they are still adamant it was the best thing.

Best of luck thanks

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 27-Aug-12 00:00:52

Thank you all. I'm sorry for dredging up painful memories but thank you for sharing them with me.

like that's lovely about your great-nan.

OP’s posts: |
BigBoobiedBertha Mon 27-Aug-12 00:27:32

I had to think about something similar a week or so ago. My father is in hospital and he was very ill and there was a chance he wouldn't make it.

My DC are older than yours - 12 and 8 - but I decided that I wouldn't make them go to the hospital. They haven't ever been to hospital and seen anybody very ill and even programmes like Holby City freak them out. My father couldn't even open his eyes and his breathing was awful and it was all very scary even for me as an adult. They didn't want to go and since my father was so out of it (he was ill and he has Alzeheimers anyway so is increasingly forgetful) it wouldn't have been for his benefit either. My father is a bit better now so I will reassess what we should do but it is a different situation now.

I think you have to ask if a 3 year old would even remember in the long term - probably not although my earliest memory is at 3 but I think I remember because it wasn't a happy memory (my brother being born with spina bifida which naturally upset my mother) so maybe they would remember but not in a way you would hope for. A 5 year old probably would remember but I am not sure it would be a good memory either. It is very different from taking a baby in who doesn't understand anything but can still provide a boost to an elderly person. There is no harm done to a baby but to a small child, I am not so sure.

I saw both my grandparents that I knew in adulthood a couple of days before they died. I don't think it helped me at all. It might have helped my grandparents to see me but if the person is comatose I don't know, I wouldn't do it, I don't think. Of course we are all different but that is just how it was for me.

I hope whatever you decide, you are at peace with your decision. Sorry you are having to even think about this. sad

NoComet Mon 27-Aug-12 00:58:26

Mum wouldn't let me go and see my grandfather when he was dying, I was 16 and my sister was 14. He was a proud man and he wouldn't have liked it.

Far better I remember him sitting in his favourite chair chatting and smiling than in a hospital bed.

I sort of said good by to his older sister (my fav great aunt who DD1 is named after).

I say sort of because the bastard hospital had told my mum, but not her that she was dying.

In the end I believe she asked why they were drugging her up so much.

She was a totally with it 91 year old. It felt utterly wrong at 18 to have to whisper good by as I left the room rather than say it properly.

She'd watched both her younger brothers die, her job on earth was done (She had no children, her fiancée was killed in WWI. She wore his ring all her life.)

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 27-Aug-12 01:36:10

Oh * Starball*. That's so sad.

OP’s posts: |
t875 Fri 31-Aug-12 09:36:17

Oh im so sorry to hear this ilovemy..

I have to say, my girls wanted to see my mum when she was in ICU but im not sure wether they should have done and it would have been better for them to remember her the way they wanted too. Luckily i have said over and over remember nannny the way you remembered her from the park (the week before)
I think my eldest was affected by this a lot, the youngest it wasnt so bad.

so i think personal choice, but i wouldnt

hugs to you for your hard days ahead x

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