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Bereavement WWYD - my gran died last night

(14 Posts)
PacificDogwood Sat 20-Dec-14 12:14:39

She was 101, v severely demented and in all her needs like a newborn infant.

I loved the woman she once was and grieved for losing her in the last 5 to 10 years, so really only feel a sense of relief and release for my gran. She was looked after in her own home and got her wish to die at home.

So far, so sad, but so good.
It's my mother I'm worried about. She's in her 70s, looking after my gran has been all encompassing for the last few years and I think she will be lost. Grieving, yes of course, but also lost.

Through in some hugely dysfunctional dynamics with my aunt (mum's sister) and the fact that they live in a different country from me (demanding job, 4 children, Christmas coming etc) and I have difficulties figuring out what to do for the best.

The funeral will be next Saturday, 27.12.14.
So I am currently planning on having Christmas with my DH and DCs, then flying out on Boxing Day, back home on 31.12.14. We have childcare issues because DH was work commitments that take him out of the equation for 24 hrs at a time.

There will be a whole aftermath as and when her estate gets wound up (my gran was a woman of means who never believed in forward planning or making difficult decisions - I loved her dearly and was lucky to have known her for as long as I have, but she was a strong-willed women and the matriarch of the family who nobody told what to do) and I predict major family ructions sad. From that point of view I am very glad that I am hundreds of miles away and I will certainly not be fighting over silver candle sticks but I worry about how my mother will handle it all.

Any words of wisdom?
I am not sure what I'm asking - just writing it down has helped tbh.
thanks

Bassetfeet Sat 20-Dec-14 17:18:07

I am so sorry to hear of your loss of a beloved grandmother PD. Understand your relief that she is suffering no more .
Wish I did have wisdom to help .
It is doubly hard that you live in different countries ..wanting to help your mum cope with grief and the loss of her caring role .
You must feel torn .

One thing I have learned Pacific though is that the internet world and media can be so helpful in such stressful times . Does your mum have internet access? Face time and Skype with you ? I still marvel I can text my son the other side if the world and get instant reply .
It isn't just emotional support either . I had terrible time with solicitors re my mum sale of home . My sister in Canada dealt with it through e mail etc and lots of legal crap that saved my sanity .
So you can be of enormous support in another country to take the burden off your mum in lots of ways .

Re your grandmothers estate and ill feeling and possible dissent with family members .
I think this when mindfulness is the way to go. Try not to think ahead to the future and any fallout . You don't know yet lovely lady .
Deal with any crap on day to day basis yeh?

Thinking of you and your family PD. It is an emotional time of year without this loss . Take care .
X

PacificDogwood Sat 20-Dec-14 17:42:04

Aw, thank you, Bassetfeet - you are v right in everything you write.

Yes, we are connected by various electronic means, but it's just not the same, is it? sad

Yy to mindfulness, thankfully I find this 'taking trouble as it comes' comes reasonably easily to me, but not to my mother. Having cared for her mother's every need for 20+ years, she is already laying on the 'guilt' that she was not there when she actually died (her carer was). She died sitting at the kitchen table. In her own house which had been her will and for which my mother had been killing herself for who knows how long (never mind the friction that caused from time to time between my mum and dad).

Well, I think we'll spend Christmas at BiL's as planned (200 miles) with me flying out on Boxing Day and returning on the 28th to be back at work on the 29th.

And the aftermath will just have to wait.

My DB was rather tearful on the phone which I just cannot really follow - I find myself feeling not dissimilar to how I felt when the Queen Mother died: sad, but not a tragedy. My gran lived a very full and very fulfilled, interesting life, god to see children and grandchildren grow and died having been able to acknowledge the arrival of 5 grandchildren. She lived in a living marriage for almost 50 years, she lived in relative wealth, never starved, not even in the war she survived. She was popular and funny and vivacious and a force to be reckoned with grin. She was known to dance on tables if the opportunity arose. She married the man she loved against her parents' wishes and had the most gorgeous chestnut hair I have ever seen on anybody. Sigh. I will miss her. But I have missed her for a long time tbh.

You taking the time to reply is much appreciated thanks

BIWI Sat 20-Dec-14 17:43:52

I'm sorry for your loss, Pacific. She sounds fab!

PacificDogwood Sat 20-Dec-14 17:48:28

Oh, she was, thanks, BIWI, she was grin

Ran her own business when that was Not The Done Thing for a woman of her station.
The step out the backdoor from her kitchen was known as the 'Commando Bridge' because that's were she stood 'running her ship'.

As a child if I had a choice to be cheeky to my mum or my gran, I'd never chose my gran: she was fierce! And loving and generous and fun.
Also self-centred and vain and with a very strong need to keep up appearances - I am not sure that she was a very kind mother to my timid, needy, eager-to-please mum sad.

Thank you for letting me vent - I would never be able to say any of this in RL.

Redtartanshoes Sat 20-Dec-14 17:53:38

So sorry for your loss PD.

Be kind to yourself, and if I can help then just PM me.

X

PuggyMum Sat 20-Dec-14 18:00:30

Hi PD.

I'm also sorry for your loss.

Your gran sounds like my best friends great aunt who died aged 100.

Her only daughter died young leaving 2 grandchildren who didn't speak and the winding up of the estate was very fraught.

GA had a trusted friend who was executor and he was caught between a rock and a hard place. None of them speak.

The son has spent a lot of his inheritance (well his gf has!).

My bf asked for a couple of photos and some ornaments and they mean so much more to her but seeing that side of her family treat the friend the way they did was an eye opener for her as she saw the brother and sister as cousins really.

Sorry I am rambling but my point is you seem like my friend in your scenario and all you can really do is let things play out and evaluate things / relationships as you go along.

Be true to the person you are and the woman your gran was and you won't go far wrong.

I know you feel you lost her years ago but allow yourself to grieve for her.

grassroots Sat 20-Dec-14 18:05:20

Would it be possible to bring your Mother back with you for a week or two when you return home? There will be lots and lots of jobs to do - but they will all wait for a few weeks. Perhaps your Mother might just like to come away with you for a little bit after the funeral? Time together to just be.

Honeydragon Sat 20-Dec-14 18:11:02

((Squidge)) thanks oh I'm sorry PDog sad

Honeydragon Sat 20-Dec-14 18:13:41

Your feelings are perfectly normal, when my grandmother died I felt relief. My dbro, who hadn't had to see the onslaught of dementia grieved. I'd already in someways processed loss, so focussed on the practicalities of supporting my parents.

Bassetfeet Sat 20-Dec-14 18:49:16

Your grandmother sounds amazing PD . I have a strong image in my mind of her character through your words . And it is a wonderful painting of a much loved life loving lady. X

PacificDogwood Sat 20-Dec-14 21:06:38

Thank you all again - truly, it's appreciated.

I would happily have my mum here for a while, but I don't think that she would want that. She's not on her own, my dad's there as well, so she's not on her own.
She does not particularly like were we live (Scotland - too dark and wet this time of year grin) and will want to be at home. I think I'll offer, but I'd be surprised if she came.

I am also surprised that neither my dad nor my brother are at my gran's house with my mum hmm. There are reasons for this, but still it's odd.

magimedi Tue 23-Dec-14 09:28:57

I'm late to this as I have been away but just wanted to send you love & strength for the coming days, PD.

Easier said than done but try to just take one step at a time.

I too understand the relief, I felt the same when my DM dies after 6 years of ALzheimers. She had already gone for me.

flowers

PacificDogwood Sat 27-Dec-14 20:29:48

magi, thank you thanks

Well, it's all done. The funeral is, anyway.
It was beautiful and v dramatic weatherise - snow-covered landscape and beautiful trees and the very old family crypt.

The aftermath will come in the next few months and years wrt the estate, but for today there was no unpleasantness and I am pleased with that for now.

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