My grandmother died

by Mariana
(Montreal)

My grandmother died today... and I wasn't there. She lived in Mexico, and I live in Canada. She was like my second mother--my mom would always be working and I grew up with my grandmother, I even called her "mama."
She was very sick, had been very sick for many many years. Last time I went to Mexico it was, in fact, because she wanted to see me before she left us. That was 2 years ago. When I was there, she started recovering and everything started going back to normal. Then I came back to Canada to continue with my life. And for two years she was fine, still sick, but home, eating well, sleeping well. Last month, my mom told me that mama was in the hospital, "nothing serious," she said--it was a broken hip. I didn't go see her because it was nothing serious, but apparently, from that broken hip, her heart disease and stomach problems combined and she started getting worse every day. She stopped eating last week and died today. I cannot help but think that I should have been there--I feel guilty. I am so far away, I cannot even see her face one last time. The worst part is that I won't make her laugh ever again. We couldn't even speak on the phone for the past two years because she was losing her hearing.
For her last birthday, which was three weeks ago, I made her a video, mostly gesticulating, to which she raised both her arms and yelled my name, thinking that I was there live.

She was the best grandmother, and the strongest woman I ever met.

Wherever you are mama, I love you and I will miss you. You'll be in my heart always, as I know I was until your last day.

Comments for My grandmother died

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Sep 14, 2012
Thank you, Doreen
by: Mariana

I am very sorry to hear that your husband died of cancer--here in Canada we have had a lot of cases like these in the past years and it's very sad to see how many families have had to suffer this.

This is the first time I experience this and it has made me very sad, but also very scared. Now that my grandmother has passed away, I cannot stop thinking that this will happen again. I know that we have to continue living our lives, but I have entered in some sort of panic stage--I fear I will lose everyone in my life.
I am still trying to process this whole situation, and to make peace with myself because, as you said, though I'm not guilty of anything I have this thing inside of me that feels like guilt. I am working it out and hope that this will pass soon and I will start remembering rather than regretting.

Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your story with me.

Sep 12, 2012
My grandmother died
by: Doreen U.K.

Mariana I am sorry for your loss of your grandmother. Life is so very difficult when one is living far away. This is when we realise the distance we are from those we love when illness strikes.
Over 30 years ago we as a family emigrated to Canada. I am so glad my husband decided to to back to England. We then started to lose the elderly members of our family. But 4 months ago I lost my husband of 44yrs. to a deadly cancer caused by working with asbestos. My husband died slowly. My husband got his cancer working with asbestos in his 20's. Being back in England helped by tracing the companies that my husband worked for and that used this deadly material. A lot of the companies are in America.
One doesn't know what they are breathing in the atmosphere that is deadly to our health. Here in England it is now known in epidemic proportions now how so many people are dying from having worked in the industry that worked with Asbestos. My husband was a carpenter and cut the asbestos. Some women who washed their husband's clothes with asbestos fibres ended up dying from this cancer. None of us know how long or short our lives may be. My sister has had to make several journey's from Australia to be with us all as we lost so many members from our family. This is when the distance is felt. I hope that you will be able to not feel GUILTY. for being so far away and not going back to Mexico often. WE all have to go on with our Lives wherever we are. If we didn't do this we would stop living by staying where we are in case someone died. None of us know what life holds for us. We are just meant to do what we need to do to survive.

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