S.F. asks from Vine Grove, KY on March 05, 2007
How Do You Deal with It?
I'm lost. I just lost my grandmother last night after a long battle with alzheimers and I'm devastated. My children never got to know her because she was already well into the disease before they came along, and I didn't want them to face the pain that great-mammaw may not remember who they are. Hubby and I both agree that the funeral is no place for them and have made arrangements for them while we are there. But how do I handle it...they know mommy's sad, they just don't know why. My 6 year old is the type who wants in depth explanations about everything, and i honeslty just don't think I can handle talking about this and explaining it to him for the next month. On top of everything else, I'm missing a week of school, and I've been struggiling so hard this semester that I don't even know if I can recover from missing so much time. But I know that even if I do go to class, I won't learn anything because I can't concetrate on learning right now. But I feel guilty for worrying about school in light of what's going on. Is it normal to feel this scattered? I've lost people close to me before, but this is the first relative that's passed away since my grandfather died in 1994. I realize this is rambling...but I don't know how to deal with this. Any insight would be appreciated.
So What Happened?™
Thank you everybody. We laid her to rest today, and even though that was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life, she truly did look peaceful, and I know she's in Heavan now with my grandfater, so everything is as is should be. As for the grief....I'm dealing....slowly. I sat down with my oldest and explained as best as I could why I've been so sad lately and acts like he understood. He knows that Heavan is is a good place to be and asked me if she was going to see Jesus (I told him yes). I talked with hubby last night and decided that I'm going to withdraw from school from this semester and probably take next semester off just to give me time to get over the burnout I've been feeling lately. Spring Break is next week, so I'm going to withdraw the week after. It's better for me to admit a defeat right now than to attempt to win a war that my heart's not it. I'll go back to school when I will be able to focus on it better.
S.B. answers from Indianapolis on March 06, 2007
Sorry for your loss. Definately a hard subject to explain to young children. Until you can read the brochure, you may just want to tell your six year old that you have lost someone really close to you and that makes you sad.
As far as school goes, do not feel guilty. You are doing something that will improve the lives of your entire family. Worrying about missing school is natural and understandable.
M.J. answers from Indianapolis on March 07, 2007
I am so sorry for your loss of your grandmother. With her having the horrible disease of Alzheimer's, you have probably been grieving her loss for a long time, since she really hasn't been able to relate to you for quite a while, as you have stated in this note, since before the children were born.
Death is a part of life, not because God wanted it, for He planned a beautiful garden for us to live in and no death or disease, but our evil foe disrupted all of that and we live in a broken world that God will completely fix someday, but for now, we suffer many woes. Some day your little boy will lose a pet, a fish, a hamster, a kitty cat or dog. It might just prepare him for you to talk to him now, especially since he is curious and he might begin to think that he has done something to upset you. (Children are very sensitive to your feelings and what's going on around them and he might be worried that he has caused your sadness.) I just find the truth is the best way to deal with the hard things in life.
I would share the life of your grandmother with some of the happiest moments that you can recall of her life and why she means so much to you. (This might even be therapeutic for you, for you need to talk about those that you love.) I would explain to him that's why you are sad these days because you know you will miss her. I would explain to him that she is in Heaven where there is no pain, no sadness and she is happy there now and wants us to be happy too. And if all of you believed in Jesus, God's Son, that you will all be together someday in Heaven.
I pray that God guides you and gives you comfort strength and wisdom to talk to your little boy.
J.C. answers from Fort Wayne on March 07, 2007
It's so hard to lose someone, and I'm sorry that you're going through it. It actually sounds to me like you have a lot on your plate. You feel scatterbrained, and it's totally understandable. When you're a mother, a wife, a student, and already feeling pulled in every direction, something traumatic like this can really set you off. It would be hard even without the other factors, but since the other factors are there, it makes it hard for you to be able to cope in the way you need to.
Maybe you should think about asking your husband to talk to your children. You could always go over what you'd like for him to say, but if you did that, then you wouldn't have to worry about having your kids left in the dark about why mommy's sad, and also wouldn't risk having a meltdown in front of them. As far as school goes, what's one semester when you are talking about a whole life? If you have to repeat your classes, so what? It doesn't matter when you look at the big picture. If you need to take some time off, then do it. I know school's a big deal, but down the road, when you have your degree, having to do a semester over isn't going to come up ever. All they want to know is what your degree is in and where you graduated, GPA maybe, but that's it. They're not going to look and see what your agenda was every year. So, try not to sweat it.
I also think it would be a good idea for you to spend a day just to yourself. Maybe you could spend it with a family member and the two of you can let it all out and be there for each other. It's so hard as a mother, allowing time for ourselves when it's important.
M.D. answers from Evansville on March 06, 2007
First of all, I am so sorry that you are hurting so badly! As far as school is concerned, I wouldn't feel bad for worrying about it. It's obviously an important part of your life or you wouldn't be there!! Sometimes, life comes at you too fast and you need to take a semester off. I just went through having to put school off for a semester and I know how hard that can be. But you've gotta heal from your loss first and foremost. As far as your children, I would be as honest and upfront with them as possible. Maybe have your husband explain things to them if you are unable! Have him tell them that you are really sad and only need their love and support. I truely hope things get better for you soon. I lost my great grandmother just a few years ago to Alzheimers. It is a very difficult thing to go through! Things will get easier with time!
S.S. answers from Terre Haute on March 07, 2007
I totally understand where you are coming from. I lost my grandmother after a long battle with cancer a little over a year ago. My daughter who was 5 at the time did know her somewhat. We went over to her house on holiday's and such but she did not have the relationship like I had with her. My mom and dad had to finally put her in a nursing home and she was there for about 6 months. I went a couple of times to see her by myself but she didn't know who I was and that was devastating to me. When she did finally pass...I say finally because she had suffered so long and it was a blessing for her to pass on...I did explain to my daughter what had happened. She got upset, but I think it is good for kids to know about death and to know that everyone dies at some point. I know you said you don't think you can talk to your son about it, but what about your husband. Could you both sit down and talk with him and just let your husband do the talking. Your son does need to know why you are sad, otherwise he will think it is something he's done. The best thing you can do is talk to him about it and then tell him of some of the happy memories you have since I know there are probably many. That will also help you more than you can ever know!
I hope this helps some! I offer my condolences and am praying for you and your family!
S. answers from Louisville on March 07, 2007
Everyone else gave great advice. The only thing I would like to add is that what you're feeling and going through is totally normal. As for how to get through it, you just trudge on one day at a time, do your best, explain to people why you aren't 100 percent, and eventually it gets easier.
You'll be in my thoughts.
A.W. answers from Lafayette on March 07, 2007
It's normal to feel scattered. You're not selfish for thinking of school as you already have so much wrapped up in it. I would suggest taking the homework with you so that you can give yourself a distraction when you need it. As for explaining to your kids, if you can't do it then have your husband do it...it's important for them to learn about death. And as for not taking them with you, if they never knew her then it's not likely it will affect them other than you being sad and they haven't had a chance to say hello to need the opportunity to say goodbye, so it's not a big deal...they would just be bored there. I know this is hard for you as I've lost my grandmother not so long ago, but something that helped me...everytime I felt like crying, I just told myself that I was just feeling sorry for myself and I would think of something fun that we had done or something funny that she did that would make me laugh. My grandmother would roll over in her grave if she knew I was about to cry. She didn't want anybody to morn her death but celebrate that she had lived.
A.R. answers from St. Louis on March 06, 2007
I am very sorry for your loss, and I really understand how painful it is, and how hard it's to keep going with the children around. My dad passed away 2yrs and a half and he was my best friend.
My opinion about telling your child about it, is just being honest and tell him that you are so sad that you cannot talk to him about it at this moment. Just tell him that your grandma passed away, and she is in a better place watching over all of you, and you will talk to him about that, when you feel more comfortable and less sad. I wouldn't explain anything else more than he asks you, and repeat him that you feel sad and that is normal when someone you love go away or pass away.
Try to live day by day, according how you feel. Cry whenever is possible, it feels so much better and help you to cope with it. Find some moments for yourself; leave the kids with your husband or other relative if you can; you are going to need those moments. I do not know what else to say to you because I know it is really really painful and in these moments no words will make that pain go away... Only YOU can learn to accept what happened, and you will, believe me. It takes time to recover from this..just pray. If you need to be alone, just take moments as I said before but, try to be with someone who loves you and understand you so he/she can help you in everything you will need(support and domestic things around the house) Pray and pray...