Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Visiting Grandpa Daryl

Tuesday morning I got a text from my dad saying my Grandpa Daryl (pronounced like Carl) was in the hospital. He'd suffered a major brain hemorrhage and they didn't know if he would make it through the day. My aunt said he was laughing and joking with them the night before, but when morning came, she couldn't wake him up. He was still breathing on his own, but his brain had received enough damage to keep him in a persistent state of sleep. He's basically in a coma.

By the afternoon, they transferred him from the hospital to a hospice center nearby. When Justin got home from work, we went to visit him and say goodbye.

He'll respond a teensy bit sometimes like slurping his tongue a bit when we give him a drink of water from his "lollipop", aka, wet sponge on a stick. (Anyone else having Brigham flashbacks?)

My grandparents had 9 kids (apparently the joke my grandpa always used to say was that he had 3 & 1/2 dozen kids... 3 girls, and a half dozen boys) They're ALL coming from everywhere (even the one who lives in Japan). They told the hospice nurses there would be a LOT of people there, so they made sure to give him the biggest room.

And convenient for us, it has it's own private back door to the "backyard" where there's a playground, a picnic table, and a lot of grass. It was nice for all the little kids to have somewhere to play instead of just sitting around in Grandpa's room. It was nice for the rest of us too, when we went and got 6, yes SIX pizzas for everyone there to eat for dinner....

The hospice center is very homey. Actually, it used to be a home... They just remodeled a little to accommodate medical supplies. They still have a family room and a kitchen with snacks like pretzels, doughnuts, and lemonade for family members to munch on. And of course, Carrie found the candy dispenser machine, dragged Auntie Marissa to it and waited while she fished quarters out of her change-purse so they could get some.

For now, Grandpa's still with us, but the doctors said it won't be long until his brain is too damaged from the bleed. He's lived a long life and he's been sick for a while. He had prostate cancer 3 years ago, and it recently came back and has spread into his bones. He has Parkinson's and lately has just been feeling, acting, and looking really old and tired. His passing will be a blessing.

When we first got there, I picked Carrie up and went over to his bed. We both said hi, and I love you. Then I tried to explain to her that Papa was very sick. She asked, "Is his tummy sick like mine?...." I answered, "No sweetie, his whole body is sick. Soon he's going to die and go live with Jesus and Brigham in Heaven". She looked a little sad, but just said, "Ok..." It's both sad, and wonderful the level of comprehension she has of death and heaven. We'll be sad when Grandpa Daryl dies, but we'll rejoice that he will be pain free and living in a new beautiful place with family members who have gone before.


Brittney said...

I'm sorry about your grandpa. He sounds a lot like the way my grandpa was just before he died. I'm so glad he'll be surrounded by so many loving family members on both sides of the veil. Love ya.

Jenna said...

That's very hard. My grandmother died last year and she was also in hospice. She got to finish out her hospice care in my mom's house, which was nice.

I hope his passing is peaceful and soon. Sorry for your grief.