My grandma passed away last Saturday. She had been doing better for a couple of days and we all thought that this was just going to be another close call. Then I got the call that she wasn't expected to live much longer when I was two and a half hours away from home for a soccer game. I turned around and began one of the longest drives of my life, praying that I would make it in time to see her one last time.
Luckily, she held on for several more hours and all of our family was able to get to the hospital in time. I'm convinced that she held on until we could all be there. I'm not sure that I've ever witnessed anything so sad as my grandpa saying goodbye to his wife of 61 years. Nothing can prepare you for hearing him say "I better go give her a kiss while she's still alive."
Toward the end, everyone but my sister and I left her hospital room as they couldn't handle just waiting for her to die. I stayed because I didn't want her to be alone. I told her it was okay for her to go, she had suffered long enough and we all were there for her and loved her so much. I held her hand and counted her breaths. First she was breathing every three seconds, then every five, then every seven, then every ten...and then she was gone.
In the past few days, I have learned that even if you sort of know that something like this is coming, there is no way to prepare for it. It's a toss up as to whether it's been worse losing my grandma or watching my grandpa try to figure out how to live his life without her. Logically, I know that she was sick for a long time and in constant pain and now she is at peace and no longer suffering. It doesn't make me feel any better, though. I am so overwhelmingly sad that it almost physically hurts. I miss my grandma.