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Grandfather Dying


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Hey everybody!

It's with a heavy heart that I write tonight. My Grandfather has been rapidly declining in health for a couple of weeks and especially since Thursday he has gotten much worse. He's 86 and basically his body is shutting down. He has fibrosis in the lungs, narrowed esophagus, ulcers in his stomach (most likely from medication he was on), heart failure, a blood clot in one leg, kidneys are failing, his gout is acting up and he has slight jaundice. He nearly died Thursday night but pulled out of that. They called all the family to come. I'm not able to go because I don't have the means or ability to travel that far which breaks my heart that I can't be there to say goodbye. He called all of his kids in at 4:30am this morning and everybody was there except my Dad. My Dad was able to get into town this afternoon so as of this afternoon all of my Grandfather's kids are with him and some of the grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is surrounded by his family, he is comfortable, he is aware and understands everything around him. He says he loves everybody and he is at peace. He is proud of his kids, loves his wife and has had a good life and says he can't ask for anything more. My Aunt said she kissed him goodnight tonight and told him she loved him and that she would see him first thing in the morning and he told her "I'm gonna die tonight". I suspect he can feel it and he said he was trying to hold on until my Dad could get there. My Grandfather told them all he didn't think he was going to be able to make it until my Dad got there but he was able to do that. They said his blood pressure dropped several times today and they nearly lost him. They said at last check his bp was 40/20. He refused his medication tonight.

So, I'm really sad. I'm upset that I can't be there. At the same time I think "Wow! What a gift we all have...that he is able to say goodbye to everyone, his kids are at his bedside and he is able to communicate clearly with them and HE is at PEACE" I wish I felt the same Peace he seems to feel. Maybe I will in time but right now I'm grieving. It's a little odd though. He's not dead yet but I'm already crying like he is. In this case we all know it's just a matter of hours or a few days at best.

I'm a very sensitive person anyway; I always have been. It feels like my heart needs to let the tears out and yet it seems my "potsy" body just can't take the physical stress. I don't know how to go through the grieving process without getting sicker (at least temporarily) and I'm afraid everyone (Doctors in particular) and go "Yep, it's just stress." and accuse me of not handling things well.

Any tips?

Thanks you guys for listening to the lengthy post!!

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heya pooh -

i need to get to sleep now so am not going to attempt a thorough answer, but had to send a (((HUG))) to you right away. you & your family will definitely be in my thoughts & prayers. my nana is hanging in there but is such that realistically i could be in your shoes at any time in regard to her. and i've thought about the issue of my not being able to be there, even discussed it with my mom in the spring when i was still in baltimore & she was having to be there to care for me; we realized that my mom was (and still is to a degree) of getting health crises calls re: both her mother & daughter. but i digress....

what i'm getting at is that i can only imagine how tough it must be for you right now; i'm a super sensitive person too - always have been - and as much as you "know" that your grandfather is at peace & is surrounded by loved ones, etc....that doesn't mean that your feelings are going to be any less painful, tough, etc. but i'm telling what you already know...

mostly i just wanted to send the hug, thoughts & prayers. as tough as it is to do, try your best to take care of you still too. i'm sure your grandfather knows you're there with him in spirit.



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I am sorry for the pain and suffering you are going through.

When my sister was in the dying process, my other sister called me to let me know about the situation. I did not go to the hospital because I am too sick.

Then when she died, my other sister told me not to go because she did not want me to get worst. So I called her every day for 2 weeks to grieve together. It worked fine and helped both of us.

I wil keep you in my prayers.


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I am so sorry for what you are going through. I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers. I lost my Grandmother (my best friend) yesterday morning. I was able to push through my POTS issues for a week and be by her side around the clock and was holding her hand as she took her last breath. I didn't pass out during everything but I did experience my first ever panic attack. I know that I will pay for pushing myself too hard, but it will be worth it to me. Hang in there, lots of prayers for strength and healing are headed your way.


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Dear Pooh,

I empathize with what you are feeling. My grandpa has been seriously ill for almost 6 years and was very close to death last week (stopped eating, talking, unable to move himself), then pulled up a little bit. I've been waiting for "that call." I was very close with my grandpa, so i know how hard this time is for you. It's going to be hard on you, that's pretty unavoidable, but just try to rest as much as possible, and keep your mind focused on him being at peace. There's no way around grieving for those we love. Sorry you're going through this. I'll definitely be thinking about you and say a prayer for you.


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Sorry for what you are going thru. My heart aches for you being sad so far away from your grandfather. Your post was very detailed and poignant and beautiful as you described the situation. I felt very sad for his declining health, and happy for your grandfather (surrounded by his loved ones) and I don't even know him.

It must be so difficult and yes, this POTS adrenalin junk can WIPE US OUT!!! as if it doesn't the normal person.

I lost my brother in law this past summer and he had been in my life 41 years!! Since I was 7. he had a heart transplant 8 years ago but his death was sudden.

i was a wreck at the funeral as his own kids my nephews and my neice consoled me. it's ok if you can't travel to be with him.

Three weeks after the death of my brother in law, my 85 year old mom got ill and flipped out..thought it was alzheimers but it was other Mama drama--long story, doesn't belong here!!. Anyway, long story short, this ALL AFFECTED MY ILLNESS GREATLY!! I lost about 15 lbs...coudlnt' eat.

My doc told me to take my little .25 xanax whenever I needed to get me thru the streess--every 6-8 hours during the crisis modes. but I kept FORGETTING to take it but once or twice a day. What an idiot I. I kept feeling like the accelerator was STUCK ON MY ADRENALIN and would find myself not breathing and holding my breath...yet I had access to meds to help me. We also have cognitive impairment or "swiss cheese" brain as i call it...stuff slips thru the holes.

If you have ACCESS to ANY MEDS or HERBS to help CALM YOU, by all means, do so!! It is the ONLY way I could "help" calm things down, but I still felt the pain. So please be KIND TO YOURSELF IN THE NEXT few days. We so need it for our wacky ANS situation.

I am not meaning to make this post about me but you are having a double whammy yourself. A LOSS in your life, but you can not BE THERE to witness, and SHARE your grief. My elder mother was getting sick before my brother in law died and chose to stay away from the whole situation. So you do what you must to protect yourself but your heart, thoughts and spirit are with the ones you love.

Of course you feel he is gone already because in some aspects, as ill as you mention him to be, HE IS. It just made me feel good he said he had a good life as many can NOT SAY THAT!!! That is a blessing AND to have all his loved ones around him. It's bittersweet but something they will all remember of their father.

You keep in touch by phone and email the best you can. Yes, it's not the same as being there but I can't travel either so I feel your angst!

Just be sad, feel the pain but when you are overwhelmed, do NOT hesitate to ask for meds to help you thru...nothiing to be ashamed of, ok.

My thoughts and prayers are sent to you in this posting.

Have a good cry, feel the grief, and in between, if the despair is too bad, try to watch something funny to distract for awhile!! sometimes it helps and other times it does not!! I happened to get a DVD of Bob Newhart from the libary I had reserved and got it one month after the passing of my b-in-law.

and Newhart looked a LOT like my brother in law did in the 70's!!! And it was comforting to me...but woulda been too painful for my sister and her kids. My brother in law even had the nick name Newhart when he lived in Florida due to his reaction to situations. It's a dumb thing to share but whatever it takes to get us each INDIVIDUALLY though the rough spots. Comparing a tv actor to my life but it did fit.

Take care, Pooh, and keep us posted on how you and your loved ones are coping.

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I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. In times like these I'm sure your illness seems that much more of a burden ;) . I wish I had something magical to say to you, but sadly, I have no advice to offer. Just know that you and your grandfather are in my thoughts. And please keep us posted on how he's doing.

((((((BIG HUG))))))


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You guys are awesome and I am so thankful for such great friends!! Thank you for your kind and loving words, your prayers and warm wishes--they mean so much more than my words can express!!

I'm hanging in there. I feel a little "stuck" not being able to say my goodbyes but I just have to work on it. I can't call my Grandfather and talk by phone because he has no hearing in one ear and his "good" ear he can't hear anything by phone. I think, if he lives through the night, I will fax a note so that he can read it (I'm afraid a card via mail will not make it in time) and maybe get the hospital chaplain or social worker to take it to him. My Aunt relayed my message to him but that doesn't seem to be solving MY need to say my last words to him.

This is part of life I know; it's just one of the more unpleasant sides to life.

For now, I'm trying to allow myself to cry some (I really can't help it or stop it at this point) and I also try to divert my mind. I watched a Cosby re-run and that helped a little. I think now I will try to get a little sleep. I also try to do deep breathing when I'm not crying to help "re-generate" oxygen.

Thanks again for all the gentle words and I will keep you posted.

PS- Lisa, I sent you an email and I want you to know I'm so sorry for your loss too. Please be extra gentle with yourself and let us know how you are doing.

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((((hugs)))) to you. ;) There is no easy way to say to handle this. While my 39 yr old cousin was dying I went to the hospital, heart racing away, lightheaded. I thought at some point I would pass out. It is not easy by any means. You should not feel guilty about not being able to be there. I am sure he understands and would not want you to risk your own health either. I am sure also your father or other family member has passed on your love to him.

How about contacting one of your relatives to pass on your words to him? Try to hang in there during this trying time. Don't be suprised that him being at peace with what is going on that one can somehow pass our feelings to another through our thoughts even though we maybe miles and miles away.

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wow I am so sorry for what you are going through right now...i wish that there were something that I could say or do to make you feel better...

I am glad that you grandfather is able to have family around him..

My grandmother died 3yrs ago.. right when I was getting very isck with pots... I had the oppertunity to be with her for most of the last week of life.. and I am very greatful that I got to spend that time with her...

But it was a great stressor on my allready weak body.. and at one point I flipped out very badly...I started to cry like a crazy person... and my legs gave out from underneath me.. and I had to be taken from the room.. and my Hr was way to high.. the nurse caring for my grandmother checked on me.. and asked me if I was allright.. and if I needed to go to the ER..b/c my HR was so high.. and I was so white... and hysterical too.. anyways getting to the point....

I think that everything happens for a resaon... and maybe you could find or do something to honor and remeber you grandfather that will help you heal in your greieving process..light a candle for him.. pray meditiate..um plant a tree or flowers...

wish that I lived closer to you pooh b/c I would be there helping you and supporting you right now.. please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers...

hang in there


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Pooh -

:P I am so sorry. I just lost my last grandparent, my grandma three weeks ago. My fiancee was worried about me because it was during my last dance competition. My body was already under a lot of stress, I was getting attacks at the competition, and then she passed away Saturday morning before I was suppose to dance so we came home to the funeral.

I still haven't recovered from it all an have had a major setback with large attacks and now I have a pressure build up in the right side of my brain an going down my right neck!!! So be prepared for your body to fail you in trying to handle the stress.....

Again I am so sorry...my thoughts and prayers are with you an your family during this time and forever


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Dear Pooh Bear,

I have an idea for you that was a wonderful grieving tool for my family. My brother in law passed away suddenly two years ago at Karate class, he had a massive heart attack in the middle of class and he was gone...

None of us got to say good bye to him. At the funeral my neice passed out stationary and we all wrote our good byes we were able to thank him for being a part of our lives as well as telling him good bye. He then took all of that love with him to his final resting place... My sister placed these in his hands. along with his coffee cup :P

I hope this helps



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Thanks to everyone! I got the call this morning that he passed away early this morning. I'm in a little shock (weird, since I knew this was coming but I guess you always hold on to some hope huh?).

I'm surprised he lived through sunday night so I guess all day yesturday I was thinking, "Well, he lived through the night so maybe he will turn a corner". I'm glad he's not hurting or uncomfortable anymore and I feel truly blessed that my last visit with him was the happiest one I have ever had. That, in combination with the fact that he was at peace makes this easier.

It is very hard for me not being able to be there with the family and attend his funeral (I'm the kind that really does much better with that type of closure). This is the first time I've not been able to attend one for a family member so I'm gonna have to find the way to grieve that gives me the closure I need without being there. I've tried a few things already; it seems it's such a personal journey that you just have to try different things until you find the one that satisfies your own soul. I don't know if that makes any sense or not....I know what I mean but I'm having trouble putting it into words.

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Guest Julia59


I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sending hugs your way, and praying for you to hang in there.

My aunt was not able to make it to Toledo when my Grandma died. She felt so bad, but she shouldn't have. The guilt ended up making her physically sick, she now knows this was not what her mother would have wanted. There was nothing she could do except be there in spirit----my grandma knew she was there.

I wasn't there when she died, but we were there at the hospital often, no one knew when she was going to pass because she would sometimes get better---then worse---on and off. She passed in the middle of the night very peacefully at 89 years old. The lady in the bed next to her said that my grandma said she was dying---and she gently passed away. The lady said my grandma was at peace.

Your Grandfather surely understands---he knows you were thinking about him during his passing-----and he knows you will be there in spirit at the funeral.

I'm sorry you can't be there with the rest of the family----but you will find a way to get closure in other ways.

Take Care of yourself----i'm sending you more hugs...........


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I'm so sorry for your loss Pooh and that you have a difficult time for not being able to be with your family as you wanted. But you know, you can say goodbye in a lot of different ways. I like to write a letter, or a poem or whatever and ask if it's allowed to put it in the coffin. Or it can be read during the funeral, or you can keep it to yourself as a dear memory. Hope you can find your own way to say goodbye to your grandfather. And wish you peace,


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just wanted to send you some (((HUGS))) and whatever else might help...even if you don't know what that is right now.

you're in my thoughts & prayers,


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