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Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Breaking the News

On the Sunday morning, we visited my dad's mother to break the news to her. Dad's mum is a variation on the stereotypical grandma - white hair, dentures, a little overweight, constantly offering food, a little deaf but nonetheless a heavy gossiper.
She'd actually got Dad to make tea and toast for all of us before he told her about Marie. She handled it better than Dad - she had to close her eyes and grip Dad's hand for a good moment, but Dad had a real choke in his voice for a long time after. I wasn't quite sure what to do immediately afterwards, so I left the two of them to themselves and washed the dishes.

When I slipped back into the room Grandma was still trying to get her mind around the idea of a brain haemorrhage, of the fact that Marie was still 'alive' but only because of machines that performed the functions her body couldn't; that though she was alive she could never again be conscious. She was just trying to understand, but I think it must have been painful for Dad to keep reinforcing the situation.

It's difficult being with Grandma sometimes. She is the sunniest, loveliest woman, but being a 80-year old in an aged care home, she has seen her share of death and tends to talk about it each time we visit. A particular pet hate of mine is the clock in the living room. The loud and constant ticking of the clock would drive me insane if I had to live there. It seems like a difficult (but not necessarily lonely) existence, and I don't think it's a position I'd like to be in myself.


Blogger Violet said...

I wonder if death is a constant subject of conversation for anyone in their seventies or later, regardless of where they live. It'd be worse in an old-folks home though - and especially lonely if you're a non-English speaker in a home in an English-speaking country.

3:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my grandad died I remember the funeral. My brothers and sisters and I all had to do a little reading from the bible. Afterwards at the wake, all the friends and relations (most of whom i had never seen before in my life) just wanted to comment on how nicely we had read the verses and say "my, how big you've grown". I don't even remember being sad. I remember vainly trying to squeeze a tear out to put on a act for every one. These days I just wish that I had known him better, or that he was alive longer so that I could have had the time to know him better. That i might have known what I'd missed - what had gone out of our lives the day that he died.

4:56 pm  
Blogger Draic said...

I remember one of the saddest thoughts that went through my mind was that Marie's grandchildren won't even remember her. It's that 'not knowing what you've missed'.
Will post on the funeral soon...

2:21 pm  

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