Sunday, February 4, 2018

Heart Attack

On June 8, 2014 my Grandma past away due to a heart attack.  I was woken by phone calls from my sister Allison, then my Dad both of which I didn't answer.  Then I was woken one last time from my sister Carrie.  I knew it was something serious if Carrie was calling.  She told me that Grandma had had a heart attack that as far as she knew she was still a live.  My mom was in Casper with Allison, Duran and my Dad and drove back  to Thermopolis as soon as she was called.  When she saw my Grandma she was a live and making jokes like her normal self.  She was very nauseated from what my mom believed was the medicine they were giving her.  My Grandma had a lot of stomach issues in her nineties and would usually always wake up nauseated.  My Mom didn't think it to be anything out of the ordinary.  My Grandma's heart enzymes were elevated indicating she in fact had had a heart attack. They were going to take them again in a few hours to see if they stayed the same or were lower or higher.  I knew if they were higher that it wasn't good and that she was most likely not going to make it.  I wanted to be able to say goodbye to my Grandma so I was in limbo of what I should do.  My mom made it seem like she was doing okay but just in pain.  I didn't want to make a big deal of it and rush up to Thermopolis and things turn out okay.  But I wanted to say goodbye if I needed to.  I was waiting to hear back about the results of the test.  I kept myself busy water painting with the girls.  I ended up taking a nap that day and was woken by another call from Carrie telling me Grandma stopped breathing and they were in the room working on her and that Carrie was on her way to Thermopolis.  Allison also called and told me Grandma had died, there was a moment of confusion as I was told two different things within minutes of each other.  My mom had confirmed that she had died.  We were all in hysteria over the turn of events.  My mom said that she was in a lot of pain and then all of a sudden she took one last breath like she was gasping for air and her head fell back.  My Grandma didn't want to be resuscitated.  I was heart broken that I didn't leave that morning when I got the first phone call.  I could have been there before 5pm when she past away.  I could have hugged my Grandma one more time.  Turned out that her heart enzymes were elevated and my mom hadn't called to tell me.
All of us were in shock and utter disbelief.  We could have sworn that Grandma was going to make it another year.  She was doing so well.  She had just gotten home and settled in after spending the winter in the Pioneer home.  She was going to have home health nurses come and help her.  My mom had just done all her shopping for her while she was in Casper.  My Grandma had plans to get her hair cut and curled.  The heart attack was so unexpected.  My mom was with her the entire time the week before.  Even my mom commented on how well things were going. I get it was her time but I was never going to be ready for her to be gone from this life.  She wasn't just an ordinary Grandma she was amazing.
The rest of that night as I began to pack and prepare to leave the next day.  I cried and could not believe how much I now longed to hug her one last time.  To feel her little body in my arms one last time.  I believe I cried so much that I made myself sick.  Monday I woke up feeling horrible I actually wasn't going to leave but then as I was doing Paiglee's hair I had a feeling that I needed to go and my sister Carrie told me to come anyway.  So I finished packing and loaded me and the girls up to head to Thermopolis.  Daryl couldn't come with because of work and it was his first landscaping job with the business.  It wasn't a good time for him to leave.    The girls were amazing during the three hour car trip.  I couldn't have asked them to be better.  The only time I cried on the trip was when I was driving through Wind River Canyon and went through the three tunnels.  I didn't cry when I arrived at her house.  I didn't cry when I saw my family.  Probably because I had cried so much the day before.  My eyes were finally not as swollen and my head didn't hurt.  The girls played with their cousins and we just did what we needed for he funeral.  Tuesday was the viewing and we tried to get any thing that still needed to get done for the funeral done.  I also was surprised at how well i did at the viewing.  I don't know if it was a disconnect or what for me.  But for me it was my Grandma's body but it wasn't my Grandma.  It is a weird feeling I had.  But I am glad I was able to see her although it just made my urge of wanting to hug her that much worse.  Seeing her body and not able to hug it.  i did imagine what my Grandma would say about herself.  She probably would say oh I look just terrible and shake her head in disgust as she did when she saw images of herself she didn't like.  I touched her head, it was unbelievably cold and didn't feel like a normal head.  I just touched a small part of it.  I couldn't bring myself to full out touch her.  Allison and her family finally showed up that evening.  our sleeping arrangements in my Grandma's trailer were really quite comical.  I was getting sicker, but the girls were amazing the whole time which I am so thankful for.  I just wish Daryl could have been there.  Wednesday morning was going to be the funeral and I still had to finish up my letter to Grandma that I would be reading at the funeral.  Wednesday was a good day I didn't feel emotional a little somber. Paiglee and her Cousins Tegan and Scout sang the primary song Grandmother. It was absolutely perfect. I kept it together until it was my turn to read my letter. My dad came up during to put his arm around me. I wanted to remember things in the letter that at least everyone could at least resignation with At least one thing I rembered her for. We stayed and talked to those that came to the funeral and invited all to come to the LDS church for a lunch that had been prepared for us by some of the members there in Thermopolis. It was a great meal!
My grandmothers absence has been profound there is not a day I don't think of her in some way.  After her passing I felt her near and sometimes I occasionally still do  but it is less often.  I am sure she is happy with Shirley, Grandpa, and her mother.  She had many people to welcome her.  While she is gone from this world her impact on my life and the lives of my family live on and through us i believe she lives on with us.

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