Collaborative Services ~ Concierge Practice


Alzheimer's ~ Death and Dying

Posted by Diana Rangaves, PharmD,CEO on May 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Alzheimer’s ~ Death and Dying


Heartfelt from an anonymous contributor


My current perception . . .


Tonight, my grandfather is dying.

Earlier this afternoon, morphine was being administered every two hours.

The intervals may be shorter now.

Eating and drinking have long since ceased.


He squeezed Grandma’s hand on Saturday. Thank goodness,now, my grandmother, his wife, is hospitalized for pneumonia.


He is in a nursing home.

She just barely fills a hospital bed in Santa Clara.


The Santa Cruz Mountains separate them, for now.

Sometime soon, the veil will part, one will pass, and then that will flutter between them too.

They will not hold hands in this world again.


 I am 2 hours away tonight.

Two hours away from it all until Wednesday night.


But I know this place. I've been here before. I've been here for a while.

This mystery, the shifting and passing of people, and places, that have been my always, my home, my family, my very self is familiar to me now.

My heart- that deeper un-namable part that wrenches and shudders still.

I knew the quake was coming.

I know when to seek cover and when to run towards open fields.



Grandma and Grandpa struggled for a few years. Grandma cared for Grandpa as long as she could, until he could not walk or even eat onhis own, until she feared for both their safety.

Last June, within a month of her twin brother's diagnosis and death from advanced cancer, Grandma had to move Grandpa to a skilled nursing home.


My Dad's mom lived with Alzheimer’s for nearly fifteen brutal years. My grandparents were my only neighbors on a hundred mountain acres for my entire life. They were part of my every day.


I was born and raised in the same house as my dad. Grandpa had retired before my sisters and I were born, so Grandpa provided ourjeep rides and songs to the bus stop every morning. Grandma always had molasses cookies ready when we stopped by on our way home. 


My family never imagined a time when Grandma and Grandpa would not be just up the hill. I guess we always figured they could live with us or we could live with them. When the time came, my husband and I did just that near the end.


Time passed, Grandma needed care we couldn't provide anymore.

Grandpa broke his hip. He never made it back up to his house on the hill.


We did not anticipate that our loved ones would finish their days in nursing homes.

Expectations and experience have a way of shaping and reshaping each other.



Categories: Perspectives ~ Perceptions

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