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I wrote a far sappier post here and cleared it because I don't need this website to be my diary. Basically my grandpa is in his nineties. He's got all his mental faculty but his body fails him at every turn and I'm just worried this will be my last year with him. This has been coming for some time but today I realized it's real. It could be any time really. It could be another 5 years. we've got no idea. He's the person who made me who I am.

I've had to organize 2 funerals in the last year and I'm just not ready to go through all the photos again. What advice have you got for softening the inevitable blow but most importantly how to get the most out of your time with someone while they're still alive?

I wrote a far sappier post here and cleared it because I don't need this website to be my diary. Basically my grandpa is in his nineties. He's got all his mental faculty but his body fails him at every turn and I'm just worried this will be my last year with him. This has been coming for some time but today I realized it's real. It could be any time really. It could be another 5 years. we've got no idea. He's the person who made me who I am. I've had to organize 2 funerals in the last year and I'm just not ready to go through all the photos again. What advice have you got for softening the inevitable blow but most importantly how to get the most out of your time with someone while they're still alive?

15 comments

I know this might sound bad and morbid but I think there is a great relief to have by watching near death experience interviews on youtube - Not the religious ones of course, unless you're into that...

I have looked into it quite a lot and its actually very interesting. When people are naturally coming to the end of their lives, it has been reported that they will often dream of loved ones who have already passed over. Sometimes, they might even see them in the room. There's this idea that passed relatives come to "collect" them and take them into the afterlife, when it is time.

And in the afterlife, apparently, it's nothing but love. And unimagine, intangible amount of unconditional love, like being in a warm blanket. All of lifes suffering has come to a close, everything you had ever worried about falls away with ease and you are now back where you started, connected to the universe as a ball of energy.

Another thing that makes this interesting is that even surgeons and doctors have reported having NDE's. Of course, there will be people who try to explain it away as a DMT trip but I cant help but think its nature's intelligent design.

I, personally, find it comforting to have an idea of what my relatives have passed into. Life is one big experience, there is no good and bad. We all came here for certain things, we all have to leave when our time is up.

I hope your Grandpa has lived an eventful life and I wish him all the best on his next journey!

My dad just died and this helped me. I don't really believe in an afterlife, except that our last feelings probably subjectively last forever. So it helps that everyone with near death experiences describes feeling warm and loved, kind of like being hugged by your mom or something. That's how someone described narcotics to me, and that's what I felt on a strong narcotic in the hospital one time. If that's what my dad felt on his way out, it gives me a lot of peace.

I do not think you can prepare for this blow. And maybe, in trying to do so, you are robbing yourself of time and opportunity to just be with each other.

During my grandmother's final time, she got more open to talk about certain topics, for example she told my niece and me about her first time being in love. I will forever remember this hot summer afternoon, sitting on the balcony, three generations, and being privy to my grandmother sorting through memories.

Grief is weird - I'm mostly okay with my grandmother being gone - she has had a long life (she saw her great grandchildren as adults). But sometimes, I think of something only she used to say or do and the "never again" washes over me.

All in all, try not to think too much about the inevitable end. Enjoy whatever time you have left with your grandfather. Ask him questions, tell him things. There will be enough time for sadness. It's not yet that time.

It is, by and large, the same process as preparing oneself to die one day. It is not a trivial process, it involves facing difficult feelings, deep grief, and letting them be. We have been raised in a culture that doesn't view death as natural and when death is taboo, it is hard to be prepared for it: our own, or that of our loved ones.

The book "Die Wise" by Stephen Jenkinson is a very important contribution that I recommend to anyone who is not afraid of being uncomfortable, and who wishes to have a solid wisdom when it comes to death and grief.

Before my grandmother passed. She talked about been ready to go (she started thr conversation) and the pain her experienced (like ice moving through her body). She was 89 when she passed. She told me she had a beautiful life. I miss her but like your grandfather her body was ageing significantly

[–] otterstrom 5 points Edited

When someone passes, even if it is anticipated, the part that hurts is our brain and memories adjusting to the fact that we can no longer access that person. They’re gone. My recommendation? Take a weekend off and go through the death announcement yourself. Pretend. Pretend that he just died. Believe it’s real. Who would you call, how would you react, what would you feel. Let yourself go through that a little bit. I know it’s the opposite what you really want. There’s so much that we want to do to avoid this inevitable occurrence, his inevitable death. But there’s a reason for this. If you let yourself yield to the full imagination of it. You will get to have access to some thing that you will not ever have access to when it’s real. And that’s the ability to wake up from it and connect with him again. If you let yourself lose him now in your imagination, you’ll be able to return to reality where he is still here. See if you can notice what that might change about your perception. Really only works if you fully let yourself sink into the imagination of it; truly let yourself feel the loss. Then, it gets to be not real.

Then, the stage of acceptance, hopefully now tempered by having gotten “one more chance” of a kind. To see the space between the pretend and real loss as extra, bonus, a blessing.

All that you (or any of us) can really do is live for today. The old gestalt “be here now” applies, I believe.

There is no way to anticipate the pain of a loss tomorrow and while we are worrying about it, we are wasting today. You don’t really know how much time that he has. Make every moment that you have with him be the very best that you can.

Those will be the memories that you will carry with you always.

My maternal grandmother was that person for me. I remember her with love and know that death for her was a kind of peace even though I have grieved her.

Hugs. May it be many more years of life for him.

I don't know if you need to soften the blow, you know it is coming, know the pain. I would try to spend as much time with him as you can, learn his ideals, try and find someway of memorializing his ideals in the world.

Artistic in some fashion? Develop a living memorial, starting now, collecting tidbits of information about him and enshrining them in a quilt for instance, or a sketchbook. Ask him about his past life and ask if you can record his answers to your questions. That way you have something to look back on.

What are his values? Do you share them? How can you share them with the world?

This hurts on a personal level so much. OP, spend time with him. Enjoy what you have. Take him places if you can. Ask him about his life. Squeeze out every possible iota of time

I had a close relative who worked hospice for a long time. If possible, it's worth trying to find out if there's anything left that he wants to do in life and trying to help him experience that. Barring that (whether because of physical limitations making those things not feasible or because it's possible that he feels like he's done the things he wants to in life and is ready for it to end), making sure he has plenty of the people and things he enjoys around him, making sure he knows he's loved and respected and means a lot to you, making sure he's as comfortable as possible. These are the things that make a death a good one, and being able to help give him that should make it more bearable for you when he's gone.

The best thing you can do is show up. There have been several times in my life where I had to make the choice to drop everything and go to a relative’s bedside. Each time, it ended up being the last time and I’m so glad I went, even though it wasn’t always easy to pull off. It doesn’t sound like your grandfather is quite there, but still - the best thing to do is visit. Show up and bring him something he loves to eat or go over a favorite photo album together and talk about shared memories. That’s all you can do and you won’t regret any of it. It can be done in a natural way, too, so it doesn’t feel like you’re having a deathbed conversation. Good luck to you ❤️

We are going through the same thing , my loving granddad is 100 and this year his mental and physical health has declined rapidly. My only advice is enjoy the time you have left , tell him you love him. Play board games maybe if he’s up for it .