Almost a month ago my grandfather passed away. On February 14th, Valentines Day of all days, I boarded a plane with my mom to fly to Washington. He was admitted to the hospital for complications after surgery for a bowel obstruction. Things went downhill so quickly. When we arrived we went to the ICU and my heart was crushed. We knew things were bad but we didn't realize just how bad until we saw him. So many wires. So many tubes. There was a machine helping him breathe. It was close to 10 pm. The nurse paged the doctor to meet with us.
He explained that The machine was providing all of his oxygen. Every time they removed it to wipe the mask out his oxygen levels dropped very quickly. He told us my grandpa was getting worse and would not improve. All the measures they were taking would prolong his passing but not stop it. My grandpa had previously signed a DNR as well as stating that he did not wish for extraordinary measures be taken to keep him alive. We knew he wouldn't want to live the rest of remaining days this way. Although the machine was helping him breathe it was terrible gasping breath. We couldn't do that to him. We made the difficult decision to let him go.
I said goodbye to him not knowing whether or not he could hear me. The nurses told us he had been unresponsive since being admitted to the ICU. I left the room. My mom stayed with him. I just couldn't... They gave him more pain medicine so he would be comfortable the entire time and removed his breathing mask. 10 minutes later my mom was walking down the hallway with his belongings. He was gone. The nurse said just before he passed he looked at my mom and smiled. I'm so grateful that she had that moment of comfort. He was not in good health. He hadn't been for a long time. His days were filled with pain and depression. He's now in a place filled with light and joy.
I miss him. He was smart. He was funny. He had great stories to share. He was just a great person. I'd like to just hear him laugh. I spent a week in Washington with my mom, brother, and sister, We sorted through the pieces of his past. There were so many amazing things in his home that we never knew existed. As we went through boxes in the basement we found amazing photos of people in our family. We found REALLY old collections of Shakespeare. We found things my great grandpa kept from WWII. Things that if I knew the were there I would have asked my grandpa about. Now I can't. I don't know why he didn't share the stories behind the things we found. It felt like we were learning more and more about him though. It made me realize that as much as I thought I knew him there was still so much more to find out.
I love him. I can't wait to see him again someday.