Sunday, November 30, 2008

Regrets about not Visiting Grandmother

My 96 year old paternal grandmother died Friday evening.  When my sister called, I experienced anger toward myself more than grief for our grandmother's death.  She had dementia, Alzheimer's, they think, for a number of years.  The last time I saw her was after a stroke about 2 years ago.  They told me she may not know me, but she did.  I enjoyed seeing a language therapist work with her, and determined that I was going to visit her more, and do the things the therapist did with her, like starting a well known rhyme, and having her fill in the last word.  My parents and my dad's siblings and their families did a lot for her.  My cousins, who I rarely see probably went to see her, so they won't have the regrets I do.

This morning in church, our Pastor talked about how we put things off, then have to hurry.  He tied it in to the Word by saying that our waiting, or procrastinating can be part of our sinful side, but God's waiting has a purpose, to draw us to depend on him, or so that events will bring about some other part of his plan.  Anyway, at the beginning of the service, a video was shown about people being busy every day.  At the end it asked if we knew Jesus was coming back today, how would we spend our time.  

As soon as the video started, I knew what it was about, and for the first time since Grandma's death, my tears flowed.  Then, during different parts of the service, the tears would be triggered again.  I was a little embarrassed, but I just let them come, because I needed them to.  I put in a prayer request for our family, so people knew why I was crying.  But were my tears for Grandma's death?  I think she was ready, and really, I lost my grandmother awhile ago.  Still, I could have been a source of comfort for her, and she could have been a blessing to me.  I think the tears were from a feeling of regret of what could or should have been.  I am so thankful for God's forgiveness, and the fact he will not hold a grudge against me for being "too busy" to go see my grandmother.

After church, I told Pastor and some people I know well that this was the first time I had cried since hearing of her death.  Now, I need to be in the Word every day, not just the days I get finished with other things on time.  I need to seek God's help in how I spend my time.  I want to be a better steward of the time God gives me.  I know my parents would like to see us more. Any prayers for me along these lines would be appreciated.



  1. Wonderful heart sharing post. Asking God to have His way in your life in this area, to mold you, in His gentle, loving way that no condemnation may set in. When my husbands father slipped into a lost world 3 years before he died we struggled more at that point than at his death. We struggle with spending time with our closest elderly parent. Good reminder.

  2. Bless your heart Sue. May you and your family feel God's love and peace surrounding you at this time and each and every day.

    He has promised to never leave or forsake us. He washes all of our sins away, making us white as snow and He remembers our sins no more.

    Have a nice day, living life fully in each moment that you are blessed with.


  3. Oh, Sue. I'm so sorry about your grandma's passing...and for your regrets. Regret is such a difficult thing. I am glad you have found a balm at church, in prayer, and in the Word. I think that dementia is one of the hardest things to deal with in our loved ones. Perhaps that is why it was difficult for you to see your grandma. Take comfort in knowing that she understands, friend.

  4. Very personal experience, Sue.
    God will help you, for sure. As He always do for all of us.

  5. Thanks for your comments and prayers. We had a family greeting friends time at the funeral home this evening. I took a photo album my grandma had made for me. There were lots of pics of me growing up, including some with the aunts, uncles and cousins. My aunt informed me I was the only grandchild she did this for. (I'm the oldest, and she meant to do one for each grandchild.) We enjoyed looking at it, and talking about the houses and gardens they had, and my uncle's first bicycle.

    We had a good, relaxing time together.

  6. Creating a photo album, that's an attention of Moms, or grandmas. Maybe you'll share some pictures of your youth.

  7. Catherine, There are some pics I want to scan and put on A Corner Garden. Thanks for the suggestion.