babbles

Dealing with death, getting myself together

For those of you who’ve been reading my posts, you know that my grandfather (whom I’d been living with) died in September. Well, last week, my aunt (my grandmother’s daughter) died of cancer. (Rather, the intensive therapy they bombarded her with – but that’s another rant on its own.)
I saw her in hospice before she died – unlike Chacha. I was sick when he was in the hospital, and I didn’t want to risk getting him sick too. I held my Aunt Lizzie’s hand while she struggled to breathe and complimented my eyebrows. We always talked about makeup and skincare and how much we hated working in healthcare. Everyone said I was just like her; empathetic to the point of it being a downfall. When my brother and I were little, we called her “Crazy Lady.” She would dress up and do comedy skits with us in an absurd “crazy lady” voice. We loved it. We loved being with her. She bought me my first ice skates and took me to lessons. She helped me find a psychiatrist in high school. She broke her back for the people she loved.

I’ve come to accept this fact: the people who raised me are dying and there is nothing I can do about it. Continue reading “Dealing with death, getting myself together”

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babbles

Babbles: being afraid to die.

There is one thing for certain in our world: we all will die one day. There is no guarantee on how many days we have. It doesn’t matter if we’re young or old, religious or atheist, healthy or frail – we all are going to die and none of us have any idea when.
My grandfather passed away on Wednesday morning at 4:30am. He had a bone marrow problem – myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS. It’s a condition similar to aplastic anemia, in which the bone marrow does not produce cells properly. This can result in a critically low red and white blood cell count. No red cells? No blood. No white cells? No immune system. The condition can progress into leukemia and often has no known cause. Treatment involves frequent transfusions and even chemotherapy drugs. To be honest, the side-effects seemed worse than the condition itself.

The Friday before, he fell at home and fractured his hip. He didn’t survive the surgery and passed with my grandmother by his side. My brother and I arrived only minutes after his death; his hand was still warm when I touched him.

Continue reading “Babbles: being afraid to die.”