Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy

Losing someone close to you is one of the most challenging life experiences. Saying Goodbye to a loved one is never easy, to say the least. I remember very clearly the day I was faced with having to say goodbye to my Grandmother. She had been diagnosed with Bone Cancer, three months earlier. Hearing about her diagnosis was only the beginning of the battle. Coping with the news of cancer, taking care of her, and saying goodbye were three very difficult journeys. I still remember it was August 12, 2010 when my mom called me hysterically crying.

My heart had dropped the moment I heard the pain in my mother’s voice. I knew something was terribly wrong. She had called to tell me that her mother, my grandmother, had been diagnosed with bone cancer. I couldn’t believe this was happening to one of the sweetest women I had ever met in my life. I was instantly consumed with a flood of emotions. I was so devastated to know that she was going to face such a hard and painful journey. My grandma was already legally blind, diabetic, and dealing with the process of aging; adding this to her stream of health issues wasn’t a good thing.

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I knew she was going to lose the last bit of independence that she still had. Within a few weeks, the cancer had made my grandma rely on assistance for many activities of daily living. Our family had decided to hold a meeting to discuss different options of help for her. I had decided that since I was a STNA and had many years’ experience taking care of elders, I was going to step up and offer my assistance. I couldn’t imagine having to put my grandma in a nursing home. I stood up and told my family that I was willing to quit my job to be her caregiver.

They all appreciated my gesture, and I began to take care of her through the week. My aunts and my mom were going to be taking care of her on the weekends. We didn’t want my grandpa to get worn out from doing it on his own. We all helped her through her journey. It wasn’t easy seeing all the pain and misery she was dealing with. Within a few months of struggling, we knew that my grandma was getting tired. The end of her life was drawing near. Cancer had taken over her body and she was giving up.

On November 01, 2010 I had driven her to the hospital, because she was barely breathing. The doctors assessed her, and told me and my grandpa to call the family in. She was in her final stage of life. All eight of her kids and their families had arrived within an hour, and we gathered around her to say our goodbyes. We shared stories about her, laughed, cried, and consoled my grandpa. I gave her a kiss and told her how much I loved her and appreciated every last moment that I got to spend with her. I couldn’t believe this was the end.

Within a few hours, she had passed away. It was the hardest day of my life. I knew that she was free of pain and going to a better place, though. I’ll always miss her. It was a very difficult journey for all of us. We know she will always be watching over us. Dealing with her loss brought our family so close. I was proud to be from such a supportive and loving family. I know she is proud of all of us too. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and remember all her struggles. Saying goodbye was only the beginning of a long grieving process.

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