My 91-year old grandmother died July 26th. I loved her dearly and I will miss her very much. I have lived away from my hometown (Seattle) for many years. I didn't get to see her as often as I wanted, but I always stopped to see her when I was in Seattle and I was able to be there for her last two days.
She had lived in her own home until about 18 months ago when she moved into a wonderful assisted living facility, Park Vista. The only reason we managed to get her out of her home was because she grew fed up with the cost and quality of home care. As we all expected, she loved Park Vista. Her nickname was "the mayor" because she loved to sit in the public area and visit with everyone who wandered by.
She had to move to a nursing home (scary name but a wonderful facility) around July 4th because she had fallen several times and could not reliably walk on her own anymore. I was in Seattle over July 4th weekend and visited her but I could see her health was declining quickly. I was already scheduled to return to Seattle on July 26th but changed it to July 24th after learning Grandma was refusing food and liquids.
I was the only family member who visited her for any length of time during her final days when it was obvious she was dying. I have two cousins (both with flexible schedules) and an aunt and uncle (retired) who all live very close (within 30 minutes) to the nursiing home who could have easily visit her daily. My one cousin had to arrange for her move to the nursing home but never visited her there. My aunt and uncle came to the nursing home for a quick visit the day before her death.
Is it normal for family members to ignore the dying member and have other people handle it? The nursing home staff treated me and my grandmother with love and compassion but where was the rest of my family
I felt honored to be able to sit and hold my grandmother's hand and give her a kiss during her last hours. The only regret I have is that I went back to the hotel to eat and sleep when I knew the time was close and I was not with her when she died.