2016 (and the last 2 weeks of 2015) has taken a lot of incredible people from us.
My husband was orphaned. We lost a cousin and an uncle. We lost a great aunt. A client lost a child. Our neighbor lost a spouse. We lost our best friend. We lost my grandfather.
And today, December 19 2016, we lost my Nana.
She recently was found unconscious on the floor of her apartment. She spent some time in the hospital where it was found her heart was slowly giving out and she was in kidney failure. The decision was made that she could not continue to live alone in her apartment. We decided that a final step assisted living facility was her best option. So we spent the weekend moving the contents of her apartment into this new home for her. On Saturday after sizing the new apartment for furniture that we would have to keep or pass on from her old place, we stopped by to visit, with the kids.
We tried to visit regularly, because seeing the children was the only thing to make her smile. The fog would lift for a bit, and she said it made her day to see them. This Saturday was different.
We knew her health had been declining, and she had looked very poorly the last few times we had visited. On saturday, her color was good, she was talking and smiling, and even allowed me to snap some photos of her and the children. Something in my mind urged me to bring my camera, which normally I wouldn’t. I’m so glad I did.
The weekend of preparation ended, and this morning we prepared her for transport from the hospital to her new home. She was ready to go, she said. ” She arrived at the facility and my father met her and her nurse at the elevator. She looked tired, but nodded to my father in recognition. They began walking down the hall (Nana in the wheelchair) to her new apartment when my father realized she was no longer responding, and her breathing had all but stopped. They called 911, and they arrived quickly. There was nothing they could do outside of drastic measures, and she had signed DNR papers. So my father held her as she passed quietly away, mere feet from the doorway of what was to be her new home. My mother arrived mere minutes later, as she had followed the transport, and we arrived shortly after that.
We are all a bit shocked at her sudden passing (especially after how good she seemed this weekend) but we know she is finally happy. She is back in the arms of her husband, who she has mourned every day since his passing this spring. I bet they are dancing a foxtrot.
Both of my children adored their Nana. Robert is devastated. He requested to see her body and give one last hug and kiss, insisting that he was not scared and knew her soul is gone and it’s just her body. We agreed. He handled it extremely well, despite the fact that she had only been gone about 45 minutes and her eyes would not close. He kissed her cheeks and stroked her hair and whispered in her ear that he loved her and always would, and asked her to hug his grandfathers and other great-grandmother. We did not allow Charlie into the room as she would have just been confused and scared.
She lived a long, full life here on this planet. She was ready. She will always be remembered as a feisty, high class, opinionated, generous woman who loved her family in the best way she knew how.
Rest in peace, Nana.