Grandma- death on her own terms

My grandmother just passed away. I have been wearing her pearl earrings since I learned that she decided to leave the hospital on Tuesday. She made the decision herself,  she said she was sick of tests and sick of fighting and she wanted to be left alone.  And because she was unable to eat and in a state of organ failure her family and doctors were able to respect her wishes... She was discharged to hospice care and was at my Aunt's house for only three days. This is what she wanted.  And as sad as I am by her passing I am grateful that her death was on her own terms. 

My grandmother lived a full life and in the end her body simply gave out. She buried a son during Vietnam and lost her husband to prostate cancer 13 year ago. This past year she had a stroke and when I went to visit her during rehab she was as practical and independent as ever. Over the last few years she sold her house when she could no longer walk up and down the stairs. She sold me her car when she could no longer turn the steering wheel due to her arthritis. After her stroke she moved to California and resided in a house with 4 other women and a full time aide until recently. 

My grandmother was a strong woman. I will miss her. I spent many a college break at her house, debating the merits of pursuing medicine. I can remember the exact moment that I decided I wanted to be doctor. I was in her living room.  My grandmother was always encouraging but never sentimental. She would tell me to study for my upcoming exams and to quit crying. And so I will go study but I will be thinking of her. Her death was on her own terms but still she will be missed, and so in memory of my grandmother I leave you with another's words.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

- John Donne


  1. Sorry about your Gma, Spice Island Queen.

  2. Sending the warmest of condolences. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  3. Regina, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandma. My thoughts are with you! Many hugs.

  4. I am sure she is very proud of you and at peace.