Today, my grandfather died.
After staying lively long into his seventies, in the last few years, he had finally started to grow old, requiring at one time surgery for cataract, on the other
Last year. he had to be hospitalised for a blood cyst in his nasal cavity, and he developed dementia.
Two and a half month ago, a month before the start of my rehab, he had to be hospitalised again due to a fall, there were many complications including kidney congestion. His dementia grew far worse and he had to be moved to a nursing home. They also found cancer at his bladder that was apparently considered likely something he would “die with, not die off”.
During these times, my mother and I had intended to travel down to my grandparents, with my brother to take care of the Feline Overlord, but each time, sudden changes in my brother’s work schedule foiled that, and I did not have any other times available.
On Monday, he was hospitalised again, with a catheter infection with a sepsis, and there were agreements to limit the lengths to which they would go to keep him alive, for when it would be better to let him pass on then let him continue as a vegetable.
Very early this morning, my mother drove down to my grandparents. In the early afternoon, she visited my grandfather at the hospital, where he was in sedation. I happened to call her during this visit, and she set her telephone to loud so I could say something that he might hear, although whether anything managed to come through to him, we will of course never know.
When my mother returned, she had a phone call with her brother, and they were talking about how his sons and perhaps even my brother and I (the cousins dwell closer to my grandparents than we), may come to visit to see him one last time, and his telephone notified him that the hospital had tried to call him. And then, that was when my mother and grandmother got the call that he had died. I myself received her call (by the time I post this) about three hours ago, shortly after 7pm.
I cannot remember having seen my mother as distraught as in the last few days, and when she called, she was even worse - indeed, I had to call her back a bit later for a clearer talk.
He had a long and fulfilled life, and in the end, it was probably the better outcome, but that does little to reduce the impact of the loss.
My grandfather was eighty-two at the time of his death and had been married to my grandmother for sixty years. He was a farmer, a meat inspector and an outdoors person. I remember how he took us on drives around the landscape with the tractor, how he would often do repairs when he came here, the bows and wooden swords he made for us - one of which I still have -, how he at times told us stories of his childhood set “after the currency” (the introduction of the German Mark on 21th of June 1948).
Soon, my brother and I will have to travel down to the Taunus by train for the funeral, although we obviously do not know when yet.