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Thread: I'm having a really rough day

  1. #1
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    I'm having a really rough day

    I'm feeling quite overwhelmed and emotional today. Struggling to focus at work. I guess this is mostly a vent.

    1)
    I found out last night that my dear grandma is critically ill. She has had a bleed in the brain and lost consciousness for several days. She is plugged into a ventilator for assisted breathing. She is in her 90s and the prognosis is grim. I was very close to her as a child, but I have had minimal contact with my extended family for most of my 20s due to my personal problems and the fact that I lived thousands of miles away in a different world.

    Now I am facing the reality that barring a miracle, she will never see me get married and hold my baby. I am her youngest grand child and the only one to not be married or have children of my own. She was so loving and caring to me, I feel like such a failure of a grandson. I should have spent more time with her in my 20s, I should have gone back before she lost her sight and most of her hearing, I should have brought home a wife and great-grand child. (This probably sounds weird from a Western perspective, it is a Chinese thing).

    I want to fly out to go see her one last time, but I cannot be away from work for more than a few days, and the awkward reality is that I do not know when she is going to leave us. I cannot just stay by her side until she goes. My uncles say that she is already not responsive, so it would be pointless to rush over now, because she cannot communicate and I cannot help with anything. I am left in the horrible lurch of knowing that I can either go see her one last time, or attend the funeral, but most likely not both.

    2)

    Jane and I had no contact for about a month, I hoped she was moving on. But she rang me again on Sunday, she tried to stay strong to begin with, but broke down crying again. She tried to make contact again today, said she wasn't doing well... I told her that I was struggling with my grandma's situation and that she should seek support from her friends instead.

    It breaks my heart that she is struggling and that I am the one person who should not and cannot help her.

  2. #2
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    I am very sorry to hear about your grandma. I think I would go anyway. Not responsive doesn’t mean she won’t know you are there. When my grandmother was in a coma dying when she heard my son’s voice she started to cry. She was aware we were there.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Oh, Mirror—really sorry about all that.

    I would go see her. When my grandmother was at the end I went to see her. She was unresponsive, and passed away a few days later, when I was back in my own world of work and life. My small, globally scattered family all came by—some of us only having a few hours to stand next to her and wish her well. I am a spiritual person, but without any firm belief system, though I do believe she held on a bit so we could all say goodbye, so she could say goodbye in the silence between worlds. And I know I'm grateful for that one hour of my own life, which involved some logistical challenges.

    While I don't "get" the cultural component, I do think these moments invariably trigger some jagged reflection on who we are. It is, I think, as inherently human as it is Eastern or Western. Feel what you need to feel, but also trust that past all cultural frameworks there is the universality of human connection—that your grandmother has loved you for you, as you've loved her for her.

    Just as this pain is yours to process, Jane's is hers to process. She will be okay. She really will. As will you. Internet hugs.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Clio's Avatar
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    I also am very sorry about your grandmother.
    Having been raised in a family where grandparents had a major role in my upbringing I fully sympathize with your pain. Imo, you could do either, depending what feels "more right" to you. Imo, you don't have to stay by her side until she goes if circumstances do not allow it. You could go, spend whatever time you can, say your goodbye and go back home. Or you could attend her funeral and say goodbye that way. It depends solely on what feels "more right" to you. There is no right or wrong here.

    Regarding not giving her great-grandchildren, imo, you are being too harsh on yourself and I say that coming from a culture where grandparents used to hold a similar place. However, that "duty" has already been fulfilled by her own kids giving her grandchildren. Great-grandchildren by all her grandchildren is unlikely something she pinned for and while I am all for culture, I think that no loving relative would have wanted you to do this just for the shake of them seeing it. I am willing to bet that she would far more prefer for you to have children when you find the right person, regardless whether she was there to see it or not.

    P.S. 1. I would have loved for my grandmother to have seen me married with children too but I believe that if/when that happens, her spirit will. Their body may die but I believe that our loved ones' spirits remain nearby and act as our guardian angels.

    P.S. 2. You did the best regarding Jane given both of your circumstances. Imo, it was another step towards both of your healing.

    All the best.
    Last edited by Clio; 11-12-2019 at 11:47 AM.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    As a Navy wife, I did not live by family for many years. I was really happy to have spent quality time with both of my grandmothers several months before they passed, as well as doing the same with my father-in-law from my first marriage. I did not attend any of their funerals because of distance and expenses. I'm really happy it happened that way.

    Kids are meant to gain independence and leave the nest, which means not always staying close in distance. It's an evolving world where old traditions might lessen, making room for new ways of living. Nothing in this world stays stagnant, nor should it. Best to concentrate on the positive, on what you did right in the relationship, because dwelling on something you can't change serves nobody.

    I'd definitely go spend time with your grandma. She will appreciate your show of love to be by her side, giving her the gift of your time and attention. Take care.

  7. #6
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    Just go buddy , do not go and stand at her grave with any more regret .

    Talking of regret ...I get your culture is different to mine , however pain and regret is universal so let me tell you some snippets from my life . My dad died when I was 26 , many of my cousins and my brother had married and had children by the time they were 26 . The fathers walked down the aisle with them , the family had parties , the mothers cried , the children were born , the christenings then started , the family gatherings gathered for parties , anniversaries , milestones and everything in between ...........except for me lol I have never married , I am in my 50's , no one ( as in father/uncle ) will walk me down the aisle , infact there is one aunt left as the second to last had her funeral yesterday . My parents parents had all gone by the time I was 8 yrs old so there were no grandparents and no great grandparents for my child .

    I was in the forces , I never really met anyone I wanted to marry , I chose to move round from city to city , baby under one arm , suitcase under the other and off I went .

    That is life and now I look back I could break my heart if I let my mind go to too many dark places of regret ..so don't allow yourself to go there . You are no more a failure then I am ...we had different ideas about how we would live our lives and so we must accept and shoot down the seed of doubt .

  8. #7
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    Wise words, Pippy.

    I agree MKI. Do go now while the lady is still alive.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I would approach your boss on it. Singapore is not very forgiving on a lot of things and it's a workaholic/rat race mentality type of country but your employer may be sympathetic to the situation and allow you to fly back for a week (which is only 5 business days if you think about it). Is your grandmother in China or UK?

    Is there anyone else who can cover for you or take on the most pressing items? I remember you are new to your position and you just left for your UK vacation in September. I would try to ask anyway if you are torn about it and if the only reason you're unsure is about taking leave. 4-5 business days is not long.

  10. #9
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words and advice everyone.

    The latest update I have is that she seems to have stabilized a bit, as in not deteriorated further in the last 24-48 hours, but not out of the woods, and unlikely to recover.

    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    I would approach your boss on it. Singapore is not very forgiving on a lot of things and it's a workaholic/rat race mentality type of country but your employer may be sympathetic to the situation and allow you to fly back for a week (which is only 5 business days if you think about it). Is your grandmother in China or UK?

    Is there anyone else who can cover for you or take on the most pressing items? I remember you are new to your position and you just left for your UK vacation in September. I would try to ask anyway if you are torn about it and if the only reason you're unsure is about taking leave. 4-5 business days is not long.
    My grandma is in China. My Mum, Dad and I are the only branch of our family to have left China.

    My boss is relatively humanist (for local standards), but we do have a deadline coming up fairly soon on a project that is already behind schedule. It would be unrealistic to pass on my part to my colleagues, since they are swamped with their own stuff, and they do not have familiarity in the subject matter. I have been in touch with a cousin, she says she will keep me informed if anything changes. My current plan is to fly out on Friday night or Saturday morning, so that I minimize the number of working days I will miss. It is not ideal, but there is no ideal solution here.

  11. #10
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    I'm just going to have a quick vent about something else that's bothering me. Maybe you guys will tell me I'm wrong or give me a little perspective...

    I'm a bit annoyed by Kathy's behaviour with regards to my current situation, and it's leading me to conclusions about her being self-centered again.

    I told her about my grandma in a short text on Monday night, but she was already asleep. On Tuesday morning she said that she was confident that my grandma will recover and see our wedding day. And then it was like she forgot about it all day, because she did. In the evening, I went to the company gym, partly vent off some stress and frustration, and ended up going home quite late.

    She left messages saying she was waiting up for me to video chat, and was a bit annoyed that I had taken so long. When the call connected, I told her that I wasn't in a good mood, and she actually asked why! Once I reminded her, she was supportive and comforting, but it seemed ridiculous that she even needed a reminder.

    I do not doubt that she likes me, wants to be with me, misses me when we are not together, is scared of losing me etc... but in my cynical mindset, it seems to be all about her sometimes, about her feelings, needs and desires, which just happens to involve me. If it matters, she had a bad relationship with her own grandmother (who neglected her because she was not born a boy), so perhaps she did not understand what mine meant to me?

    In contrast, I told Jane (in very vague terms) about my grandma when she contacted me yesterday, and she checked up on me later in the day to ask about her (and me). I know she is probably (partly) doing it just in an attempt to hold onto a connection, but the contrast is so obvious.

    Maybe my resentment(?) is an expression of my own frustrations, and not fair on Kathy? In any case I have not said anything or expressed any dissatisfaction. But I am starting to think that maybe Kathy is just as as empathetic as I am, and certainly less so than Jane.

    I know empathy is on a scale, not an on-off switch. Has anyone been in a relationship with somebody who has lower empathy, do you think it makes them less kind? less capable of love? Am I just over-thinking things and being too judgmental and reading too much into minor things?

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