Grieving when chronically ill

This week just gets better and better.

I have been ordered by my father to take down the gofundme site.  I’m 31, not 13.

Because of his anger surrounding this issue, he will not help me with plane tickets to attend my grandfather’s funeral.

My grandfather died suddenly yesterday.  Woke up with chest pain, made it to the ER.  A “triple A” — abdominal aortic aneurysm.  7 cm.

An aneurysm is a weakening of the blood vessel.  Ones in the aorta are particularly dangerous because of the high pressure the heart exerts to get the oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

My grandfather’s burst early last afternoon.  They attempted emergency surgery, but it was no use.

He was 86, but a relatively healthy 86.  He was still walking the mall everyday.  He still golfed.  He was the main caregiver to my grandma who has severe Alzheimer’s disease.

I’m beyond upset.  Especially since my parents decided to share most of this information with me via text messages because of their anger toward me.

I got text messages like “they are massaging his heart right now”.  I would call for more details, and be yelled at.

They at least had the decency to call me and say “he’s gone” and then hang up on me.

This does not bode well for my health.  I spent most of last night and a good part of this morning crying.  Mainly for my daughter and my grandma.  

Sunshine was very close to him, despite the distance.

Not only am I grieving, but I was told that I’m a disappointment to my parents when I asked why they couldn’t financially help me with plane tickets.  

I know they can afford it.  Its just the principle of the thing for them.

How dare I look for support elsewhere?  They are ashamed of me.  I can’t “pick myself up by my bootstraps” and beat this thing.  I am not productive.  I need help from others just to survive.  I’m a failure.

It just sears me to the core that I will not be able to properly grieve with the rest of my family.  Have I had issues with them in the past?  Yes.  Have I forgiven most of them?  Maybe.

But the one thing in common is that we shared the love of my grandpa.  No matter what else was going on, the craziness of a dysfunctional family, he was always the constant.  He was the patriarch, the final word in all matters.  

He was fair, fiercely loyal to his family.  Loving, caring, funny.  His love for my grandma knows no bounds.  Their 64th wedding anniversary would be this coming Saturday.  

His goal was to keep her at home for the rest of her days.  To keep her out of a nursing facility.  He modified the house to suit her changing needs.  He found caregivers to come in and take care of her during the day.  He will be sorely, sorely missed.

All this grief comes on a very happy day for me.  It’s my first wedding anniversary.  

I know that wallowing too far down the sorrow hole will not be good for me.  I have talked to some of my friends who just listened to my sobs and my anger. That helps tremendously.  And my husband is always amazing.

I am taking the kids swimming today.  I’m going to enjoy this beautiful day and treasure the time with my kids and husband.

Not sure where this event will leave the relationship with my parents.  But right now, it is torn.  

Here is the “gofundme” site that has incurred my parent’s wrath:

Any amount of donation is greatly appreciated.  It keeps the lights on.  It keeps me from being evicted.  It keeps me in medication that keeps me from going blind.

Thank you for reading..


4 thoughts on “Grieving when chronically ill

  1. I think the gofundme is a wonderful gameplan. In fact, I started one 2 weeks ago to help me get treatment and, as I watched the total go up, I immediately thought of you. I thought I had to tell you because I had a lot of people donate that I never would have expected, and I thought you probably had similar people in your life. Imagine my surprise to open your blog and find you had started one! Your parents are being proud and there is no room for that right now, which I know you realize. Are they afraid people will think they’re bad parents for not supporting you? Everyone knows my parents would help me get treatment, but I’d prefer to raise the money myself from all the people always telling me to just ask if I need help…

    I also don’t understand how they could say you aren’t trying to beat this thing. Hopefully it was just out of anger because I read about you doing things mot chronically ill people would not even attempt. You do it for your family and you should be proud.

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your grandpa. Mine is almost 90, but quite healthy, so I’d be shocked if something happened. I’d be devastated if I couldn’t go to the funeral and I cannot imagine how you are feeling right now. I would add the fact you cannot afford to go to his funeral to your gofundme so people can understand just how serious your financial situation is.

    Have you thought of calling the local newspaper and asking the, if they’d do a piece on your condition and include the link to your fundraiser page in it? That’s what I’m in the process of doing. They were excited to report about a rare disease.

    Also, I added to my gofundme page that if people prefer to donate via check, to just contact me and I’d send them my mailing information. I’ve gotten several donations via check because some people do not like online transactions. You can add to the total as an offline donation and gofundme doesn’t take any percentage of the check.


    • Actually, Jackie, you were the one that inspired me to set up a site.

      Yes, my parents have contributed greatly to my situation. I posted that on the gofundme site. But its a year in and I know their patience wearing thin.

      I’ll add the things you mentioned. I just know I can’t look for support from family. They have no understanding, no concept of what this is like.

      That is why I started blogging.

      Thank you so much for your support. You have no idea how much it means to me. Seriously.

      I feel so alone right now. So useless. Strangers can relate to me better than my own family can, and it breaks my heart.

      I’ll look into the newspaper thing. That might help.

      Yeah, the funeral thing sucks. It will be hard, especially on the day of, but I have no choice in the matter.

      Maybe when its my grandma’s time, I’ll be able to go…and at the same time, honor my grandpa.

      I’m about to start crying again…

      Thank you so much for your support..

      • Well I’m honored to hear I inspired you. I looked through tons of gofundme fundraisers to see what types of facts/writing raised the most money. I found the ones with conversational tones and comparisons of what life was like before to how (and why) it is now. Descriptions of how the money would help (right now I don’t sleep worrying) also seemed beneficial.

    • One more thought… Last summer I was having a really rough time dealing with stress. I was prescribed Xanax to get me through that time and get some sleep.

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