That is the text we sent my sister in London when she asked how Grandpa was. There are some things you can't say over text...telling her that Grandpa passed away an hour ago is one of them. Adam and I stopped at the Burger King parking lot because they have free internet. It was about 2 am in London and we weren't going to be home for awhile so we couldn't lie to her and we couldn't tell her over text. So we skyped that way we could do it as close to in person as possible.
Yesterday was kind of hard. Ad and I thankfully went to the hospital in Fenton in the morning. We were there all day. I expected to see Grandpa and expected his condition to improve. It kind of stung a bit when I got there and half way through the day realized that his condition wasn't improving. Everyone was hopeful and didn't grasp the reality that he wasn't going to pull through this, his heart was simply too weak. It finally sunk in around 6 pm when the cardiologist came and talked to us (the family). There was the option to keep Grandpa physiologically alive with medicines, machines, ect... Yet that wasn't what he would have wanted.
My Grandpa was someone who was always out and about with a smile on his face. He greeted people he met with genuine pleasure to see them even if he couldn't remember their name or even hear what they said. I could always count on meeting him for breakfast at 8 am at Rothchild's when I made it back to Washington. That is something that I wouldn't take back for anything. It is neat to be from a small town when people I would meet actually told me what a great man my grandfather is. That is special to me.
There is sadness in my heart but I find comfort knowing that Grandpa Rau is in a better place now and is resting peacefully hearing everything. The hardest part for me when we were saying our last goodbyes was seeing the rest of the family and how much hurt they were feeling. There is really nothing you can say or do. The wonderful part though was that everyone who could have physically been there was there surrounding his bed and letting him know that he wasn't alone. Our family has always been close and we were very blessed that everyone was there to support each other.
Emmy and Matty will be coming back from London and Florida tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait to see them and give them a big hug. The whole family will be together for the visitation on Monday and the service on Tuesday. I am glad we will all be there. It kind of sucks that I am in Columbia all by myself since I have class this weekend.
A special thanks goes out to the hospital staff who made the experience go smoothly. The nurse that took care of Grandpa was named Hope and she was absolutely wonderful.
My name is Meg and I am currently a Geriatrics and Palliative Care Fellow at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. I started this blog several years ago as a way to remember and talk about what I experienced while studying abroad in Rwanda during the summer of 2009.