Tribute to my wonderful grandma

My grandmother, Louise Perry, passed away at 12:40am on Wednesday, July 21st. She began slipping away with Alzheimer's disease six years ago and within the last week had been omitted to the hospital due to her continued decline in health. After several days the doctors had decided that her health would not improve and my family made the difficult decision to transfer her to a beautiful hospice so that she could spend her last days in peace.

The hospice she was transferred to felt as if you were entering a spa, there were fountains surrounding the grounds and the lights were dim with gentle music playing in the background as you entered. Considering the situation, I felt at ease walking into the facility.

After hearing about my grandmothers condition I decided earlier that day to drive to Whittier to be with my Aunt and Mom as they worked to clean the house and keep my grandpa company through this difficult time. I wanted to say goodbye to my grandma and be there to comfort my family who was under stress and grief. I went with my mom to the hospice on Tuesday as soon as I had arrived in Whittier and had prepared myself that my grandmothers condition was going to be difficult to see. As I walked into the room her favorite jazz music was playing near her bedside and the walls were decorated with pictures of her as a pretty girl to a gorgeous woman. Although she was struggling to breath and her appearance was different, she looked like she was in peace and for that I was comforted.

My mom allowed me some time alone with my grandma to say goodbye and as soon as I was given the opportunity I became emotional and was struggling to find the right words. How do you put in words how much someone meant to you and summarize how many wonderful memories you have of her. I rubbed her arm and told her how much I loved her and that she was one of the most inspirational woman in my life and how I will always remember her as putting others before her and loving her friends and family unconditionally. I told her how much it meant to me as a child to have her ask me to take her on tours of my room and show her all of my pictures and toys because she was truly interested in others and always made everyone around her feel special. Her eyes were closed and her expression was blank but as I went to give her a hug I could tell that she could hear me as she tilted her mouth into what I imagined was supposed to be a smile. As I left I knew that she would be in a better place and that all her suffering over the years would soon be over.

We drove home and spent the day cleaning the house and going through my grandmas possessions. My grandpa wanted to be a part of the whole process as we sorted through her belongings. He sat in the chair and would describe certain articles of clothing or pictures we discovered, we tried to engage him in conversation to keep him involved. My grandpa would answer questions that we asked but remained quiet as I'm sure he was emotionally confused knowing that his wife of 64 years would soon be passing. After dinner that night I walked him to the car where he finally shared with me that he felt confused and relieved because she hadn't been around for nearly 6 years and he knew it was her time to go.

After cleaning the house the rest of the night my mom, aunt and I sat around the room and processed everything that was going on. We talked about grandma and how it was nearly 2 weeks that she had gone without food and a week without water yet she was still hanging in there. We were exhausted and decided to call it a night around midnight.

Just as my mom and I had fallen asleep my aunt knocked on the door and said that my grandma had just died.

We drove to the hospice and said our goodbyes one last time. The situation was surreal and we all kept saying that we couldn't believe that her soul was gone as we looked at her body. She looked peaceful and we were certain that she was in heaven now eating all of her favorite desserts and looking down on us with a smile.

We have spent the last couple days continuing to keep my grandpa company and make arrangements for the memorial service that will be held Wednesday. Picking out a coffin, writing an obituary, choosing her clothes to be buried in and having meetings with the pastor made death very real to me. I have been fortunate enough to not have very many people pass in my life and this is the first grandparent to leave us.

For everyone that knew my grandmother they will know that she was loved and admired. What a beautiful wonderful woman she was and I only hope to be close to the woman she is as I grow up. May God bless her soul and may she have a never ending supply of all of her tasty treats!! Love you grandma.
"Mrs. Whittier" Perry dies http://http//

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