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Forum: Grief and Loss


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February 21st, 2011, 08:14 PM
challowell's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Caldwell, Ohio
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I know this is not exactly loss related but it kinda is. I have a Grandma with Alzheimer's disease and Macular degeneration. Basically she is losing her sight and memory. My three year old who has been asking a lot of questions since we have been taking turns watching her asked last night if Grandma is going to leave us soon. I told her no and asked why she thought that. She said Uncle LLoyd left us and he did not know her name and "little nana" does not know her name. I am wondering if she is scared someone she loves is going to leave her again. Grandma is not really ill. She has got to the point where if there is something out of her routine it bothers her and us being with her aggitates her and even though she will not yell at me with the kids in the room Rachel can tell something is not right with her.

My question is does anyone know how I should explain it to her so it will be understandable to her but not be scary for her?

To add my Uncle LLoyd died in November of Stage 4 Brain Cancer.
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February 22nd, 2011, 08:46 AM
esparando para bebé's Avatar Proud Car Seat Technician
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Oh wow....hmm...let me think on this one. *hugs*

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February 22nd, 2011, 10:49 AM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Location: Wisconsin
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Heya sweetie, Augie directed me over here. We recently dealt with something similar with my father.

In 2008 my dad was diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia (aka Picks Disease) at 55. We quickly watched him go from a strong man to a 3-4 year old child. My aunt's little girl was 5 at the time. She asked a lot of questions, and we answered her as absolutely honestly as we could.

I know she's 3, but she understands a lot more than we all realize. If your Grandma's body itself is healthy, tell your lil girl that. Tell her that Nana's brain is sick and she can't remember things very well anymore. That it makes Nana get scared and angry and upset faster, and that it's not your fault, or her fault if it happens. Sugar coat, but be honest with her, she's going to figure out if you're lying to her very quickly.

Help her do "normal" things with her Nana. Have her help you make a drink or a snack for her, let her help you bring it to her. Things that she can remember "I helped when Nana was sick." That really helped Tori deal with her "Uncle Scott being silly", since they looked after him for mom so she could work. It's frightening to realize that a 5 year old can handle a boiling kettle to make coffee or tea better than a 55 year old man.

The Alzheimer's society has some fantastic information for children available, both online and most doctors keep the information around since it's becoming more prevalent. I'm sure a quick phone call could get you all you needed about telling her what's going on.

**HUGS** for your family. This is a sick nasty set of diseases that robs us of the people we love, even while they are still technically here with us.
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February 24th, 2011, 01:03 PM
challowell's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Caldwell, Ohio
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Thanks for the advise. She is trying to understand that nana is "sick in her head but is Ok" and we have been trying to let her do stuff with her nana. It is so different because she used to loe reading books to the babies and letting them try to play her piano but now it is like she has no interest in being around the girls and is constantly afraid. We have been giving Grandma a nerve pill daily just so she can avoid having a panic attack around the girls.
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February 24th, 2011, 07:56 PM
NewportMamaBear's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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