Code For Confession
February 11, 2013

What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

I’ve had a couple of surreal experiences in my life where it seemed like things that shouldn’t have happened did and I was very puzzled as to how I had done the things I did. However my most recent experience was in October 4th, 2011 when the news came to my family (parents and sister) that my paternal grandfather with End-Stage Alzheimer’s had fallen at home, broken his leg, and was in the hospital.

I was at work and had gotten a Facebook message and a voicemail from my aunt telling me that she couldn’t get a hold of my dad to tell him that Grampa was in bad shape. I called my parents who had just found out as well. We waited on edge for news and my mom texted me updates through my 12 hour shift. He was comfortable, waiting for surgery in the morning. My Gramma and Uncle Joe were with him. He had no idea what was going on. Seemed to not be in pain. All was well.

The next morning I was driving to meet up with a friend and my mom called. Grampa had died. They put him under to start surgery and he coded on the OR table. His official cause of death is unknown other than cardiac arrest. Some of us wanted to know, maybe it was the hospitals’ fault, but my Gramma wanted it left alone. My Aunt Judy, who is a nurse too, my Uncle Joe, who is a phlebotomist (draws blood), and I suspected that he threw a blood clot from waiting too long for surgery, but we’ll never know.

I was definitely in a daze the rest of the day and cried for a while, and even now over a year later I still tear up when thinking about him. I took bereavement leave from work and we flew down a few days later on the weekend for the funeral. We stayed for a week and came away a lot closer to my cousins. In the long run it was probably the best way for him to go in that it ended his suffering. He would have either continued to deteriorate mentally and physically had he not fallen or deteriorate and go through the pain of rehabilitation. It would have been an enormous amount of added stress on my Gramma and Uncle, not that they complained. He lived a long, full life and I’m glad he left this world as pain free as possible and that it was quick – he never knew it happened.

RIP James Long
January 19th, 1929 – October 5th, 2011Participate in today’s challenge Daily Prompt: Whoa!

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