I still remember the conversation I had with my mom, for some years back, telling me about how sick my grandma had become with dementia, and was not able to recognize her anymore, but was happy when she brought the dogs up for a visit. She told me that she didn’t have the same strength as she used to and she was not sure how much longer my grandma was going to be alive. It felt as if she was just waiting for it to be her turn to leave this world.
I wish I could visit with her, or at least just give her a call, but my mom informed me, that would be impossible since she was not able to keep a conversation going anymore. I was sad, but I knew there was nothing I could do, and I was living too far away from me just to go over there.
One afternoon around 3 pm I was sitting at the computer, when I felt someone standing by my side. At first, I just brushed it off, as if it was just my imagination, and nothing relevant.
Then I heard a voice, call your grandma, call your grandma. Thinking to myself, why would I want to do that, my mom had already told me, she would be able to pick up the phone, less be able to have a conversation or understand who was calling her.
The feeling of someone standing by my side, continued for about 15 minutes, and after it was gone, I had this nagging feeling that I should have called, but I also knew it was expensive.
I called my husband asking him if it was okay to give her a call? He said “yes”, and I did. I call the head nurse at the nursing home, asked how my grandma was doing?
She was very surprised, said, “your grandma has been so clear-minded for the past 15 minutes, you just missed her, I have not seen her like this the past 10 months, she is back to her normal self, but 15 minutes later she is back to what we have been used to not knowing who she is or where she is, I am so sorry you just missed it.”
In the evening I had a long talk with my husband and told him next time I would not call him first, next time I would just call her. He agreed, but also thought it was odd, how I knew when I had not talked to her or anyone else other than whoever was in the bedroom that afternoon telling me to call her.
In the evening I called out for whoever it was there had been standing by my side, to please give me one more chance to say goodbye, please let her be clear-minded to talk, just one more time.
A week later in the afternoon, I was talking with my husband on the phone. All a sudden I felt the same person standing by my side, and I stopped in the middle of our conversation, and said “I need to leave, I need to call my grandma” he asked if the same person was there, and I said “yes.”
I hung up and called my grandma right away, and again I got hold on the head nurse. She was so confused, “Who has told you, your grandma is again clear-minded? This is the 2nd. Time within 10 months, “she mumbled “well it can’t be your mom” having to explain to her how I knew would be too far fetch, so I asked for my grandma again, she said, ” hang on, she is actually sitting outside waiting for you to call, she doesn’t want to go to bed, she has been saying, “my granddaughter is going to call me”
I was biting my lip, when I heard my grandma’s voice on the phone, I didn’t want her to know, my eyes were filled with tears and how much I missed them both.
I asked her if she knew who it was, and she answered “yes of course I do, it is Vibeke and how is little Niclas doing” tears were running down my face, I knew this was going to be the last time I heard her voice, the last time I would feel the warmth of her heart. the feeling of being a little girl again, growing up in her house, running in and out of the door, cookies and warm milk, came over me.
I took a deep breath and asked her “Do you know why I am calling?” her answer was crystal clear, “yes I do, I am going to die soon, and I wanted you to call, so I could say goodbye to you.”
I asked her “So you the one there has sent the person there are here?” I could hear the smile in her voice, “I was not sure if you noticed, but I was asked if I wanted to say goodbye to anyone before leaving and I said, “yes Is he there with you?” I answered, “Yes he is, he is here. He came last week, but I was not sure who he was, that is why I asked for a 2nd chance” she said, “yes, I know, he told me that.” “Btw grandma, did they ever tell you who I am on the other side, when I am not here?” My grandma said, “yes hold on for a second, he is telling me who you are, now I understand why you can see him, and how he is able to communicate with you.”
Our conversation continued for about 15 minutes, and all of a sudden she said, “he said it is time for me to leave, I have some things I need to do” I asked “here in your room?” my grandma laughed lightly, “no not here, on the other side, but you understand all that. You know I am not here anymore, it is only my old worn-out body” I nodded as if she could see me.
“Grandma’ can you do me a favor? When it is grandpa’s turn, would you please drop by on your way to pick him up, please come and say goodbye?” My grandma said, “How do you know I am going to be the one to pick him up?”
I explain to her, how I knew, and in the same breath, she answered, the one there were there to help her, told her the same thing, and explain to her how I knew.
The next 30 seconds we spend in telling each other how much we loved each other, and that we were going to see each other again.
15 minutes had passed and from one moment to another, my grandma went from this lively, cheerful 87-year-old lady, to a babbling old vessel, that I could not understand.
The head nurse got on the phone and apologized, she could see from the window, my grandma looked very confused on the phone, as if she didn’t know what it was, and we agreed to end the conversation.
The man there had been standing by my side, was gone, and I didn’t know what you feel. I was happy, but also sad, I knew my grandma was going to leave me soon, and there was nothing I could do about it. Happy because I had the chance to say goodbye to her, and that she was able to confirm what I have known all this time.
3 weeks later, my grandma died, and even after my conversation with her, it didn’t prepare me for the pain I felt in my chest when I got the phone call. I just curled up right there on the floor and cried, as if someone had just ripped my heart out and left a big open wound. My husband took off from work until felt a little bit better. Did my grandma come back? That is a different story and on the list.