As I read these stories, I don't know whether to think that these people are brave for having survived these ordeals, or to envy them for having survived.
In my case, there was no warning, no time to do anything. I had only enough time to watch a human being go from being a strong happy energetic person to a lifeless body, all in a few minutes, a few days.
For me, it was a typical Saturday morning. I was sleeping late, my mother was at work, and my grandmother was hand-washing our clothes like she did every Wednesday and Saturday. I remember her coming in, I guess it was around 9. I figured she was going to tell me to get up and get ready for my Biology seminar, which I went to every Saturday during my senior year of H.S. Instead, she came in crying. She told me that her neck was stiff and she had a horrible headache. I told her to lie down, I would get my own breakfast and finish the laundry. I got her to her bed,and called my mother at the hospital. She told me to give Grandma her arthritis pills, she probably had been working too hard that morning. After I hung up, I proceeded to bring the pill with some water.
As I gave her the pill, I looked at her, she seemed to be in so much pain. She told me to help her to the bathroom, she felt nauseous. As I held her hand, I wondered if maybe she had a virus of some sort. She washed her dentures in the sink, and that's when it started. She passed out. If I had not seem her she might have hit the sink with her head. I dragged her back to bed, and called my mom again. This time she told me to call an ambulance. That call was all a blur in my head.
After a few minutes, my godfather showed up, and took over. First thing he did was to kick me out of the house, claiming I was too young to watch all this (I was 17 at the time). I hid behind the door and watched the paramedics ask my grandma questions. She pointed to her head when they asked what was hurting. She lifted her arms and sat up. I thought she would be okay. Then I see the stretcher and they are putting her on it. As they rush out, my godfather yells, "I thought I told you to leave!"
The day passed in a blur. I did go to class, but left after a couple of hours. I came home and finally at four, the phone rang. My mother was telling me that Grandma had been unconscious when she arrived at the hospital. I was not going to see her until tomorrow, and to stay calm, my mom said she would be home in a couple of hours.
I saw her the next day, she was attached to a respirator, a heart monitor, and several IVs. Her heart was beating strong, but the rest of her looked so frail and fragile. I sat next to her, day after day, for hours at a time, No one dare tell me to leave, I couldn't leave the woman who had raised me all my life. Several days passed. I came everyday after school and talked to her.
On Wednesday, I came later than usual to the ICU. I had just won a soccer match and had to tell Grandma that the goal was just for her. Four days, and she still looked the same way she did when I first saw her. I guess I fell asleep for a while, because my mother came up and told me to leave. I told her I didn't want to. Then she too yelled at me, just like my godfather did, 5 days earlier. Why did everyone want me to leave? She didn't come home until the next day around 5 am. Her face was pale. All she said was, "She died a little after 3 this morning." No tears came out. We were too shocked.
I didn't realize what day it was until I forced myself to go to school that day. I walked in and saw costumes everywhere. It was Halloween, and I was just sitting there, all dressed in black. No one said anything to me, until one of my friends called me and I looked at her and nodded. She and several others came up and hugged me. I just sat there all day, too sad to do anything. I wouldn't have even remembered to eat if it wasn't for my friends.
I went home and my mother finally told me what had happened. Grandma had a cerebral aneurysm, one so massive it had left the doctors speechless. It was also one that was congenital, which meant it had always been there and had killed her grandmother before her, and someday might kill one of her 2 daughters or her 4 grand-children. No one knew how she had managed to live for almost 5 days with some-thing so huge. Her heart had kept going strong that whole time until last night, when her blood pressure started to drop. My mother decided that I wouldn't be able to handle this slow death, so she sent me home and stayed to see her mother die alone. The next day was the wake.
I sat there all alone, listened to the mass, but I couldn't take it anymore. I ran up, in the middle of the mass, and hugged the coffin. I cried hysterically, finally mourning the loss of the most important person in my life. Finally, I decided to buy the most beautiful rose I could find, and put it in her hands. This was how I finally said good bye.