Goodbye, Grandma Phoebe
It is with great sadness that I share the news that my grandma Phoebe passed away this morning.
My dad and Aunt Vicky had been by her bedside the whole night prior. Stacey and I arrived a little after 7AM, and took over for them. Aunt Vicky headed home and I ended up driving my dad back home.
A bit later in the morning, around 10AM or so, Andrew arrived. Through circumstance and a bit of luck, he was able to catch a (delayed) flight that was direct to Indianapolis. His prior options had him landing in Chicago and requiring a car rental – but the fates conspired for him to arrive when he did.
Grandma’s breathing was fairly constant when we first arrived in the morning. But a bit after Andrew’s arrival, her breathing shifted back to a cycle known as Cheyne-Stokes respiration, which involved periods of labored breathing – followed by a bit of a pause, and a slower, calmer rate of breathing.
After watching a while, we determined that her condition seemed to be worsening – and began making calls to the other family members, asking them to make their way over to her room.
Andrew, Stacey, and I were watching over grandma and saw her breathing was becoming more subdued. The cycle of labored and calm breathing gave way to a more consistent, relaxed, slower breathing.
I don’t know the exact moment she passed, but I feel very strongly it coincided with the arrival of my mom, my dad, Aunt Becky, Uncle Corky, and Auntie Dawn. In the room, we were intent on watching grandma’s slowed breathing. If she did not pass right when the family arrived, she passed soon after they gathered around her bedside.
I am not one to make such claims, but it did feel like she was waiting for everyone to arrive.
I take no small amount of comfort, knowing that she was quite literally surrounded by family when she passed on.
Grandma Phoebe was 105.
Grandma Phoebe in the Hospital