Opinion | Sexuality

Scared to Death of Death: Facing More Than Gramma's Mortality

When my family moved my grandma cross-country to a nearby nursing home, I had no idea she would bring with her a reminder of irrevocable loss.

And Gramma makes three.

Almost.

Over a year ago, my mother and father moved across the country to live with my husband and me. My grandmother, my mother's mother, was supposed to come with them. But Gramma fell and broke her hip just before the move. She has not recovered enough to continue being cared for at home, as she had been before the fall. This meant being left behind by my parents when they relocated, much to my mother's despair. But finally, months after my parents arrived, we were able to bring Gramma here—just not in accordance with our original plans. Instead of moving her to the room designed for her in the little home my husband built for my parents, we moved her to a nursing facility.

These events—waiting months for a space to open in the nursing home, followed by the nightmare of transporting across the country a frail 97-year-old woman in need of an airline-approved oxygen tank, an accompanying nurse, and proper identification documents (apparently, government ...

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