Tegan’s Grandma

Celebrating Grandma's 74th birthday in 2015. From left to right: Tegan's sister, Grandma, Tegan, and Tegan's mother.

Celebrating Grandma’s 74th birthday in 2015. From left to right: Tegan’s sister, Grandma, Tegan, and Tegan’s mother.

On March 22nd, 2016, I lost my grandma to IPF. She was my best friend; my favourite person in the entire world. We were very close.

I was going to school in BC, and didn’t get to spend as much time with her over the past 4 years. But every time that I came home, I would call her and visit. The last time that I saw her out of the hospital was in February, and the moment that I saw her she gave me a hug and cried in my arms. I didn’t know why she was crying, but I knew that something was wrong. My grandma didn’t want to admit that she was sick, and she fought so hard. She was so strong.

Shortly after my visit with her, I received a phone call from my mother telling me that my grandma was in the hospital. I wanted to visit her so badly, but I was in the middle of school and was about to graduate from a 4 year degree (I am 21 years old). The doctors also thought that my grandma would be able to live in assisted living, so she convinced me to stay in BC.

Teagan carries her Grandma's spirit with her everywhere she goes. Tegan's tattoo features her Grandma's favourite animal, the elephant.

Teagan carries her Grandma’s spirit with her everywhere she goes. Tegan’s tattoo features her Grandma’s favourite animal, the elephant.

But on Sunday, March 20th, my mother called me crying and told me to get on the earliest flight possible. I was in shock. My heart hurt. I spent the next two days by my grandma’s side in the hospital, until the very end. IPF took my grandma’s life way too soon, at age 74, and so unexpectedly. It has been so hard to separate my anger from my love for her. This disease is awful, and does not have a cure. I watched it take my grandma’s life in a matter of days. No one should have to say goodbye to someone that they love, especially at such a young age.

I watched my grandma’s eyes fill with fear as the doctor literally told her, “there is nothing we can do.” I can’t even imagine hearing those words, knowing that your life is about to end when you thought that you would be going home.

I don’t know how to move forward, as I am broken and still trying to accept what has happened, but I want to direct my energy and time towards sharing my story. This disease is horrible and took a huge part of who I am, away from me.