Watching My Mother Lose Her Mother

My Nonna was always a big part of my life. She was around for everything! She even lived with us after Katrina for a while. Not only was I extremely close to her but she was close with my mother as well. They spent almost every day together.

My Nonna moved in with my mom soon after she started dialysis. We all thought that she would at least have 10 years left with us. Ten years to see my kids grow! Ten years so we can get pregnant again or to see us buy our new home. But we were wrong. My Nonna passed away on August 15, 2019, peacefully in her sleep.

Let’s backtrack to a few months before she passed away. My mother and I took care of her. We would drive her to doctor appointments, bathe her, dress her, cook for her, etc. Sharing this with my mom will always be a special bond we have. We were living on auto-pilot mode, I guess, and we didn’t see her losing herself each day. But we had so much fun with her every day, not that she needed us to be with her every day but we liked to spend it with her. Three generations of women helping each other. I’m pretty proud of that.

I woke up and spent the morning with my kids and my Nonna, cooking breakfast and feeding the kids and getting ready for our day! I didn’t think it would be the last time I saw her. My mom woke up and gave her a bath, and she put her in bed before we left for the day to go run some errands. My mom kissed her bye and we went on our way. We were only gone for 45 minutes and when we came back she was gone. She had passed away in her sleep. My mom found her first and yelled for me. I’ll never forget the first 30 seconds of finding her. My mom, just holding her, saying she was sorry we left her and that she wasn’t ready. I kicked into survival mode, told my mom to get it together and that we needed to call 911. We checked her pulse, even though I already knew she was gone. She must have passed away 15-20 minutes before we got there. This is another bond me and my mom will share forever.

Watching my mom lose her mom has been so hard. She is trying to keep her head above water, and I know she is hurting. I’m trying to hold it all together for her to lift her up while also taking care of my family. My mom told me that the pain she is feeling is so hard and she never thought it would feel like this. I can’t imagine; my mom is my best friend, and I can’t imagine not having her. I know it’s a circle of life, and my Nonna lived a good life and was able to go peacefully. But watching my mom go through this has changed me.

This has changed me in so many ways. I feel like I have grown just from this. Not only in the way I have handled it, but also in the way I have had to be there for my mom. It has changed me in the sense that a new generation has started and ended at the same time! I know I will take care of my mother the same way she cared for hers. We are a generation of daughters that have taken care of their mothers to the end, and I know when the time comes for me and my mother, I will do her proud.


  1. wow, This is amazing. I grew up with Paula and your Nonna and know she is smiling down us you from above so proud of the woman you have become. GOD had a plan for her to go and we will see her again some day.
    I am so happy to have known Ms. Joann and will continue to cherish every moment with my mom….


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