No two people experience loss in the same way. This month, on Band Back Together, we are working hard to bring you stories of love and light and loss.

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Both of my grandmothers are dying, but my feelings couldn’t be more polarized.

My maternal grandmother has been battling with medical issues since she herniated a disk at the age of 20. She fought through a crushed vertebrae, arthritis, knee replacement surgery, depression, and ovarian cancer to give her love to her three children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. This past month, the cancer came back, and she tried a second round of chemotherapy.

At the age of 87, it took a serious toll on her already poor balance, and she decided that she’d had enough of the treatments.

All I can do is pray that hospice can help her enjoy the time she has left, because my heart is breaking to see my Nonna so miserable.

My paternal grandmother, my Nan, has never taken good care of herself.  As long as she’s lived in her own house, her diet has consisted of pizza, fast food, pie, ice cream, and Coke. Most of the time she hardly eats anything. Not surprisingly, her lack of nutrition over the years has led to osteoporosis, and more recently, pneumonia.

I recently went to visit her in the hospital, and I was enraged at what I saw.

She was emaciated.

Even after a week of antibiotics, she lacked the strength to stand on her own. In hopes of stimulating an appetite, we brought her a cheeseburger from Wendy’s.  She fumbled it with trembling hands for a bit before saying, “This burger is so heavy.  I can barely lift it.”

As hard as I try, I can’t find the sympathy or grief for my Nan that pours out of me when I think of my Nonna.

Both situations are awful, but all I can feel for my Nan is frustration because she’s done this to herself. All of this could have been prevented.

This anger that I feel scares me, because at this rate it’s going to rob me of my closure. I want to be able to let go.

More than anything, I’m dreading having to watch my parents go through the same thing.