a cream coloured couch with light brown designs throughout

Poor Woman Nurses Sick Grandmother, Inherits Her Old Couch after She Dies – a Short Story

Grandparents and grandchildren share a special connection. And that connection lasts after the grandchild grows up and the grandparent becomes elderly. Data research finds that more grandkids have become caregivers when their grandparents need help in their old age. [1] After all, some grandchildren are raised by them or have the best relationship with them. So when grandparents need more support and care, their loving grandkids step in to assist them. That was the case for Deborah, who was more loved by her grandma, Tessa, than her own mother. So when her grandmother grew terminally in, Deborah was the one who took care of her, right up to her death. But Tessa made sure to take care of Deborah as well. This story was inspired by the readers of AmoMama, which is where it was originally published. 


Taking Care of Her Sick Grandmother

Deborah Marks was always closer to her grandmother than her mother. Her mother, Martha, was distant and unempathetic growing up. But Tessa, her grandmother, practically raised her and showered her with affection and kindness. So when Tessa became terminally ill, Deborah was there for her in return.

As the illness progressed, Deborah stayed by her grandmother’s side. She faced many difficulties already being a single mom of two children. But Deborah didn’t help Tessa out of feelings of obligation; she helped her out of love. Meanwhile, Martha remained indifferent to her ailing mother as she was when Deborah was a child.


When her final days loomed closer, Tessa requested going home to die there. Deborah took six months of unpaid leave and moved into Tessa’s house with her children. However, Martha had previously planned a three-month cruise. Despite her mother’s worsening illness, she had no intentions to cancel it. 

Over the next several months, Deborah cared for Tessa and helped her in any way she could. Aside from basic needs, Deborah wanted Tessa to feel as comfortable as possible despite her constant pain. And when her pain decreased, the two would spend hours talking. Tessa would talk about her life and Deborah would hold her hand and listen to every word.


Martha Arranges the Funeral

One evening, Tessa passed away peacefully in her sleep with Deborah by her side. It took a moment for Deborah to realize what had happened. Then she was inconsolable. She called Martha, who had been home from her cruise for a month at that point. She hadn’t come to visit because “the smell of sick people was nauseating.”

When Martha picked up her phone, Deborah was in a dazed state. She offered her mother to come to say goodbye but Martha curtly said she’ll see Tessa at the funeral. All business, she began to make plans for the service, the death certificate, meetings with the lawyer to discuss the estate, which included Tessa’s savings, house, and the jewels she had inherited. Deborah was appalled; jewels were the furthest thing from her mind. But Martha wasted no time arranging the funeral and the reading of the will.


Tessa’s Final Gift to Deborah

When the date arrived, Tessa’s will clearly consist of two heirs. The house and all of its contents will go to Martha — except for one couch in the parlor, which went to Deborah. Martha was overjoyed; she planned to sell the house for the profit so she told Deborah to get that couch out ASAP if she wanted it. 

The couch was large, heavy, and tattered but Deborah brought it home and placed it in her living room. She liked having a reminder of her grandmother, so she put a lot of effort into cleaning it up. But when she lifted one of the large cushions, she noticed it was heavy and bulky. She opened up the seam to find a large velvet bag filled with jewelry boxes. 


Plus, there was a letter from Tessa. First, she told Deborah how much she loved and cherished her. Then she explained that she wanted to give her the family jewels but she knew Martha would find a way to take them for herself. So she hid them in an old couch that Martha wouldn’t care about. 

Meanwhile, Martha looked all over the house but never found them. But while she was looking for monetary gain, Deborah found something invaluable: Her grandmother’s endless love as she looked out for granddaughter even after she passed.


This story was inspired by an original piece of fiction that first appeared on AmoMama. Any similarities between this story and actual people are purely coincidental.



  1. “Taking Care of Grandparents.Seniorly. December 4, 2021.
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.