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Taking care of a terminally ill parent

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smallpotatoes, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Thinking of you, SP.
    maumann and Smallpotatoes like this.
  2. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. You did all you could for her under difficult circumstances. Remember the good times, and be gentle with yourself.
    maumann, wicked and Smallpotatoes like this.
  3. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Thoughts and prayers. And don't kick yourself for what you didn't do, be proud of what you did as that good son.
    maumann and Smallpotatoes like this.
  4. DanielSimpsonDay

    DanielSimpsonDay Well-Known Member

    You did all you could when it was hardest and mattered most. I hope to be as good a son to my parents when the time comes.
    maumann and Smallpotatoes like this.
  5. BrownScribe

    BrownScribe Member

    This thread beautifully illustrates how amazing of a son you are. As someone who lost his Dad two years ago on hospice, I felt your pain. Don't underestimate your impact, even if you mother might have not been able to understand or convey it. Like others have said, go easy on yourself.
  6. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    SP, sorry to hear about your loss. You did the best you could as a son, be proud of that.
    maumann likes this.
  7. maumann

    maumann Well-Known Member

    I agree with some of the other posters. Take time to decompress. Have dinner out. Go watch the sunrise. Drive or walk somewhere you haven't been.

    When you're consumed with a terrible task that you can't escape like this -- and add the guilt -- it unavoidably saps your physical and emotional strength. You faced the worst circumstances possible and you're still here. It's OK to talk it out with a counselor, a clergyman or a trusted friend. Find someone who will listen and provide suggestions on how best to proceed.

    Remember her life, not her death. And remember you are here because of her. Blessings of comfort.
  8. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    You walked every step with her. In the end, she knew that.
  9. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    You are her legacy, keep making it a good one.
  10. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    I’m not sure if this is the appropriate place for this rant, but here goes...

    Many journalists think of themselves as servants. That we believe we affect peoples’ lives, even if we’re covering an early season high school football game. That gets taken advantage a lot of times by the fuckin’ suits (hi, Fredrick!). We’ll work that extra four hours for free because it’s expected. Often it doesn’t feel like enough thanks to some passive-aggressive crap we receive from on high. And we can take that hard, because of what we put into the job.

    And that bleeds over into our non-work lives. We’re always wondering if we’re doing enough for friends, for family, for anyone, without thinking if we’re doing enough for ourselves. It’s an under-the-radar martyrdom.

    In reality we’re giving everyone else our all. Mr. Smallpotatoes, you were there for your mom when others couldn’t be. You were by her side when she needed you. Recognize that.

    Please also realize now that you need to put your happiness first for a while.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Not to make this about me, per se, but to illustrate the different circumstances of losing parents (or other loved ones):

    My mother died suddenly (although she had been in poor health) 25 years ago.

    I still remember getting the phone call at 7 am, and my dad saying, "please pick up, please pick up," into the answering machine.

    He had awakened to find her gone.

    It was early January. The last time she called me was a week before, on New Year's Eve; I had forgotten or neglected to call her back. Typical conduct for a jerky single guy.

    So I've always been haunted that she died thinking I didn't care. I still have the answering machine tape; the last words she ever spoke to me.

    My dad died seven years later, after about a 6 week decline, with the last couple weeks in hospice. The last week or so was pretty rough.

    For a couple weeks my siblings and I got into a rotation schedule so somebody was always with him. It meant a 200 mile round trip for me every other day; I didn't care.

    When he finally went, the two of us there were me and StarSis of kids' sports fame. His oldest and his youngest. We held his hands as he went.

    It hurt to see him go but I didn't have to worry he might have thought I didn't care.

    A couple hours after he went, all of us actually had a pretty good lunch, with a lot of joking. None of us had been eating well for weeks and we were all starved.

    Of course we all knew what had happened, but we also knew his pain and suffering and confusion were over.

    I think back now on seeing my dad die: it wasn't awful, it was peaceful. A couple moments before he went, we told him we'd be fine. He looked at us both and nodded. Then he just seemed to go to sleep.

    When my mom died, I had to drive 100 miles to get home. I arrived back at the house just as they rolled her out. I hardly ever want to remember that again.

    So it's certainly very different to lose someone suddenly as opposed to knowing it was coming.
    On the other hand, the people I really feel for are the people who have to go through months or years of end-stage care for their family members with little hope of improvement.
    I'm grateful that none of my relatives have had more than a month or so requiring constant care; even my 99-year-old grandmother was really only bad for a couple weeks.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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