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Watching a dying parent suffer

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by trifectarich, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    I've always prided myself on doing a good job as deadline approached, taking things as they pop up and keeping things running smoothly . . . you know, never let 'em see you sweat . . . but with this I've never felt so helpless.

    There are no good days, only ones that are bad or worse. I want the pain to end, but I can't bring myself to actually want that to occur. I didn't know my tear ducts could endure so many lengthy workouts.

    Of all the things I pray for, now I've added all the world's scientists, geneticists and researchers, hoping that soon they'll find a way to solve some of these horrible afflictions. And to the good doctors, nurses and aides who work in hospices, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the like, I don't know how you do it. God bless you all.

    Here's my message from this dreadful experience: If there's someone you really care about — a child, a parent, a sibling, a fiance, a spouse — tell them you love them. Do it today.
  2. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's heartbreaking to see a parent suffer and that helplessness is hard to shake. Hang in there.
  3. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    TriRich--Heartbreaking. I had to make the decision to take my father off life-support, knowing he could have lived longer, but also knowing he (and my mother) would have suffered tremendously. I truly didn't think I would survive the ordeal, but somehow, we just do.

    I hope the end is in sight, for all of you. Good luck.
  4. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    trifectarich, prayers for you and your family. You will make it, it's not easy (our family just went through this), but you will get through this.
  5. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    Hang in there and be there for your mother/father. It will really help you after they have passed.

    My father passed away over a decade ago after a short bout with cancer. He actually had it for awhile, but refused to go to the doctor until it was too late. Nobody was surprised that a two+ pack a day smoker would die of lung cancer.

    Anyway, I was in town for a vacation and spent time with him because he decided to retire. On the same day that I flew back across the country, he finally relented and went to the doctor. This was mid-July.

    I went back home three times over the next couple of months, the third was to bury him in early November. It was those other two visits for extended weekends -- one was ins tead of going to the only home football game that I have ever missed in 20+ years as an SID -- where I spent some real quality time with a man who was always a little distant.

    It was hard to see him fade. Each time I came home, I said to myself that he couldn't look worse than he did the time before. I was wrong. It usually took all I had to walk into that room because I didn't want to remember the strong person that my father was that way. Once I was in the room, it was much easier, but as you mentioned, very hard to stand.

    I said my final goodbye in a letter to him, in which I said a lot of things that I had never said to him before. He received the letter, along with a media guide that had won an award the year before, three days before he passed. He made everybody who came to see him look at both.

    Two weeks after I returned to work after the funeral, my bosses mother passed away suddenly in the night. She was at a nice dinner one minute and gone the next. It was very hard on him.

    The moral of my story Trifectarich is that even though this may be extremely hard to go through, count your blessings that you have this time to say goodbye. Believe me, the time I spent with my dad in those last months made his passing much, much easier.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.
  6. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    My dad lasted six months in the hospice, a record for that facility at the time. I believe he lasted that long because he wanted every day he could have, despite his suffering. I believe it was his choice. It was hard to watch sometimes, but I knew that, given that recovery was impossible, hanging on was what he wanted.
  7. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    trifectarich, I've been where you are now, more than once. There are memories I have of those times that will always be with me. But there are also better memories of the people I have lost that are with me as well.

    All I can tell you is that there is no right way to handle this. Be there for the person as much as you can. Just_an_SID gives some wonderful advice there. Make sure you say everything that needs to be said. It will matter to you when your parent is gone.

    And sometimes that wish for the pain to end is going to creep into your heart and mind, and that is ok, too. Accept your feelings, all of them, and understand that there is no right or wrong. Just accept it and do what you can to hang in there.

    My heart goes out to you and your ailing parent.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    In retrospect I wish I had read Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' landmark "On Death and Dying" before my dad died rather than after. I would have understood it a bit better.
  9. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Tri ... my heart goes out to you. I was there 12 years ago. And it still hurts. I wish I had something better to tell you.
  10. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    I'd relate an anecdote or two, but I'm trying to have a good morning. I'll just leave it at God bless.
  11. Calvin Hobbes

    Calvin Hobbes Member


    I went through this with my dad in 1994 and my mom just a couple months ago. I wished then there was something meaningful someone could have said to me, and I wish now I could say something to you now that would help.

    All we can really do is be there for them. It's terrible, because we feel like we should be able to do something more, but that's just the reality of it.

    I think it says something about you that in spite of what you're dealing with right now, you're thinking of others who might one day experience it.

    Prayers to you and yours. You will get through this.
  12. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    T -

    I send you the warmest regards of a household that's been through it. And will go through it again. As everyone must, each in their own way, forever.

    It may help to write about it. Privately and honestly. It helped me.
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