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Old 08-09-2012, 10:06 AM
 
3,647 posts, read 9,305,546 times
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My stepsister is participating in a walkathon for cancer, in memorial for her mother. She has posted a link to a site where you can donate funds, in her mother's name. I went to donate and found there was a little blurb, written by her.

My stepmother died of Peritoneal Cancer. It's a rare form of cancer, almost always terminal, usually mistaken for Cervical Cancer, initially (as hers was, initially). Her mother passed within less than 2 months of her diagnosis. It was very sad. She had been on a 'diet' for 25+ years, and when she finally began losing significant weight, she and everyone else (including her doctors) believed it was because of the exercise she was doing. Two years later, the pain began and by the time they did exploratory surgery to determine what was wrong, it was too late.

The thing is, my stepsister is doing a walk for Cervical Cancer. Her blurb specifically states, "I lost my mother to Cervical Cancer less than two years ago. Something needs to be done to prevent other people from being inflicted". Why lie about what type of cancer it was?

I have heard others lie too at times, two of them being my father and best friend.

One of my father's closest friends died from pneumonia 15 years ago. But when we were talking about him one night and it came up (the cause) Dad started insisting "Paul" died from cirrhosis of the liver.

One of my friend's brothers died from testicular cancer 5 years ago. He was mentally challenged and it had metastisized by the time he was diagnosed - which came about because he had a heart attack and was brought to the ER. He passed 3 months later. Now my friend tells people his brother died from a heart attack at the age of 35.

At first, with my dad and friend each I asked, "You mean [insert reason here]?" and both of them got combative and upset and LOUDLY angry that I even asked. I'm not about to correct my stepsister. I just don't understand why they need to lie about the reason.

Anyone have some words of wisdom to help me understand?
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,222 posts, read 6,989,869 times
Reputation: 6603
Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
My stepsister is participating in a walkathon for cancer, in memorial for her mother. She has posted a link to a site where you can donate funds, in her mother's name. I went to donate and found there was a little blurb, written by her.

My stepmother died of Peritoneal Cancer. It's a rare form of cancer, almost always terminal, usually mistaken for Cervical Cancer, initially (as hers was, initially). Her mother passed within less than 2 months of her diagnosis. It was very sad. She had been on a 'diet' for 25+ years, and when she finally began losing significant weight, she and everyone else (including her doctors) believed it was because of the exercise she was doing. Two years later, the pain began and by the time they did exploratory surgery to determine what was wrong, it was too late.

The thing is, my stepsister is doing a walk for Cervical Cancer. Her blurb specifically states, "I lost my mother to Cervical Cancer less than two years ago. Something needs to be done to prevent other people from being inflicted". Why lie about what type of cancer it was?

I have heard others lie too at times, two of them being my father and best friend.

One of my father's closest friends died from pneumonia 15 years ago. But when we were talking about him one night and it came up (the cause) Dad started insisting "Paul" died from cirrhosis of the liver.

One of my friend's brothers died from testicular cancer 5 years ago. He was mentally challenged and it had metastisized by the time he was diagnosed - which came about because he had a heart attack and was brought to the ER. He passed 3 months later. Now my friend tells people his brother died from a heart attack at the age of 35.

At first, with my dad and friend each I asked, "You mean [insert reason here]?" and both of them got combative and upset and LOUDLY angry that I even asked. I'm not about to correct my stepsister. I just don't understand why they need to lie about the reason.

Anyone have some words of wisdom to help me understand?
The deceased has a right to privacy just as much as the living. Some forms of death have a stigma attached to them. If telling a little white lie about a friend or family members death is a big issue with you just tell anyone that asks to consult with the deceased's Doctor. The Doctor will know how to properly handle the subject.
GL2
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:37 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,525 posts, read 42,694,765 times
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Not your business. Let it go.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
3,088 posts, read 6,626,055 times
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I agree completely. I've had friends lie about their parents or siblings cause of death in the past. It never bothered me, I always regarded it as completely not my business.

This seems literally like a complete non-issue. Just let it go, totally.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:35 PM
 
12,422 posts, read 14,547,993 times
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In answer to OPs question "why lie about what type of cancer it was?"...I would ask...why care?...it was cancer...close enough...I agree with Ulysses61..it's a complete non-issue...let it go.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:38 PM
 
730 posts, read 1,969,567 times
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I agree. Let the family tell people what they want/need to. My friend just died in March at age 28 from huffing "dust off" but her family chose to tell people she died from a seizure. Which she did- from huffing,but who wants their beautiful daughter remembered like that. Those close to her know. Let the family have their peace in all cases.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:52 PM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,074,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
....Anyone have some words of wisdom to help me understand?
I can understand why some families might wish to hide the death of a family member due to alcoholism or drug addiction - causes that are associated with weak character in most people's minds, but I am baffled when individuals hide death from natural causes. What it says to me is that they have very bizarre phobias attached to certain diseases.

Stupidity and shame can take strange turns in the human mind.

A work acquaintance in NYC contracted AIDS and went back to a small Oklahoma city to live and die with his parents. He was very active in the management of his illness, and quite impressed his doctors. When he died his parents, who were strong Baptist church members, of course had a church funeral for their son. They specifically requested that the minister in his eulogy mention the cause of their son's death and work he had done in caring for other persons with AIDS in the past.

This was the first time that the word had been breathed in this particular congregation, but the end results were very positive as other members then felt confident enough speak about the disease in their own families.

However, I wouldn't go near your step-sister about this. As you have noted in your experiences with other family members, going near these bizarre "dark secrets" really sets off something in people that has zero to do with the dead person...who is, after all, D-E-A-D, and will not have clue one about anyone discussing his or her disease, but it is very much about something within their relatives' own minds.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:52 PM
 
738 posts, read 928,010 times
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I disagree with most posters. I think cause of death should be listed. In some cases it is a warning to others. For some diseases it can show the frequency and type/age of person it affects. If the death is some kind of auto-erotic thing or overdose the coronor is called. In my area if the coronor is called the cause of death is published.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:10 PM
 
Location: WY
4,908 posts, read 3,485,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jodipper View Post
I think cause of death should be listed. In some cases it is a warning to others.
The privacy and peace of mind of surviving family members should always over-ride whatever "educational component" or "warning to others" component the death may have.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:36 PM
 
848 posts, read 1,623,471 times
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1. It's really not your business, so I recommend letting it go. Why are you being so picky?

2. Cause of death is not always so clear cut as you would like, i.e., a cancer patient dying of pneumonia. Technically, they may have died of pneumonia, but the cancer and chemotherapy may have caused the pneumonia so the cancer should get the "credit."

3. Most people don't have medical backgrounds and may simply be confused, nothing more.

Contribute to your step-sister's fund raising effort and participate if you are able. Of course, that's none of my business.

Sorry for your loss, at this point the reason doesn't really matter. A loved one is gone forever.
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