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Old 10-01-2012, 04:01 PM
Location: Glasgow Scotland
14,504 posts, read 11,481,746 times
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What a lovely understanding group of people on a sad thread...
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:03 AM
Location: SWFL
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Thanks, dizzy. Hope you were just roaming around C-D and don't need this forum.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:34 AM
Location: In the real world!
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When I think about my Mothers cancer and her dying, I tell people that some of my most cherished memories and some of our best times were while she was dying. She was up and moving around up until the day she died when she just laid down and went to sleep after having company all day and slipped quietly away.

Make your memories now, memories that will comfort you and bring you peace after she is gone. My fondest memories were the showers..... she refused to take a bath so I would get in the shower with her, both us us as naked as the day we were born and we cut up and carried on like a couple of kids in that shower and had a blast!!~ Then, in the evening, we would sit on the porch and watch the sun go down and discuss everything, including her illness and death. She was not afraid of dying and said she had a great life and was ready to go whenever the Lord called her. Those showers and conversations have brought me SO MUCH PEACE! While I miss her every day, I never grieved her loss because of the closeness we shared, her peace with her fate and the events of the day she died, just laying down after a full day, going to sleep and just slipping away peacefully in her sleep. I was so happy she did not die the horriable death the doctors said she would have..

Like I said, I did not grieve but I DO miss her every day still, and she has been gone 13 years now. You never stop missing them but having wonderful memories really help.

Now, I just lost a great nephew at the age of 25 to brain cancer. I grieved for him before he died because of all the things in life that he lost out on. His whole life was one brain tumor after another so he lost out on so much as a child and on into adulthood. Such a handsome young man, his Mom's only child. I have grieved before he died and grieve still and will grieve for a long time. There was just so much he lost out on and he was not ready to go and he was scared. The last thing he asked his Mom was "Is today my last day?"
and she told him it was. He went to sleep and his last waking moments was him waking up sobbing so hard it shook his whole body, he went back to sleep and that was it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:32 PM
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i started grieving for my mother 6 months before she died and became blind and totally helpless and stopped eating cause she was so much in pain--she wasted slowly away before my eyes--yet kept her mind clear--it was a blessing for her and for me when she died and her suffering ended
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:42 PM
13,773 posts, read 32,995,672 times
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Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I felt grief when my Grandmother died, but I almost wonder if we do start to "detatch" ourselves emotionally from people as they age. We are expecting their demise. I felt sad when my Grandmother died, but not the raw, consuming, overwhelming emotional grief I experienced when my son died. I still feel that pain every day. Anticipated grief is a far different experience.

I agree with this.. when my Grandmother died I was very sad but she had not been the person I knew for a while. It is strange but I think we do detach ourselves emotionally when we know their time is running out.

When my husband died I had already started grieving for him months before knowing he was getting worse. I didn't expect him to die so young even though I knew he was ill I felt like he would not die at 52. I have grieved for him but I know he is around me.

Just be sure you tell her you love her..
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:17 PM
Location: Not where you ever lived
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Caring for a long term chronically ill family member has its own pitfalls. My legally spouse was sick for 25 years.
It was a slow decline that ended with seven diseases. I never became used to the idea of watching death. I became numb to it as I took on more and more responsibility. The untended consequences is depression and stress. .

They say people grieve for their own loss. I did not. I was relieved to no longer be responsible for medical equipment that broke in the middle of the night that I had to repair because my spouse depended on IT. I am relieved my spouse is no longer trapped in a won out body that stopped working. If anything I am angry that sickness deprived of us too many worry free years. We planned to travel and do other things, but we put it off for our "Golden Years". We did not travel to see grandchildren, or take a cruise. We traveled to hospitals and cruised to the doctors office. The built a hospice at home because the nearest was 50 miles -- which is only a problem when the snow is 18" deep. It was just as well and I saved a bucket of money. Everything I could possibly need was really less than 5 minutes away Hospice could not do one thing I had not been doing, or done for 40 years.

In the end it was nothing like over-hyped television. My final act was to call EMT. I heard muffled voices, the sound of the stretcher when it was raised. And then nothing. A year later I found out why I heard nothing. I'm losing my hearing.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:00 PM
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,500 posts, read 3,751,187 times
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Thank you everyone who gave their opinions or shared their stories. My Grandma passed away on August 29th. I was not there when she went. I knew I was racing the clock to make it home to see her before she died... I did not win that race. She passed away about 16 hours before I got there. My Mom and Dad were taking care of her for those last weeks... I will be forever thankful that my Mom came up with the idea of piggy-backing Gramma's hearing amplifier and her phone headset, so I was able to talk with her a couple days before she passed. Someday I will accept that she was ready to go and wanted to spare me seeing her in her final days and chose to go less than 24 hours before I got home... but until then, I live with the guilt.

I should have been there helping to care for her, I should have been there when she passed, I should not have felt relief that I wouldn't have to see her in her final days and could have the better memories of seeing her healthy, I should have just taken the time away from my new job and just gone, I should have, I should have, I should have... but my Mom did most of it. The care, the feeding, the changings... everything. Even she tries to tell me that I shouldn't feel guilty, but... welll... you know how it is if you've been in my position. Why should I get to have to happy memories of Gramma healthy and well, when everyone else back home has to remember her as helpless and an invalid?

I know it takes time; logically, I know that, but my heart hurts so much sometimes...
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:30 PM
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No, for the simple reason they are not dead. Even when it is fully expected that death is days or hours away, it doesn't "hit" until they actually die.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:48 PM
Location: State of Waiting
607 posts, read 716,698 times
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No, the real grieving hits about 3 months later, and then periodically thereafter, when you can't talk with that person anymore.

I watched my Mom suffer horribly (osteoporosis) during the last several years of her life... the final 4 months were horrific. I never smiled, had a constant frown on my face. Didn't smile much when she died, but at least I knew her pain was finally over. After that, it took a long time, and even now 2 years after she has gone, I still cry when a memory hits. For me, it was awful because even though she was 92 she was totally in her right mind, felt pain and knew everyone and everything.

So no, I don't believe you can grieve before a loved one passes. At least not properly and completely, anyway. whatever that is!
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:29 PM
Location: Weston, FL and Vero Beach, Fl
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Grieving for someone before they pass away is quite different than when they have passed. Honestly, speaking from personal experience, it is a different set of emotions. Why? Because while they are still alive you still have the chance of seeing your loved one, being in their presence, and maybe having a conversation. They are still here with you. Once they have passed, the ability to sit and be in their presence, talk, exchange ideas, all of this is gone forever.

Grieving is a strange animal. It can hit you the moment the person has passed, months later, or never .... it just depends on the circumstances, your relationship with that person, and a host of other factors. I know this first hand.

My parents and my first husband all passed within a 6 year period. My mother was first. She was terminally ill. I was in deep denial except I thought I was handling it pretty well. At the time, my husband had just completed his round of radiation for a brain tumor. I loved my mother dearly. We spoke every day and I always closed each conversation with an "I love you Mom." We were living in Florida by then and when my father called with the news I broke down and then headed to VA with my husband. I didn't shed a tear again until after the funeral and on our way back home. I grieved for my mother for a very long time and even today, over 25-years later, I wish she could come back just one more time.

My Dad was next. I grieved for him because he was a troubled man, but I did not shed a tear for him. I just wish life could have been different for him and for our family.

Then my husband. I was blessed to have had seven years with him before he passed away from a brain tumor. Oligoastrocytoma. How could I grieve for him before he passed away? I was too busy taking care of him and was caught in the here and now. I couldn't think about his dying -- I was in denial. Even as his life was slipping away there was enough of him that I could hold on to. I grieved when he passed away. It was so, hard. We were blessed to have had seven years of marriage before he passed away. Knowing that the day would come didn't make it any easier. Our last words to each other were "I love you." Make sure you say this to enyone that you really care about - parents, siblings, etc. because you never know if it will be the last words you say to each other.

So sorry for the long winded post. So, you see - grieiving comes it all shapes, sizes, timelines, and sometimes, not at all. You can cry for someone before they pass away, but when the actual day arrives .... it can be a different story.
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