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Old 12-09-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
3,048 posts, read 1,568,863 times
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Hello all. This is my last Christmas with my Father. He has many ailments and will not be here next year. He has less than 6 months. Is there anything any of you would have done differently knowing it would be the last Christmas you would have with someone close to you? I am sad but want to celebrate Christmas and make it a good memory. My Mother is in great health and God willing will last many more years. They have been married since 1960.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:49 AM
 
Location: NoVa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budlight View Post
Hello all. This is my last Christmas with my Father. He has many ailments and will not be here next year. He has less than 6 months. Is there anything any of you would have done differently knowing it would be the last Christmas you would have with someone close to you? I am sad but want to celebrate Christmas and make it a good memory. My Mother is in great health and God willing will last many more years. They have been married since 1960.
Looking back, I never thought about the fact that it was going to be my last Christmas with either of my parents. I was so deep in being their care giver that that's most of what I was thinking about. I never had time to really think about it. I had no idea the year before would have been my fathers last. My mother died on Christmas eve and could have made it through I suppose.

What I thought of more was never having them anymore in my life....
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:15 AM
 
Location: State of Being
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I knew it would be my last Christmas with my best friend.

I knew it would be my last Christmas with my Grandmother (actually, she died on Christmas Eve). We didn't quite get to Christmas Day.

It was very hard for my best friend and me . . . she was pushing hard to try to make things "normal" for her family. I think they were all in denial. Everyone wanted to believe that somehow, one of the experimental treatments my dear friend was undergoing would provide a miracle.

I believe in miracles, as did my friend, but by Christmas, her cancer had metastasized and we knew we were in countdown mode.

Earlier in my life, in my 20s, actually, another dear friend was dying with kidney cancer. We both knew it, but we didn't speak of it.

There is a sweet sadness that takes over at times like these . . . when you know the days are numbered. You want to believe the end will never come . . . or, realistically, will be delayed. But you know in your heart there will be an ending, and it will be too soon, no matter how soon or how far into the future.

It's always too soon when you are losing someone you love.

My best friend wanted things to be as they had always been for Christmas. The same routines. She carried on as if nothing were going on with her health. She was not terribly sick at that point (except when she was going through a round of chemo) . . . We took lots of pictures. But, we had in previous years, as well.

I think that sometimes, simply feeling that there is a sense of sameness, normalcy . . . that is comforting for the person who is sick as well as friends and family.

My grandmother was dying, and in and out of a coma, in the week leading up to Christmas. No way to make that situation feel "normal."

If I had any of these situations to do over, I would still handle things the same way.

BUDLIGHT: I hope you have a good Christmas with your family. Just spending the time together, sharing some smiles and perhaps some memories of the past - it will be a special time for you all, I feel certain. (((hugs)))
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:23 PM
 
Location: SWFL
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I knew my husband wouldn't be around for the next Christmas but I didn't know it would be less than 3 weeks later that he would die. We spent a "normal" day doing things as usual and I would not have done it any other way.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
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With my mother, on her last Christmas we had to rush her to the ER on Christmas Eve, she was admitted, and we shortly found out that her cancer had returned as stage 4 - and I then realized it would be her last Christmas with us. With my Dad, I had been taking care of him since my mother had died in 1998 and I never dwelled on the fact but just knew that eventually at some point there would be no more Christmases with him. For him they ended when Mom died - not the true meaning of Christmas - but the joy and spirit of what we think of at Christmastime. He went through the motions but his heart wasn't really in it. Mom was the centerpiece of our family - the light dimmed for us when she left our space on earth and ascended to hers. I lost my Dad in August of 2007 and at that Christmas I thought about him and certainly cried and missed him, but I was joyful in my heart that he was finally at peace and he had exactly what he asked for every single year - to be with Mom again. I had met my future husband by then and he helped me heal tremendously - so, lots of us here know what you're going through and how hard it will be. I would hope that you would not let future sadness dampen the present joy and make sure to let him know how very special he is and how much he means to you. He probably knows the reality of the situation if he is lucid - so you might pick a quiet time when you two are alone and can talk - and express your heart to him. You're probably more afraid than he is - and you know we all must go there eventually. Your mother will need you to be strong for her as well, but you will have plenty of time to grieve for him later on. Love him and spoil him, and just immerse yourself in him for as long as you possibly can. I wish you peace and joy this wonderful season.
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:22 PM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,074,643 times
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I knew that my father was having his last holiday season, and years later the same for a very close friend. In neither case was anything different done.

With my father, he was in considerable pain and his goal was simply to get through another day. I don't think he really cared at all about the holiday. My friend was able to come out of the nursing facility he was in and be driven out to a house in the country where he used to spend time. There were the usual holiday decorations and presents, but what he seemed most interested in was using the gift wrap and ties to tease two cats with. The cats were what he missed most in the home.
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:55 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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My dad and my best friend died last year at christmas . I think my best friend kept the fact that she had cancer from us until the last minute she did not want to ruin anyone s holiday . When we found out she was already gone , her daughter told us she had stage 4 lung cancer she smoked alot and she drank alot ...and that is all I will say . My dad had pacreatic cancer and it killed him within 5 months ...horrible stuff cancer ...Im still missing both of them .
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:31 PM
 
Location: WY
4,908 posts, read 3,485,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budlight View Post
. Is there anything any of you would have done differently knowing it would be the last Christmas you would have with someone close to you? .
I wouldn't have done anything differently from what I did. Sean and his wife spent Christmas Eve night at the house and then spent Christmas morning there before heading to her familys' home for the rest of the day. I always loved Christmas - had five trees and decorations in every room that year. All over the damned house. I was so happy then - to be back in Tennessee, to be back in my own house, to be back with my boy.

They had just lost a baby in November. Jess was early into her pregnancy but it was still hard on them (as well as both sets of hoped-to-be grandparents). But everyone - them - us - were all hopeful for the future. It was a good Christmas, even when I made everyone watch the movie Prancer (as we had done for more years than I could count).

Four months later Seans' wife was pregnant again. And Sean was dead.

If he had lived, five days after Christmas this year he would have been 30 years old.

We left Tennessee six weeks later and didn't celebrate Christmas last year.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Wherever I happen to be at the moment
1,229 posts, read 1,086,978 times
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We found out that my mother had pancreatic cancer at about Christmas time and was given six months to live. We lived hundreds of miles away and I had just been seriously injured so we couldn't make it to my parents home that Christmas and we knew there wouldn't be another. She managed to last nine months and died while I was out of state and five days after my 43d birthday. That was 24 years ago. My father died just over a year later and I made a point of traveling to their home and spending time with him that unfortunately I didn't have with my mother. Lessons learned!

OP, by all means, spend the time with your father while you can and make it count. You'll be glad you did. So will he.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:44 PM
 
2,209 posts, read 4,397,515 times
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My mother died suddenly and unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day when I was a 24-year-old graduate student and "too busy" to go home for the holiday - an 8 hour drive away. It never occurred to me that a 60-year-old woman would just keel over of a massive coronary. Decades later I'm still sorry I didn't get to spend that last holiday with her. Just be there and enjoy the day you get to spend with your dad. That's all you can do.
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