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Old 08-20-2011, 06:39 PM   #1
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Horrific last memories

My dad passed away 7/11, 42 days after a new diagnosis of GBM, and a long struggle with COPD. Our last days with him were excruciating in that he didn't die with dignity and respect as we hoped he would. Mom and dad had been married for 55 years and this is the memory we have to hang on too??? I am "stuck" in wondering if there is anything more we could/should have done and feel like I can't move on til I have answers. Is this a normal reaction to a less than peaceful passing? Lisa

 
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:46 AM   #2
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Re: Horrific last memories

I'm so sorry for your loss. My Dad is 78 and dying from acute, aggressive leukemia and is losing his dignity more and more each day, so I certainly understand how you're feeling.
My parents have been married for almost 55 years, as well.
I think your reaction is normal, but the question is, is it helpful. You loved your Dad and wished for better, that is so understandable, but my worry for you is that you will postpone your grief to focus on something that can not be changed. Even if there was something different you could have done (and I think of this with my own Dad), there are no second chances, unfortunately.
My advice to you is to thank God that your Dad isn't suffering anymore, and whenever you have a stray thought about what could have been, substitute it with the truth, which is that he's not suffering anymore. This is incredibly important for your peace.
I'm so sorry for you and totally understand how you're feeling. The end is so hard, and often not pretty or dignified, and that is incredibly sad. When you think of it, though, this is a teeny tiny season in the good life of your Dad. Remember how he was when he was healthy and vibrant because I am very certain it's the way he would want to be remembered, not having his precious daughter hung up on what could have been.

blessings, Sue

 
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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Re: Horrific last memories

Thank you Sue for your reply... the outreach of people that will try and comfort and support others that they have never met leaves me speechless. I thank for your concern but I'm not ready yet to leave my questions unanswered. I want the assurance from the facility, that they did everything possible to make him "comfortable" and he didn't die in pain nor did he suffocate. My drive comes not only for my dad's death but from me never wanting another family see what we did at the very end. We were never educated as to what the GBM tumor and COPD might appear to us, as dad neared the end. If that would have taken place, maybe we would have been more prepared to deal with what we saw. Once I have that satisfaction, I will be able to rest. You are right, I'm so very grateful that dad left us without enduring radiation/chemo. For the short time he had, I hope he would rather have enjoyed us without the drain it caused him. I will be thinking and praying for you and your family during your dad's difficult journey. I hope to hear from you again... I do so appreciate your thoughtfulness. Lisa

 
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:53 AM   #4
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Re: Horrific last memories

Thank you, Lisa (my sister's name is Lisa too).

Do you really think that the hospital is going to tell you that they didn't do all they could? They would have a lawsuit up the wazoo !!
You know what I think would be a great outreach? Open up a blog or website for families of those suffering from what your dad had, and provide them information about what questions they should ask, and what they can expect. To me this is a healthy and healing way of making your Dad's death mean something substantial.
Thanks for your prayers and I will continue to pray for you as well.

Sue

Last edited by moderator2; 08-22-2011 at 08:23 AM.

 
Old 08-22-2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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Re: Horrific last memories

Sue, I'm not sure what to expect. If nothing else is accomplished, they will surely be more attentive and more respectful of other families from this point on. We have met with them and they did apologize for being non-attentive to us and that we had to witness what happened without any guidance. With that said, I want to be sure they medically, everything was done to ease his discomfort. Quite a dilemma... I have tried posting on this message board and another and you are the only to reply on this grief category. Noone replied on the Brain Cancer catergory. I had another lady reply on the other site, that had gone thru the same tumor related death. Her mother's death was pretty much everything I read that dad's might have been like. Regardless, she was very comforting to me and I do appreciate the help from both of you. I look forward to hearing from you again soon. Lisa

 
Old 08-22-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Horrific last memories

I couldn't agree with you more, Lisa, if nothing else then it serves as a reminder to the patients who they have yet to serve. My mom just recently spoke with Dad's hematologist about his bedside manner, and although initially the guy acted all offended, he has been behaving much less clinically, patting a shoulder, speaking words of understanding....some people have to be taught compassion. Others have to be taught to do their jobs properly, and I hear that is what you are looking for.
My dear Dad passed away just this morning. I am so glad that he's not in pain anymore.

Sue

 
Old 08-22-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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Re: Horrific last memories

I couldn't agree with you more, Lisa, if nothing else then it serves as a reminder to the patients who they have yet to serve. My mom just recently spoke with Dad's hematologist about his bedside manner, and although initially the guy acted all offended, he has been behaving much less clinically, patting a shoulder, speaking words of understanding....some people have to be taught compassion. Others have to be taught to do their jobs properly, and I hear that is what you are looking for.
My dear Dad passed away just this morning. I am so glad that he's not in pain anymore.

Sue

 
Old 08-23-2011, 07:25 PM   #8
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Re: Horrific last memories

I'm so very sorry for your loss Sue. I hope you and your family are ok. It's a huge hurdle to let yourself actually realize your loss. Sometimes, I thinks it's our way of getting thru the hardest days of our lives. My heart goes out to you... I will write again soon, I will give you the time you need to spend with your family. Just know I'm there with you in your grief. Lisa

 
Old 08-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #9
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Re: Horrific last memories

You're very kind. I feel as if I am almost doing "too" well. I have not cried much at all.
Everyone assures me that each person's grief can look different, and I shouldn't judge myself for my lack of crying, but I guess I am. I loved my Dad although we had a complicated relationship, and I know he loved me, and I am grateful he didn't have to struggle for months before the inevitable.
The funeral was on Wednesday, just two days ago; it feels like eons.

How are you feeling, Lisa, and how is the rest of your family? My mom is naturally very sad, but she's hanging in there. My sister is inconsolable, but she was also with him when he died so I think she just experienced more trauma than I did.

blessings, Sue

 
Old 08-26-2011, 07:08 PM   #10
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Re: Horrific last memories

Hi Sue,

Just a short note to say hang in there and don't short change your grief. I know it's easier said then done, but not everyone displays grief in openly crying. I can't tell you how many times I've cried at night with a feeling of a weight laying on my chest. I would wake up in the morning wondering why I felt like something was missing and feeling unsettled about things. It's only been recently that things are alittle easier in the morning. Unfortunately, this week was not so good. For no reason at all either, very emotional. I guess that happens. I can't tell you what a resource this message board and one other has been for me. It's so nice to travel thru these difficult times when the person you are talking to has either been there or is in the midst of the craziness.

I hope you and your family are coping as best you can. Since mom and dad were not really church people, we didn't have a funeral, dad was cremated. We held a memorial at the house and invited friends to drop by. We had pictures everywhere and it was a time for mom to show everyone her fondest memories of dad. It was uplifting for all of us. You are right though, when I went back to work, it felt like I had been gone for a year. I still felt numb. I'm sure you will feel similar things. All of my friends have been very supportive but sometimes I really didn't that I wanted to "hear" what they had to say. Hard to put into words. Anyway, I am thinking about you and praying that your healing will begin soon. Please know that I am here whenever you want to talk, vent, cry or just take a deep breath. Will talk to you soon.... Lisa

 
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