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Is this common?

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Old 09-13-2008, 07:26 AM   #1
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Is this common?

For the last couple of weeks, dad has been saying some things he has never said before.

Last night, he told me he is ready to die. Thinks he is, as a matter of fact. He can't walk hardly at all. Can't think. Can't talk. And when I ask him how he is, he always says, "All right." Yesterday, I said, "Daddy, I think you are not feeling all right." And he said, "Right." I asked him how he is feeling bad. And he said, "I don't know." And he said, "Don't worry." I said, "I am not worried, daddy. But I am concerned." To which he replied, "About me."

I figured it was time to say this, so I said, "Look, daddy. I know you're tired of all this. When it's time for you to join momma, you do that. And don't worry about ME, or Mitzi (the dog). We'll be just fine. You do what you need to do, and we'll be ok. I promise."

Then he said, "Why can't I just die?"

I have not mentioned this to even my husband. I don't know what to make of it. Random musings by a demented mind? Or is this something I should be taking super seriously? He doesn't "look" good - although I cannot identify how. He is sleeping 18 or more hours a day, sleeping even when sitting up. Do people "know" when their body is shutting down?

Guess I need some support here. Any words of wisdom?


...little deb

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Old 09-13-2008, 07:59 AM   #2
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Re: Is this common?

Little Deb,
I experienced this same thing with my DH although he was too young, he would say he didn't want to die. This happened a few times and I would always say something like "we're all going to die someday' and try to put his mind at ease. I truly believe they have a premonition about this as though they know. It about killed me when he would say it as I knew his life was going to be cut very short, and it was. If your Dad is sleeping 18 hrs a day I would think that possibly he knows that the end is coming. I know it's horrible to think about but I think the sleeping is natures way of comforting him and hopefully the end will come peacefully like it did with my DH. As I laid there with my DH while he took his last breath, in as much as it was devastating for me, it was quite peaceful for him and I will be eternally grateful for that. I also know that the long sleeping pattern is a symptom of the end coming and we're never ready for it. I will be praying for you and you Dad and am sending lots of love your way.

Love Janie

Old 09-13-2008, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: Is this common?

My father-in-law didn't have AD, but one day out of the blue he started talking about the fact he was ready to die, and that he wished he would just die. He did have some health problems (mid-70s) including a heart condition, but nothing that made us believe that death was imminent. We tried to cheer him up at the time, thinking he was just a depressed and missing his wife. A few weeks later he did pass. The fact that he had talked about being ready was comforting to the family.

One of my grandfathers (nearly 100) told my parent that he was ready to die (he had been in very good shape until then), and he died the next morning. While at his age it was not unexpected, the family still wondered if he knew something was different.

So I don't think this is unusual. I think he's just getting ready and senses that he's coming to the end even if none of us can know when the end is going to be.

Old 09-13-2008, 12:23 PM   #4
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Re: Is this common?

I don't know the answer, but my mother-in-law (terminal cancer patient) wanted to speak with me yesterday about death and my faith in the hereafter. Last night she suffered a pulmonary embolism and is in the hospital. She's incoherent and we're just waiting for the call.

Old 09-13-2008, 01:07 PM   #5
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Re: Is this common?

In my experience, I would hazard a guess and say the majority of people KNOW it's going to happen to them. Some fight it tooth and nail (as did my FIL) others accept that a new part of their journey is going to happen soon and accept it and go peacefully.

Death is not about what's happening to the person, it's who they are leaving behind .... we don't want them to go!

If Daddy is saying he wants to die, then sit with him. Hold his hand. stroke his head. Let him know your gonna be OK (yes, your already doing that .. perfect)
... your loved one hasn't forgotten you ... the DISEASE doesn't remember you

Old 09-28-2008, 05:47 PM   #6
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Re: Is this common?

Little Deb,
We can all have nothing but an opinion, but I have seen three cases of this type behavior. My mother who is progressing very rapidly now hadn't known who I was or my name in over a week. No other family members names, mumbling which we might understand 10 random words in an hour conversation, ate two or three bites at mealtime, and refused to drink more than maybe 8 oz. per day. Before this time, she had fought tooth and nail. They had her in three different chairs and she succeeded in getting out of all of them. Staff was beginning to call her Houdini. Never a still moment until the time I spoke off a little over a week or so ago. She calmed, sat quietly and mumbled, didn't seem to know if we were there or just another staff member, refused to attempt using the toilet which she had insisted on, and seemed to be losing her swallowing reflex.
Last night I walked in and saw a smile on her face from 5 foot away. I took her in the geri-chair into the room so we could talk staying very close in order to hear. I listened to her again call my name and that of my brother, tell me how she had loved my daddy and that she WAS a good mother. Listening her count from 1-9, I asked what she was doing and she told me practicing. She then sang two lines of Amazing Grace for me. She became consumed with observing my hands. I finally lay one down on her leg and asked "What are you looking so closely at my hands for?" She lay hers down by mine and said, "Look, they are alot alike." Where her reality had been the days of her childhood for two months, it last night became my dad, her children, and even talked about her two grandchildren and greatgrandchild by name." There is a possibility this came from 1 small dose of xanax not given that morning, but it had never happened before. I asked them not to give it last night, but it was given. Maybe the medication, maybe not. Today, she was back to the mother who doesn't know my name or know me from the staff. I wonder if this talk might have been for my good...
I also saw my father-in-law struggle in pain for hours before his last child arrived at the NH. Five minutes later, his wife said, "Honey, we're all here now. You can go to sleep when you want. We'll take care of each other." Three breathes and that was it.
The other incident was my niece who fought a battle with a very rare liver cancer from age 2 1/2 to barely turning 5. On her last day, I sat with her and her mother in the room as she looked out the window and reached toward the sky for several hours. Over and over she repeated the same words. The best we could understand, she was saying "Where is my HHH thing?" When she became exhausted and lay down with us sitting by her side, she was gone.
As you can see, it's very hard for me not to believe in this sort of thing happening. Only the Lord could explain it, but many times I think it is of extreme help to the family.

Old 09-29-2008, 04:16 AM   #7
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Re: Is this common?

My mother was happy in the nursing home ... but in the Spring of 07, around the same time she stopped processing food she began to talk about dying. Always in a positive way (my Mom was so wonderful!) she would say I want to see my Mama, I want to go Home. This was deeper than just wanting to be a child again and be with her family - she used "go home" in the religious sense, of dying.

As I have mentioned before, it took several mnths but then she did pass away.



Last edited by Martha H; 09-29-2008 at 10:48 AM.

Old 09-29-2008, 09:38 AM   #8
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Re: Is this common?

I love those stories. It has a way of letting you know they were ready and looking forward to peace. Mother had talked of her mother and father for months prior to this past week when she started talking of being a mother to us. She had been back in her childhood for months. That was why I was so surprised at her talking of our immediate family. She had made comments about seeing her mama and daddy. However, many times, she says that she has seen them and my father. This made me think that it was hallucinations. For an hour, she came up in time a generation. That, I thought to be so very strange! I really thought she know longer had memories of times that close.

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