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    Old 03-02-2003, 07:07 PM   #1
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    Post being with someone when they die

    I'd like to hear from some people that have been with a loved one when they have died; particularly cirrohsis.
    I'd like to know exactly what happened, how they acted, etc.
    This might be hard for some people to talk about but my dad passed from cirrohsis a month ago and it wasnt pretty.
    I just feel it would help me some to be able to share with others what happened to our loved ones up until they passed....


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    Old 03-03-2003, 08:12 AM   #2
    Beth Ann
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    Hi Roach,
    First of all, let me say that I am sorry for your loss. I lost my dad to lung cancer almost 7 years ago. He only had it for 3 months (that we knew of - I'm sure he'd had it for a long time), and he had a hard time with it, and so did we. I was holding my dad's hand when he died. He was in the hospital, and hadn't been conscious (sp?) for a day or two. I knew that he didn't have much time left. When I was holding his hand, I was sitting on the bed with him, talking about all the things he did that brought good memories and made me happy. My dad and I had had some hard times while I was growing up, and I really think that he heard me while I was talking about all the good stuff. And I think it made it easier on him to "let go" knowing that I had forgiven him for all of the bad times. I'm sitting here crying while I type this. You'll have times like this too. Crying for good times, bad times, and for the loss. It took me at least a year to really be able to deal with it, but I still cry sometimes. Again, I'm truly sorry for your loss. I hope you are dealing with it okay.

    Old 03-03-2003, 04:49 PM   #3
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    I did a similar sort of thing with both my parents and with a few others. I'm quite certain that the dying person could hear and understand me even if they could respond only in the smallest way. The staff in hospitals, who experience many deaths, seem also to be of this opinion. Talking to a dying person, especially someone very close, can be a very positive experience, although it seems silly when stated as baldly as that. If the death is an expected one and there is sufficient time leading up to it, there can be a wonderful opening of the gates of communication. I know this was the case with both my parents.

    I thought I had dealt well with the grief of my father's death, and by most standards I probably had, but what I didn't reckon on was the surprising fact that grief can affect someone physically. I experienced unaccountable weariness and a host of minor ailments and aches and pains which had no apparent physical cause. People seem to expect floods of tears for a week or two and then want you back to normal. That just isn't the way it happens. I found that I wasn't ready to talk about it at the time and soon afterwards, and then when I was ready to talk about it a few months later nobody wanted to listen.

    [This message has been edited by FrJackHackett (edited 03-03-2003).]

    Old 03-03-2003, 07:10 PM   #4
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    Thanks guys for posting.

    I've had a really hard time with this. I too was with my dad until his least breath. He was in his bed, at our house. I woke up at 4:30 am and heard him grunting. I went in too see what he was doing.

    My mom got out of bed to go to the restroom, while she was there I grabbed his hand and told him he's going home (heaven). I was crying as he stared at me with his eyes wide open, but he wasnt looking into my eyes.

    It was like he was seing something that i didn't know was there.
    Anyways, a couple minutes after my mom left the room, he was breathing really hard, then the blood just started pouring out of his mouth and nose.

    He was dead so fast. Im glad I was with him until the end, but seeing this has really messed me up in the head.
    I keep having nightmares and flashbacks of the blood and my dad suffering. Its been a month and I cant see ever getting over this...
    What should I do?

    Old 03-03-2003, 08:16 PM   #5
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    I also had difficulty with many of the unpleasant physical and visual aspects of my father's decline and death.

    I can't pretend to have instant answers for you and if you are really unhappy then professional counselling is always an option. What I can do is say how I dealt with it myself. For many weeks after his death these terrible images would spring to mind (which is hardly surprising, since he deteriorated abominably for a year) and we chose to look after him ourselves rather than commit him to a home.

    The breakthrough came when I realised that these images were not the sum total of my dad and his life. Why, I asked myself, do I choose to keep on seeing him in that state when I have about fifty years of wonderful memories to play through ? The more I reflected on this, the more apparent it became that I was getting my own perspective hugely out of proportion. There is the fact of suffering, but there is also the fact of the end of suffering. To concentrate on moments of what Huxley called the "essential horror" to the exclusion of the beauty, the integrity, the mystery and wonder of the human being who was my father was simply wrong, even in the most prosaic terms.

    Grief takes its own time and is different for all of us. At one month you probably have a long way to go but you WILL reach the farther shore in time and be able to look back without hurting. The fact that you are communicating on this forum is a very positive indication of your strength. Keep on communicating with those close to you and do not hesitate to seek counselling if you feel the need.

    Old 03-03-2003, 10:24 PM   #6
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    roach, I am so sorry to hear of your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I lost an uncle to cirosshis(sp) several years ago and you are right, it is not a pretty thing to experience. I am glad you were there with him. When I lost my paternal grandmother, I was holding her hand telling her how much I loved her. I swore that I would not do that when my maternal grandmother died. God chose differently. I helped them clean her up and turn her over and as soon as she was made comfortable, she passed away. I was so glad I was there because my mom had just left and I was glad that I was there to let my mom know that she did not suffer. I do not know how it feels to lose a parent, but know it is worse than when you lose a grandparent. I really dread when I lose my parents, but hope I can be there to hold their hand when they go. You have my prayers.

    Let's get better.
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    Old 03-04-2003, 02:23 AM   #7
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    This is something very hard for me to talk about so I am not going to say to much but I just wanted to say I have watched many people in my family take their last breath and well your never the same. Death is something I thought I was coping with pretty well with having such a strong faith in an after life but when your faith seems to fall,Well nothing seems right.

    My grandpa(who raised me) died of cancer and so did my aunt,then in the same year my great aunt died and so did my great grandma. And well like I said to see someone take their last breath and all the pain they go through in suffering with this cancer....I will never be the same.
    Death is a part of life but how in the world do we handle it?????

    The statement you made about losing a parent is harder than losing a grandparent just isn't true.

    [This message has been edited by west virginia girl (edited 03-04-2003).]

    Old 03-04-2003, 05:11 PM   #8
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    Deepest symapathy for your loss and continued sadness.
    I have no idea what it is like to lose a parent yet, although my mother is dying from Liver disease. and it is SO hard to watch her suffer. I thought seeing a slow decline would help me to prepare, and more importantly, help HER to prepare. But it is not something you can really ever be ready for.

    The only thing that gets either one of us through is knowing that she will be at peace, after all this suffering, regardless of whether she believes in an afterlife or not.

    My thoughts and peace to you.


    Old 03-04-2003, 10:38 PM   #9
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    My heart goes out to you in your loss. I was with my mother when she died of lung cancer. Hers was a relatively peaceful death, but I have images of that early morning carved forever into my brain. Death is such an intimate moment, and your father was blessed to have you there to comfort him.

    I think what you're experiencing now is a temporary form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The little flashbacks you are having is your brain's way of "dosing" you with a little bit of that memory at a time. It's just too much to take in all at once, and your psyche is protecting you by giving you little bits and pieces of it to process.

    It's the hardest thing I've ever done, watching my mother die. I didn't want to be anywhere else in the world, but yet I wanted to run out of the door. I'm sorry you're going through this, but it does get easier. It won't always hurt this bad. God Bless and Keep You....franjo
    Spina-bifida occulta; Congenital Scoliosis (dextrorotatory and 'S' curve, 42 thorasic and 57 degrees lumbar); Meningomyelocele (split cord @ L1); Diastematomyelia (re-sectioned at L2-3); tethered cord @ S-3; cysts on cord; various developmental abnormalities of the spine: narrowing of all disk spaces, defects in posterior arches, ectasia of the spinal canal and dura, segmental disease, sclerosis in L. iliac bone and adjacent sacroiliac joint, unilateral osteitis condensans ilium, hypertrophic facet disease L4-5 and L5-S1.

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    Old 04-04-2003, 07:10 PM   #10
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    I'm sorry to hear about your Dad. I know it doesn't seem like you'll ever feel stronger, but you will.
    You won't ever forget, but you will be able to live without it consuming you.

    Back in 1988 my dad suddenly went into the hospital with pneumonia, which actually began as a cold, but his immune system was way down as he was fighting Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the time. Anyway, my brother and sister and I went to visit him in the ICU on Sat. morning. We never got to see him that day mainly because his new wife was in control and kept us out of the room. He died that day at 2:34 pm. I will never stop wishing we could have been in that room with him. We don't even know for sure if he knew we were in the waiting area all day. Anyway, my point is, death is not easy no matter how you slice it. If you can be there at the time of death for someone you love, it will be a whole lot easier to cope than spending the rest of your life wishing you had been there. You're lucky you were able to be there.


    Old 04-06-2003, 01:49 PM   #11
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    Roach, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope things are getting easier for you. My mother died the end of January. She was 82 with advancing dementia. I spent two years caring for her at home, but finally had to place her in a nursing home last November. I got a call one morning that she had choked on some medication and that she was having trouble breathing. I rushed there to find that she had aspirated and they didn't expect her to make it.

    We spent a very long day together as she struggled for every breath and pleaded with me to help her. Of course there was nothing I could do. So I just held her and talked to her and reminded her over and over of how much I loved ber. I finally had to tell her that she wasn't going to make it, that she would be going home to Heaven soon. I talked about Heaven and who was waiting for her there. I assured her that she'd done a wonderful job of raising me, but that I would be fine now, and it was okay for her to let go and go home. She breathed her last breath in my arms at 1:00 in the morning.

    I would have been nowhere else at that moment, and I know that she is in Heaven now. But, for weeks I was haunted by the memory of those final hours and the look of struggle and pain on her face at the end. Writing this, the tears are flowing again. It's a process, Roach. It will take time. Little by little, the good memories will come to replace the bad ones. And if they don't, please don't be afraid to find help. You have some pretty tough memories to deal with. A few sessions with a grief counselor or psychologist, or even a support group, may be all you need to get you over the hurdle. You have to face the memories when they come, though. If you push them away, they will never leave you. But, balance them by reminding yourself of everyday times with your dad. That final moment is not the sum total of his life. Fill your mind with pictures of him as you knew him growing up. Spend time in the old photo albums filling your mind with good pictures. You did a wonderful thing for your father, Roach. And, even if he was not responsive at the end, believe that he knew you were there.

    In a sympathy card from a friend, she said something that really helped me come to terms with my experience. She said, "How many of us are given the immeasurable privilege of walking our loved one right up to Heaven's door and kissing her goodbye, of being the last voice she hears on this earth before she is ushered into the presence of her savior?" My prayers are with you, Roach.

    Old 05-17-2003, 01:49 PM   #12
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    Hi Roach,I watched my fiance die on 03/03/03 from cancer. It was probably the most horrible thingI have ever seen. He did not die a peaceful death, he got to live in 'hell' for 2 days before he died.

    I'm glad I was there for him, but I now have to live with daytime nightmares. I don't think that will ever get better, I just pretend each day and do what I have to do.

    I hope things get better for you roach, but please know there are others who suffer like you, and it is real. Sometimes people with good intentions try to sugar-coat things. Ususally they are the ones who never been through this kind of thing.

    Hope you had a good day today,

    [This message has been edited by Catster (edited 05-17-2003).]

    Old 05-17-2003, 02:36 PM   #13
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    Dear Roach

    It seems that the more unpleasant the death of a loved one is, the harder we take it (understandably)nobody wants to see anyone suffer let alone someone we cared about.
    I really think you should speak to someone, these boards are useful, also your priest or clergy-person.
    If you are not a religous person, many hospitals have grief counsellors.
    I am very sad for your loss, I also know you will find peace (it takes time and talking) again.
    Take care

    Old 05-17-2003, 07:03 PM   #14
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    My grandfather passed away after a long battle with cancer last month. We really began to realize that it was coming a few days before so we spent every second up there. I visited him the day before he died after school, then he died early in the morning. In a way, it was good beause he was in so much pain and he wasn't even able to recognize anyone anymore. It was peaceful for us, we went up and just sat on the bed with him until the funeral home came in the morning.
    Then a few weeks ago we suddenly lost my grandmother- who was in perfect health. It was such a shock... everyone was just numb.
    My grandfather loved trains and it was funny, everytime my dad's brothers and sisters went to make some sort of arrangments, a train would go by. Even as we put the casket on the burial plot- a train went by and to beat that, it had only two engines. It's peaceful to know their together, she missed him so much.
    "Careful the things you say, children will listen.
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    Old 02-09-2006, 11:12 AM   #15
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    Re: being with someone when they die

    Im not sure why im here.My Mother passed away july 19 2005 from Pancreatic cancer.She would have turned 60 tomorrow.Its been so hard.I was with her till 3 hours past her death.She died at home.and Hospice took 3 hours to come get her.My sister and I cleand and bathed her and re-dressed her.(Mom requested no strangers see her nude she was very shy)My mom started getting sick in Jan 2005 and by April the doctors told us she wouldnt live.She weighed 168lbs when she first got sick and at the time of death she weighed 62 lbs.I havent talked about any of this.My family refuses to discuss it.Everyone seems to pretend she doesnt exist anymore.Its been 6 months and i still cant move on.I myself have lost over 30 lbs.I cant eat I cant sleep.I see my mom screaming in pain every time i close my eyes.She was a Christian and since watching how she died I have so many confusing questions.Im angry and lost.I have tried everything to move on.My mom was a special lady and for her to die the way she did it messed me up.I thought i had everything all figured out.U be a good person,Live a good life and die and go to im so 5:30pm on July 19th 2005 I felt my moms head to check for a temp.Its was 107.for 30 mins she screamed and squirmed in pain.her temp kept rising.she never lost conciousness.I stood by her feet rubbing them and telling her it was ok to go.(I feel so guilty for that)Moms feet were like ice cubes.I looked into her eyes till the last second.Her death was like watching someone go thru hell.I dont know how to handle it.Im 39 years old with a husband and 4 kids and a house full of animals and all i seem to be able to think of is moms last 30 mins.If anyone out there has any ideas on how to deal with this please tell me.For 6 months now ive kept myself locked in my home.I dont have any friends to talk with and I seem to argue with my sisters over this.they have moved on and think i should have also.But its not taht easy.....I shouldnt even be writing this but im so confused and lost that i was hoping being able to talk about it may help and I'm hoping that by getting an outside opinion may help.Lord some days i think im going crazy.Thank you for taking the time to read this.I cant discuss this any more at this time.The pain is just to much

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