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Other => Off Topic => Topic started by: MountainTown on October 26, 2018, 10:52:54 PM

Title: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: MountainTown on October 26, 2018, 10:52:54 PM
Hi all,

I decided to write to this forum not because it's a money question...but because it's a life question that involves money. So far my sense is mustachians understand the value money has in enhancing life and the wisdom of valuing energy/resources in a meaningful way(rather than frivolous...or just keeping up with joneses). Anyways obviously I am someone here pursuing FI but that is not really my point in this post.

My Dad has been dying for years. In fact ever since my honeymoon 3 years ago I was aware my dad had cancer. I remember because I considered cancelling the honeymoon to be there with my dad. He lives three states away, $600 flight, and I have nowhere to really stay near him for free. It's also not really cheap--it's a weird mix of suburban wasteland and expensivish hotels. When I say expensive I really mean not horrible but not cheap. I am paying around $130 a night. Anyways back then I decided to choose life, my marriage, and I'm really glad. We had a great time on the honeymoon and I have had plenty of time to spend with my Dad over the years.

Now. I am here. His liver is failing. His body is full of cancer. He has gone through multiple treatments, chemo, radiation. He wanted to die fighting this and he found a doctor who would help him do that. But now he is in the hospital and can't lift his head. He is being treated for liver failure basically. I have been here three 3 days with my siblings....and I guess I am just wondering how long do I do this?

I feel guilty for not staying. If i leave maybe I will wonder could I have had one last talk with him? The reality right now is I can't ...he is not lucid. I told him some things I wanted him to hear. He said "you're a good son" and went back to sleep. If I told my siblings that they probably would be envious/surprised.

I also am a bit miserable and anxious being here. I like my routine of fitness, good food, mountain life, and ...whatever it's my routine. I hate being cooped up in a hospital and I just don't know what to do. It's like every day we wait and see. The doctor is basically waiting for him to become clear enough to participate in a different decision than this. And on the mustachian side it's like a god damn sieve. Paying for flights next day is not cheap and neither is $150 a night hotels. Not even going to mention the lost time at work. I would do it in a heartbeat to save his life but it seems like he is just miserable..and not there...and what can I do? I just want to be there for him but it doesn't really  feel that way.

My Dad's stubborn. Slightly mentally ill. One minute he wants to fight it the next minute he wants hospice. I don't know what to do. Has anyone been in a similar situation? My wife says I should just go and take care of myself...but I am riddled with guilt and wonder will I regret just coming back for the funeral or did I do enough?
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Cassie on October 27, 2018, 12:22:12 AM
Forget about the funeral and be there for him as much as you can. Itís more important to be there while alive but donít bankrupt yourself to do so.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Radagast on October 27, 2018, 01:07:03 AM
I feel like sticking around is the better choice, though obviously I am barely aware of the situation. You already know full well what your routine life is like and you'll have thousands of days of it in the future. You will only get one chance to see your dad off, and who knows what you will learn and experience? This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. Of course it also depends on the time frame. Doing this for months on end does not seem feasible, but a week or two may be feasible. And also on finances. If the consequence is 3 weeks later FIRE, than that seems like not a big deal. If it also means losing your house, then back to work. To me, financial independence is about minimizing regrets.

If not already, you can use your free time to hack "5th night free" hotel deals and rewards points, and get in the other things like healthy food and exercise.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: secondcor521 on October 27, 2018, 01:22:07 AM
I think what is "doing enough" for each person is highly individual.  My Mom passed away from a lung disease about 2.5 years ago.  I was willing and able to spend time with her, take her on drives around town, and help out in whatever ways I could.  But there were things that I wouldn't feel comfortable helping her with (she was very frail at the end of her life) and things that perhaps if she had asked I would have said I was unable to do.  I had two sisters who lived out of state and they visited more often the last year or two of her life.  But we weren't there 24/7 and we didn't drop our own lives to be there all the time.  What each of us chose to give and do was enough.  I think it's OK to have limits on what you can or will do for your Dad.  Don't pile guilt on yourself where there really shouldn't be any.  If your Dad guilt trips you, you need to work through that regardless of when he dies.  Also, no matter what you do, it won't be "enough" in the sense that he will still pass away.  But that's different - that's just death.  It's not a reflection on you or if you've done right by your Dad near the end of his life.

I do have a few suggestions.  First, talk with your Dad's doctor to see what the prognosis is for your Dad in his current condition, and ask for the doctor to be straight and honest with you.  Most doctors are able to talk about death and dying, but many aren't.  If you know your Dad has two months or six months or a year, that can at least give you some information on which to make reasonable decisions.  If he is in the last week of his life, maybe you take the week off from work under FMLA and stay there and fly home in two weeks after the funeral.  If he's got another year, maybe you fly home tomorrow and promise to visit at Thanksgiving or Christmas or Hannukah or whatever.

Second, there are other options besides living with/at your Dad's or a hotel.  Check into VRBO or AirBnB, you can cut that cost in half.  Similarly with transportation - maybe it would be cheaper/better to drive, take a bus, or take a train.  Or if flights make the most sense, see if you can travel hack yourself some free plane tickets.

See what the doctor says, but even if your Dad is in his last days, you can still decide to stay at the hospital but take a walk around the building three times a day, or whenever the nurse comes to check on him, or whatever schedule you set.  You at least need to take care of yourself enough so you can be strong and able for him and whatever he might need.  So this includes things like getting decent sleep, exercise, food, and stress relief.

I'm not sure if it would help, but maybe also talk to the doctor about your Dad's living will / durable health care power of attorney.  If you have that, it might be possible to get your Dad into hospice.  Again, hospice is a very personal decision for an individual and family, but my Mom was on hospice the last year of her life and it was superb and excellent and worked out really well for her.  I would highly recommend it.

Good luck.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Johnez on October 27, 2018, 01:37:09 AM
Any chance you can get an idea of how he's taking the treatment and perhaps a projected timeline? If unsure, maybe check out your company's policy on leave of absence and look for a better temp living situation, maybe weekly motel rentals, or AirBnB. If it was me, I'd bite the bullet and plan for the long term stay of weeks, at least that'd remove the anxiety of work and wondering if you're going to have to book more nights or a flight soon.

Also, this depends on what's at stake as the previous poster mentioned. If your home or job is in danger, you have a family at home that's in need as well. Maybe you and your siblings can alternate and plan time with your dad so everybody has a chance to take care of both their families and their father.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: NevermindScrooge on October 27, 2018, 02:20:28 AM
Hi MountainTown, sorry to hear about your struggles. I have some thoughts on this situation, but I want to make clear that every situation is unique; you can use my experiences as inspiration (on how not to do things), but in the end it's your life and only you decide.
My dad passed away four years ago due to heart disease. He dwindled in the end, his kidneys failed, he couldn't eat, he lost lucidity. I felt really guilty that I could not be there, I'm not the kind of person who can sit for days with the sick and the dying. The same goes for my dad's friends and our family. Some people are great at bedside manners, others are not. That doesn't mean that they don't love the patient. I noticed that in some cases the people who couldn't be there were the people who really loved him; it hurt them too much to see him suffering.
So I thought long and hard about what I should do and what I wanted to do. I decided that I had to be there for my mom after my dad had passed. So I had to keep some spare energy for the funeral and the period after that, and therefore I decided to only visit when I felt strong enough. In the end my father didn't register my presence anymore, but I was there for my mom so she could get some groceries and get out of the house.

Have you talked to your siblings about this? How do they feel about the situation? How will YOU feel after the funeral considering different scenarios?
Sorry if my phrasing is funny, that last sentence looks weird, but I can't thing of a better way of expressing myself.

Sending internet empathy.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: mrmoonymartian on October 27, 2018, 03:21:48 AM
If I were him I would be grateful for the comfort you have already given but would not want you to be on a miserable death watch indefinitely. Live with joy and mourn only when necessary.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: lizzzi on October 27, 2018, 06:21:43 AM
The key piece of information is: what is the prognosis? How long do they think he has? I don't see how you can make a decision without knowing that.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Another Reader on October 27, 2018, 07:45:00 AM
I think you need to corner the doctor.  Often their approach is to be hopeful to the end, even when there is no hope.  If his liver is failing and he is in and out of consciousness, he is probably near the end, but get confirmation from the doctor.  It's possible he may pass before hospice gets involved.

If you decide to stay, file for FMLA and look for a less expensive place to stay.  Has the funeral/memorial been planned?  One common practice today is not to have a funeral but have a memorial service several weeks or months later.  Going home now or when he dies and returning for that might make sense.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Blueberries on October 27, 2018, 09:09:30 AM
I'm sorry you're losing your dad.  One thing I want to say is that you should not feel guilt about how you handle this.  As with everything else in life, we do the best we can with the resources we have (emotional, financial, etc.) at that time and if you knew to do something different, you would have done something different.  Meaning, you will make the best decision with the emotional and financial resources you have available right now. 

The key piece of information is: what is the prognosis? How long do they think he has? I don't see how you can make a decision without knowing that.

In terms of concrete advice, I agree with this. 
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: sixwings on October 27, 2018, 09:49:34 AM
would there be airbnbs in the suburban wasteland? could bring the cost down quite a bit.

I had a similar situation with my grandfather who i was very close to. I was there with him to the end and I don't regret it. Before he really spiraled he knew I was going to be there for him through it all and it comforted him at that time.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Dee18 on October 27, 2018, 10:23:22 AM
Ten years ago when my father was dying of cancer I was somewhat in your position, although also a single parent of an elementary aged child.  I went back and forth, postponed a fellowship abroad, juggled work, parenting, and being in another state.  I did corner the doctor and got a clear prognosis that was helpful so I think thatís good advice.  At the end my father was in inpatient hospice, a godsend for my mother who was in her 80s, and for the rest of us.  The last week my mother, my sister, and I were keeping a 24 hour vigil, rotating nights.  One night we were all so exhausted that my brother-in-law insisted he stay.  He and my dad were not close, so he had not previously been involved in the rotation.  That night my father died.  The nurse said that happened frequently, that someone who was dying would wait until they did not have a close family in the room, to spare them.  I donít know if thatís true, or if she just said that to make us feel better.  The hardest thing for me was my sisterís criticism of me when I would go home to be with my daughter.  (My father insisted he did not want my daughter to see him at the final stage because he was emaciated.  He wanted her to remember him as he had been.) I had seen my father at least every other month for the ten years preceding his death, because my daughter was the only grandchild.  My sister had only seen him twice a year, and in retrospect I think she was trying to make up for lost time.

You have had great final words with your dad.  Do what is right for you.  Keeping a vigil may not be.  Only you can know and donít worry about what others will think.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Dicey on October 27, 2018, 10:29:57 AM
Nobody likes this process and when all is said and done, nobody regrets being there.

Been there, done that.

ETA: I posted the above because I did not have enough time to read through all the comments. I have more yo say, when time permits. I just had a moment to read a few and my earlier comment strikes me as unsympathetic.  Nothing could be further from the truth. I know this is hard.

See if you can use the Way of the Mustache to get your accommodation costs down, if that helps. If Next Door is available in the area, see if you can get someone local to post an ad that you're looking for a place to stay for a short-ish amount of time. Also, check with the hospital Chaplin. They are usually acutely aware of the local options.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: SunnyDays on October 27, 2018, 11:27:48 AM
As someone who took 3 unpaid months off work (because Mustachian, so could do it financially) to help my father with my mom who was dying of cancer at home, I would say that you will never regret doing as much as you can.  Even if it's uncomfortable and difficult.  This is your chance to be a person of character, but NOT a martyr.  Don't ruin your life in the process of seeing your dad out of his, but don't underestimate the value of being there either.  To both of you.  My sister, who has great difficulty with anything unpleasant, visited once from another province when my mom was still herself, and then came for the last 2 weeks and was also there when she passed.  It was harder in all ways for her, but she doesn't regret it either.  My mom had had breast cancer many years ago and then a recurrance which metastasized to liver cancer.  The thing about the liver is that it can produce psychiatric symptoms, so that the person can seem very demented, but you really don't know how much they're taking in, so err on the side of assuming more than less.  In our experience, once the body starts release fluids (ie, becomes incontinent), it's just a matter of a few days.  Best wishes in this very hard situation.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: oldladystache on October 27, 2018, 11:58:41 AM
If you are there with your siblings you should be able to share the expenses.

Think about ten years from now. What will you be glad or sorry you did?
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: lhamo on October 27, 2018, 03:14:43 PM
I'm sorry you are having to deal with this/make this decision.

My mom died of congestive heart failure last December.  She had a fall in mid-November (on my birthday, actually), was put on oxygen after that, but had a pretty rapid decline.  As things were clearly getting near the end, I had a pre-existing commitment that kept me busy/emotionally drained on Saturday and Sunday.  I had some guilt about being there rather than with my mom, but it was something pretty important and my siblings were supportive so I focused on that.  I went to see my mom Sunday evening -- she had already been unconscious for several hours and hospice thought she didn't have much time left.  I was exhausted so my brother and sister encouraged me to go home.  I left around 11pm.  They called me just before midnight to tell me she was gone. 

I made the right decision for me.  My mom never regained consciousness and we had said all that needed to be said in the weeks leading up to her passing.  My brother and sister decided to stay and it was hard for them, but they were glad they made that choice and never resented me for mine.

I would encourage you to talk as openly as you can with your siblings about how they feel and what they expect.  Maintaining those relationships is primary now.  Resentment for choices that others don't understand is poison in a family.  Try to be compassionate to them, too.  You are all grieving, all in your own ways.

If you haven't spoken to the palliative care team at the hospital yet (hopefully they have one), please make that a priority.  They have a lot of experience in helping families and individuals through these decisions.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: accolay on October 27, 2018, 03:59:15 PM
I'm sorry your father is dying. I'm sorry for your despair.

I have only experienced a few personal instances of these situations, but I have borne witness many many times. My opinion is that many families and people will attempt to "fight" the inevitable and put themselves or their loved one through the horror much longer than needed. Usually it's not to save their person, but to lessen their own guilt or ignore the reality of death as if they are going to take control and make everything better.

Medical side: Does your father have an advanced directive and is anyone a power of attorney to enact his wishes? Is your dad still able to make his own decisions? Does the team think that your dad while having liver failure will ever become lucid enough to participate? Get the real story about what the doctors think. Does his team think that his health will improve? Have you spoken with your siblings and are you on a united front on what you would do if your father isn't able to participate in his care? Is your father a candidate where they would even attempt chemo or think that radiation would help anything? Does the hospital have palliative care and if so, has everyone talked with them? Has anyone considered hospice (note that hospice doesn't mean you're going to die tomorrow. Hospice care is generally not taken advantage of early or soon enough)

Money side:  It's up to you. Don't feel guilty continuing to live while someone dies. You'll have to find a balance you're comfortable with and only you can decide that but I will say that the money really wont matter in the long run while you spend time being with your dad if he is truly on his way.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: MoolahLula on October 27, 2018, 05:10:23 PM
My beloved father died of liver cancer in 2015 and it was brutal but also pretty quick from diagnosis to death.  There was very little lucidity at the last week.  I vote you stay, as uncomfortable and brutal as it may be.  If you are in the DC area you can come stay with me for free. 
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Kris on October 27, 2018, 05:21:00 PM
Both of my parents are dead. I was there when my father passed. I wasnít when my mom passed (I had gone home for a day to pay bills and manage life stuff).

Iíve always regretted not being there when Mom died. She was no longer lucid, so she didnít know. My dad wasnít either. But I knew.

I knew.

You may be different. But the grief from parental death is hard. Your heart might be less heavy in the end if youíre there.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: MountainTown on October 27, 2018, 06:12:29 PM
Wow. Thanks. I am touched by the overwhelming support of this community. Your words, spirit, compassion, wisdom, and even someone offering their home means the world to me. If only I were in the DC area--but thank you!

I can't respond to everything everyone said so I will just update. I did decide to stay, changed my flight to delay a few days and we will see what happens. My sister said I can stay with her. My wife and I will be in a living room with a house full of 6 crazy boys--so not sure how that will work out but at least it takes the financial pressure off of me. I was feeling stressed about the bill racking up at the hotel.

I received a call early that my Dad was asking for his kids, and thought he was going to go soon. He was in a lot of pain. The doctor who was trying to "clear" his liver(it's a treatment to make you produce more stool)...finally felt he had given it his best and it was not working. Basically my father is receiving hospice treatment now. Typing these words pains me....there is still a part of me that wishes I could save him or do more. But there's not....and as "Treating" went just looked more like torture to me. But that is what he wanted. He wouldn't give  up on chemo so he wouldn't give up on this easily. He did acknowledge that he wanted more comfort, less pain. AT time he seems clear that he wants hospice. At other times he says "Why would you do this to me?" I know it's probably just ....delerium but it hurts.

I guess i was wondering if anyone experience something similar with the emotional states. In fact he has had tons of visitors and it's funny....the people who are more acquaintance type relatives...he can perk up for, for a second. Maybe even say "Thank you" or "I love you too.." ....but for me, and I think my siblings too....he hardly utters a word. I have hold him what i wanted to say. And I feel good about that. But sometimes it hurts when he seems to almost emote more for other people. It seems he just reaches out to me or my brother for comfort to be sat up, get water, get more pain control etc. Again, I am trying to take it with a grain of salt but I must admit....a big part of me is sad that I don't get to have this heart to heart I love you son moment.

Again sorry I didn't directly respond to everyone. I think this post addresses/ answers a lot of the questions and advice. I don't know where things will go from here. It could be hours or it could be days. That part is hard too but I guess now we know it's likely not to be more than a week....but who knows. The doctor seems reluctant to guess as he said he has before and is often wrong. He did eat some today, a little applesauce. So I think a part of him still wants to stay alive. That part pains me. I wish I knew what he was going he sad? Is he happy all these people are here? Or is it horrifying knowing why?

Last night I shared some words with him and he said "You're a good son" and smiled. I am trying to carry those words with me.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Candace on October 27, 2018, 07:08:43 PM
If you're in the Hampton Roads area, PM me. We have a quiet home and a spare bedroom.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Bendigirl on October 27, 2018, 07:27:48 PM
You are a good son!
So,happy to read that you are staying.  I was with my mom when she passed and itís a memory I cherish.
My dad was kind of nasty with us kids, and like your dad would perk up and adore everyone but us.  I lived with that for such a long time and I tried to not let it bother me.  I cared for my dad before he passed, bringing him to my hometown for his long term care.  I visited everyday, sat with him through dentist appointments, took him for drives....but I was not there when he passed (day after the dentist) and it still haunts me, but it was sudden and unexpected.  I wish I could have been there to hold his hand because , despite his nastiness, he was my dad and I loved him.
Embrace this time with your dad....
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: secondcor521 on October 27, 2018, 07:37:18 PM
I would strongly encourage you to talk to a hospice nurse ASAP.  In general, hospice nurses treat both the dying person and the family.  The good ones are very kind and compassionate people.

First, they can assure you about your father's mental state, and whether it is delerium or cancer-induced dementia or what.  I'd bet strongly that it's just part of the disease and dying process - my Mom behaved similarly unlike herself in the last month or two of her life.  It is hard to dissociate it and not take it personally, but if you are educated on the facts I think it would help, rather than you just guessing.

Second, they may be better equipped than your doctor to give you a better idea of when your father will pass away.  Being in their line of work, they see death much more often than most doctors, and with their experience they can probably give you good insight.

Also, I think that your father is "nicer" to acquaintances than he is to you is really a way of showing that he loves you.  He knows he can be his regular self around you and doesn't have to put up a front.  If he were polite to you and never asked you for help, he would be treating you like an acquaintance, not a family member.

Finally:  Airlines and hotels might offer bereavement fares.  If you explain the situation they may be able to waive the change fees or do something else to help you out if your travel plans have to be up in the air for now.

Oh, and same offer of my house.  Boise, Idaho.  Unlikely, but a way of showing you that people care.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: MountainTown on October 27, 2018, 08:17:03 PM
Thanks again everyone! I will just go ahead and say we are in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul(north of) area. Not that it's a solicitation...the offers really are an overwhelming gesture and makes me realize how much people in here care about life, relationships, and experience--not money.

Yes I did get a "medical" fare which waives any change fees. So far that has proven very useful to alleviate stress. I haven't found a hotel with any "medical rate" but oh well.

Thanks for the insight on interpersonal relations. I just talked with my sister and she has had the same experience...not so much as a I love you and they were always the closest in proximity and relationship. Maybe I will talk to the Palliative care doctor. She has been so generous with her time and is full of knowledge.

Mostly I have been sharing stories with him from friends, my memories, my childhood, or last summer.

My sister and I have talked about guilt. It's been a hard few years for my Dad. Depression...cancer...and he generally just lived a crazy lifestyle. We are both struggling with how we could have just been loving, a little bit more. Or I coulda stayed on that boat ride for just a few hours more(after he was four hours late). Stuff like that. It's hard. I don't want to let that get in the way but I suppose at this sister and I wish we could get forgiveness. Guess that's selfish but it is strikingly real.

I have enjoyed just seeing him though. I keep reminding myself that his wishes were to get cremated. I won't see his face again, touch his hands, or look him in the eye. I won't hear his voice....though I'm not hearing much right now anyways. Anyways I guess I am trying to freeze the moments so I can keep them. Sure is hard to let go. I think it's hard for him too--that's what even more painful. He is in a lot of pain but I think he is very afraid and reluctant to goto the next stage.

Thanks everyone. I never had thought one post would be so therapeutic. Hearing everyone's experiences has been so healing. And of course thanks for the advice.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: accolay on October 27, 2018, 09:40:30 PM
Lactulose can be a bitch. Hopefully they are giving him something to keep his pain manageable.

If my house wasn't in renovation mode I'd offer you a room right now. It might be good to be with family though.

Let me know if you need someone to buy you a beer.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: MountainTown on October 27, 2018, 10:19:28 PM
Accolay...thank you for the word! Lactulose...i was struggling to remember. Yes pain control is in full effect now. It's just sad to give up but I hated seeing him in pain anymore.

He is off the lactulose now as it really didn't do much but make it more uncomfortable for him. Wish it would have helped more.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Dicey on October 28, 2018, 11:25:31 AM
Here's the short version of my story: my dad hung on until I told him it was okay to go. I told him we'd be fine and asked him to give our love to his wife (our mom), his brother, his mom, etc., listing all the loved ones who had gone before. Told him that I loved him and had always known I was his favorite (longstanding family joke), and that all would be well. For [reasons], this was a phone conversation, but all of my siblings were there with him. He died in his sleep that night.

I knew to do this because my aunt did it with her husband (my dad's brother). She had been sleeping on the floor beside his bed, but one night, she crawled into bed with him, gave him permission to go, and he did. I thought it was incredibly brave of her and always remembered it.

Sometimes the reassurance that their loved ones will be fine helps the dying person finally let go.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: SunnyDays on October 28, 2018, 11:29:42 AM
I get how you feel about the emotional disconnect with your dad.  As I said, my mom had dementia from the cancer itself and was at times physically combative when she thought we weren't doing what she wanted and I remember seeing a look of pure hatred aimed at my dad on one occasion.  She never acknowledged anything we did to help (and she was at home, so we were giving constant care) and in fact, sometimes thought we were actively NOT helping, like when she fell trying to get out of bed, and we couldn't get her up, but made her comfortable with pillows and called paramedics to help.  She profusely thanked THEM for helping because we "wouldn't let her get up."  It did help to know that this was the disease talking and not her and she would have been horrified to hear herself say these things if she's been in her right mind.  So, do try not to take it personally when your dad doesn't say the things you think he should - he is not himself and is likely not really thinking about you right now.  He may be more pleasant to visitors just because an automatic social politeness pops out.  I'm sure he does love and appreciate you.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: MountainTown on October 28, 2018, 01:34:09 PM
Thank you everyone. Again the words have really been a comfort. I said my final goodbye to my Dad today. It's true. I'm so glad I was here to say something to him even if I barely got a response back.

Sure I wish I coulda had a Tuesdays with Morrie month long session with him. But I did get to say good bye, I did get some things off my chest, and I got to tell him that my wife and I decided to start trying to have a baby--because I wanted to make sure he was around to see it. Of course he won't be but I think he would have been so happy to know I finally manned up to it.

We are doing a lot of processing, talking now and it is healing. I'm kinda of a mess today. hugging my dad saying I don't know what I will do....I just still feel like a 34 year old kid. Anyways, back at it now. Lots to do, lots to process. Thanks again. I will check in later.

Love, MT
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: lhamo on October 28, 2018, 01:44:40 PM
So sorry for your loss.  Glad we were able to support you a bit during this challenging time, and that you were able to say goodbye.  Take care.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Poundwise on October 28, 2018, 04:05:20 PM
So very sorry for your loss. I hope you find the funeral comforting (as I did) as family and friends gift you with bits of memories of your dad and his personality, and put him back together as a vital human being, not the last suffering version of him that is so painful.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: calimom on October 28, 2018, 04:11:09 PM
So sorry for your loss, MT and sounds like you made the right decision in to stay around. A death in the family is a lot to process, be kind to yourselves and go easy. It's hard to predict what emotions might surface.

On another note, I know what you mean about the community here. This past summer I posted about having to evacuate my home with my children and pets, and I had several PMs offering assistance, a place to stay, etc. While we didn't need help it was nice to know it was there.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Kris on October 28, 2018, 04:38:36 PM
Iím so sorry, MT. I think we have been conditioned by movies and books to hope for a deathbed reconciliation or significant moment. I felt like you for both my parentsí deaths, wishing for a final meaningful, heartfelt conversation that would give me a sense of closure and a memory that would carry me forward. The reality of death is much more complicated, Iíve learned.

Be gentle with yourself going forward, and all my sincerest condolences and best thoughts.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Dicey on October 28, 2018, 05:55:00 PM
When my mom was dying, I knew I still had more to say to her. DH and I visited her, but as we were leaving, I felt the urge to go back. I returned to her room by myself. We talked a bit, then she clearly and apparently lucidity told me a story in great detail about a relative I'd never heard of before, all about how well he did after his wife, generally considered the stronger of the two, passed away following what was expected to be an easy surgery. Thing is, no one in the family can confirm the story. Maybe it was a friend of a friend or a book or movie plot, but what seemed like a touching deathbed moment is now just a head scratcher. At least it felt like we were communicating.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Glenstache on October 29, 2018, 10:51:48 AM
MT- So sorry to hear of your dad's passing. I'm glad you had the opportunity to say good bye and be there for him. Those are difficult, difficult days/hours/minutes. My mom passed of a long term illness just about 2 years ago, and my father is starting a definite decline more recently. Each of those paths is both similar and unique. I mention this only to let you know that myself and many others on this board have at least a fractional understanding of where you are at. Best wishes. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself permission to grieve as you need to.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: SunnyDays on October 29, 2018, 11:55:06 AM
So sorry for your loss, but glad that you got to be there.  It does get easier, just give it time.  Hugs.
Title: Re: My Dad is dying. Not sure how long to stay here.
Post by: Linda_Norway on October 30, 2018, 12:44:05 PM
Sorry for your loss.

I'd like to say something in general about the living/hotel situation. Doesn't the parent in such a case have a house available. If one of our parents was in hospital while still living at home, we would just stay at the parent's house. If the parent doesn't have a house anymore, but lives in hospice this is of course a different situation.