Thoughts of Death

sakalSeptember 18, 2006

It's me again. :)

Dad told me this last night. Saying you now alot of people do not make it past christmas. I said yes thats right, why you bring that up poppa. He said oh, it holidays can be so hard on older people. I am not sure I am strong enough to make it past christmas this year.

I took me some to keep from crying. But say why, the doctor last week said you looked great. and everything check out great ok. You'll be fine, poppa.

He said he wants to get stronger but he just isn't. My mind is blank alot and can think straight.

I told him I get that way also do not worry. We'll get through this. THATS why I am here, to help you, lena on me as I had to lean on you when i was younger. It's my turn now. so relax and enjoy the help.

This is the second time in a month he has told me he wasnot sure he was going to live long.

Some one told me that in Hospice there is something on the stages of dyeing. Does some one on this forum have this or can lead me to it.

It is coming up on moms 3 yr death so i am thinking he is lonely for her.

In case someone was wonder what the heck "sakal" meant. in hebrew it has to do with being teachable, successful, adaptable.

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Sakal...This is a difficult time. He may be telling you that he is ready to die...or he may be telling you he is afraid or not ready.
The stages you are referring to come from the work of Elisabeth kubler-Ross. They are denial, anger,depression, bargaining, and, finally, acceptance with its attendant sadness. The person does not move straight thru the stages in order, but moves back and forth, making progress, falling back, moving forward again. For you, the stages of grieving will be the same ones.
You may want to try to get Dr. Ross's book "Questions and Answers on Death and Dying" from the library. BUT, it may be hard for you to read right now, because you are living it.
I did this with both my parents. It is sad, hard work. You seem to be doing everything right.Just try to listen and let him know you can listen. I am sure he is lonely for your Mom. One thing about new grief (grieving for himself in this case) is that it brings back earlier in grieving for himself, he will also grieve for her. When you grieve for him, you will think about her and grieve for her also.....the price of love. Pero, vale la pena!!
Hospice is a great idea, and you would be smart to look into it. Your Dad, with his dementia, may qualify. They are a tremendous help both to the patient and to the family. They will meet with you and give you info so that you can think about it. Before he reaches the last stages of his life, you definitely want to be receiving hospice care.
I hope this is helpful.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:35AM
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It is normal for someone of his age to think about death. It's just another step in life. It's also normal, and sometime very comforting, to be able to talk about it. So allow him to express his feelings. He wants to know that you understand how things are going with him. If you are pretending that it's not going to happen, he will sense that and feel worse for fear that you really don't understand what's going on. He wants you to be prepared.

At his age, telling him that everything is going to be "fine" is doing him a disservice. He knows that life is never again going to be "fine." Down deep inside, he also knows that he's not going to get "better." While he may have good days where he feels stronger, he knows that those days are farther and farther apart.

Try telling him that the two of you together, are going to just take it one day at a time and not worry about the next day. Talk about good times in the past. Turn his mind from the present and the future.

When he mentions dying before Christmas, try to change the subject to memories of great Christmases when you were small. Bring up the funny things that happened that meant a lot to you. Try to steer the conversation away from the future. Let him know that you understand, but don't dwell on it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:36AM
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Dear Sakal,
My mom is 84 and was diagnosed about three year's ago with Alzheimer's. For about the past three or four months, any time I am with her, she talks about how she wants her death to be -- she just wants to go to bed, go to sleep and not wake up. She also repeatedly tells me that she has lived too long. You've received a lot of great information here. I will repeat ... please allow your dad to express his feelings. It's very hard to sit and listen to them talk about death and dying, but they will talk to those they are closest to and trust the most. I let my mom talk about her feelings and then gently try to change the subject. With Alzheimer's, as you know, it is not difficult to move onto other subjects.
I would also like to recommend you buy the book "The 36 Hour Day" ... you can buy it for under $10 and it is a wonderful reference book about Alzheimer's and other dementias. It helped me tremendously. I wish you well,
warm regards,

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 10:35AM
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Here is a link that might help you.
Blessings to you & yours ~~katclaws

Here is a link that might be useful: HospiceNet

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 2:32PM
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I wandered over here from another Garden Web forum. I am having troubles with my Mom, her health and her attitude. Derry, I have to thank you for your insight on the grieving process. It seems to explain to me why she may be so bitter about her divorce that happened 25 years ago right now. She thinks that she is dying but has also told me that her tests are much improved. She is incredibly angry and suddenly hostile but only toward me (and apparently my Dad who left her so long ago). My personality is my own, but more like my Dad's.

Your words gave me some comfort in a very sad, difficult time.
Thank you,

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 5:34PM
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