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Readers Respond: Being With the Dying

Responses: 25

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Updated June 17, 2009

losing my loved one

my grandmother is dying of cancer. It's hard to face the reality that she will soon no longer be with us. But as the days go by i find it easier to talk to her and laugh with her even though she cannot talk back. the look of joy on her face when her grandchildren and great-grandchildren visit is all we need to keep going. we try to feed her although she wont eat. we bathe her, comb her hair, brush her teeth, we interact withher as if nothing is wrong. i feel that focusing on the fun times rather than focusing on the inevitable has helped a lot.
—Guest A.M.G

You're stronger than you think...

I'm losing my dad in the next room as I write this. I've moved in with my mom and dad to help them through this as my husband takes care of our business and our own home. Hospice has given me all care instructions... managing his medication and his cleanliness. I feel overwhelmed, but I have also acquired a strength I didn't think I had. I'm finding out what people will do for love and how easy a hard job is when you do it for the right reasons. My advice is to look past your own fear and step into the situation. It's okay to step back if it's too much but please try. They need us... Dad, I will not leave you alone. I will make sure you are comfortable and clean. I will make sure there are no wrinkles in your shirt and that you can see the clock from the reflection in the mirror. I will keep your hanky close and comb your hair when you have visitors. I respect you. I'm proud of you. I love you...
—TheBee711

Being with my mother as she passed away

I was with my mom until she took her final breathe. She has non small cell lung cancer. This was the saddest thing i ever had to go through in my life. She got really weak and thin,58 pounds. She had such a hard time breathing and she hurt all the time. Reading these articles i now know why she was always hurting in her back and her neck. I always tryed to be strong around her so she wouldnt see me worry. I worried day in and day out. I didnt know what to expect and i was so scared for her, she had been through so much with the treatments and all the tests. At the end well for several months before the end she had no more treatment and would not have any more tests done. Laying on those tables getting a pet scan done hurt her so much,her bones stuck out where she was so thin. I was right beside her when she took her last breathe. She had been sick all day long and i just wonted her to rest,not knowing that was her final couple of hours on this earth. She was not sedadted.
—Guest Denise Starks

being their to the end

my dear friends name was isabella she was a special person aged 96 she had a brillant mind and lots of stories she would tell ,i loved her i dont know what it was just something special .i knew here from my previous work place a sheltered accomation but years passed and i had a break from care to look after my children the 3 years ago i appiled for a job i got it and to my surprise isabell was living at thr place were my new job was i was amazed at everything she remembered my son was just seven when we first met he was now 24 , we began our friendship again she had lost her husband a few years back so we were close ,chatting away on my calls to her and when allowed i would visit and we had coffee and a little cake . i learnt all about the good old days ,her family and loved ones lost . i really enjoyed our chats .its a long story but unfortantally my friend got unwell being 96 she want to go to the lord on many occasions saying so i was not to know i was going to be with her
—lawomen

Tell them it is ok to go

Tell your dying loved one that you love them and will miss them but that you will be ok and they can put their mind at ease that all will be ok, this way, they can release to their destiny and not fight holding on because they are worried about how you will do, tell them that they will be with you always and not to be afraid to go as so or so is waiting for them on the other side....let them go on to their journey and never talk in front of them of anything you do not want them to hear. Play soft relaxing music, be present or leave the bedside as sometimes they want to release but will not if you are there. Hold their hand and be soft and gentle. All will be well and this too shall pass.
—Guest BeBe

dying (:

My best mates mum died of breast cancer when i was 13 . She only had my best friend as the rest of her family died a few years before . I spent most of my time round their house , she was just like a mum to me as my mum passed away when i was born. I remember sitting with her and my best friend, holding her hand while she passed. She said to me and my friend that dying was a part of life and that she would see us again one day. Watching her die was the hardest thing i had to do in my whole life as she was closer to family than anyone in the world (:
—TamaraBunni

Share your time and memories

As I write this, my older sister at the age of 48 is dying from pancreatic cancer. Literally days away. I just want to tell people that you shouldn't put off going to visit someone and never be afraid to tell the you love them and that you don't want them to die. My sister is comforted by the visitors and help she's had. Holding a hand, brushing her hair, lying beside her on the bed helping to keep her warm. I just want her to know how proud I am to be her sister and that I love her. Never forget to tell someone that.
—Guest Sally

Let them know...

I can remember an experience that I had while volunteering in a hospital to visit people who did not have family or friends. There was an elderly lady who was all alone so her nurse and I sat with her, and though she could not move I could see the fear in her eyes that she knew that she was passing. I held her hand before and after she passed and felt her slip away, the change from warm to cold was clear, and though I was a stranger I could feel that my presence did give her comfort in the end. If you know someone who is dying, and you are at all able, be there for them and let them know that they will not die alone. Bret http://www.FuneralPlannersInc.com
—FuneralPlanner

Reminiscing Helped

When my best friend was dying of breast cancer, I felt so uncomfortable around her. We had been friends for 43 years but the big "C" word made me feel so helpless and fragile. To get over it, I decided to pull out all my old photos of us: High School graduation; each other's weddings where we were each others maid of honor; our kids playing together at the beach; our girls only trip to Cancun. Walking through our history together - talking and laughing about times past - helped me remember that my dear friend was still Sue, not a statistic dying of cancer. We had precious time together for which I'll always be grateful.
—Guest LorettaG.

Love the Person

I was priviliged to spend time with my father before he died. Towards the end he couldn't speak, he had so many tubes sticking out of him. He was conscious to the very end. I held his hand constantly and looked him in they eyes, and told him often that I loved him and that I would be with him. What a tribute to his life that all seven of his living children (one deceased) was with him to the very end. Often I would notice tears running down the side of his face. He hated to leave us I know. He died knowing we loved him very much. I will see him again one day.
—Guest James

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