Dad and Everything After

by Jacqui
(Laguna Niguel)

I lost my Dad last July--he was 86 so had enjoyed a full life. The last 4 months of his life were hard to watch--he had leukemia and it finally "took him down". He had been on oxygen tank for about a year when he went into a nursing home from the hospital. After a month or so there, they sent him home on "hospice". I'll never forget the phone call from the nurse asking me about "advanced directives" for my father. It came as a total shock--even though he and my Mom had made several emergency trips to the hospital over the last 5 years. Perhaps that's why--suddenly the reality that this time was different was concrete. So Dad died after 4 months of being bedridden and increasingly weak. He was horribly thin when he died--I think he couldn't have been more than 100 pounds--and he had been a 6 foot tall man in his prime. Dad and Mom were together for 60 years, and this is taking quite a toll on my Mother who is 82 years old. She slid out of bed and broke her arm the Thanksgiving after Dad's death, and has been bedridden ever since. Her dementia is worse by the day; we finally put her in a hospice in May (10 mos after Dad's death) so that she can get proper, professional care. In March, my Uncle passed away (he was 94 and it was imminent after internal bleeding they could not operate on as he was too old.) And then my ex-fiancee died about 15 days after that. I was still friends with him, and this was quite shocking and saddening as he was only 66 years old. I was regretting not making a life with him, etc. etc. Now last Sunday I found out my sister (55 years old)has stage 4 terminal breast cancer. And Mom has only about 6 months also--she is now on hospice too. Oh and the cherry on the cake--my job that I have been at for 11 years is ending--we just had a conference call today saying the closings will occur from October to December this year. So...only the first 3 deaths have "sunk in" really--everything else is just too much and of course they have not happened yet so of course it's not "real" yet. I am hoping this will be the worst year of my life, as I cannot imagine bearing a worse one. Thanks for listening.

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Jun 12, 2014
Dad and Everything After
by: Doreen UK

Jacqui I am sorry for your loss of your Dad and all the other losses of family. You are having such a hard time and it almost seems cruel to have to face so much tragedy all too soon without space to process each loss. You could benefit from seeing a grief counsellor if only to cope with what you are going through now. You will have some preparation by talking about who you have lost and how it has made you numb and you don't know how you will cope with the loss of your mom and sister. These are significant losses. A good counsellor could help you to work through a lot of it and also to help you cope with your sister going through terminal cancer. You are in the very worst place of your life. Also try and get some support from family and friends as this is invaluable right now. Also taking one day at a time will help you cope with your mom and sister.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. 2yrs. ago to terminal cancer. It still seems unreal. The reality is felt in the loneliness each day. I sometimes wonder how strong we have to be to bear so much in life. Sometimes when I get frustrated I say "What the H--l? "I can't do anything about this, I can't change the circumstances I am in. All I can do is to change my attitude toward my circumstances" This is how we become survivors. Putting some positive measures in you life as a back up will also help you to cope. Write things down. Put a plan in place. Are all helpful when dealing with too much. Pacing yourself. Not doing too much that you wear yourself out. I know you will get through this. But having a plan will take a lot of the stress out of what can be overwhelming.

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