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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    I am so sorry. But I am glad you guys have a little time. Hospice has so many wonderful services, wonderful people. I used to do hospice home care work and it was so very fulfilling.

    I hear you on being the stoic one. I'm the oldest of 3. My mother has had some serious health issue lately and while I'm far away, I'm still the one that's involved in her care. I went home for awhile this summer to get things in order and it was hard. Please be kind to yourself.

    You asked for some ideas given that you're far away and both you and Dad are non demonstrative.

    Here are some ideas:
    -work on a journal/photo album/family tree. Recording family history and memories in writing or in digital media is something that many of my patients enjoyed. Talk about favorite childhood memories. Ask about his. Put it down in some sort of medium that you guys can all refer back to.

    -play games. You know, dying can be a drawn out business and with the inability to have a lot of activity, people often stop working their brains. You can keep an online game of chess, scrabble, etc going so that you have a reason to interact daily.

    -comfort. Hospice normally offers grief counseling. Look into that stuff for your mom. If your dad is normally the one handling the bills, the lawn, the car, whatever, start getting her trained up now or have a plan for later. My grandmother had NEVER pumped gas a day in her life. It was a "thing" with her and my grandpa. There may be things like that where your dad has always done it. Find out what they are.

    -memory. There might be a special thing your dad has always done for your mom on a special day. Find out. Carry it on if he wishes to. Sometimes, people liked to write letters to their loved ones to be sent out after their passing on certain dates. Even after I no longer did hospice, I still had a few letters to be mailed on certain dates. I know for a fact those made a difference.

    It's different for everyone truly. It really is. The silver lining in THIS situation is that you've got a little time to sort things out. Even from many miles away, you can be a part of this process.

    But you have to take care of yourself too. Are there any questions you have for Dad? Are there any things you want to know his thoughts on? Ask. You'd be amazed how wise and cut through the BS people can be when they know they have a limited amount of time. Ask.

    You and your family are in my thoughts.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2000
    Location
    Chatham, NY USA
    Posts
    4,100

    Default

    Dear lord, Sad - you sound like ME! The 'strong' one, matter-of-fact, I can carry the load. I don't know how to be anyone else, so no - it's not wrong. We all carry our loads in different ways.

    I would strongly suggest that one of your priorities when you next go is getting the funeral business finalized. Not having to deal with any of those details will be a godsend when the time comes. Be clear - with your parents - as to what they want and don't let ANYONE bulldoze you into 'extras'/guilt trips. Find out what their state requires for various things (cremation/burial). Figure out what kind of service he/they want - collect pictures to collage, if that's going to be part of it. EVERYTHING you can do to plan ahead and not have to worry about ANYTHING but keeping one foot in front of the other.

    Try to make time to be with each parent separately - does your dad feel well enough to go out to lunch with you? Or a ride to some of your favorite places (if you grew up where they live now.)

    Find out what "take care of your mom" means to him. And be honest - don't make promises you can't keep. That will only cause YOU stress (guilt if you make the promises and don't keep them, STRESSSS if you make them and keep them to YOUR life's detriment).

    Find out what "take care of your mom" means to your mom! Who keeps track of expenses and paying bills and preparing/doing taxes? If she has never done this, I hope you're good at it! :-)

    So much. Take care of yourself. ALWAYS, EVERY DAY take time for yourself. Whether it's an hour-long bath, a weekly massage, a couple hours in your room to read or hang out on COTH - whatever. You can't be any good to anyone else if you're no good to yourself.

    And EVERYTHING BuddyRoo said!

    Hugs,
    Carol
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,217

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    Your siblings may surprise you.
    I was the one 2000+ miles away when my Dad started to decline.
    My only brother lived with him, but they were mostly oil & water and butted heads often.
    But in the end, my brother came through when I could not be there (I had even seriously considered moving) and took over the details of Dad's last years in such a way I could have done no better.
    And it actually brought us closer, a relationship which remains to this day.

    So {HUGS} for the hard times you are going through, but lots of good advice here already.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    4,579

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    My deepest sympathy to your entire family.
    Visit your parents, especially your father, as much as possible. Listen to both of your parents. My Dad gave me the same instructions beginning when I was 9 years old. I am the first one Mom calls since our father's death almost 30 years ago. Something to think about, your Mom may be stronger and more knowledgeable than your Dad may believe. Be there for her as she figures out what to do in the coming months.
    Listen to your Dad's thoughts and in some way his confessions. Love him no matter what is said - we don't know our parents as well as we think we do. Treasure the time, I miss my Dad everyday.

    Great advise given to my Mom - do not make any major decisions for at least year, that includes selling property or moving. It may be lonely for her, look for support groups and/or counseling. Also prepare to see changes in your Mom in the coming years. She adjusted to being your Father's wife and your mother. After his passing she will probably revert, in part to the person she was before marriage. You may find, as I did, that your Mom is very interesting person.

    HUGS!
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,470

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    Lots of good advice given. As another "strong one" I think it is important to understand that you may need help. A little therapy to assist in this most difficult of times may come in very handy. Consider it.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
    Location
    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
    Posts
    6,570

    Default

    I'm so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,779

    Default

    Hugs



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    4,152

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    Nothing much to add - so much excellent advice above. But thinking about you, and hoping you find answers without too many added burdens. I'm the little sister. Frankly am the one of the four with the most counseling, so can probably "get through" issues better than the rest. But think very highly of big sister whom my parents always turned to as the example. Don't be afraid to ask some more of the others. Very often they can step up. You may have been assigned all of the decisions, but delegate what you can. And be good to yourself. Hugs to you.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  9. #29
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,299

    Default

    I'm so sorry to hear this. Jingles for you and your family.

    One of the things I am so glad we did when my great grandfather died of pancreatic cancer was to ask him about his life and times, and let him tell us stories into a digital recorder. So many things I never would have known about my family history and what a kind, smart, funny and wonderful man were on those tapes. Maybe your dad could spend some time doing something similar?
    Sorry to see xtranormal is gone
    For funnies, search youtube for horseyninjawarrior!

    Www.caringbridge.org/visit/mysecretgarden



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2007
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    209

    Default My thoughts

    Prayers for you and yours
    Regards
    J



  11. #31
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2005
    Location
    Australasia
    Posts
    1,112

    Default

    No advice, just hugs for all.
    where am I, what day is it, am I still having a good time?



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2002
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,219

    Default

    (((Hugs))) Lot's of good advice.

    Only thing I can add, I too have trouble showing emotion right away. I tend to be the one that can push though chaos & tragedy & get things done that need to be done. I've only cried twice in front of family members so far.

    I've decided it's just my nature, and like someone said, everyone handles these things differently. It can be useful to be the cool one to get things done when others are falling apart.

    But I've found, I have to watch my mental health about a year after a trauma or loss - it's like it suddenly catches up to me and I have anxiety/depression to deal with. Now I know to expect that, I have therapists, doctors, stress reduction strategies, lined up, for when I fall.

    So maybe that would be a strategy for you, down the road.

    So sorry, has to be the hardest way to lose someone.



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