Making headway with death and loss
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17-06-2016, 09:55 PM
Making headway with death and loss
Today I reasoned my way to a different perspective, thanks to the positive influence of this place and my friends here.
In the past I've given lip service to the concept of looking at things from another's perspective. It sounds good to say, but often as not I was not really doing it.
My dad lived in fear of his next heart attack after he had the first couple. I could see it, but not really from his point of view. Not until today, anyway. He could not do what he wanted to any more, and always this shadow following him around.
When it came it was sudden and final, and he did not suffer. I did the suffering for him, needlessly harming myself in the process.
How lucky he was, to be there and then gone! I can say that now.
Sure I miss him, miss sharing the things we had in common. BFD, it is nothing that can be fixed. I can remember him by sharing stories, thinking of good times.
My mother died in 2009, and today I examined this part of her life in possibly a new light.
She too had chronic health problems and had pain in her bowels all the time, due to vascular degeneration from a lifetime of smoking. There was nothing to be done about it. She loved to work in her garden, but could no longer do so because of ischemic episodes. She'd wake up in a heap in the garden, covered in sweat and vomit. There was no warning.
One day she went out to play evening bingo as she usually did, and at the middle of the session she made the rounds and said her goodbyes. Something had changed in how she felt, and she knew she was going to die soon.
She had worked her life as a nurse. She knew the score, and had no interest in making any effort to extend her time. She was tired and ready to go.
She made more of these goodbyes that day, drove home and parked her car for the last time.
We got a doc to come visit and he said her COPD was worsening. he got some oxygen there for her comfort and meds for pain. In a week she lost consciousness, and 3 days later she was gone. Remarkably, she died 34 years to the day after her middle son.
We gathered there as families often do, visiting with her and still talking to her as she slept. Played music, chatted, turned her room into the party room. My sister and I felt this was just wrong. Here was a woman who could hardly fart in front of you, and here all this family came and went, who claimed that she could still hear them and somehow that was comforting to her. I knew it was for us and not her. She needed some peace so she could find peace, and I said as much. It caused some bad feelings but they moved the "party" out of her room, and we stayed with her quietly one or two at a time and she was gone.
Now I look back and take that other perspective. Mom was not afraid, she was ready to go. The meds took away the pain, but the emotional pain of our being there was huge. She knew how much pain we would be in, and she felt that with us. It was agony for her. She had suffered all those years after her son had died, she knew the pain that was to come.
I look back and realize this now. I think that for those who are not afraid, NOT being surrounded by already grieving loved ones would be so much better. I think of the comfort that nurses give dying patients, comfort with no baggage and want to thank each and every one who has been there for a patient. Caring and comfort that is not this shared grieving.
I must thank you guys and gals for helping me to think, to get to a different place.
My face is not even wet as I type these thoughts out. There is nothing at all wrong with crying, I am just not hurting that way. It is a liberating feeling.
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17-06-2016, 10:05 PM (This post was last modified: 17-06-2016 10:22 PM by Anjele.)
RE: Making headway with death and loss
(17-06-2016 09:55 PM)skyking Wrote:  Today I reasoned my way to a different perspective, thanks to the positive influence of this place and my friends here.
In the past I've given lip service to the concept of looking at things from another's perspective. It sounds good to say, but often as not I was not really doing it.
My dad lived in fear of his next heart attack after he had the first couple. I could see it, but not really from his point of view. Not until today, anyway. He could not do what he wanted to any more, and always this shadow following him around.
When it came it was sudden and final, and he did not suffer. I did the suffering for him, needlessly harming myself in the process.
How lucky he was, to be there and then gone! I can say that now.
Sure I miss him, miss sharing the things we had in common. BFD, it is nothing that can be fixed. I can remember him by sharing stories, thinking of good times.
My mother died in 2009, and today I examined this part of her life in possibly a new light.
She too had chronic health problems and had pain in her bowels all the time, due to vascular degeneration from a lifetime of smoking. There was nothing to be done about it. She loved to work in her garden, but could no longer do so because of ischemic episodes. She'd wake up in a heap in the garden, covered in sweat and vomit. There was no warning.
One day she went out to play evening bingo as she usually did, and at the middle of the session she made the rounds and said her goodbyes. Something had changed in how she felt, and she knew she was going to die soon.
She had worked her life as a nurse. She knew the score, and had no interest in making any effort to extend her time. She was tired and ready to go.
She made more of these goodbyes that day, drove home and parked her car for the last time.
We got a doc to come visit and he said her COPD was worsening. he got some oxygen there for her comfort and meds for pain. In a week she lost consciousness, and 3 days later she was gone. Remarkably, she died 34 years to the day after her middle son.
We gathered there as families often do, visiting with her and still talking to her as she slept. Played music, chatted, turned her room into the party room. My sister and I felt this was just wrong. Here was a woman who could hardly fart in front of you, and here all this family came and went, who claimed that she could still hear them and somehow that was comforting to her. I knew it was for us and not her. She needed some peace so she could find peace, and I said as much. It caused some bad feelings but they moved the "party" out of her room, and we stayed with her quietly one or two at a time and she was gone.
Now I look back and take that other perspective. Mom was not afraid, she was ready to go. The meds took away the pain, but the emotional pain of our being there was huge. She knew how much pain we would be in, and she felt that with us. It was agony for her. She had suffered all those years after her son had died, she knew the pain that was to come.
I look back and realize this now. I think that for those who are not afraid, NOT being surrounded by already grieving loved ones would be so much better. I think of the comfort that nurses give dying patients, comfort with no baggage and want to thank each and every one who has been there for a patient. Caring and comfort that is not this shared grieving.
I must thank you guys and gals for helping me to think, to get to a different place.
My face is not even wet as I type these thoughts out. There is nothing at all wrong with crying, I am just not hurting that way. It is a liberating feeling.

Heart and hugs.

My dad was also ready to go. He really stopped living when he knew for sure that he would never recover enough to do any of the things he enjoyed.

At first when he got sick he had hope that he would get better. Chemo and radiation took their toll but he was still able to do a lot of things as before...just maybe a little more slowly and not as often. Then the stroke and he learned to walk again...and he had some hope though he had lost use of one arm, for the most part. That limited his abilities...no golf, no woodworking. Then the accident...he was not going to walk unaided again. No driving, no dancing...a life of watching TV and feeling unwell. He was done.

It's hard to accept at first but with time you can change your perspective and realize that sometimes it's just time.

It helps when you come to terms. The loss is still there in one way...since their presence is missing from your life but you realize that their life, as they knew and wanted it, was over before their bodies gave out.

More hugs.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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17-06-2016, 10:07 PM
RE: Making headway with death and loss
Sadcryface
Hug
Thumbsup

Thanks for sharing. Ever since I realized I was an atheist and started visiting atheist forums, I have gained a whole new perspective on death, with a far more positive spin than my old religious views gave me.
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17-06-2016, 10:18 PM
RE: Making headway with death and loss
(17-06-2016 10:05 PM)Anjele Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 09:55 PM)skyking Wrote:  Today I reasoned my way to a different perspective, thanks to the positive influence of this place and my friends here.
In the past I've given lip service to the concept of looking at things from another's perspective. It sounds good to say, but often as not I was not really doing it.
My dad lived in fear of his next heart attack after he had the first couple. I could see it, but not really from his point of view. Not until today, anyway. He could not do what he wanted to any more, and always this shadow following him around.
When it came it was sudden and final, and he did not suffer. I did the suffering for him, needlessly harming myself in the process.
How lucky he was, to be there and then gone! I can say that now.
Sure I miss him, miss sharing the things we had in common. BFD, it is nothing that can be fixed. I can remember him by sharing stories, thinking of good times.
My mother died in 2009, and today I examined this part of her life in possibly a new light.
She too had chronic health problems and had pain in her bowels all the time, due to vascular degeneration from a lifetime of smoking. There was nothing to be done about it. She loved to work in her garden, but could no longer do so because of ischemic episodes. She'd wake up in a heap in the garden, covered in sweat and vomit. There was no warning.
One day she went out to play evening bingo as she usually did, and at the middle of the session she made the rounds and said her goodbyes. Something had changed in how she felt, and she knew she was going to die soon.
She had worked her life as a nurse. She knew the score, and had no interest in making any effort to extend her time. She was tired and ready to go.
She made more of these goodbyes that day, drove home and parked her car for the last time.
We got a doc to come visit and he said her COPD was worsening. he got some oxygen there for her comfort and meds for pain. In a week she lost consciousness, and 3 days later she was gone. Remarkably, she died 34 years to the day after her middle son.
We gathered there as families often do, visiting with her and still talking to her as she slept. Played music, chatted, turned her room into the party room. My sister and I felt this was just wrong. Here was a woman who could hardly fart in front of you, and here all this family came and went, who claimed that she could still hear them and somehow that was comforting to her. I knew it was for us and not her. She needed some peace so she could find peace, and I said as much. It caused some bad feelings but they moved the "party" out of her room, and we stayed with her quietly one or two at a time and she was gone.
Now I look back and take that other perspective. Mom was not afraid, she was ready to go. The meds took away the pain, but the emotional pain of our being there was huge. She knew how much pain we would be in, and she felt that with us. It was agony for her. She had suffered all those years after her son had died, she knew the pain that was to come.
I look back and realize this now. I think that for those who are not afraid, NOT being surrounded by already grieving loved ones would be so much better. I think of the comfort that nurses give dying patients, comfort with no baggage and want to thank each and every one who has been there for a patient. Caring and comfort that is not this shared grieving.
I must thank you guys and gals for helping me to think, to get to a different place.
My face is not even wet as I type these thoughts out. There is nothing at all wrong with crying, I am just not hurting that way. It is a liberating feeling.

Heart and hugs.

My dad was also ready to go. He really stopped living when he knew for sure that he would never recover enough to do any of the things he enjoyed.

At first when he got sick he had hope that he would get better. Chemo and radiation took their toll but he was still able to do a lot of things as before...just maybe a little more slowly and not as often. Then the stroke and he learned to walk again...and he had some hope though he had lost use of one arm, for the most part. That limited his abilities...no golf, no woodworking. Then the accident...he was not going to walk unaided again. No driving, no dancing...a life of watching TV and feeling unwell. He was done.

It's hard to accept at first but with time you can change your perspective and realize that sometimes it's just time.

It help when you come to terms. The loss is still there in one way...since their presence is missing from your life but you realize that their life, as they knew and wanted it, was over before their bodies gave out.

More hugs.
hugs back at you. Heart
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17-06-2016, 10:20 PM
RE: Making headway with death and loss
(17-06-2016 10:07 PM)Fireball Wrote:  Sadcryface
Hug
Thumbsup

Thanks for sharing. Ever since I realized I was an atheist and started visiting atheist forums, I have gained a whole new perspective on death, with a far more positive spin than my old religious views gave me.
I can only imagine the theist perspective. The thinking though, that has changed here for me.
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17-06-2016, 10:29 PM
RE: Making headway with death and loss
Many hugs. You are such a sweet person to have on this forum. I'm so glad you are here. You're support of me after losing Nishi was very comforting. Just wanted to say that. Heart
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17-06-2016, 10:58 PM
RE: Making headway with death and loss
(17-06-2016 10:29 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Many hugs. You are such a sweet person to have on this forum. I'm so glad you are here. You're support of me after losing Nishi was very comforting. Just wanted to say that. Heart
I looked back and see that you guys had Nishi for a year, and he joined about the same time as you. Amazing what can happen in a year.
I am glad you chose to come back, Jenny. It would not be right here without you.
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17-06-2016, 11:17 PM
RE: Making headway with death and loss
(17-06-2016 09:55 PM)skyking Wrote:  ...
My face is not even wet as I type these thoughts out.
...

A bit wet while reading them though.

Hug

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17-06-2016, 11:29 PM
RE: Making headway with death and loss
(17-06-2016 11:17 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 09:55 PM)skyking Wrote:  ...
My face is not even wet as I type these thoughts out.
...

A bit wet while reading them though.

Hug
Hug
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18-06-2016, 12:08 AM
RE: Making headway with death and loss
At peace is a good way to live, but it often takes courage to get there.

Much love, brotha.
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