My uncle is dying
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
18-08-2013, 03:59 PM
My uncle is dying
He's been struggling with cancer for about two years now. He's only 49. During those two years it was always like "he's about to die" but he always got a bit better every time. This time, it looks like this is it.

It's funny how you get used to the idea that he will eventually die but when the time comes, it's like a reality check.

I'm finally reaching the point in my life when everything goes great and then this happens. I almost feel guilty for thinking like this. I don't know how to handle it. Getting my degree, my first job (which happens to be exactly what I wanted) and all this will be marked by my uncle's death. How could my mother be happy for my accomplishments when she's grieving for her brother? How can I be happy? Should I be? And if I am, should I express it?

Also, he's leaving a 12 year old daughter behind, a little girl who might seek for my support. I doubt I can provide it. As an atheist, I cannot comfort her and I cannot lie to her. My aunt and uncle are responsible for introducing me to philosophy (which led to my atheism) and, of course, they're not religious, so I'd feel bad to lie to their daughter just to make her feel better. What am I to do?

I feel helpless.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
18-08-2013, 04:25 PM
RE: My uncle is dying
Your feelings are natural.

And to focus on the living (and not the dying) is commendable.

I am unclear as to what you mean by... "As an atheist, I cannot ...": if her parents are free-thinkers, surely they want that for their daughter?

The truth is awesome and inspiring... he came from stardust; his component parts, his molecules have been assembled for a fleeting moment with the purpose of passing on his DNA to her; there was meaning to his in life in everything he discovered, learned and enjoyed and his value was leaving a legacy of wisdom, truth and beauty that he instilled in her and ... you.

What could be better than that?

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like DLJ's post
18-08-2013, 04:27 PM
RE: My uncle is dying
My grandmother is about die aswell, but I don't let that stop me being postive about the future. On the other hand, your uncle is still has a healthy memory i reckon. My grandmother does not, and it means she doesn't recognize me, so, she's kinda dead for me anyway. I think you should keep on going and be as supportive as possible for that 12 year old you were talking about. Atheism should not prevent you from giving comfort to anyone.

[Image: 9f6.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
18-08-2013, 04:40 PM
RE: My uncle is dying
It sounds like you are fairly close to this uncle, I would bet he wants you to enjoy and appreciate your accomplishments. You can and should be happy about getting your degree and the job you want. You can also be sad for the loss. It doesn't have to be a choice of all one or all the other.

I am sorry that you and your family are going through this.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
18-08-2013, 04:49 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2013 04:57 PM by Dena.)
RE: My uncle is dying
(18-08-2013 03:59 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  How could my mother be happy for my accomplishments when she's grieving for her brother?

Parents can (if they choose) seperate the good from the bad. My mother has lost two brothers and my father a brother, sister, and close sister-in-law. That doesn't mean they aren't happy for whatever good things come in life at the same time.

(18-08-2013 03:59 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  How can I be happy? Should I be? And if I am, should I express it?

Of course! Would your uncle want you to be sad and ignore the good things in your life because of his illness? Not likely. He may even be eager to hear about it. If you are close then I bet he'll be quite proud of you!

(18-08-2013 03:59 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Also, he's leaving a 12 year old daughter behind, a little girl who might seek for my support. I doubt I can provide it. As an atheist, I cannot comfort her and I cannot lie to her.

Well now, I doubt that is true. Sometimes comfort is merely listening or even just sitting by someone's side.

(18-08-2013 03:59 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  My aunt and uncle are responsible for introducing me to philosophy (which led to my atheism) and, of course, they're not religious, so I'd feel bad to lie to their daughter just to make her feel better. What am I to do?

On what issues to you anticipate you might be inclined to lie to her? Do you think you could practice responses so when the time comes, you are better prepared to speak honestly but without hurting her?

(18-08-2013 03:59 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  I feel helpless.

Yeah..that can be hard. I'm sorry your uncle is sick. Over the last few years I've had several aunts and uncles die as well as my grandmothers (I was very close to one of them) so I do realize it can be really, really painful. There isn't anything you can do to change the inevitable but don't beat yourself up over it. The fact that you would even post this indicates to me that you are a considerate and caring person who loves her family.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
18-08-2013, 04:52 PM
RE: My uncle is dying
(18-08-2013 03:59 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  He's been struggling with cancer for about two years now. He's only 49. During those two years it was always like "he's about to die" but he always got a bit better every time. This time, it looks like this is it.

It's funny how you get used to the idea that he will eventually die but when the time comes, it's like a reality check.

I'm finally reaching the point in my life when everything goes great and then this happens. I almost feel guilty for thinking like this. I don't know how to handle it. Getting my degree, my first job (which happens to be exactly what I wanted) and all this will be marked by my uncle's death. How could my mother be happy for my accomplishments when she's grieving for her brother? How can I be happy? Should I be? And if I am, should I express it?

Also, he's leaving a 12 year old daughter behind, a little girl who might seek for my support. I doubt I can provide it. As an atheist, I cannot comfort her and I cannot lie to her. My aunt and uncle are responsible for introducing me to philosophy (which led to my atheism) and, of course, they're not religious, so I'd feel bad to lie to their daughter just to make her feel better. What am I to do?

I feel helpless.

The bigger the role the person plays daily in your life, the more you will be personally affected.
If he is not in your life every day, then it will likely be a lot easier on you than on your mom.

There are a thousand ways you can comfort the daughter - and all of them better than empty religious drivel.

But at her age, the best thing to do is take her to the park or someplace fun, and just walk around, look at things and talk about what you see. She will bring it up if and when she wants to, and then you just answer honestly. Don't make a big deal out of it if she doesn't, and don't start talking about it if she doesn't. More likely than not the kid just needs a break from it all. Give her that, give her something totally different to think about. She will be wanting to get away, so offer it to her. And it's fine to laugh with her, kids are more flexible and transient in their emotions. That also gives her mom a break, her mom needs some alone time too.

As far as laughing or crying - either is fine as far as you are concerned, everyone reacts differently. But, you do need to be considerate of the others, so just flow with what is going on with them, obviously you don't laugh when they are crying.

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
18-08-2013, 05:12 PM
RE: My uncle is dying
Im so sorry you're going through this.

Sending many hugs your way!


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-08-2013, 02:38 AM
RE: My uncle is dying
Thank you everyone for your support! You all offered something and I do feel better.

The truth is my uncle is the kind of person who would like people to laugh at his funeral and not let his death bring them down. And of course, I'm sure he's proud of me and he wouldn't want his death to affect my happiness.

As for my little cousin, you're all right, I don't have to talk about death to comfort her. She's quite mature for her age and perfectly understands what is going on, so this has affected her a lot, as she's extremely close to her father. I'm sure he wouldn't want me to talk to her about an afterlife or anything, although I'm not sure how her mother might handle it in the state she will be.

It will still be quite hard to face it when it happens, but I feel better prepared now, again, thank you everyone!

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: