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Where are the words?


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#1 Avery

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 07:06 PM

I don’t know if this is appropriate in this section, or even if this belongs here but I’m having trouble putting this into a forum category – and I can’t bear the thought of putting it in general section between a thread about having a crush on someone and a TV show. I hope this section is a softer place to land for me.

It’s just that I’m home alone tonight, and I’m not coping very well...

My grandfather has severe emphysema, and last week had a ‘mini’ stroke. I saw him today for the first time in a month or so and I just can’t believe the change in him in that short time. I know he is sick, and deep down I know he is dying, but to see my grandad who used to be so tall and strong laying there so so thin, struggling to breathe on oxygen, not able to move, hardly able to speak and honestly looking like someone who I don’t know has rocked me too my core.

And the worse thing is that when I looked into his eyes he looked scared.

Unlike me, he has a strong faith, but even with that he looked scared. Which in turn has scared me ... I though faith would give you some sort of peace but I feel like it hasn’t for him.

I can’t cope with this and I have no idea how to support my dad (my grandfathers son) I’m 28 and I have NEVER lost anyone. I’m completely unprepared for what is coming. And after seeing him today I know it’s coming quicker than I thought.

How do you prepare for something like this? Where are the words that are meant to help you through this? I want to help myself and my family but I have no idea what to do, what to say or how to behave.

My heart is breaking for him, for my Nan and for my dad...
"It's impossible" said pride.
"It's risky" said experience.
"It's pointless" said reason.
"Give it a try" whispered the heart...

#2 *Lib**

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 07:31 PM

Honestly, 16 years as a funeral director, people expect me to know what to say.....I don't.

One thing to do is just sit, sit with him or your dad, you don't need to talk, but just listen if he wants to talk.

My grandfather died in August and it was my first real close relative die. We went and saw him at about 7pm held his hand and told him it was ok to go, (he was 90 almost 91) my mum, nana and brother were with him at 10pm when he passed.

I do make the mistake of not mentioning him to my mum or my nana. Not because I don't want to upset them, but because I don't know what to say.

Its tough, and I honestly don't think there's a right thing to say ever! I hope whatever happens he is pain free, and next time you see him his eyes are free of fear and smiling x
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#3 Avery

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 07:41 PM

QUOTE(*Lib** @ Dec 19 2010, 08:31 PM) View Post

I hope whatever happens he is pain free, and next time you see him his eyes are free of fear and smiling x

Thank you so much Lib...ohhh - here are the tears again x
"It's impossible" said pride.
"It's risky" said experience.
"It's pointless" said reason.
"Give it a try" whispered the heart...

#4 beachgurl

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 07:53 PM

What an incredibly sad time for you.

Is your dad an emotional type or one that won't show emotion at all? My dad is of southern european heritage and likes to put his head in the sand in times of trouble and/or loss. When his father died, he didn't show any emotion. Turns out he felt that men aren't supposed to cry. I remember my brother just handing his baby to my dad for cuddles. Babies and children are remarkable tools for healing or putting a smile on someone's face. just be there for him and if he doesn't want to talk, just be around.

As for words, they did nothing for me when I lost my nan, the most important person in the world apart from my parents. I just took comfort in the fact that nan knew that I loved her and that I had spent quality time with her over the years. It was the most painful experience watching her slowly fade away but at the same time I knew she needed to leave us due to her pain. Thinking of the special times I had with her and when she made me laugh helped me get through it.

#5 ~CSaM~

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 08:15 AM

I'm so sorry Shell. sad.gif

I work as a nurse, and did a stint in palliative care so I hope I can help a little bit.

I have found that being with the person as Lib said just sitting and holding hands, chatting about the old days can be of comfort to both the sick person and the relatives themselves.

Does the hospital have a pastrol care service? The pastrol care team at my hospital are so fantastic. They will come around and pray, but also are fantastic listeners.

They might be able to help take the fear out of your grandad's eyes and be able to help you all as you come to terms with your grandad's illness.

You and your family are in my thoughts XO
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#6 Avery

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 01:23 PM

QUOTE(beachgurl @ Dec 19 2010, 08:53 PM) View Post

What an incredibly sad time for you.

Is your dad an emotional type or one that won't show emotion at all? My dad is of southern european heritage and likes to put his head in the sand in times of trouble and/or loss. When his father died, he didn't show any emotion. Turns out he felt that men aren't supposed to cry. I remember my brother just handing his baby to my dad for cuddles. Babies and children are remarkable tools for healing or putting a smile on someone's face. just be there for him and if he doesn't want to talk, just be around.

Thanks beachgurl. Your father sounds alot like mine. Dad doesnt really talk about it, and he thinks that "if he just gets up and moving" he will be ok. But Pop is just too far gone for that.
And come to think of it ... dad has been very clingy to my little girl lately ... maybe he is realising just how precious life is.


QUOTE(~Sprinkles~ @ Dec 20 2010, 09:15 AM) View Post

You and your family are in my thoughts XO

Thanks Sprinkles. Unforutunatly he isnt in hospital anymore sad.gif We are in a small country town and I guess they didnt have the bed space. At the moment he is sleeping on the lounge because he can recline in it and it helps his breathing. I also suspect that he cant make it to the bedroom anymore.
The worst part is that my aunt is a nurse and knows whats going on, but hasnt suggesting talking to the hospital to maybe hire a special bed for him to make it easier for nan to nurse him etc. Mum thinks its because it wont be long before he goes into hospital and doesnt come out again
"It's impossible" said pride.
"It's risky" said experience.
"It's pointless" said reason.
"Give it a try" whispered the heart...

#7 *Simone*

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 07:00 PM


First of all, I'm really sorry to hear about your grandfather. Severe illness and death are such difficult things to deal with- very confronting and emotional so be gentle with yourself.

I honestly think the best thing you can do for someone in your grandfather's position is to be there for them. Hold their hand, talk about better times, anything that might be of comfort.
Your dad will be trying to deal with things his own way- all you can do is ask him if there's anything you can do to help.

Within myself, when confronted with situation like these, I try to be of practical help so I don't completely lose my head. I prefer to think too, of the good life the person involved has led, that for them passing away means an end to suffering, and that their memory will always be honoured.

Take care xo

#8 afterglow

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:47 PM

This brought me to tears Avery, my grandfather died only a few weeks ago. I think you just have to take it as it comes. Although my grandfather was sick, and his passing away was expected, the impact of it was far worse than I ever thought it would be. We were still dealing with the grief and shock of seeing him suddenly go downhill from a strong independent man, to someone who was old, frail and weak, and his death just felt like it was impossible to comprehend and deal with.

I deal with it each day as I need to for myself and my own grief, and regularly visit and call my mum just to see what she is up to, how she is coping, if I can do anything to help her or distract her.

It is different for men a lot of the time, but my mum's brothers took grandpa's death as hard as she and her sister did. You just don't know until it happens.

Sigh, I am rambling, not sure if I am making sense or not. It is such an awful time, and there is no way to prepare for it really I think.

All I can say is, spend as much time with your grandfather as you can. Ask him about his life, listen to his stories, tell him everything about yourself that you can, make the most of every moment you get with him. Use these stories and the memories of this time spent with him to find comfort after he is gone, and to bring some comfort to your father and your family. I think of those last few visit with grandpa and the stories and jokes he told me, and try to be happy that I had those moments.

I wasn't able to see my grandfather for 2.5weeks before he died as we were away on holiday and then when we returned I had a bad viral infection so wasn't allowed to go to the hospital. I went to see him the day we left for our holiday, but he died 4 days after we got back, and I feel awful and sad and so disappointed I wasn't able to see him again. Sorry, rambling again, but I can't stress enough the importance of this time.

I hope you find a way to get through this time and whatever is to come.

Thinking of you xx

#9 SmittenKitten

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 05:10 PM

Firstly I am so very sorry to hear of your granpa's illness. It is just a horrible thing to watch. sad.gif When my Pa was very ill, we went into the hospital to visit him. It was the last time I saw him. He was asleep but, looked so frail and so very ill. I could not even look at him. I sat at the window looking out crying. I hated seeing him in such a fragile position.

I take a lot of comfort in knowing that the time before I visited him, he held my hand and just talked to me ( in the 21 years I had known him, he was not like that) I honeslty think he just knew that this would be the last time he would talk to me. wub.gif

Spend as much time with your grandpa talking to him and just being there. It will mean the world to both of you. Sometiems its hard to know what to say or do, but all you can do is be there and be as supportive as you can.
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#10 Avery

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:01 PM

QUOTE(*Simone* @ Dec 20 2010, 08:00 PM) View Post

Within myself, when confronted with situation like these, I try to be of practical help so I don't completely lose my head. I prefer to think too, of the good life the person involved has led, that for them passing away means an end to suffering, and that their memory will always be honoured.

Thanks *Simone* - I've been busy making a few casseroles/soups to freeze and take around there because I feel like I cant be much emotional support. Pop is only eating yoghurt and sustagen, so at least I know my nan will have something decent to eat if she doesnt feel like cooking.

QUOTE(afterglow @ Dec 22 2010, 05:47 PM) View Post

This brought me to tears Avery, my grandfather died only a few weeks ago. I think you just have to take it as it comes. Although my grandfather was sick, and his passing away was expected, the impact of it was far worse than I ever thought it would be. We were still dealing with the grief and shock of seeing him suddenly go downhill from a strong independent man, to someone who was old, frail and weak, and his death just felt like it was impossible to comprehend and deal with.

Im so so sorry afterglow sad.gif but thank you for sharing your story xxx

QUOTE(~Milliepede~ @ Dec 22 2010, 06:10 PM) View Post

I could not even look at him. I sat at the window looking out crying. I hated seeing him in such a fragile position.

I feel like this too. When we saw him a few days ago i just couldnt look him in the eye. It was just all too sad.

My dad visited last night and said he looked better which is good. Dad's words were something like "didnt think he would make christmas, now I think he might kick on for a bit" rolleyes.gif typical dad. But its good news
"It's impossible" said pride.
"It's risky" said experience.
"It's pointless" said reason.
"Give it a try" whispered the heart...




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