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AIBU to think it's not normal!

(45 Posts)
Dontunderstand01 Fri 04-Dec-15 11:47:37

Speaking to my ddad about a friend who is severely ill. Naturally he is very upset. But, he started to tell me how there will be some 'long dark days ahead' for him and dm in dealing with it. I am very sympathetic, and sad too (I have known the friend all my life too).

The conversation became increasingly bleak with ddad saying 'some days I look at everyone, walking down the street, in the supermarket and think "we're all going to die and one day none of us will be here" '

Now I know he is upset but he gets like this quite often... I have tried suggesting he is depressed and maybe needs to speak to someone, or maybe he is overly preoccupied with dying. He dismisses it and says it's perfectly normal and 'everyone' thinks like this.

I don't think they do! I know some colleagues and friends who have been very pragmatic when loved ones have been ill or passed away. I know others who almost seem unaffected by it all. Nothing wrong with that in my book - we're all different and deal with things in different ways.
But he insists he is fine and that everyone must spend days dwelling on death/dying. Apparently they are lying or pretending to be stoic!

For back ground and not to drip feed, they are well off, healthy themselves, close but small family and few friends. Dm is retired and does very little during the day despite having means and opportunity. I worry that they are either depressed, overly worried about death and with a lot of time on their hands will become increasingly worried.

Aibu in thinkING it's not normal to think this way?

SquinkiesRule Fri 04-Dec-15 15:30:33

It doesn't seem normal to think this way it does sound like they are depressed.

VestalVirgin Fri 04-Dec-15 15:57:38

Sounds depressed. Maybe not "needs medication" depressed, but "needs more sunshine, sports and social activity" depressed, definitely.

DoJo Fri 04-Dec-15 18:04:00

I think it's perfectly normal to have times when your own mortality and that of others is on your mind, especially when faced with it in the form of a friend or family member dying. I suppose it depends how often these thoughts pre-occupy him and whether he is able to snap himself out of the cycle or if he finds the thoughts intruding on his daily life.

Nanny0gg Fri 04-Dec-15 18:22:12

How old is he?

In my experience, as you get older, those thoughts are not unusual. Unless of course, they are constant and you never look on the upside of anything.

EponasWildDaughter Fri 04-Dec-15 18:55:04

It sounds as if this one friend's sad illness is making him maudlin. Can you talk to him a bit more about how he feels? Let him talk it out maybe.

I have to say, my DM is entirely fixated upon illness and the ''guess who's dead'' game, and has been for the last 10 years or so (in her late 70s). Perhaps it is an age thing - not depression as such?

IKillEveryBloodyThreadIPostOn Fri 04-Dec-15 18:58:39

Sounds normal to me, but I have depression!

junebirthdaygirl Fri 04-Dec-15 19:05:25

Is he at an age where a few friends or siblings have now died. My dad went through that when it seemed he was losing a very close friend or brother every year. We hated him talking about his own death but he seemed to want to. I'm not depressed but it does occur to me now lm in my 50s more than before that l am nearer to death but l don't dwell on it.

IonaNE Fri 04-Dec-15 19:25:56

everyone must spend days dwelling on death/dying.
Everyone should.

pigsDOfly Fri 04-Dec-15 19:36:15

I don't think it's abnormal in an older person.

I'm a very happy, healthy 67 but when I look around me sometimes and see old people struggling to walk along the street or bent over shuffling along, it does bring home to me that that could be me in a few years time and the thought terrifies me.

The idea of becoming old and infirm is depressing. In your Ddad's case he's particularly aware of it at the moment because of his friend. As long as he doesn't become obsessive about it I wouldn't be too worried in your shoes. Although having said that some old people do seem to become very taken up with death and dying. Not sure that means their depressed though.

pigsDOfly Fri 04-Dec-15 19:38:22

they're not their

Dontunderstand01 Fri 04-Dec-15 19:48:07

My ddad is 61. The last thing I want is to be unsympathetic or unkind to him. I love him very much and I just want him to be happy.

I don't suppose I will truly understand the effect of age on him psychologically until I am there myself. However, in my eyes he is still very fit and healthy - he has never smoked or drank, he has never had anything worse than a cold. I had hoped that the illness of our friend might have sparked a desire to ensure he really lived his late years but if anything it seems to have made him more insular.

FWIW I have had two friends die of cancer. One when I was 8 years, she was by friend almost from birth, and another friend died a few weeks shy of her 18th birthday. So I do understand grief and have experienced it myself, plus supported dh in losing his grandfather and then his uncle which was very unexpected and shocking.

I do have experience of grief and understand how hard it can be to lose a friend but it just seems awful to see him retreating from life when he actually has a life to live, and our very ill friend in all liklihood does not.

Wombatinabathhat Fri 04-Dec-15 19:48:52

I started having similar thoughts in my 40's. Every day I thought about dying and how I didn't want to. I also look around and think we are all going to die and wonder how other people come to terms with it.
I am not depressed and I found it very upsetting. My DH couldn't understand why I was obsessing about it but I couldn't stop the thoughts.
It has got a bit better over the last few years. I don't think about it every day, but I do still think about it a lot.

Jw35 Fri 04-Dec-15 19:57:19

I'm not depressed but I think about dying sometimes. If a friend was dying it would definitely make me think about it more!

megletthesecond Fri 04-Dec-15 20:01:17

Sounds normal to me. In 150yrs none of us will be here.

It was triggered by my dad dying a few years ago and I've never had time to grieve or process it. So I've gone a bit morbid blush.

IonaNE Fri 04-Dec-15 20:05:27

I have thought about death since I was baptised at my own request in my late teens. I am now in my late 40s and I don't find thinking about death sad or depressing at all. I think it is normal to make a stance on the Big Question and no intelligent person would do so without thinking about it first.

1frenchfoodie Fri 04-Dec-15 20:05:44

The quote you gave sounded normal and can even be a good way of getting some perspective on the stresses of everyday life - it is only if it is stopping him living in the moment that there could be a problem.

Fairenuff Fri 04-Dec-15 20:07:05

Sounds normal to me too. It's nothing something that people often voice but it's true and perfectly reasonable to think about it imo.

redexpat Fri 04-Dec-15 20:09:35

My Dad died on Sunday after an illness that saw him hospitalised in May, from which he never recovered. Those thoughts that you write about in your op nevet crossed my mind. But then I am only one person.

Dontunderstand01 Fri 04-Dec-15 20:13:41

Thank you all - it seems this is normal. My concerns remain- that a fit and healthy person is letting life pass him by but he is an adult and can make his own choices.

I find it quite overwhelming as he says things like this quite a lot. I have a young ds and want to see the opportunity and excitement in life, not dwell on pain and suffering, particularly when that could be decades away.

I suppose I will try and remain sympathetic but distance myself a little. It might sound selfish but I just can't listen to it and not get a little frustrated.

Greengardenpixie Fri 04-Dec-15 20:14:33

I am 48 and think about it. I have had people die that have been close to me. Its so hard to come to terms with the fact that you will NEVER see that person again. It is also hard to come to terms with the fact that you have to ultimately die alone. You need to physically die on your own. Scares the shit out of me personally.
I think at 60 odds, its perfectly normal.

Dontunderstand01 Fri 04-Dec-15 20:15:18

1 french foodie - that is the point. He isn't saying it to put wider problems into perspective at all , it is more 'what's the pointended when we're going to die anyway'.

Dontunderstand01 Fri 04-Dec-15 20:16:52

Greengardenpixie I genuinely aren't trying to be glib, but if you think it is normal, do you think it normal to have that conversation with your dd virtually every time you speak to them?

Greengardenpixie Fri 04-Dec-15 20:17:01

Well i have also thought that too ^ what is the point? You live..things die. Pretty pointless!

Fairenuff Fri 04-Dec-15 20:17:25

He's pondering the meaning of life.

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