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When the death isn't peaceful? (may be upsetting)

(27 Posts)
tilliebob Tue 20-Oct-15 19:30:24

I don't want to trigger any horrible memories off but what about when the death of a loved one isn't peaceful, and they don't just slip away? When you can't get things out your head?

Does it ever wear off, the feelings of horror and helplessness? Does time really make it go away?

Struggling tonight.

FadedRed Tue 20-Oct-15 19:44:33

So sorry you are feeling this way, Tilliebob.
Not got any magic healing words, there aren't any, but would talking about how you feel help you? Here, in a PM or Samaritans (who will anonymously listen to any one in distress).
Do the pictures in your head go away? They should fade and blur as time passes, but counselling/debrief/discussion might be helpful.

FeedMyFaceWithJaffaCakes Tue 20-Oct-15 19:45:04

Hello OP.
I'm sorry for your loss.
Couldn't just read and run.
I'm hoping it wasn't too painful.
I'm a DN and also have a little hospice experience.
If you want to talk you can PM me x

Nonnainglese Tue 20-Oct-15 19:49:16

Oh tilliebob, I really feel for you, that's so raw. I've worked in palliative care and I know what you mean but can't imagine how you must feel.
I guess time wears bits off the edges but that's not going to help you here and now.
Could you talk to your doctor or practice nurse? Macmillan have a helpline and would be able to help you.

twirlypoo Tue 20-Oct-15 19:51:26

I'm so sorry for your loss tillie

I am absolutely not an expert, but my own personal experience is that I have got better at not thinking about it. For over a year I replayed my dads death a lot, which I thjnk was my brain trying to make sense of it. He died 13 years ago now, and I can still recall and bring back the painful memories and relieve what happened, but it no longer haunts me the way it used to.

I hope you find peace. Do you have someone you can talk to? flowers

AntiquityOfTheTauri Tue 20-Oct-15 19:55:49

Agree about talking to someone.

I don't have personal experience but a colleague I worked with did and while it stayed with him it lost its power. I knew him years after the event and it took him a long time to deal with it. But I'm assuming due to his age and gender that if help was available he may not have availed himself of it.

I have only been present at the hospital death of my dad and what struck me afterwards was how absent experience of death is from our society, it was hard to carry around experience of it among my friends who had never been there. I wouldn't assume to understand a traumatic death, but I did have someone to talk to about my experience and could write about it and it did help.

Chocqueen99 Tue 20-Oct-15 19:58:59

It does take time but it does ease off.

shoopshoopsong Tue 20-Oct-15 20:00:05

Hi tilliebob sorry for your loss. My dad died suddenly in a tragic accident and I had nightmares for years that he was still alive but suffering. & the story of his suffering and my families played out in my dreams for years (not all the time but regularly) until now 4 years later I don't have them anymore. I think it was my brain coming to terms with what happened, playing out scenarios in my head while I was sleeping. I know it's not exactly what you asked, but wanted to say, yes, although I'm still grieving for him and always will, I have come to terms with that his death wasn't peaceful and focus on his life when I think of him rather than his death. There are still triggers where I'm upset by the actual dying bit, rather than the just being dead, but they are not often now. I hope that helps

tilliebob Tue 20-Oct-15 20:24:56

Thanks folks and huge hugs shoop thanks. My husband is here to talk to and he was there, as were my mum and my brother. However I find that I don't really want to talk to them now the initial shock has worn off. Dad went two months ago yesterday so things are pretty raw and still unreal just now.

I just can't believe the medics would have left us all with him if they knew there was a possibility it was all going to go belly up. I just am so angry/upset that his final moments were such a farce. He didn't deserve it and my poor mum certainly didn't need that as her last memory of her partner of over half a century.

I spoke to the family doc when he visited mum the next day but he was non committal - probably as to not be seen to be criticising the hospital medics, I think.

HoundPaws Thu 22-Oct-15 19:54:07

I'm so very sorry. From my experience I don't think you ever recover from it actually, sorry. The way people are left to die in this country is disgusting. My only solace is that I have no children, thank God, so will not inflict that suffering on someone else. I think it destroys you and whilst life goes on and you enjoy aspects of life- beneath the surface, everything is pointless.

MessEnoughClean Thu 22-Oct-15 20:22:29

I really think time does help. I lost my dad almost 13 months ago and it is so, so much less raw and distressing that it was in the first probably 4 or so months afterwards. Images would go through my head constantly and would often be coupled with a cold, horrible feeling in my stomach, like a stab or a punch, and this went on for a while.

It just gradually got less and less and now it doesn't ever happen, something might trigger a memory of something horrible that happened over his last few days and of course it still makes me feel sad, but it seems...... much further away, if that makes sense? I'm now much more likely to randomly think of the nicer (nicer is really not the right word but I can't think how to put it) aspects of what happened, for instance our last hug in the hospice and things like that.

As someone mentioned upthread, MacMillan are very good and I found reading their forums very helpful. Even if your loss was not cancer related, the subforums for grieving relatives may help. Reading how other people were feeling did make a big difference to me.

So sorry for your loss

Apartridgeamongstthepidgeons Tue 27-Oct-15 22:25:33

flowers So sorry for your loss Tilliebob

My situation is different to yours in that my sister took her own life (she hung herself I really hope I haven't triggered anything for anyone) so yes it torments me, questions go round in my mind, was she in pain, did it take long. Two years later i still feel the same, but we are all different some people come to terms with things quicker than others, some never come to terms with it, I don't think I will.

tilliebob Wed 28-Oct-15 20:40:07

Ah Partridge that must have been hard to bear. So many unanswered questions for you. thanks

Apartridgeamongstthepidgeons Fri 30-Oct-15 10:34:33

Thanks Tilliebob

I don't have any questions as to why, just about the death itself and it's hard because it's not the sort of questions you want to talk about with friends or family for fear of upsetting them. I had counselling and that really helped as I did talk through these things, still upsets me though and I think that's normal.

When your ready I would look into counsellingflowers

rundown25 Mon 02-Nov-15 20:53:18

I lost my dad 6months ago. He all of a sudden started acting odd. And then collapsed at home where a massive gbm4 (cancerous brain tumour - worst aggressive kind ) was discovered. He endured 6 craniotomy surgeries and passed 10 months after diagnosis aged 54. We are devastated amd my man cared for him till the end. He died peacefully at home. It's awful and I keep having nightmares . I won't go into the things we endured in that 10 months but we watched an intelligent man become a cabbage . He endured so so much and fought till the bitter end. I'm so so so heartbroken and miss my dad so so much. When will this pain end ????? Iv 4 beautiful children but all I can think about is going to be with dad. Selfish I am selfish

rundown25 Mon 02-Nov-15 20:55:03

Should say un peacefully at home. Gurgling gasping and awful to watch . To be honest we all felt a relief his suffering was over. My mam is a widow at 54. It's not right

rundown25 Mon 02-Nov-15 20:57:02

Missenough your words bring me comfort. Thank you flowers

Shebangsthedrumsshedoes Mon 02-Nov-15 21:11:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tilliebob Mon 02-Nov-15 21:24:17

I think about being with my dad too but I know damn well he'd be furious with me if I ever tried it. Now that the initial numbness is wearing off I keep having flashbacks to that night in hospital. It was a long night..the longest I've ever sat through. I do know he's at peace now but I'm selfish too, I want him here and everything to be right in my, my kids, my brother and my mums life again. I'm also angry at him for basically killing himself slowly over several decades. The selfish sod!! I often yell up at him to ask if he's happy now, because I'm bloody sure none of the rest of us are.

rundown25 Mon 02-Nov-15 21:34:25

My dad never asked for his tumour and had a full life and 7 grandchildren to live for. I know he didn't want to die but the tumour was to powerful. It's just so hard to take it in and still 6months on I can't get passed what has happened . I have terrible terrible nightmares that wake me and stop me getting back to sleep and I'm a shadow of my former self . I just can't move on at all . Sorry to go on and on

tilliebob Mon 02-Nov-15 21:41:14

Rundown thanks. It's just crap isn't it?

Heebiejeebie Tue 10-Nov-15 08:43:44

Would it help you to talk it through with the doctors who were looking after him? You could contact PALS and ask for a meeting if it would help you answer some questions.

tilliebob Fri 13-Nov-15 11:37:57

I don't think we have PALS up here in Scotland. I googled what happened at the end and it's quite common apparently - which is why I'm angry that the medics left us with dad without any warning that it might up go tits up. A horrible last memory to have of such a special person.

fluffygreenmonsterhoody Mon 23-Nov-15 10:06:35

I'm sorry for what you're going through.
My mum died of a massive heart attack at home. I wasn't there but my dad, DB and DSis were. My dad was doing CPR while my wee sister ran up the street after the ambulance as it missed our turning (wouldn't have made any difference in the end). To this day I don't know what 14 year old DB was doing.
This was 13 years ago now. The manner of it still upsets me when I think about it. I think the difference is that I don't think about it as much now. Very, very gradually through time it stops keeping you up all night, then it stops being the first thing you think about in the morning, and so on and so on.
I also empathise about the slowly killing yourself thing. Mum was a smoker all her life and drank a bit too much as well. I gain small comfort from the fact that she was trying to give up smoking when she died.
I don't know if this is much help to you but I promise, although the memory never goes away, the pain won't always be at the forefront of your thoughts.

larry5 Thu 26-Nov-15 08:56:46

I am grateful for this thread as when my mother died last week of a massive heart attack I was there with the two paramedics. Although the notice to go in the paper says that she died peacefully at home she didn't really and I can't tell the rest of the family what it was like. I know that my mum got what she wanted which was to die at home in her own bed but I was the one who, although I rang 999 against her wishes, had to make the decisions. She had a DNR notice so I had to go along with that and all the time at the moment I have her face as she died at the back of my mind.

I was able to be with her and hold her hand as she went but I didn't want her to die.

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