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When u know this is the last...(8 Posts)
My dad is dying . He has end of life kidney failure, copd, chronic heart failure, liver failure amongst other stuff. Dr's say a yr tops he has so much wrong they can't treat it and he won't survive surgery. What breaks my heart is this is our last Christmas it was his last birthday last week I thought I could cope but I can't. I know I'm being really selfish but I have two kids 13 ànd 8 and I need to be strong for them and my mum but I'm struggling ..... any advice
My only advice - and it isn't much - is to try to enjoy the time you spend with him rather than spend it being sad (easier said than done). Tell him you love him loads, ask him as many questions about his life as he is strong enough to answer and really listen to the answers, take photos and video of him with you, with your siblings, with your DC so that you all have a physical memento of your time with him and be glad that you have some time to say goodbye.
I lost my DAd last year. It was sudden, he was well and I was with him the day before but slightly irritated with him, kissed him briefly, left and never saw him alive again. I would have loved to tell him one more time what a truly amazing childhood he gave me. Tell your Dad.
It is so hard and so sad but although this sounds selfish, there will be time to grieve when he gone so try not to start now, whilst you still have him.
I'm so sorry to hear that, it is really hard.
Advice? Nothing guaranteed because as we all know intellectually when something really painful is happening, it hurts, but knowing it and having to deal with feeling it are two different beasts.
Take time not to be strong; you are important, your sadness, fear, anger, whatever you are feeling is a reaction to a situation you can't fix. So if you have a support network for you, use it, if not then make use of any provision, charities, or any services offered by your DF's care provider ( I've had contact with hospices and Macmillan, both were helpful with support for carers). It really is ok to say 'I can't deal with this right now' because things get very intense. You are NOT being selfish, you're being a grieving daughter. Totally human, totally normal.
I don't know how it might work for your situation but - outsourcing. The house might need cleaning and the washing done but paid help can free you up time, if you're visiting or caring for your dad while supporting your mum and your own family it soon feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. Or friends or family members pitching in, it can make a huge difference. Anything you can afford or Rota to reduce the stress of on going mundane tasks that threaten to overwhelm you is an investment in you, imo.
Do something frivolous with your mum. Letting your relationship contract to contain only supporter and supportee of your dad's illness can put real strain on things even though the only reason it's like that is love.
Ditto if you can face it at all, do something frivolous with your children.
If you can do a family thing involving your dad too then do that - a tree trimming party, whatever you can. It's not disloyal, it builds your reserves back up. Just laughing, I remember being almost limp with laughter in the hospice more than once - I needed it then, I cherish those memories now.
I thought my heart was crumbling with grief, I was watching my child die, but still we had the joy of those precious times. It makes you feel better, more connected and normal in the midst of chaos.
Accept that this is grief. That isn't meant to sound glib or to make it sound easy but actually making the decision to be as kind to yourself as if you were grieving the other way around and let yourself do it can be helpful. You are already grieving and that is painful and deep, it's ok to feel it's too much to bear sometimes so if standards slip a bit, is it the end of the world? Pressuring yourself to keep all the balls in the air, to make it seem ok and as if nothing has changed is too high an expectation. It has, you can all acknowledge it without it harming the time you have left.
What can your dad still do? What do you want to do with this time? Memory boxes, special events, anything like that. It's hard to feel celebratory but sometimes these are the best times. Just general closeness, time together or with the whole family. There's often a way to make things possible. Planning some of these events helped me, it may be anathema to others.
I'm sorry I have nothing better to offer but you have my absolute sympathy, I've walked similar paths and it's really difficult. Most of all I hope you can find a space to take care of yourself, being the main support for many people while you have your own heartbreak is real emotional heavy lifting, it's mentally exhausting at times and any space you can carve for yourself just to be can ease the pressure a bit. Talking here could help if you want to, as a space to just dump everything. Talking to a friend or not talking at all and having 20 minutes to stuff your head under a pillow in silence, but you aren't selfish, hold on to that whatever else you do
Cross posted there, there weren't any replies when I started (although that was an epic post on a phone keyboard ).
Thank you so much. Your words of encouragement mean so much feeling loads better today and gonna plan a month of fun in December with everyone if this is our last its gonna be wild xxxx
My mum just died. Even though we were expecting it, we weren't expecting it quite yet (doctors had more treatment to offer etc.) I knew she was dying as soon as she was admitted to hosp. I listened to people saying things like "make sure you say all you need to say"
It doesn't stop the regrets.
Just do what you can, try not to be too hard on yourself.
my heart goes out to you,we are in the same boat.Df given approx year last march.I for one am pleased he is still here with advanced cancer and after a hard few yrs of he and Mum both battling stage 4 im looking forward to the fact he has had a couple of better weeks and im convinced he will be alive in a months time.You have had long to adjust though.Take it easy on yourself as it is an emotional and stressful time.My coping is week for week as df has taken so many bad turns.tell him you love him often .
So sorry to hear this. Can I recommend a book by kate grosse called 'late fragments' - she writes beautifully about how she copes with knowing a date or occasion could be the last. I can't remember her words, but basically it was about not putting too much pressure on yourselves to squeeze every last drop of enjoyment from each 'last' but to just be present and to not expect perfection.