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A living grief and I don't know how to cope

(27 Posts)
eastwest1234 Tue 02-Jan-18 12:35:36

I'm so sorry if this is the wrong place to post but I'm at my wit's end.

Several weeks ago my dad was rushed to hospital with a perforated ulcer which was operated on successfully but he has contracted pneumonia and he's not responding to antibiotics and is slowly fading as far as I can see.

If he dies, I just don't know how to cope. I can't sleep at night, I can't carry out simple tasks like stripping the bed and tidying up as I just feel so consumed with grief even though he's still alive.

He is terrified of dying and this just breaks my already shattered heart.

I'd be so grateful to anyone who can offer advice. I love him so much and I am terrified of how to cope if the worst happens and how to tell my son who is 3. I'm also 18 weeks pregnant and haven't told anyone other than my close family. I don't feel like I can break happy news when I'm facing the worst time of my life.

I don't know how to function or cope and I'm worried about my lovely mum.

Please be gentle with me.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Tue 02-Jan-18 12:50:43

It's a terrible thing when a loved one is ill. Just terrible. You're in's AWFUL and nothing anyone says makes you feel better.

If he does die OP, I won't lie...that will be awful too. For a time.

Then, it gradually, slowly lifts...and you begin to feel like yourself again.

How old is your Dad? Is he usually fit and well?

Hotpinkangel19 Tue 02-Jan-18 12:53:00

Have you spoken to the doctors? I think getting some idea of how serious it may be before you understandably start panicking. Are there other antibiotics they could try?

LuckyBitches Tue 02-Jan-18 12:55:17

I'm so sorry about your Dad. I don't know how to advise you without falling back on the cliches, such as taking each moment as it comes. it's true though, that's all you can do. And cry as much as you want to, it's a great stress reliever. Let grief happen, because it will anyway! It's easier to let it in.

Your OP sounds quite panicky, so here is a hand hold. You seem to be anxious about your own ability to cope, but you may well find that you surprise yourself. The best thing you can do for your Mum is talk to her, and let her talk to you.

eastwest1234 Tue 02-Jan-18 12:56:12


Last night a nurse approached his bed and, completely out of the blue, decided to tell us that she doesn't hold out much hope for him. This has plunged us even deeper into a sort of living hell. The nurse phoned my mum to apologise late last night but once you've said something it's hard to retract.

The doctors have been honest that he's not responding to the second round of antibiotics.

cheap he's 70 and usually very fit. It's just left us all stunned.

eastwest1234 Tue 02-Jan-18 12:57:07


Thank you so much for a hand. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it

CheapSausagesAndSpam Tue 02-Jan-18 13:00:43

I can see why you'd be stunned. That nurse was very stupid. And 70 isn't old these days so it's a shock to hear that.

Try your very best to function...think of your Dad and how he'd want you to cope. He won't want you unable to striip a bed...try to think of his humour and how much he loves you.

eastwest1234 Tue 02-Jan-18 13:01:49

Oh cheap you've set me off sad

Thank you for your kindness

CheapSausagesAndSpam Tue 02-Jan-18 13:05:23

And remember he's right where he needs to be now...we live in a country with excellent care and some amazing doctors and nurses.

Stay positive...keep thinking good thoughts. flowers

Sallycinnamum Tue 02-Jan-18 13:06:25

I was in your situation over a decade ago when my DM had peritonitis while on holiday.

It was a fucking hideous time especially as we were in a holiday resort so far away from home and surrounded by happy families.

My DM did recover despite it being very touch and go for a while.

Have you had a conversation with the doctor in charge of your dad?

Mishappening Tue 02-Jan-18 13:11:01

How very hard for you - my heart goes out to you. I will say though, that if he does die (and the hospital staff are right to prepare you all for this possibility) you will find that, sad though you are, you will cope. You will set to and help your Mum do all that needs doing and finding a way to celebrate his life well.

Of course you feel a bit paralysed at this moment - you do not know what is going to happen. Just go with the flow and prioritise the support of your Mum and your Dad. Do not try to keep up your usual routines - this is not your usual situation and you need to be kind to yourself.

Of course your Dad is frightened he may die - we would all feel like that - but the truth is that in the end most people approach the inevitable with a degree of calm, especially if they have their loved ones nearby.

Take care of yourself - be there for your loved ones and let them comfort you too. Stiff upper lip will not help - go with your emotions. flowers

eastwest1234 Tue 02-Jan-18 13:36:39

I keep thinking that you can only reach the depths of grief if you've reached the peaks of love and I'm so lucky to have a wonderful dad.

flapjackfairy Tue 02-Jan-18 13:43:29

My dad is dying of a terminal lung condition and it is so hard to get on with normal life whilst all that is going on . Everything seems pointless ! But i have to get on with things for the sake of my lovely kids and so do you hon. Believe me I feel your pain . There are no answers and no words i know but you are not alone . Sending much love to you and your family. Xxx

eastwest1234 Tue 02-Jan-18 13:47:05


Sending you so much love and best wishes.

I actually feel like I'm in physical pain because it hurts so much xx

minmooch Tue 02-Jan-18 14:11:57

It is very sad to watch a loved one die. But it is also a privilege and honour to be with them by their side for their final journey. Be calm, say all the things you want your Dad to know.

As much as we love we also have to say goodbye to our loved ones - it is that circle of life.

It is the right order of things, we expect to lose our parents before us. It might be sooner than you thought but if it is his time to depart then you have to think he had 70 good years on this planet.

You will survive. All of us lose loved ones. In the last three years I have lost my son and my mum. I survive. I live and grieve. It doesn't mean it's not hard, it is, and not sad, it is. But we are meant to survive these things. You have a child and new life to see you through. And you will.

Try and help your Dad (and Mum) through this final bit. If you can find this inner strength it will help you and you will be proud of yourself in time to come.

If this is his time I wish for a peaceful passing for him.

Big hugs.

LuckyBitches Tue 02-Jan-18 14:13:53

My pleasure east smile.

Hotpinkangel19 Tue 02-Jan-18 14:24:29

@eastwest1234 I'm sorry if I sounded a bit abrupt, I honestly never meant to. I lost both my parents a few months ago 11 weeks between them. My Mum was 70 and my Dad was 75. I was 20 weeks pregnant by the time I'd lost them both - I'm 39 weeks now. I just know how easy it is to assume the worst and panic. I really hope your Dad pulls through, it's heartbreaking. Sending hugs xx

TheFaerieQueene Tue 02-Jan-18 14:34:12

My DF was rushed to hospital two weeks ago with pneumonia and is still there. He has fought the pneumonia but his dementia is much worse and the prognosis is bleak. It is such a hideous time OP. I can totally empathise.

Timeforachange68 Tue 02-Jan-18 14:46:54

You will cope - I won't lie it's hard but you will support each other

In the meantime spend as much time with your dad as possible & talk to him, by the time we realised my mum was dying she was no longer conscious so our last conversations with her were about nothing at all

BonApp Tue 02-Jan-18 19:58:39

My dad has a type of terminal lung cancer too. We are 4 months in to a 6 month diagnosis. It’s horrendous.

My advice would be only to let in what you can. I’ve found this all to take up so much headspace that I’ve been unable to do or think about more than the basics and everything else has been pushed way down the priority list.

Posting on here has been a godsend too I have to say. So therapeutic to have somewhere to come and let it all out. And wonderful kind people ready to support.

My kids adore my dad (6 and 3) especially my youngest. It breaks my heart that she won’t remember him much, I like to think she loves him so much now because it’s her way of getting it all in now.

Massive hugs to you at this tough horrible time.

capturingdaydreams Tue 02-Jan-18 22:55:34

hi op, i'm shocked the nurse said that. that really wasn't her place. i've been where you've been and it's horrendous. i was told by doctors twice that my mum was v close to dying. both times she soldiered on. she was given days and ended up living for a few more months so you never know. the only thing we can do in these situations is hope even if there's no hope.

i would say spend as much time as possible with your dad and say everything you want to him. i think it's better to say these things earlier so he's lucid and not wait until the very end. try to do things so you won't have regrets later on.

big hugs op.


whatisforteamum Wed 03-Jan-18 10:22:45

Op.I you both my parents battled advanced cancer then Dads went terminal.Months and months of watching him I'll then six dreadful weeks in hospital where he was begging to die.Tbh I did.cope.and felt better when he died than watching him suffer.My heart goes.out to you.You are at the worst bit.

eastwest1234 Thu 08-Feb-18 09:15:19

Hi all

I just thought I'd come back and update you. My lovely Dad defied the odds and is now home! He is very weak and short of breath but he is home. The doctors have told him he is nothing short of a miracle. We don't know what the future holds for him but he is getting lots of physio to get him back on his feet. He does have fibrosis of the lungs now and this obviously isn't good but he's back home where he should be.

Thank you so much for your kind words on this thread. It means so much xx

Hotpinkangel19 Thu 08-Feb-18 09:18:18

Lovely news xx

Keel Thu 08-Feb-18 09:20:10

Glad to read your update. Lots of love to you and your family.

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