What to say when someone is dying?

(12 Posts)
bizzi Fri 13-May-05 09:42:11

We heard on Tuesday that my Dad is riddled with cancer.

How do I support my children, 10, 7, and 4yrs?
They are very close, emotionally to my parents who live 200 miles away, so realistically I can only visit at weekends!

What can I do for or say to my Dad in this time? How can we all make it happy and special?
Know any books on the subject?

OP’s posts: |
anchovies Fri 13-May-05 09:57:56

Not really got any advice but just wanted to say how sorry I am that you've had this sad news. Hope you manage to spend as much time as possible with him, is he well at the moment? I am sure all the time you and your children spend with him will be very special. Am thinking about you xxx

Newbarnsleygirl Fri 13-May-05 10:01:55

Just spend as much time as you can with him.

Thats the one thing I regret when my grandad was diagnosed. I didn't see him enough.

Hugs to you and your family.

RnB Fri 13-May-05 10:05:53

Message withdrawn

muminlondon Fri 13-May-05 10:21:23

I'm very sorry to hear this. It doesn't matter what you talk about, just be with him. My dad was diagnosed very late with lung cancer and secondaries and spent his last few days in hospital - his second wife died just before him. We talked about the nurses in the hospital and patients in the ward, television programmes, reminiscences, mundane things, whatever Dad wanted to talk about. My sister took her children's drawings for him, although they didn't visit him as much as we did.

Hausfrau Fri 13-May-05 10:31:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

happymerryberries Fri 13-May-05 10:59:23

Hugs to you at this awful time. I was in the same state when my father had terminal cancer, and we allso lived a long distance away.

I would say that you should take your lead from him. There may be times when he wants to talk about it, and others when he wants to 'forget' it and act as if anything is normal. My dad only refered to it twice to me. In the end what he wanted was more important.

Just make every moment count without making it too abnormal IYSWIM.

Contacting the Macmillan nurses can be such a helpful thing to do.

Make sure you take care of yourself at the same time

bizzi Sun 15-May-05 20:30:48

I've just got back from my first visit, plan to go each weekend. Dad has spoken to myself, brother and sister individually now, he asked for time alone with us and told us what he wants from the time he has left and afterwards, in particular support for Mum and each other and stability for my children (the only grandchildren) He wants life to go on and us all to keep smiling! (Very basically put but the jist of it) He asked if there was anything I wanted to say to him and I was useless. I couldn't think of anything that didn't sound so final. I just kept welling up and losing control of my voice! So much for smiling on and being supportive.
We're waiting for the results of the biopsies to hear how aggressive it is. He's had a metre of sm intestine removed because it was distended and blocking the intestine. We've been told he has secondaries and it's got to his liver. Either Dad's v depressed (not like Dad) orhe feels he's on his way out now, gave me a subtle impression that he wouldn't be there to see me next weekend.
Thanks for your messages, please leave more, dh not being the support I need.

OP’s posts: |
darlingbud Sun 15-May-05 20:41:57

I am so sorry to hear your news and feel for your family. My thoughts are with you all.

Tissy Sun 15-May-05 21:11:16

bizzi, my FIL died recently,(was riddled with prostate cancer) and had it all planned. He saw everyone , said goodbye, then died.I got the distinct impression that was just the way he wanted to go. Dh's family took comfort from the fact that he chose what to do with his last few days, his pain was controlled, and he had nothing else to do.

Does he want to see the children?

FIL did, and we took dd (then just 3)to the hospital. She did make him smile, as she got a magazine from the hospital shop, complete with free felt-tip pens, and proceeded to "decorate" his room with smiley faces- we were all so taken up with FIL, we didn't see her happily scribbling on the walls.

Dd knows grandad is dead now, but not sure she really understands. I guess it would be harder for your children.

bizzi Sun 15-May-05 22:11:13

He had his prostate removed 4 years ago. PSA levels been clear since then! We understand that this is just an unlucky double dose of cancer that could have been growing for 10 years!!
I took the children, eldest then 6 to visit him in hospital. It's been remembered by all as a bad move. ds was silently shocked and distressed to see Papa so poorly. We all agree it's best to wait till he's home...

OP’s posts: |
kid Sun 15-May-05 22:47:58

My DH's nan was recently (but wrongly) diagnosed as having lung cancer. It was a terrible time but she was very adamant that she wanted us to carry on treating her as usual.

Hopefully your dad can advise you of what he would like. Of course you will be upset but each day has to be taken one at a time.

Thinking of you at this difficult time xxx

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