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My friend is dying - I want to visit but feel uncomfortable going.

(71 Posts)
pepsi Thu 04-Sep-08 14:43:46

A friend of mine, whom I was very close to in the past but dont see often now is very sick, she has been given just weeks to live. She is only 45 and has been through a long illness. I last visited her in June at which time although very ill she still managed to smile. I feel awkward going to visit, her husband is beside himself and of course and its been a while since we spoke so I wouldnt want to phone him to ask whens best or any other questions. I feel really pathetic even writing this message. A couple of my friends are going tommorrow evening and I may go with them, or else myself and my husband could visit on Sat. But will she really want endless people coming in to say what will be goodbye or will she be to ill to care, I just dont know. Im so sad about it and feel so much for her children and family. Not sure if Ive worded all this well but someone out there might no what I mean.

janestillhere Thu 04-Sep-08 14:46:34

I think you should join the others. You may choose to stay just a couple of minutes, but you don't go at all, you may be forever wishing you had when she goes. Much love x

Tortington Thu 04-Sep-08 14:47:16


LittleMyDancing Thu 04-Sep-08 14:50:29

I really feel for you - it's not easy facing something as difficult as this. Death makes cowards of us all, so don't feel ashamed or awkward for the way you feel.

going with your friends is a really good idea, especially if it's already arranged, then you don't have to worry about ringing up and asking questions at this difficult time.

i have no experience of terminally ill people, but you might find when you're there that it's a lot less hard than you think. and even if she is too ill to register your presence, it might help you to have gone - imagine how you would feel after she died if you didn't go?

you're allowed to be sad, and you're allowed to express that. obviously hurling yourself onto the husband and weeping is probably not a good idea, but you're totally ok to say how desperately sad you are that this is happening.

really hope you manage to go and see her and it all goes ok.

Doodle2U Thu 04-Sep-08 14:50:45


Go with the friends tomorrow.

You'll regret not going IME.

Teuch Thu 04-Sep-08 14:51:25

You don't have to go and say 'goodbye'! You can just go and be led by her.

Yes, it might be awful and it might be the worst thing you have to do for a long time, but you will feel happier that you have done it.

pepsi Thu 04-Sep-08 14:52:38

Thanks good advice, thanks. I just dont want to be in the way of her closest family and friends whom might also be there. xxx

singyswife Thu 04-Sep-08 14:54:16

I personally would go with the people who are already going. If just you and your dh go then you might feel like you are sad and are going to say goodbye whereas if you go with other people then you might just have a night to remember iyswim. Hope you come to a decision soon.

DaphneMoon Thu 04-Sep-08 14:56:27

Please go, you will regret it for the rest of your life if you don't.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 04-Sep-08 14:58:05

Message withdrawn

eeewahwoowah Thu 04-Sep-08 15:02:13

please go with your friends. my mum died at 50 and in the 6 months before her death I moved back home to care for her and to look after my dad who has disabilities. Naturally, it was a very hard time for all of us but we never once resented the visits of my mum's old friends some of whom did come to say goodbye and were very open about that. I must admit there were times when i found that a little annoying. One woman broke down sobbing repeating "I'll never see you again" over and over again - that wasn't great!

In any case I have to say, personally, I was glad people visited rather than stayed away. My mum really appreciated seeing her friends, she said it reminded her how fortunate she had been in her life and friendships. It was only at the very end when she was very tired that she found the visits harder.


IfYouDidntLaughYoudCry Thu 04-Sep-08 15:08:53

I'm sure her family and closest friends will appreciate you coming to see her, Pepsi. It is a show of love.

Plus, you have to consider how you would feel if you didn't go and had to live with the regret. I really think you would be very angry with yourself.

If you don't know what to say then just sit with her, hold her hand, be there. Hope you are ok sad

jesuswhatnext Thu 04-Sep-08 15:10:45

been there, done that sad

go and see your friend, take your lead from her! you may find that she is having a good day is able to sit up, chat , have a laugh etc, if a bad day, just listen, try and support her and the family as best you can - i think even to say 'i'm so sorry, i have no idea what to say or do, just tell me what i can do to help' is better than not saying anything!

just take a lead from the family - it could be that you just wash-up, make a cup of tea/pour wine, hug everyone and leave.

just don't be a stranger, they need everyone!

bumpybecky Thu 04-Sep-08 16:24:45

please go. I didn't and regret it

An ex-colleague of mine died of breast cancer a few months ago. I'd spoken to her on the phone a couple of weeks before, but it was difficult to arrange a visit as I needed to sort childcare. I called the day after I'd sorted it, but was 2 days too late

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 04-Sep-08 16:25:45

Please go, as much for her as yourself.

I really wish I had been able to see my Nana before she died.

lulumama Thu 04-Sep-08 16:26:53

what will you regret more, going or not going?

go with your friends and offer your support

bubblagirl Thu 04-Sep-08 16:35:12

it is sad and awkward but best thing i odne was visit my friend regualy when he was dying we knoew but we iddint speak of it we just sat and talked laughed cried but i wa shtere when he needed a friend

and i remember i vety nearly didnt go as i found it sad but i though sod it i'll just go popped ds into his buggy and went his sis came to door and said he was to ill and i couldnt come in but i saw him through the window picked ds up so he could see him and blew him the biggest kiss he said to his wife she blew me a kiss and blew one back

next day his daughte rphoned me to say he'd gone and i'll always feel glad he knew i loved him and made the effort to see him and im glad i got to say goodbye i see it so vivid in my mind now and just feel glad i went or he may not have known how much i cared or loved him but he did

bubblagirl Thu 04-Sep-08 16:39:04

sorry for typos made me cry writing it just go i remember my friend when was well enough for visitors was sad his closest friends didnt come anymore except me

but i will always regret also my friends nan i was so so close to her and didnt visit her when she was dying i couldnt bare it and she always asked after me

i regret to this day not going to see her and just being there but i know she'll understand why as id just lost my nan couldnt bare to see her go to but i'll never lose the sadness and the regret of just not being there

MadamAnt Thu 04-Sep-08 16:41:31

Do go. I chose not to go in a similar situation, and really regret it.

Tn0g Thu 04-Sep-08 16:43:50

Pepsi, I went through a very similar situation recently.

A very dear friend was dying of cancer and although I found it incredibly hard to deal with I had him come stay for a period of time over christmas, he was 70 and a widower with no other family.

He died early in the new year.

It's incredibly difficult watching someone you care about dying and feeling that you can't do anything for them, but I think all my friend wanted in the end was my company and love, to share a joke and talk about mundane everyday things, to act as I always had around him.

I couldn't stop the cancer taking him away but I could try and make his last few months normal and happy.

I hope you decide to visit your friend Pepsi, I suspect it will mean so much to her.

RubyRioja Thu 04-Sep-08 16:45:29

I would go and focus on past and 'today'

How are you today
Anythign I can get you today
Here are some photos of our outing
Do you remember when ...

Flowers good (can rattle on about florist)
Not view it as goodbye but as visit, suited me.

onlyjoking9329 Thu 04-Sep-08 16:46:46

please do go and see your friend, it maybe the last time you will see her and as hard as that is it is very precious.
My lovely husband died 12 weeks ago from cancer, he spent the last 9 weeks at home in bed and the last week in a coma, lots of friends came to see him and to say goodbye i made sure everyone got time alone with steve if they wanted to, steve is no longer here but his friends and me remember those last vists and find them a comfort and gives us a bond, i have some much closer friendships from the people that didn't shy away from saying goodbye.

mumoverseas Thu 04-Sep-08 16:47:46

Please go. If you don't you may always regret it. What have you got to lose?
Will be difficult but you have to do it.
good luck

debzmb62 Thu 04-Sep-08 16:49:54

hi gosh i feel for you i really do having lost my husband myself and watching him go and actually being with him to when he passed was the most horrible expereance of my life ! he was fine !! it was me took me all my strenght not to break down all the time we have 3 children to now 10 years on i would,nt have done it any other way its hard i know ,
but please go to show her but not just her her family to all your support you won,t regret it it will be hard but worth it and play it by ear she might surprise you or you might get upset be strong if you don,t go all you,ll have as memories is i wish iwish i went to see her

Mercy Thu 04-Sep-08 16:55:08

Pepsi, my best friend died almost 10 years ago.

At the time we were living 150 miles apart but dh used to drive me up to see her in hospital. I wasn't able to see her in her last few weeks and it was a terrible shock when her family phoned me to say she had died.

Please go, for her sake as well as your own.

Thinking of you.

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