So, my dad is dying... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 02-08-2011, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dad has been terminally ill for a while. It's progressed to the point that he's bed-ridden, though he can communicate fine. I just traveled to visit for a few days, and it was pretty rough. My dad walked out when I was a baby. I had no relationship with him until the end of my college years. I tried to have a friendly relationship, but when I was 25, he was diagnosed with cancer. This has been off and on now for 5 years.

 

I went to see him and to take my kids, who I'm assuming will not see him again. (We live 700 miles away.) He has not been forthcoming with me about his prognosis, though I know roughly what's going on. My brother (different moms, but also not around when my brother was a kid) lives with him. They've lived together for 3 years or so.

 

My brother is overwhelmed, though. He works full-time, and he's spending all of his free time caring for my dad. Everyone seems to think that I should stop my life and go down there to stay with him. 

 

I am feeling okay with the fact that I *don't* want to do that. My dad was grouchy when I was there. That's understandable, but seriously. This is a man who did NOTHING for me during my entire childhood. It was weird and uncomfortable. I am worried, though, about how to handle everyone else - the relatives who think I should go, my mother who is inserting herself into this situation despite her 30-year hatred of the man. 

 

I don't know what I'm looking for. I'm just wondering, I suppose, how to really come to terms with the fact that I don't want to be there to take care of him. Or to be told that I'm being completely selfish. There are no do-overs. I know that, but after being there for 4 days, I realized that I won't regret that I didn't care for him in the end. I've gone. I've said good-bye.

 

My husband & I don't have a problem hiring household help or sending things if they're needed. His estate is going to be an absolute mess after he dies, and I don't think that my brother wants to be the one to worry about all of the legalities associated with his personal or business assets. I know that I will take the bulk of that role on, and that's fine with me. I just don't want to leave my brother is a really bad situation, either.


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#2 of 7 Old 02-08-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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I would not drop everything and go care for him. I would be supportive to the brother who is handling everything. Can you find outside care that can come in and help your brother? Some type of Hospice care?

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#3 of 7 Old 02-08-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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I am sorry about your dad and for the situation you are in. You don't owe your relatives an explanation for  how you decide to care or not care for your dad but I can only imagine how impossible the situation feels for you. You have made peace and said your goodbye. That's the most important thing for you.Unfortunately, when a person is dying family members expect all things of the past to be forgotten and that would be great if life were a Lifetime made for television movie but it isn't.

 

If you're able to hire help  and/or send things, do that and coordinate with your brother what would work best for your dad and for him. I am sure he'll appreciate you doing this.

 

Most people, at least in my experience, diefy a person when they have passed or on their way to passing away. Do what gives you the most peace.

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#4 of 7 Old 02-08-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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First of all, Im very sorry you are having to go through this. People dying is stressful for everyone involved.

 

So, who is this "everyone" you speak of that expects you to go and care for a dying man who (no offfense) didnt even care for you when you were healthy. My grandmother died last year, and we were about as close as two people can be, and as I live 350 miles away no one expected me to be there 24/7. I think the people that expect you to do this are at least half crazy.

 

When someone is dying, caring for them is quite messy and unpleasant. Most people do not want their children to have to care for them when they are bedridden. For a lot of parents, I think they want to keep some of their dignity as they are on their deathbed. I suggest you get in touch with someone from Hospice. If he has health insurance, they will probably pay for it. Other than that, craigslist and the newspaper often have listings for people who have experience caring for the elderly. We hired a woman who was a retired nurse. We found her homeade flyer on a corkboard at  the pharmacy, and she charged $10.00 per hour for regular hours. $17.00 per hour for emergency hours (if we called her in the middle of the night, or during a time she was not scheduled to be there). If you arent comfortable with that, I feel sure that the social services department at the hospital where you father was treated has a list of people who are certified to care for him. Hospice is a wonderful service, and they normally send someone 5 times a week, but they are generally only there for an hour or so, so he probably will need more care than that.

 


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Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

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#5 of 7 Old 02-09-2011, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He does have hospice care, but they're only out once a week. He is uninsured, so our options are limited. He has exhausted most of his cash resources, and I don't have an unlimited budget to get care. My brother works in a restaurant and is gone roughly 2 PM - 2 AM, which leaves my dad there for a long time by himself. Unfortunately he doesn't want us to tell many other people that he is this bad because I think there people who would help. 
 

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Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
So, who is this "everyone" you speak of that expects you to go and care for a dying man who (no offfense) didnt even care for you when you were healthy. My grandmother died last year, and we were about as close as two people can be, and as I live 350 miles away no one expected me to be there 24/7. I think the people that expect you to do this are at least half crazy.

 

Well, it's pretty much my dad's family. I mean, my mother acts like I'm supposed to forgive him for everything, but she revels in being in the middle of this kind of situation. It's easier for me to ignore her because I know her tactics. I am from the deep South, and there people do tend to drop everything when someone is dying. If this were one of my grandparents, the truth is that I would do that. I would go down and sit with them and help out.

 

I think that a couple of people in my dad's family feel they will be the ones to take care of him in the end and do the cleaning/cooking/etc. because they're closer. But they don't necessarily want to - or they feel that it's my *job* as his child.
 


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#6 of 7 Old 04-25-2011, 01:01 PM
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I hope you're doing well, Mama.

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#7 of 7 Old 04-27-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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I just read your thread. Sorry you are going through this. My friend cared for her mother for about 8 years; it totally took over her life and when her mom passed, in a peaceful, well-thought out way, my friend still got flak from people in her family about how she had handled things. Her sister didn't even help her and my friend was overwhelmed. She was close and at peace with her mom. That was what mattered - not what "others" thought about everything later.

 

It sounds like you are all doing what you need to do. If your father wanted more help, it sounds like he would be more open. He is making choices as well. If you feel it would be helpful to open up some more help for him with his family, you could try, but let him be the force behind it. Just because you are his child, you are not under a contract. Life and deaths have changed a lot since the old days, and I know some areas have more cultural stuff to deal with, but I have found for myself, that it's best to release expectations. I know your relatives may not do this, but it's OK for you just to do what you need to do. People judge others regardless. You are already doing more than some people would.

 

I wish you peace through this. grouphug.gif


I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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