Preparing for the worst moment of my life

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Guest

Guest
Hi,

As an adult i have always been pretty strong emotionally (in public) and i thank my Army training for that, it is a skill that has saved me many times when rough things happen.  However, what i am about to talk about is going to be the worst thing in my life to deal with and im not sure how to even prepare myself.    Some of you have had to deal with this very thing and i dont mean to be morbid, im just reaching out for advice because i already know that this will hurt me 10x more than anything has hurt me in my life. 

I am talking about the loss of my parents.  They are in their 80's and i dont mean to sound like 80's is end of the road but they both have been showing signs that things are beginning to turn against them in a big way.  I cannot even fathom a world in which i am not able to talk to my folks, especially my dad who calls me almost every day for one reason or another but we all know why he calls dont we :) 

I am so very lucky as i have had two of the best parents any man could have.  They taught me to be decent and loving and giving, to stick up for myself when i am wronged but to try to forgive those that hurt me (not always easy but i do try), they taught me about GOD and Country and to live by a code and stick to that code.  They respected me enough growing up to let me make mistakes and try to fix them myself and when i got off too far in deep water they pulled me back in and set me back on the right path. 

I dont know when the lord will call on them to leave this earth but i know i am not the slightest bit emotionally prepared for it and i am afraid that such a thing could derail me totally. 

Much of my family is into drugs sadly and so i dont have anything to do with them, i dont want to be around that stuff or anyone that does that stuff.  So when the folks are gone it will truley feel as if i have no family to speak of. 

For those of you that have had to endure this, i know that this might be hard to talk about and i am sorry for your loss.  But how do you keep going, because i dont have a clue at this point.

Thanks

 
S

sightseers

Guest
Hey Dave.

I know (or remember)  the things you are experiencing,  many years  ago as a young 18 year old boy right out of high school in the Army in 1971,... that really rocked my world.....I remember thinking this is the worst crap this world it could ever do to me.  so I'll just have to make it through.....then 6 months into all that madness,  I get emergency called back home to say goodbye to my mother, I didn't make it in time. , and so once again I thought to myself ...My mom's gone, My home is gone.. the world I'm in is insane ..... this is the worst life will ever be... I'll  just have to make it through it.... several years later,.. I'm a confused young husband and father getting hit pretty hard with lifes blows  . ... and I got the call to go say goodbye to my Father,    the unbreakable man that I could always count on to tell me the truth. 

As I spoke with him on his death bed,  I said to him,  Dad,  I'm scared now.. I wished I would have listened to you better through all those years about life, ...

he said why?....  you have to live your life.        I kissed him goodbye and went home.

Dave,    Your love for your parents is enough to get you through this.  That's the whole magic.

Take care man.

      -
 

catblaster

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sightseers said:
Hey Dave.

I know (or remember)  the things you are experiencing,  many years  ago as a young 18 year old boy right out of high school in the Army in 1971,... that really rocked my world.....I remember thinking this is the worst crap this world it could ever do to me.  so I'll just have to make it through.....then 6 months into all that madness,  I get emergency called back home to say goodbye to my mother, I didn't make it in time. , and so once again I thought to myself ...My mom's gone, My home is gone.. the world I'm in is insane ..... this is the worst life will ever be... I'll  just have to make it through it.... several years later,.. I'm a confused young husband and father getting hit pretty hard with lifes blows  . ... and I got the call to go say goodbye to my Father,    the unbreakable man that I could always count on to tell me the truth. 

As I spoke with him on his death bed,  I said to him,  Dad,  I'm scared now.. I wished I would have listened to you better through all those years about life, ...

he said why?....  you have to live your life.        I kissed him goodbye and went home.

Dave,    Your love for your parents is enough to get you through this.  That's the whole magic.

Take care man.

      -

Wow, your experience aligns with mine...17 yrs old in 1966 lost father, army in 67, 3 weeks later lost mother, 2 months lost my only remaining grandfather,, 1 month later 7500 miles from home in the snow....

Almost everyone loses their parents so we have all experienced it. We make it thru by remembering them and cherishing the good times... It happens and that is the natural order of things. If I can muddle thru anyone can.
 

mypursuit

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Willie Nelson says it better than I ever could.

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcRmpmsj7XY
 

Roy M

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I lost my dad when I was 25, he 57. He had incurable brain cancer, it was very hard to let him go but a relief too as he was really suffering. Mom left at 84, she had a good life but knew it was time to go. Rather than dwelling on the inevitable, death comes to all of us, try to make the most of the time you have with them and cherish the memories. When the time comes allow yourself to grieve but you still need to carry on, resolve to follow in their footsteps and be the best person you can. All the best.
 

Pugapooh

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I lost both my parents within four months.  That was five years ago.  I have survived it.  I went into a ver deep depression,but I survived.  I suppose that's another story.  I really " lost" all of my family.  One I had stopped talking to because 1-he is crazy,2-he badgered my fathered,created all kinds of drama..  I still talked to the other three brothers.  I had to cut two more,they just seemed all about the inheritance.  I still speak to one 1-he was the only one who acted half-sane,2-we live close together,3-my dad would want t that way.  Oh goodness,the drama that went on.

The brother I still speak to was codependent with my dad,who never prepared him for any normal life.
Somehow,he has survived.  He only has me and my family now.  I'm sort of surprised he has made it

My dad was in declining health but his death was still sudden.  My mother had been declining for several years but for some reason,they figured she was close to the end.  A few days,they said.  Sadly,she went that night.  She had dementia and would not have known me if she was conscious but I still regret not staying that night.  While I was relieved that her suffering was over,I sobbed and sobbed.

Anyway,you can survive it.  You will never be the same.  It will hurt like hell.  There may be much suffering before the end.  But you keep living your life and one day,it doesn't feel like you will die from the pain. 

If you have stuff you want to do with them,DO IT NOW.  If they want to do stuff,DO IT NOW. 
 

Isaac-1

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I don't know if it makes it easier when it is expected or when it happens with little or no warning.      I lost my Step father who I had married my mother when I was 10 or 11 years old when he was in his late 70's, his health had been declining some, he went into the hospital for a relatively minor procedure to restore blood circulation, seemed to come through it ok, and then his heart stopped during the night just a couple of hours before he was scheduled to be discharged, they were able to restart it, but he died a few days later anyway.    My father died about 3 years later, cancer, 13 months from diagnosis to death, with the last 4 months knowing that it was terminal after treatments had failed.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thank you all for the kind and understanding replies, i am sorry for your losses. 

I know it is the cycle of life but sometimes that does not make it any easier.  I also do have some things in common with some of you.  I also have a older brother who drives me nuts with is drama and his lack of any grace at all.  I dont talk to him at all anymore, he is a waste of my time.

When my folks asked me to take care of their estate i made it clear that it would be much better to just liquidate everything and then split it, that way there would be no petty arguments.  I told them i didnt care if i got 50 cents out of this i just wanted to do a good job and follow their will to the letter.  However, my brother came right out and said "i want money, how much money am i going to get"  and i was so dumbfounded by his reply i just walked away thinking "how could anyone be like that".

The biggest fight will be to get him out of the house and off the property, he moved back there 7 years ago to save money and to this day has never saved a dime.  I was very honest with him and told him "you cant stay here when they are gone, you cant afford it and we are selling it".  I made sure he knew that he would have to save enough to last him 6 months to a year before everything is settled.  But i suspect this too will be full of drama and a battle the whole way.

So having to take care of all this and not being able to grieve right away is going to be tough as well.  This is one reason i am trying to build up my friends here so that i have some kind of a social structure to connect with.  This is also one reason i moved to Texas because i know it will be much harder for me to deal with having to do so and live full time in the same area.  At least i can come home to Texas and get away from it a bit and see my friends and try to keep my head on straight.

I do already suffer from depression due to my TBI and long term pain and am on meds for that.  I also know that it is too easy for me to go out 1x a month for groceries and then feel like spending the rest of the month in bed in a dark RV unable to cope with things sometimes.  I dont want that to happen so im trying to prepare myself.

I know the feeling of the silent screen, i had it happen to me once before when i had a very traumatic experience.  I collapsed on the living room floor and could not catch my breath, i screamed but nothing came out it hurt soooo bad.  Then i whaled for 3 months, not cry but whaled in my apartment like an animal dieing. It was miseralble and i know that feeling is comming again my way when this happens.  Thats why i am trying to build more  support structure around me the best i can. 

I thank you all for your understanding :)

 

lynnmor

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DW and I had quite a time with our aging parents, since all four had serious health issues for years before they passed.  My suggestion is to spend a bit of money now and run all the estate business by an attorney so your ducks are in a row when the time comes.  If you have folks that make it difficult, let the attorney handle it.  I am not a lawyer and I don't play one on forums, but I can say that difficult people were kept from causing issues in our case.

You know what is right and wrong, just do what is right and feel good about yourself. 
 

Pugapooh

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Sounds like you will need a lawyer to deal with your brother.  Money well spent probably.  You might want to check ahead of time into your brother's rights as to living in the house.

I think my brothers were just interested in the money.  Well,three of them,at least.  I kept wondering how we were all raised by the same parents!  I came to believe that we just didn't have the same values.i don't know why.  I didn't care about the money.  I think some of them thought I was spoiled because my husband works hard every day to provide.  They all have sketchy work histories.  My dad worked til he was able to retire,same job.  So he set a good example,I don't know what went wrong.

Anyhow,you all know way too much about me,I'm sure.  Just love them while you have them.
 

Roy M

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There is nothing like death to bring out the worst in people. I have no family left, my adoptive sister won't speak to me siince our mother's passing because she doesn't consider us related. I have given up trying to mend fences, too much drama.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Yes there can be too much drama for sure.  I know that a few years back we had a family meeting and my folks told us they went to one of those will places (dont remember the name) you see them in strip malls. And all we have to do is follow the guide step by step.  At the time it felt too morbid for me to look at it but i will do so next time i am there. 

We also talked about the possibility of getting a mediator for the estate but my dad said it would most likely cost alot of money and he wanted us to get along so we would not have to do that.  I agree with him totally, no reason for that, but i also know my brother and he is not past being dramatic if i should have to force him out of the house so it can be sold, and im talking litterally kicking and screaming kind of dramatic.  I would not even put it past him to illegally edit the will for his benefit.  He has always wanted society to take care of him while he plays and he will try to keep that up im sure.

My folks never told me litterally to do this but they sort of hinted that it would be better for me to keep his money and dish it out to him alittle at a time.  I told them no way, i am not babysitting him (he is 57).  I will be sure to do as your will asks but any monies due will be given to him and then he is on his own.

Yes my gut tells me that there will probably be a fight, i hope not and i will be blessed and thankful if there is not. 

But i have to have time to grieve myself as well, my sister passed away 7 years ago from cancer (45 days from diagnosis to gone) and i still have not dealt with that loss.  With my sister i never saw her pass, i didnt want to remember her that way (all drugged up).  So i paid her a visit early and that was the last time. Many times i regret that choice but i also did not want to do what my folks did and sit with her till her last breath, that would have hurt me and it did hurt them so bad to see that.  But i know with my folks it is something i will have to do which is one reason i know it will hurt so much more and have to deal with those images. 

I have been through hell and back, maybe not compared to others but to some.  Now that some of you have shared your experiences it does help me to know that i can get through it when it happens, its just a day by day one step at a time process. 

 

 

ArdraF

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I know it is the cycle of life but sometimes that does not make it any easier.

So true!  My dad died at 56 from heart disease.  He had struggled with that for a long time and Mother finally called to tell me the end was near and I should come home to see him (they were in Michigan and I was in California).  I made the trip - so glad I did - and he died within a week.  Because he was gone so much (Army then civilian jobs) I never truly felt like I knew him well but I miss him anyway.  He'll always be my daddy just like I was always their baby!

Mother lived many more years until almost 95 years old.  I was with her when she passed and told her it was okay to go.  That was in 2004 and, yes, I still miss her but we're each where we belong.  She led a fascinating life and we were lucky to have her for so long!  In 2008 my older sister and only sibling died suddenly when her kids were visiting us.  None of us got to be with her and say goodbye which was sad.  But what really hit me hardest then was realizing I was an "orphan" and now the family matriarch.  How can I be the older generation??

My advice is to enjoy your parents while you can.  Ask questions about when they were young and about their families.  Every now and then one of us wonders about something family-related and wish we had asked more questions.  With Jerry's grandmother I took notes every time she started talking and today those scraps of paper napkins help me put his side of the family into a genealogy program for the young descendants who might someday ask the same questions and wonder from whence they came.

Believe it or not, you will survive it.  Hopefully it will be easy but, even if it isn't, it all will work out and you'll be stronger for having gone through it.  By the way, it's okay to miss loved ones and it does get easier with time.

ArdraF


 

Larry N.

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With Jerry's grandmother I took notes every time she started talking and today those scraps of paper napkins help me put his side of the family into a genealogy program for the young descendants who might someday ask the same questions and wonder from whence they came.
An excellent aid, Ardra. My folks started recording "gab sessions" at family gatherings small and large (questions, reminiscences, etc.) on cassette tape while their folks were still around, along with aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Our generation has continued that, and we've even videotaped some "formal" gab sessions at reunions. Those recordings (and some paper docs as well) help us to not only keep up the family tree, but to understand our folks and their generation better, as we hope the later sessions will do for our kids and theirs.
 

jackiemac

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Dave, I don't think you can really prepare yourself. I think you should invest your energy in spending time with them or chatting to them as often as you can. Ask questions about their life so you have lovely memories to recall in dark times. Try not to keep worrying as this is not productive and they might last a lot longer than you expect.

You have folks here to listen and give advice when you need it.

I do hope you can get the legalities ironed out without too much difficulty.

I'm sorry you are feeling like this.  Chin up.  :)
 

Kevin Means

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It is completely normal to feel the way you feel, and so is the inevitable grief we feel when we lose loved ones. In the big scheme of things, we're all only here for a very short period of time. Try to take comfort in the thought that you will see them again.

Kev
 
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