Struggling to cope

I’m finding it so hard to cope with my Dad being very close to end of life. I just want to be with him a good chunk of the time (which I can’t be because I live miles away) constantly be updated on him, and struggle with the fact that other closer family members don’t want to spend more time with him. I know it’s probably everyone’s different ways of coping, I guess I’m not coping as well as I hoped I was. It was useful to read someone’s comment re short visits so as not to tire People out, but my instinct is still telling me not to leave him alone. The absolute killer for me is when I see tears trickling from his eyes. He has probably days to live, and I potentially won’t get back to see him again. Have other family members accepted it and are already letting go whereas I’m refusing to acknowledge the inevitable ? Would really value others experiences, thankyou

Hi Karen,

I’m so sorry to hear that your dad is nearing the end of his life. It sounds as though it’s really hard for you living so far away and not getting to spend as much time with him as you’d like.

Is there any way that you could get around this - eg by taking some time off work or staying with another family member in the area? If your dad is being cared for in a hospice, they often have some facilities for family members to stay over. However, I understand this may not be possible for you depending on your circumstances. Your dad will know how much you love and care about him.

I can’t speak for your other family members and their other reasons for not spending as much time with him, but I don’t think it’s a sign of you “refusing to accept the inevitable”. Perhaps they are finding it hard to accept, and to see him in his current condition?

I’m glad that you’ve had a read of some other people’s experiences on here and I hope it’s helped a tiny bit to be able to write it all down.

I hope that some other members will get back to you soon, but in the mean time, you may wish to have a look at these posts from H, who was in a similar situation with her dad very recently:

I have also found this post from Louise last month - at the time of writing, she was also facing the loss of her dad and also struggling with living far away from him:

All I can offer is say all you need to say in clear terms and spend what time you can with your father.

As you can see from my posts I was lucky to spend a lot of time with my Dad. I don’t have children but do have an amazing husband who helped a lot and kept my Dad at home as much as possible and as long as possible! My Mum did a fab job too.

The amount of time is not necessarily important, that good old phrase - quality not quantity!

We spent most days with him in the hospice even just watching TV. He thought it was all boring but he loved it really as we were there as family and the help was there when needed from professionals.

We left at odd late hours or rushed in at early hours. The nurses were friendly and helpful.

Take care of yourself and know you can only do what you can do and it is your best.

H xxx

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My mum is really suffering with nausea and secretions and overall exhaustion her pain level seems to be quite well controlled but she hasn’t ate anything for over 5 weeks now and is very fragile she reminds me of a little baby bird . I call her cubby which she likes and I am the tiger as the roles have been reversed I am now looking after her more . It’s just so painfully seeing her like this and I am really starting to struggle with it I feel I am in la la land at the min as if I
Let my real emotions show I know I will fall to pieces and mum needs me so can’t do that but it’s so difficult . My mum is my world we have such a close strong bond . We both have peas in a pod necklaces on hat I got her for mothers day . She was only diagonoised on Feb 2nd and is in LOROS hospice at the moment and I stay with her all the time. I would like to join in other chats with other people who are dealing with there mum as I feel very alone on this !

The first step she is in a hospice. They should be able to help with symptom control and guide you. I liked information as it calmed me rather than vagueness.

The roles do reverse but that appears to be normal. In the hospice you should be able to be more the role you should be and help where possible.

Have you asked in the hospice if they have support for you? I didn’t use it but I did have another support through work. Sometimes just saying stuff out loud and how it is can really help. You also don’t have to worry about hurting anyone.

Remember to have some time for yourself. It’s easier said than done but it helps. We were lucky that it was fair weather and the gardens at the hospice were beautiful. We also went home in the evening until we got closer to his end of life, when we stayed later.

Connect with friends for a cuppa or a pint as your Mum would like you to keep doing normal things. A form of life continues as new normal.

Self care is important. Walks, TV series, a film or anything you enjoy!

Take care, H

I just wanted to say thank you for your reply it means a lot so thank you for taking the time to write it. I just wanted to put that at the min as I am very tired and low so can’t write much but just wanted to show appreciation . With love tray x