End of Life Support Group
The end-of-life online support group is here to help you through all the difficult decisions and emotions involved in the before and after of losing a loved one. Connect with others willing to listen, and get support for end-of-life challenges. Learn how others are coping with grief, and post your tips and advice too. Come as often as you need to share, vent, ask questions, and feel less alone.
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What's New Today
1 day ago
Hi all. I just found out today that my grandad is dying after he has been in hospital fighting a recent chest infection - the doctors have told me and my mother and grandma he only has a few days left due to the antibiotics not working and his increasingly already frail state only making him more vulnerable and less able to fight it. His blood pressure has also gone below 90 and he's cold to touch. My grandad's such a wonderful, strong, loving, caring man who has had a really good life that I almost feel bitter - why him? I know it can happen to anyone and my emotions are just haywire right now but I just feel like he didn't deserve it. He was a sailor in the navy and protected our country well and he has loved the ocean and all things navy related since - he would tell me stories for hours of his times in the navy and seeing how happy and excited he would get made me feel good. What really took a toll on his health in the later years was when he had his strokes. He has had two mini strokes before the third huge one yet never ever listened to doctor advice to stop smoking or take his medication to help thin his blood (he always said he never cared if he pegged it when i would tell him to go to the doctor or take his medicine). He is 71 years old and suffered a stroke ( intra cranial bleed on the brain) on top of his Alzheimers which has rapidly progressed his dementia - i can honestly say within two days he went from knowing who we are, talking, communicating, even had him standing and walking a bit with help to just... confusion and agitation. He would even lash out at us and call us names on bad days. Can't move his left side, can't walk, can't talk now.. It's been such a fast paced thing that all of us are still in shock about it and even more devastated to hear he won't make it. My grandad has been my only father figure in my life and looked after me when i was younger as my mother had psychotic episodes and had to be sectioned in hospital. Not only that but it was only because of him intervening and ensuring my mother got the help she needed that the abuse she would often take out on me during her hallucinations stopped. He told me multiple times i was his favourite person, i'd lay on his chest and talk to him for hours and go for walks with him and it just is destroying me inside. I really don't want him to go but I know that he would want to pass on. He has always told me that he never wants to be confined, left unable to move, etc. - if he's going to die he wants to go out with a bang and not be left "rotting in bed". I know that dying would be what he would want, I know he'd be happier having his dignity left in tact as he slips away peacefully. I also know he'd probably be annoyed that I was upset about him dying -, throughout his declining health all he'd ever say to me is "don't you worry about anything" and "if it happens, let it happen". Before his sickness entirely he'd tell me never to worry about him because if he dies it's just part of life and he even said I need to be strong and move on because he doesn't want me to cry over him or mope. He never really cared about himself or looked after himself (and would strongly discourage others from looking after him as he was highly indepedent) but always put himself out for the people he loves and I know he loves me very much. It just really hurts right now and I feel so useless like I can't do anything for him and I really dont want to lose him BUT at the same time I want to respect what he would want and knowing him... he'd probably be glad to pass on right now. My grandma (his wife) saw her own dad die so she's putting on a brave face having been familiar with death but I know she's just as devastated as I am. We'de also discussing when he does pass if we should see his body - my grandma wants to but I don't know about myself. I don't even know if I'm processing his death well at all. I'm a 21 year old and his only grand daughter in our very small family of 4 people close to me. I have never experienced a death this personal to me before so I... don't really know what I'm asking or why I am posting but I just really want to share my story and vent out my feelings somewhere. I'm sorry if this post is a bit of a mess.
9 days ago
My husband is dying of pancreatic cancer. This is a cruel and torturous way to go.
Being he sleeps much of the day and night, last night he kept waking me up so that I can do little things for him. It was almost midnight when he finally allowed me to sleep.
4:30 am, he awakens me to go to the emergency room since he was unable to urinate.
We finally returned home at 1 pm.
I "got" to do his laundry, household chores, etc...while he napped.
We have had a "chat".
He states that I am not being accommodating to his needs and having an attitude. I simply told him that I am very tired since he would not allow me to sleep and that being his personal servant/nurse 24/7 is exhausting.
I also take care of his 87-year-old mother. Right now, we both believe the other is unreasonable. What can I do?
23 days ago
Hello- My mother came home on hospice care about 2 weeks ago- since then, I am struggling with guilt-I feel like we should be helping her in some way not just making her comfortable - she has stage 5 kidney failure(also has CHF, and Crohn's with a colostomy bag) and is 82.....because of her kidney failure- she is on Haldol for confusion, and benedryl for her uncontrollable itching due to toxin build up- those meds plus her disease make her tired all the time, and whenever we give her her pills- she ask if we are "drugging her up" to make her sleep...or that she is "tired of sleeping all the time" I know the meds are necessary, but feel so guilty for giving them...why do I feel like this this?
2 months ago
My mom has always been a very dedicated and strong Christian. She made her wishes for end of life care known to all of us. No artificial anything. No tube feedings, no vent, no car , no anything. I am her oldest daughter, a retired (disabled) nurse and she lives with me. Just me and her.
Between the dementia and the copd. Sometimes I feel as though I am losing it.
Rock monster said...
2 months ago
My Father in law has a severe traumatic brain injury caused by a fall and my partner (his son) is in complete denial. The doctors have pretty much said he is dying but not directly and my partner has agreed to a DNR but thinks it won't be necessary because he hopes his father will wake up. His father is elderly, had heart failure, diabetes and is completely unresponsive to all stimuli. How can I help him accept that his father is dying without devastating him?
A fellow caregiver said...
3 months ago
My first post. I have been giving care to my mom for 6 years and we have lived together for 13. We are like best friends. Mom is 92 and sassy and sharp as a tack. Two weeks ago we went to lunch and now last Thursday she is a hospice patient at home. She kept getting UTIs and she would bounce back but the last one just was too much. Severe vascular dementia kicked in. Now I am sitting at my mothers bedside, she is pretty much sleeping all the time now. I talk to her and try to tell her how much I love her, I limit my bedside visits to about 10 minutes at a time. I cry a lot, I don't cry, and then I cry some more. But most of the time I talk about us, my dad (deceased) and I and how much I love her. I read I should tell my mom that I will be okay when she leaves me. This is very difficult to do but I do it. I do have an aide that comes by mon-fri to help me get mom comfortable and help with any sponge bath. I am responsible for her medications, now she is really only receiving morphine. I feel like I am drugging up my mom but I know it is necessary. Thank you for the time this let me write instead of cry.
An anonymous caregiver said...
3 months ago
My mother is dying. She was diagnosed with a terminal illness nearly ten years ago. She has been abusive to me nearly all my life.. I have managed to get a lot of counseling and despite many attempts (all initiated by me) to heal the relationship, I have not been able to do so. We have lived near her and have had a lot of, daily even, contact with her. We moved to live near her when we discovered she was being taken advantage of by thieves.. This is when things got really bad. She blamed me for, well, I don't really know why she treated me the way she did. It was a continuation of her life-long pattern of making me the scapegoat for all her problems. My brother, who ignored those taking advantage of her, made an appearance and between the two of them, I have suddenly become worthless again. My mom has taken a turn for the worse and apparently has hospice care. I'm largely unaware as no one feels the need to answer my questions. My brother has POA and ignores my requests for information. However, he now feels that I should come help and see our mother before she dies. He has been very cruel. I have had a lot of therapy. I have dealt with my grief. The grief of losing my mother to her own cruel mind, years ago. I have been dealing with grief over her impending death for the nearly ten years since her diganosis. I came to terms with the reality of our relationship and I have sought help and even acted to make peace. I do not care to see her on her death bed. My brother tells me I am being selfish. We have never had a meaningful conversation in our lives and he does not know me, nor is he informed of her abusiveness. Thank goodness for my wife who is very aware and has been instrumental in my healing process. My mother is largely incoherent and even when she was, just days ago, she did not and has not asked to see me. I feel strongly that my visit would do very little for her, but could be very damanging to me. Am I wrong? Am I being a brat? I don't believe so. I see so many people on this site who are judgemental about this time. I have always been so careful to be accepting of others when it comes to these situations and I'm shocked to be under such criticism myself. I wish my choices to do what I feel is best for me, could be respected. The time to make amends has passed. I truly feel that she does not want me there for any good reason. My presence could cause me more pain and could be aggitating to her as well. I don't see or feel any good coming from it.
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