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February 12, 2007

Comments

Beachwriter

Great blog!! I love it! Looking forward to coming back and reading the WHOLE thing!!!

Lael

Ohh Ali this is wonderful!
As you know,I've been kind of questioning this very thing and have toyed with the idea of volunteering as a palliative care..oh what's the word..care giver? I think that's it,to number one help others,number two understand the process better. Not sure where I stand yet but I'm getting closer to being less..afraid and this article and your post is really interesting.

Alison Tuck

Laelee, I was walking past a shop the other day that had a sign up for volunteer carers at a local hospice. I thought about it for myself actually. But then I thought that I wasn't in the right frame of mind for that work at the mo, I'd find it too heartwrenching. But strong sensitive types are greatly appreciated in these places, so you'd be welcomed with open arms, I'd imagine.

Hey Beachwriter, thanks for your kind words and come back soon!

Health-Psych

On a whim I rang my father one Friday. He'd been sick with bronchitis but his doctor didn't seem to be worried about it, he was at home. He told me he was scared. He told me he was going to die.

The subject freaked me out. I told him not to be silly. That wasn't going to happen for a long time (he was only 64). In retrospect, probably the most stupid thing I could ever had said. We talked a little more. I can't even remember about what now.

I wish I'd taken that opportunity to say some of the things I really needed to say to my father.

The next day at lunchtime I got the call. He'd died. Totally unexpectedly - except he had known better.

I often think if I hadn't been so uncomfortable and wanting to even think about that subject, maybe I would have done something that could have made a difference. It tortures me at times.

So I think your post is spot on. Some people do seem to know and people definitely prefer to avoid the subject.

Alison Tuck

Oh HP, shit that just sucks, doesn't it. You were not to know. You were younger then. This is new research.

As my Irish grandmother said: ( I never met her, it's just been oft quoted by Mum) "A person can only do the best they can at the time".

But I understand your torture too, I made sure that the day before Dad died, in a (tortuous) situation that you don't need to know about, whilst he lay dead, but still on "life support" that I told him everything I felt he needed to know. That comforts me. But he kind of just disappeared, the last thing he said to me was a cheerful response to my "Gee Dad we're so proud of you" (He'd just had a triple bi-pass). He said, " Aw AC, I've got lots of incentive".

I'm still angry at the hospital, with no rationality attached to it. That's my torture.

The good thing about this research is that it might make more of us aware of death as being a time in our lives that reigns supreme in bigness and that it deserves more discussion and compassionate attention.

Sorry for the big rave by the way... It's the anniversary of Dad's death on the 25th and I, for some reason, thirteen years later, am feeling it more this year! It's like my brother said at the time, "That's why they only put 28 days in February - it's such a bastard of a month".

Focus on what you loved about him, his wonderful British humour (no doubt) and remember him fondly. Drop the self-torture,as much as you can, I know it's hard but I'm sure he'd be cranky at you for it.

Take care.

Health-Psych

You know, Alison, anniversaries are odd. Sometimes they're not so bad but then, out of the blue, for no obvious reason they hit hard.

Thanks for the kind words. I'm fine with it really. I realised a while ago that there's no point torturing myself with 'what ifs...?' I lived a couple of hours away and yet even those living with him didn't expect it.

Sorry for your loss too. Take care over the next week.

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