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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:42 pm 
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Ni Dieu, ni maître
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I think that my father will not live very long any more.

I realized it the other day when talking about future plans and the desire to get remarried with M, I said I would want to invite my whole family, if my dad is still alive.

Talking to my brother today, he said he thinks our father will not live until X-mas. I thought he would still see his 70th birthday in february.

Anyway, I don't want to talk about grief.... I have a different question, or rather a few different questions.

Do you fear death?

And mainly: I'll see my father soon. How talk about death with him? I want to talk abotu how he feels, what his desires would be to be remembered, practical things too, but I don't know how to do it. How do you talk about death? How do you mention, how do you feel when to stop, or is it impossible, especially with a person who might be doomed?

Oh, and just for info, none of us is religious.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:45 pm 
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Just Keep Singin'
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Nin...some tough questions and some hard things to think about.

I do not fear death. I do fear pain and suffering, as I think most people do. I have no desire to die anytime soon and would be very upset if I learned that I had only a year to live - but not because I am afraid to die, only because I still have so much I want to do!

However, I have 3 (grown) kids and I want them to have as little to worry about as possible if I should die - whenever that happens. So I have taken steps to have my will in order and left instructions about my funeral and so. I have talked openly about it with my kids and they know my wishes and where everything is. I am religious (or at least, spiritual) but these discussions have mostly been of a practical nature.

It sounds as if you have never discussed this with your Dad. And it may be difficult to bring it up now - but he also may want to talk about it. Do you know if he has a will, or what his wishes are? You might bring it up in the context of your upcoming marriage - how you and M want to make sure all is in order and you wondered if your Dad had ever thought about it.

Some people simply cannot discuss it at all - which makes things very difficult for their families if they die suddenly - or even not so suddenly. :(

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:11 pm 
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Nin, this is timely for me because I have been thinking about this subject recently too (my step-father has kidney cancer and the prognosis is not good). As you can see, I even put a quote about death in my sig. I think that that quote can be applicable whether or nor one is religious. Even if you don't believe in any God, I think there is still some comfort in the thought that death is part of the natural order of things. I don't know whether that would provide any comfort to the person facing their own imminent demise, but it still seems to me that it would be best not to avoid the subject.

But I know it is hard. :hug:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:50 am 
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It is a difficult subject to broach. I have found that I am more, erm, morbidly fascinated by death and able to speak frankly about it than most people I know. I'm not sure if that shows there is something wrong with me (ie, depression, wanting to have a darker side than I do), or if it is just a sign that I do not take it seriously, because I still believe (like most young people) that of course it will not happen to me. I feel that I have lost many relatives (and pets) to death, but no one really close to me. My parents, for instance, are alive and in good health.

So, if someone wanted to talk to me about death, I would (I imagine) be cordial and welcome the conversation. But I'm not sure how I would feel if the doctors had just told me some bad news.... So, I would say, feel out your Dad, and don't force the issue if he doesn't want to talk about it. Strangely enough, he won't be the one who has to deal with it afterwards - it will be you and your brother (and the rest of your families) who will be left grieving.

My grandmother, who is in her early 80's, fell and broke her hip in May. In early June, they told us she would not make it through the week. She recently attended my sister's wedding and is now at home (with care). She has not recuperated from her fall (and will not)...she can barely get around with a walker now, and tires easily. But she is still alive :). I have hope that your Dad will indeed make his birthday, despite predictions. When she heard the news that her time was at an end, my grandmother took it very well. Her children were all upset, of course - I was visiting her when my Dad found out, and he had rushed over to see her. He wanted to do something for her - get her a drink, readjust her pillows, anything. So, she asked him for a kiss goodnight, and told him that if she wasn't there in the morning, he shouldn't come looking for her. I thought it was really beautiful that she could look out for him that way. If you can't think of any way to bring it up, just ask your Dad point-blank what his feelings are. He might surprise you :).


As for me? I am young and healthy. So, I think of death in terms of sudden freak accidents, not long, slow illnesses. It is scary to contemplate that a regular drive in my car could turn fatal. Sometimes (especially if I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed out), I think - 'good, I won't have to deal with any of this any more!' Once you're dead, there's no work to do ;). Sometimes I pity the person who has to go through my stuff, clean out my room, give my clothes to Goodwill, etc. My room is a messy disaster, so it would be a lousy job, especially since it would be my Mom or sister doing that. Other times I panic and think, oh no, what will my students think? Some of them have already lost moms and dads, or other close family, so I really wouldn't want to add to the trauma of their lives. And who will grade their papers and plan their classes if I am not there? And I realize that there would be no one to post here (or in various other places I frequent) to let people know what happened to me. So after thinking of stuff like this, I have to conclude that I'm not ready to die, and I don't want to die. I'm not (precisely) scared of it, but I'd like to avoid it for quite awhile yet!

Even so, I've told my family that I'd want my possessions (such as they are) split between my siblings, and that funerals are for those left behind, so even though I don't need much and think cremation is the cheapest way to go, they can do what they want. But I haven't mentioned to them that 'Into the West' would be a great song to play.....

For death itself...I hope I will be brave, and I hope I will have a chance to tell people that I love them and say my goodbyes. And I would really like to receive the sacraments before I go. So, a sudden death would be more disturbing to me. Unfortunately, I do not handle pain well. I have a very, very low threshold of pain. So, I probably couldn't take long and drawn out, either. So, I'm just hopeless. There is no easy way to die, is there? And yet we all manage to do so...

Okay, I'll shut up now. I'm not trying to be flippant, but I know I'm not funny, either. My apologies....like I said, maybe I just don't take this seriously enough.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:52 am 
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Just Keep Singin'
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Quote:
For death itself...I hope I will have a chance to tell people that I love them and say my goodbyes.


I realized a while ago that I might not get such a chance - death can (and does) come suddenly.

So I make it a point to tell people I love them. Frequently. In just those words. My children, my siblings, my friends.

I have no unfinished business, no fear that if I kicked the bucket tomorrow, so-and-so would "never really know how I felt." No axes to grind, no unresolved anger.

Love should never be unspoken. That's my belief, anyway.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:11 pm 
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My Dad died in 1996 at the age of 75. That might sound old, but my Dad was not old! I never got the chance to have this conversation with him, for one reason or another. My sister said Dad told her he wasn't afraid to die, but that he was angry because he believed (quite rightly) that had his doctor been on the ball he could have been treated before it was too late. That's water under the bridge now, but I still wish I'd had a chance to talk to Dad about it.

I'm glad he told my sister he wasn't afraid. It bothered me to think he might have been. He was a very gentle and quiet man and we were close, but I missed that chance.

Find a way to have the conversation, Nin.

You know, I've never dreamed about my Dad since he died. I wish I could, I'd like to see him again.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:15 pm 
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Death.

I don't fear it, because it is fear of the unknown. I don't see the point in fearing something unknown, when there are so many known things to be frightened of.

But others dying?

I don't really fear that either. I am religious, so I believe they're gone to a better place, but even if I wasn't (and there have been moments when I've questioned myself), what could be worse than being trapped in a body that has limits and gets sick and old and so on?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:34 pm 
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I dunno, Crucifer. I'm trapped in one of those bodies, myself. Oh, I get around well and am very busy and active, but there is no denying that the changes of age are awful and awfully hard to take.

I don't mean to whine, and I don't go around moping, but you know what? It sux.

Not ready to check out, though. Not yet.

I actually say this to myself: I think, therefore I am.

I mean: here I am, chatting about this, so I guess I'm not dead.

'strewth.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:52 pm 
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I'm not saying that we should get out of the bodies before they get creaky. I'm not for an instant saying that.

I'm just saying that once someone is dead, they're free of the body, of life and all the responsibiltiy that comes with it and so on.

But it's better if that doesn't happen until it happens...

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