Hi Kim, this was one of my dads biggest fears too. It used to break my heart that for the last 6 months of his time with us he wasn't able to sleep next to my mum. What we did do was understand this fear and try and work with him to make him as comfortable as we could wherever we could. We invested in a recliner chair and as my dad was a tv buff it was positioned in the louge room and he would lounge watching tv and at times drift off to sleep with the tv going. So at least we knew he was getting some rest, was comfortable and at ease. Plus to be honest before my dad got ill this is exactly what he used to do 🙂
My dad also let us know that one of his fears about going to sleep and not waking up was also mum waking up to find that he had passed beside her. Blows my mind about the thoughts and rational that he had thought over during this time.
Maybe speak with your dad about where he feels most comfortable? Talk to others about relaxation techniques, or ways that he can be comfortable.
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Support networks of any kind are what can get you through anything, but what happens when the networks that you have you can't talk to about the things that you really want to? How many times can you burst into tears for no reason and exepct your husband to be able to console you?
Its not that you don't want to talk to them but its that you respect that they are also going through a greiveing process and you feel if you open up to them you will overwhelm them too....especially when the person who you would normally go to for advice was the person who has passed...
This was how I felt, everyday for nearly a year, it was debilitating and depressing and it was overwheming.
When my dad passed away, as expected I was feeling an array of emotions; sadness, loss, grief, anger (at others) etc etc But what I did realise is that everyone in my "network" who I would go to next, now that dad was gone, were also feeling the same. I felt that if i was to go to them and "offload" my feelings then I would potentially compund theirs and this was something that I was not comforatable with.
For me it became difficult to sleep, at times I must admit I would self medicate with alcohol and I was dis-engaged with my husband and nothing mattered-including my appearance etc. For most of the part I was unaware of how I was presenting but it was becoming a problem that I knew I needed support with, pprofessional support that I needed to take charge of.
Thats when i started looking up about Grief & Loss Councelling and when I could go for this. I made the steps to seek support through the Australian Centre for Grief and Berevement. Not knowing if this was for me I knew that I needed something....I didn't want to try normal conselling services as I wasn't sure that they were going to understand.
My first session was an hour long for which I think I bawled my eyes out and somewhere between the sobbing started the story with my counsellor. When I left I felt empty but wanted to try this again and had another session booked for a week later, with the second session being very teary again but maybe only half the session....and on it went until about the 8th session I realised that at the end I had not cried once and commented on this to the consellor who laughed with me and reflected on where I had got to.
I was and am still amazed a the differnce that time with a professional made for me and how I have got through. My husband still comments over 18 months later on how I am back to the person that he first met.
This made me realise that sometimes we don't always try and seek other supports but for me this time it made a difference. I felt good about taking control and using the tips that we spoke about in these sessions to also go back and support my "support network" as they needed it too.
Whilst this is not for everyone and you may not realise that you need it its something that can help.
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Hi Kim K,
For me just touching base with my mum via phone (they/she lives nearly 2 hours away) to talk about how things are and what happened that day was always a goodpoint. I struggled at times as obviously the stress and day to day of the situation would at times have my mum be a little short but you take that and know that at the end of the day you are on the journey together.
As a practical solution I found that I would offer to stay the night and usually try and let mum relinquish the responsibility for a day of having to take dad for treatment etc. Or for her it was also about being about to go to the shops without having to worry.
Its about reading the signs and I suppose knowing your mum about what to say and when. My mum guided us thru how she was feeling and I let her use me as a sounding board.
My mum and dad were extremely close, best friends and so they spoke about their thoughts and expectations of how my mum was to live her life once my dad was no longer with us so I think that also helped.
My mum also had the support of her sisters who would touch base with her and I would be on the outer speaking with them updating them too, but that needs to be managed carefully as it could blow up, although thankfuly in our situation it worked well.
I hope that helps and if I think of anything else I will post 🙂 Its hard as at the time I was also supporting my brother through it as he was not coping but didn't realise it and other family members were leaning on me and using me as a conduit for information...such a confusing and interesting time, if that makes sense?
Hope that helps, take care
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Its been a while since I have visited and/or posted on this blog, in fact it was the day my dad died that was the last time.
Since then I have had my ups and downs as you can expect and the road has been paved differently to that I thought it would have been.
One thing that has kept me going and times kept me crying (especially when I was in a really clouded space) was the fact that Dad is is still part of our conversations. Mum and I will often reflect on "how dad would have done it" or "what would dad say/do in that situation" and whilst at times of celebrations this may bring tears to our eyes we now can also have a bit of a smile on our face when we think about some things.
My mum and dad had a beautiful, loving relationship that was the envy of many friends and family and something that I aspire to have with my own husband. My dad supported mum to be what she is today without him, and always made sure that she had the skills to do what she needed to whether he was there or not. He valued her opinion and her determination.
Today, from wherever he is, my Dad would be just as proud of the woman that he married and the way that she has carried herself through the past 2.5 years and how she will continue to use skills that he taught her. I am proud of my mum; more proud that i think I can ever explain to her...What I am most proud of her is that we can continue to talk about dad together and for it never to be something that is forgotten.
My journey over the past 2.5 years has also been something that I have reflected on recently and I can only now see just how far i have come.
Every opportunity can provide some light and positive to reflect and stay positive.
I miss my Dad everyday the same as i did those couple of years ago but I know that I have the memories to keep me going!
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Hi Mrs Elton,
I too have not been on here for a while (Dad passed away back in 2010) but it was nice to see some familiar names like yours whose journey i followed.
Hope you are doing well and my thoughts go out to you and your boys for this recent loss xx
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Dad passed away @ 3.15am today after fighing one bloody tough battle.
Im numb,im sad, im relieved, im angry, im hurt, im frustrated, i feel sick, i want to curl up in a ball, I want to be there for my mum, I want to be alone...I don't know what I want!
I know I have been preparing for this and even as late as 8pm last night was talking to mum about the process and that I had been talking to a celebrant in relation to the service dad has said he wants. Now its real. I will grieve and I know thats okay.
Im glad I got to see him today, kiss him, hug him and help him when he needed it.
I am sitting here quietly waiting for my husband to return who has gone to pick up my brother so we can go and be with mum.
Now another journey begins on our rollercoaser of life.
You will now be able to breathe freely Dad....I love you xox
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we all seem to be living on the edge at the moment with Dad being full of beans on minute and then the next mum working out whether she should call the family together or not.
There is also the thoughts in the back of my mind that past history has been that when there has been a long weekend or a holiday celebrations that is when Dad ends up in hospital...I have everything crossed that we get through this weekend but I am just not sure.
Will spend time with them on Monday and as always take precious time we have together as lasting memories.
Love my Dad xoxox
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Whilst a week off from work I spend 3 of these days with my mum and dad. Mum is tired but just goes through the motions to support Dad through this time. The days revolve around medication, keeping dad comfortable and ensuring he is warm etc. If there is a noise of movement in the house we are both on the look out to make sure that he is okay; where is he? well we both follow the oxygen tubing that leads us to him. If he is in bed, in his chair or wherever he maybe he is struggling to keep his eyes open and we are always stopping to check there is still some rise and fall of his chest whilst we hold our breath...
My Dad and I have a special bond as many daughter/father relationships are but one thing that has always been our special time was to attend rugby league matches here in Melbourne. Whilst mum thinks that we only went for the jam donuts, we knew that this was something that we could share.
On Wednesday night we both were comfortable and ready to watch the State of Origin match, it was also uncomfortable and sad to know that this will probably be the last time that we watch a match together. Im not sure how much of the match Dad saw as everytime I looked at him he was sitting peacefully with his eyes closed but I knew that this meant a lot to both of us to have this time together.
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We are all here for you. I too am losing my Dad quickly and at the same time trying to enjoy the time we have left.
While the medicos can place time on life we also need to stay in the present and not let dates get in the way as hard as that can be.
Make sure you talk to friends, family and others and express your love to your Dad.
Take care and thoughts are with you
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.