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 frightened 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:55 pm
Posts: 355
Post frightened
Hello all,
long, long time since I've been on - an awful lot going on right now for me outside of my poor Dad. I just felt I needed some advice from you who have been there, done that.
Dad has settled for the most part in the nursing home - we told him a white lie that my mother is in a room upstairs from him, and he has accepted that and seems happier ( or at least less unhappy).
My latest problem is this - Dad is doing ok at the moment, and is at the most lucid he has been in a long time. The problem with this is that he realises how miserable his situation is, and I have been dealing with this as best I can. But yesterday, he threw me for a loop. He told me he is terribly frightened - terrified, in fact. When I ask him what he is frightened of (I know well he is afraid of dying), he just turns away from me and cries (I know he is trying to protect me by not saying it out loud), but I don't want to say it to him either, in case it only makes him worse. How can I reassure him and help him - I am tormented thinking of him being so frightened - how can I help him with his fear? Do I just come right out and say that he has nothing to fear in death, ot do I just say nothing and try to be there for him as best I can.
I hope ye are all doing well - I miss you all.
thanks all,
Ger

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cared for Dad who passed away on January 28th 2013 R.I.P.


Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:08 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: frightened
I sometimes recite Psalm 23 to my husband [as I do to myself when feeling fearful] and we both find it comforting. This is an individual issue, of course, and I don't know where you and your father stand on spiritual matters. Hope I'm not overstepping my bounds but I'd feel remiss if I ignored what is, for us, a strong source of comfort. God bless you both! It's painful for you and for him. :cry:

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:51 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: frightened
Nice to hear from you, Ger.

It is very sad to think of your father being haunted with this fear. This is really pretty heavy for a daughter to take on, and maybe he is reluctant to discuss it with you anyway.

In other words, you might look for someone else to talk with him. Does your father have any sort of spiritual advisor (if he belongs to a faith community), a counselor or even a close friend who could visit him?

Julianne


Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:46 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3394
Location: Vermont
Post Re: frightened
Ger - I just want to send you a big, big hug. My dad was afraid of dying too and he often cried a lot in his last year. Sometimes it was because he missed my mom who had died 13 years earlier, and sometimes I think it was because he just was terrified to die. I never did find a satisfactory answer. I tried to be there as much as I could for him and encourage as much visiting by his friends. People he loved cheered him up some, but sometimes their visits made him sadder because he had such a hard time even trying to talk with them and he missed doing what they had all done together. Sorry I don't have an answer for you, I just know what you are going through having BTDT myself. Take care, Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:23 pm
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: southern cali
Post Re: frightened
ger,

so sorry you are going thru this..
my only thought is like above.. have someone in the nursing home. a physiologist or spiritual adviser talk with him.. that way, maybe he will open up, since you feel hes trying to protect you too.. im guessing that this is a subject that comes up a lot.. and there are people available,that deal in helping folks, all the time...

if not there , you might get a referral from a friend and go out side the nursing home and bring some one in.. and maybe that person can either talk with your dad or you or both on how best approach this subject...

good luck!!! i hope you find an answer ..

cindi

_________________
sole CG for hubby.1st symptoms, 2000, at 55. Diag with AD at 62, LB at 64.. vietnam vet..100% ptsd disability,sprayed with agent orange, which doubled chances for dementia. ER visit 11-13,released to memory care..


Last edited by cdw on Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:57 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:55 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: frightened
Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I spoke with the matron at the nursing home today, and she is going to arrange for a palliative care worker to call and speak to him. I think sending in a priest would have frightened him even more, and if this person just approaches him as an individual who is there 'visiting' someone else, he may open up to them, and even if he doesn't, someone with lots of experience in this field will know how to set him at ease.
When he was at home, he always said he saw the devil chasing him up the stairs, and unfortunately, he is from the old Irish Catholic school of thought, that if you did anything, no matter how small, that went against the teachings of the Church, you went to hell. That is why I think he has come back from the brink so many times.

I hope you and your loved ones are all keeping well. My family has been going through some difficult times lately. My 18 year old nephew and 16 year old niece have just had their stomachs removed to prevent gastric cancer, as 3 of their aunts on their fathers side died of gastric cancer before the age of 30 - one was only 19. They were tested and were positive for a gene that meant there was an 83% chance of their getting this cancer. They are now recovering from the surgery. My husband is still out of work - almost 2 years now. Life has been extremely difficult. Thanks for listening and for being there for me during the difficult times. God bless you all
Ger xxx

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cared for Dad who passed away on January 28th 2013 R.I.P.


Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:16 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
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Location: Vermont
Post Re: frightened
Oh Ger, your family sure does have a lot to deal with. I hope your husband will have a job soon, and that the health of your neice and nephew improves. Take care of yourself, Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:26 pm
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:34 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: frightened
Hi Ger,
I was raised in the Catholic Church but have been actively studying the Bible with a "generic" denomination. I really believe what the Bible says about God and death. If you're not able to talk to your Dad you might print out this passage and leave it where he can read it, sort of like a brochure just left there.

I know from my youth that he was taught about going to hell but that isn't really the way it is. Plain and simple the Bible states that when you pass you go directly to God and await "judgement" with the rest of us sinners. All God asks is that you are sorry for any past mistakes. You ask, God forgives. I know the Catholic Church feels you have to go through the priest etc. for forgiveness but you don't, you just tell God you are sorry and that is it. He might need some reassurance but this could help.

God Bless and hang in, you will be glad you did.

Bonnie

Here is the passage:

Bible Book: 2 Corinthians
Chapter: 5
New Living Translation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New Bodies

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.

For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.

While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.

God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.

For we live by believing and not by seeing.

Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.


Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:57 am
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 6:51 pm
Posts: 60
Post Re: frightened
Dear Ger:

In January 1981 my young daughter died under suspicious circumstances. Later that year in November, my mother found out that she had inoperable lung cancer and had a year at best to live. In November 1982, I spent the last 11 days of my mother's life with her and we talked about death extensively. She, too, like your father, was frightened. I think it's because people are often afraid of the unknown, and for her, as for many people, where we go after death is an unknown.

One of the things my mother and I talked about during those last 11 days was the suspicious circumstances under which my daughter died. I suspected that the woman who was babysitting her and my son at the time of my daughter's death, murdered my daughter. My mother knew the anguish I was still feeling over my daughters death, and even though I knew I would miss my mother a lot when she died, I asked her if she would be willing to find out what really happened the evening my daughter died and get the answer to me, which she readily agreed to do; and she eventually did get that information to me.

Yes, we talked about death and her fears of dying, and I told her that I believed she was going to a wonderful place where she would no longer feel any pain, and where her spirit would be perfect. And after she died, the nurses on the Hospice unit that she died on came to me and told me that my mother felt very comforted during our conversations about death, and unafraid afterwards.

Ger, please don't be afraid to talk to your dad about death. Perhaps you could open the conversation with addressing the fact that you know he's very afraid right now and that you understand that fear, and then gently delve into the subject, eventually leading to praying with him about it.

I have already talked to my husband about death and told him not to be afraid, to go toward the light, and to look for his parents. Closer to the end, I will talk to him more about it, so that he won't be afraid.

One book that I read during the time period after my daughter died and before my mother died was "Life Everlasting." I believe you can get a copy of this book at any Mormon book store. This book above all others I read during that time period put me more at ease about death than anything I'd ever heard or read about death previously. And it was this book that gave me the courage to talk to my mother about where I believed she would go after she died.

May God bless you and your father.

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Beth


Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:25 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: frightened
Revelation 21:4 says, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." I read this to my father when he was dying.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:15 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:55 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: frightened
Thank you all for your kind words of comfort and advice. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Life is very hectic for me at the moment.
Beth, my heart goes out to you. What an extremely difficult life you have had - you must have such strong faith, which was surely reinforced by your mother getting the information to you that you needed.
Thank you all so much for your advice - I didn't want to get a priest to speak to Dad, as he is of the old school, which means that he only sees a priest as a confessor or someone who administered last rites - and this would scare him even more.
I spoke to the director of the nursing home, and she will ask a palliative care worker to speak to him. I am much happier with this idea, as I think Dad won't be frightened by a lay person, and may speak to someone he is not emotionally connected to. I will let you all know the outcome.
I hope that you and your loved ones are all well.
God Bless,
Ger xxx

_________________
cared for Dad who passed away on January 28th 2013 R.I.P.


Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:08 pm
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