Waiting, waiting, waiting....
August 27, 2012 5:29 PM Subscribe
My mother is going to die, probably very soon. How do I deal with waiting for it to happen?
posted by heurtebise to human relations (28 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
My mom is dying of cancer. She is only 61. She was diagnosed with colon cancer last year, and was doing well until about a month ago, when she began to decline quickly. Surgery two weeks ago revealed that her cancer had spread all over her intestines and stomach, and is, at this point untreatable.
She was given a week to live, and I went back to my hometown on the other side of the state to help deal with things. She was placed in a hospice, where she got (and is still getting) excellent care. We had a lot of the necessary conversations (about her will, services, etc.) while I was there. She is comfortable, and in a good place mentally. She has a lot of my family members around to visit and take care of things. I am visiting whenever I can, and talk to her on the phone every day. But she's still dying, and I don't know how to deal with the weirdness of waiting for it to happen.
I am pretty lucky. I have a lot of friends I can talk to, who have been really great over the last few weeks. The people I work with have been really understanding (both of my need to visit her and my need to get engrossed in work when I am back in the office). But I feel like I'm really on my own here. No one I know my age has lost a parent (I'm 38). I've lost friends and grandparents and several beloved dogs, but this feels really, really different. I've been so focused on either taking care of things for my mom or work the last few weeks that I haven't had time to really think about what's going on, until now.
My question is: for those of you who've gone through this, what helped you cope with waiting for one of your parents (or other loved one) to die? Were there websites or books that you read? Other coping strategies that helped you? (I'm trying to avoid my usual coping strategies of beer, Internet shopping and salty foods.) There seem to be a lot of resources for what happens after someone you love dies, but not much on what happens before that. I know things will be worse once she passes, but things are very weird now, and I'm not sure how best to cope.