Watching your Parent die is absolute hell and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Everyone deals with death & dying in their own unique way. Each person works through (or doesn’t) the new reality of living without someone they love. Facing the reality of having to actually watch them die is a special kind of torture.
Watching my dad die was a moment in my life that I wouldn’t change, but definitely wasn’t easy. When I use that term I am referring to watching him slowly die over time and actually being in the room when he passed.
Having a dying parent is excruciating. There will be lessons that are learned with great difficulty and suffering.
I know that it isn’t easy to think about that moment they will no longer be with you. It’s unconscionable to even think that they won’t be here for all the milestones, little moments, and adventures you had planned together.
- What are you supposed to feel?
- How do you keep from running to the nearest hole and climbing in?
- Can we be supportive and still find a way to express our sadness?
Everyone will have a different answer. When it comes to death and dying, there isn’t a “rule book”. There is no “right way” to feel, act, or think. There is only where you are right this minute. There is only the person beside you needing your love, support, and the many things that will come along the way.
If you have already experienced the heartbreak of losing a parent or witness the end of life moments of a dying parent, I am right there with you. One thing I wish I could have done was collect the stories that friends and family told me orally when my Dad died. 13 years later, I can’t recall most of them.
It’s never too late to start collecting memories of your loved one. It’s one of the things I’ve spent time on to create a method of collecting that is easy to use and share with family and friends, at home and abroad.
Christine Burke has written a heartfelt introspective look into how our grief plays out in everyday life when faced with a loved one’s arduous and laborious march toward inevitable death. Give it a read and be prepared to grab the tissues.
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