Dying Mans Journal – Death in a Family


Today is starting off well, poor Vi slept hardly at all last night. When she gets stressed, her sleep is usually the first to suffer. Today will start getting ready for all the company coming for the weekend.

I have been doing a lot of thinking since, yesterday. Yesterday, I talked of my bumbled attempt to comfort the daughter of a dying woman. No that is wrong I didn’t try to comfort her, I offered my sypathy and was grateful to get away with just that.

I have lots of ideas and thoughts of how to deal with and talk to the dying, all based on how I want to be treated or talked to. I realize it is so much worse for the families. Example, in July 2000 I had a massive heart attack. Much later I was told that the doctors at one point didn’t think I would survive. Now my whole family had gathered and were visiting as they could. I was only allowed very short visits. So there they were all worried and scared. Where was I? Well obviously in the hopital bed, but emotionally I was just fine, perfectly comfortable and content. I know my strong belief system was a huge help. But also I was so full of morphine and a dozen or so other drugs, I felt no pain, I was content, sleepy but content. I was fine they were hurting.

I think, while we acknowledge the pain of the family, to often it is not until after the death, that we fully show it. Before it seems, to me anyway, that more of the attention, the sympathy what ever is directed to the “poor” patient.

We see to forget the family is hurting and in a bad way, in the time leading up to the passing, not just after. Maybe the same applies within the family itself. All of the sympathy and careing is directed to the one dying and they forget each other. Why is it, we can always be there for a family member or friend through every happy or sad event in life supporting them all the way. Freely discussing feelings everything.

The only example I thing I can think of off the top of my head is the death of a relationship, a divorce. We rush to offer our support, feelings are shared, the sense of loss, the hurt maybe even the anger. What ever the feelings at the time we share and comfort each other. Why can’t we have that same sense of freedom to share feelings on the death of a person? Not just after the event but in all the times leading up to it.

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