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Fear of Death

Natalie_Meyer
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2013

My mom recently moved in with my family. She was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer about 2 years ago after a round of chemo and 2 surgeries she has been told the cancer is back and her body is too weak to go through chemo again and even if they did do chemo it would be palliative care not a cure.   My mom also has an Ileostomy bag from her last surgery.  She is currently at a point where she is able to get up and walk around and enjoy spending time with the family.  Over the past couples week I have been the main caregiver though I do go into my office 3 days a week (I will work from home as the disease progress) and we are utilizing hospice.   However I have found that I am having anxiety over death in general.   I seem to be very worried about my own death and I am even more concerned that I will not be able to be around when she physically passes.  I really want to be with her and be able to continue to take care of her however I am finding that I have extreme anxiety and sadness from all of this and from death consistently being in the house and around.  I don’t believe anyone should die alone because I know I would not want to but I do understand why we put people in nursing homes - not necessarily because the care can’t be provided with at the home but because we are uncomfortable talking and dealing with death.  Does anyone have any advice on dealing with death especially the fear of you own mortality when you are in a caregiver postion.

 

Thanks,

Natalie

nempark
Posts: 592
Joined: Apr 2010

Dearest Natalie:  I can relate.  I have just struggled with a loved one and was devastated at the loss.  Here is a very interesting article.  I hope this helps you.  Please give me a feed back.  Believe me Natalie, you will be amazed how God gives us the strength to endure. God gives us relief even if it means death.

 

Part 3

Preparing the Family to Cope With Death

AT TIMES, a person knows in advance that he or she is soon to die. What can be done to prepare other family members for this?

Many have found it helpful not to view death as a taboo subject in the home, even when all family members are in good health. Especially is this so when one has the proper understanding of what death is, and how it will be conquered.

So, appropriate to each occasion, death can be discussed when there are tragedies in the news, or when friends or relatives die. In this way, family members, particularly younger ones, are helped to be better prepared for the possible death of those they love.

Chicago journalist Jory Graham, who herself has had to cope with cancer, remarked: “When a family can discuss dying openly, something marvelous happens to that family, and I’ve seen it over and over again. When they are really open and concerned and supportive of each other, there is a closeness built there that you couldn’t achieve in any other way.”

A Family’s Experience

That is similar to the experience of an Australian family of five. The mother, a cancer victim, was told that she had but a few months to live. In that brief time before she died, she worked to prepare her family. In particular did she want to prepare her eldest daughter, 13 years of age, to help with raising her two younger sisters. And she did so in a very realistic way. The eldest daughter later related this account, saying:

“I remember with gratitude that my mother herself let us know of her approaching death and didn’t keep matters hush-hush. She kindly explained the position and then took steps to help the situation.

“I then cooked all the meals under her direction, even though she was bedridden. We wrote out basic recipes together. She then taught me to use the sewing machine more efficiently, as she knew that I would take over most of the family’s sewing. We drew up a house-cleaning schedule, divided duties, discussed basic first-aid and safety-first factors to be mindful of around the house. The fact that my father had confidence in my being able to cope was a great incentive for me to try my best.

“Sixteen years after my mother’s death, I received the following letter from one of my younger sisters who is married and has three children herself. She says: ‘It is so nice to have two wonderful sisters like you and Bev. There is no substitute for sisters who love and understand you and who are loyal. Thank you very much for being the person you are. I don’t think I have ever said this before, and I’m sorry if I haven’t, but thank you for doing your best in bringing Bev and me up and for taking Mum’s place. I realize now that it took a lot of love and effort and self-sacrifice on your part. I have often thought of those years and prayed that you may be blessed. I know that you have been.”’

Trust in God’s Promise

The eldest daughter continues her story: “My mother never gave way to emotionalism but showed us by example that she had complete trust and faith in the Bible’s resurrection promise.

“After her death, my father handed each of us a letter from her. Part of mine reads: ‘Lynette, my darling, I wanted to leave you a note to thank you for being such a sweet, loving daughter to me. It will be hard on you without a mother, darling, but others will help, and your Daddy will take very good care of you. Help your little sisters—I know you will—as they will look more and more to you. I want to say thank you, sweetheart, for all that you have done for me and for being such a lovely, obedient little girl, never giving me any worry. I pray that Jehovah will remember me and that we will all meet again in the New World. Lots of love from your loving Mummy.”’

As with Anita Brown, this mother did not leave the world groping, wondering about her future. She was confident that there would be life again in God’s new order. And by taking practical steps, she helped to prepare her loved ones to cope better with her death.

[Blurb on page 11]

 

“My mother never gave way to emotionalism but showed us by example that she had complete trust and faith in the Bible’s resurrection hope”

 

 

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1630
Joined: May 2011

Thank you Nempark for that article. It helped me a lot.

Debbie

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