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Feel like I'm going to explode.

Posts: 30
Joined: Nov 2010

So, my dad has been on hospice for about 6 wks now, after a 6 month battle with stage IV NSCLC. I posted a while back about my mom fighting with him about smoking a few cigarettes, and me talking to him more than her lately, which she still argues about, but we all just take it with a grain of salt and try to comfort her. However, yesterday topped everything, and we all just wanted to explode. Hospice is delivering a hospital bed today, so yesterday, my husband and I, and my brother and sister in law, went to dad's to move furniture around to make room. My dad told us where he wanted everything, then my mom started crying and yelling, saying that's not how she wanted it, she hates it. Then my dad got mad and told her that for 32 years she's gotten her way with everything else, now that he only has a little time left, it's his turn, he's getting his way on this one. So, we left the furniture where he wants it, but my mom won't stop crying and complaining over it. My sister in law and me tried to talk to her, let her know that it is only an inconvenience for a couple weeks, that we can move the couch back after, but that isn't working. I can't handle this anymore. I feel like I'm going to explode. The hospice nurse said Thurs. he probably only has a week, maybe 2 left. He's stopped eating because he started choking on everything he tried. Yesterday, he had some pudding and water. I know it's coming, as if this isn't hard enough to watch, I have to watch them fight too. I told my mom I would take some time off work and come be with her and help out, she said no, she can do it. It's like she don't want us there. Sorry for the rant, just don't know where else to go. I know she's hurting, but damn it, so am I.

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes, you are all hurting. Your mom is living with this 24/7. I'm not excusing her behavior, but I do understand it. She is not only hurting. She is scared. Her whole life is changing, and she is angry, not at you or your dad, just the whole situation. She feels like no one really understands what she is going through. To an extent, she is right. Even if she says she doesn't want you there, she probably does, but she needs private time with your dad, too. She probably feels guilty about the crying and thinks she should be stronger. She feels guilty about arguing with your dad, as well. She doesn't want to, but the emotions are just overwhelming her. Crying is a way to release the millions of feelings she is having right now. I was fortunate that my husband understood that being the caregiver and the one being left behind was very hard, indescribably so. He even apologized for putting me through it. Talk about making me feel bad. Knowing he understood really helped, though. We argued about stupid things sometimes. He could usually humor me out of it. Everything seems more important right now. Little things become big things. The issue isn't the couch; it's why the couch has been moved. It is one more reminder of the days ahead. I'm sure your mom feels like nobody understands her, and whatever you do, don't tell her that you understand her feelings. You really don't, even though you are trying to. Just hug her and ask how you can help. Offer a shoulder and ask if she wants to talk. Tough times are ahead for all of you. Take care, Fay

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

The only thing I can add are my prayers and best wishes for you and your family at this time of fear and grief.

Please come here when possible. Rant, rave whatever it takes to help you through this! We are here for you.

Take care,


Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

You can rant here anytime and hopefully it will help a little. Faye is right -- even if your mother says not to, arrange your life to be there as much as possible. My mother wasn't a basket case like yours the week before my father died, but she was used up and badly needed relief. Just go, and vow to keep your voice low. You don't have to engage fully in your mother's craziness, but man I feel her rage. He's leaving her, how dare he! She's an inferno inside, which is all the more reason for more rational family members to hang around. Maybe if you and your brother take turns being there, just one on one, your mother will settle down sooner.

I highly recommend screaming in a parked car in a vacant parking lot.

AnnaLeigh's picture
Posts: 182
Joined: Jan 2010

We understand !!!!!! We understand this is extremely hard on everyone. Hard for you, your father, your mother and the entire family.

Hospice also has bereavement counselors and it is never too early to start the process. Grieving does not just begin after our loved ones pass and the funeral is over. Grieving can begin at any time. So much of what you describe falls in this category.

Hospice also has chaplains and social workers who are very skilled at knowing the right way to talk to families and bring everyone together so your father can spend his last days in peace surrounded by a loving family.

What greater gift could you give him than that?

Love and hope for all concerned.

LeeandShirley's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

Remember what your dad said to your mom when she didn't want the furniture moved? He said she always got her way for 32 years. Your dad was the reason she always got her way and she knows it. She's going to lose the "Prince Charming" of her life. She probably feels like no one else will ever treat her with such indulgence, (and love). I can relate to that, too. I'm going to lose my "Prince Charming", too. She doesn't want this change, and his impending death has just become too much to bear. She's momentarily trying to keep status quo or even go back to a time when she didn't have to "give" anything up to this disease. Of course she's having a meltdown. Try your best not to melt down with her. Try not to take her rants, her hurtful words and her irrational behavior to heart. I know you want to take her pain away. Don't. She needs to feel it and so do you. Whatever the outcome of the tensions, your dad needs peace. Even if that means staying away for a day. And do take the advice to get hospice's help to talk it through.
All my sympathies at your dad's illness and family's pain. Be strong!

Posts: 30
Joined: Nov 2010

Thank you for your thoughts and comments. The hospice nurse was there today and told my mom she thinks the family should be there now as much as possible, her opinion is he only has a few days left. My sister in law is spending the night there and then I will go there in the morning as soon as I get the kids off to school. I just pray that he passes peacefully, it's so hard seeing him like this. Thank you again for all of your kind words, they are greatly appreciated.


Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2010

So sorry to hear about your dad going thru all that. Has your mom always been this way or is her behavior out of character? So sad he is at the end of his life, and she is yelling about the furniture, he certainly doesn't need that.

coping in CA
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2011

Thank you for sharing your story. Please remember to take care of you. Deep breaths (and car screaming :>) are great tools. Sending thoughts of peace.


yv1214's picture
Posts: 72
Joined: Feb 2011

I am going through something similar but not quite. Since I know you are frustrated and angry I am sending positive vibes your way.


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