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My father is dieing. Advice please

(50 Posts)
maisiegreen Sun 11-Jul-21 07:52:29

I shall try and keep this brief, but , if anyone has advice to give on this I'd be grateful.
My lovely dad has been in a care home for a year or so, as my mum was making herself ill looking after him.
She is at home, which is nearby. I am 2 hours away by car.
On Friday he stopped receiving his medication, on the advice of his doctor, which we accept, so he is dieing. But he is peaceful, and usually lucid and knows us.
I have come up and I'm staying with him, sleeping in the room. But my mum was very surprised that I'm doing it that I'm questioning whether it is appropriate. The home are accepting and caring . My dad is physically strong and this could go on for some time. But, if I was dad, I would want someone with me.
On the other hand, I can't understand why my mum isn't here. She came in for half an hour yesterday .
Dad asks me what is happening and I just say that he's poorly. I don't know if I should tell him the truth . Or how I would do that.

BigBertha1 Sun 11-Jul-21 07:54:42

I think you need a proper discussion with your Mum first.

maisiegreen Sun 11-Jul-21 07:56:47

Yes, I would never do it off my own bat.

kittylester Sun 11-Jul-21 07:57:56

I wouldn't tell him

NanKate Sun 11-Jul-21 08:02:30

I stayed with my dear dad for his last 2 days, but my mum who had a phobia of hospitals didn’t come. When Dad asked where she was I lied and said she had come but that he’s been asleep, that seemed to satisfy him.

Stay with him maisie. I’m thinking of you ?

Witzend Sun 11-Jul-21 08:10:28

I’m so sorry to hear this.
It was different, because she’d been widowed for a long time, but one of us sat with my mother all the time when we were told she was dying. She was 97 with advanced dementia, though, and although I’d really like to think she’d been aware of family there with her, I’m quite sure she wasn’t.
Plus it was only about 36 hours until it was all over.

My own feeling is that if it gives you comfort, and if it seems to give your dad any comfort, then go ahead. I’m not sure why your mother would object.
Even though I knew she was almost certainly past knowing or caring, I was so glad one of us was able to be with my mother. If it had happened only 10 days later, the whole family would have been away.

Whiff Sun 11-Jul-21 08:17:25

I am sorry for the whole family. But it's up to your mom if she wants your dad to know he is dieing. She is your dad's life partner as such she knows what is best for him.

You say you are sleeping in your dad's room. I take it that you are an older person. Have you ever seen a person dieing? Why I ask is it's not like on the TV.

I talk from experience . I watched my darling husband battle cancer he died aged 47. I looked after my mom as she lived with me she was 90 .

Afraid to say but as a person dies they become skeletal. For your sake and your mom's you need to be with your mom not sleeping in your dad's room. She is the one who needs you. You need to look after the living.

My dad knew 2 days before he died he hadn't got long. Luckily he died in his sleep next to my mom. But my poor mom didn't realise he was dead not for a hour after she got up. It haunted her for years.

I spent 15 each day by my mother in law's hospital bedside the last 2 days. I had only just got home when I had the call to say she had died.

Your mom needs you . You need to look after her unfortunately there is nothing you can do for your dad. Your mom is going through hell she needs you . Please be with your mom.

maisiegreen Sun 11-Jul-21 08:21:23

Thank you for that thought - fortunately my sister is with my mum.

Fleur20 Sun 11-Jul-21 08:24:04

Your Mum is dealing with the situation as best she can. After the intensity and pressure of caring for your Dad at home she had to learn/accept to hand over the reins as it were. Perhaps she has also accepted that this is the end of your fathers life and by distancing herself in this way she can let him go. This is no reflection or measure of what she feels for him - rather a coping mechanism.
I think you are right to have a chat with her.. each to explain what is best for you individually and your Dad.
My thoughts are with you both.

Lovetopaint037 Sun 11-Jul-21 08:29:32

You are doing a lovely thing. Many people wouldn’t be able to find the emotional stamina to stay with a parent in that situation. I doubt your mother is able to do that and that is why she is querying what you are doing. People handle their emotions differently and you are doing the most loving thing you can do and by being with your dad you are supporting her too. As you say she has exhausted herself and her inner strength is probably all but gone. So sorry about your dad but we’ll done you.

Shelflife Sun 11-Jul-21 08:30:03

I fully understand your need to be with your Dad, but Mum needs you too. You are torn between the needs of both. You say your dad is strong and the situation could go on for some time. Have you considered how exhausting that may be for you ? I wish you strength and courage in whatever decision you make.

Lovetopaint037 Sun 11-Jul-21 08:31:39

I wouldn’t tell him he is dying. What you are saying is the right thing -he is poorly.

maisiegreen Sun 11-Jul-21 08:33:04

Thank you all. No, I will carry on saying he is poorly

Alizarin Sun 11-Jul-21 08:34:44

My dad died of cancer, aged 67. My daughter aged 13 and I stayed with him at the hospice, knowing he was about to die. It was her choice and she held his hand and wrist and felt his pulse stop. She is blind, was very close to her grandpa and chose to do this and 30 years later she and I still think it was a lovely thing to do. The hospice nurses then allowed her to help wash her grandpa. It was so kind of them.

My mum didn't come anywhere near. She said she didn't want to see him when he died. I understood that she couldn't cope.

Incidentally, my dad didn't go skeletal before he died. He looked exactly the same as he always had and retained his sense of humour to the end.

Shelflife Sun 11-Jul-21 08:45:34

Just read your sister is with your Mum so that is good. She is being supported. If staying with your Dad is the best choice for you then go with that. When the end comes you need to feel satisfied with the decision you made. However you are important too, please look after yourself , if you stay allow yourself adequate respite time. I stayed with my Mum and became very very emotionally and physically tired. On the advise of my sister and the care staff I went home for a night. I had a call at 3am to say she was deteriorating , went immediately but was too late to be with her at the end. Initially that did upset me but I soon ' forgave' myself
as I knew I had been a good daughter and my lovely Mum knew that too. So if that happens please be kind to yourself , never ever feel guilty your Dad would not want that for you. You are having a very difficult time and I wish you well.

maisiegreen Sun 11-Jul-21 08:50:26

Thank you. And all of you

V3ra Sun 11-Jul-21 08:53:42

maisiegreen your sister is with your mum and you are with your dad. Your parents are very fortunate to have the two of you to support them both.
For all your sakes I hope your dad has a peaceful end soon.

Septimia Sun 11-Jul-21 08:55:33

In my - limited - experience, I've found that people often keep going while there is someone there with them and they don't 'let go' until they are peacefully alone.

It's good to spend time with close family members during this time, but also good to give them, as well as yourself, a break for a bit.

If your father is lucid, then you can tell him you're going to spend a bit of time with your mum, or to collect her, and he'll understand. And do spend that time with your mum.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 11-Jul-21 09:15:53

I stayed with my Mum when my Dad was in a Hospice, I took her in each day and we stayed most of the day, on his last couple of days we were there off and on all day and all night.
When Mum was in hospital I was there every day and would have stayed all night towards the end, but she died when I popped home to change my clothes. I still feel so guilty about that.
My Dad was in a coma for nearly a week, ditto my Mum it’s gruelling to just sit and watch.
I guess we do what we have to do, but maybe stay at night when he is nearer the end? For now go there in the daytime( the staff will tell you when the end is coming) meanwhile (IMO) it’s your Mum who needs you in the evenings and at night.

Redhead56 Sun 11-Jul-21 09:26:48

Very sorry about your father I have been in this situation with my parents and mum in law. I did not stay over night because of my children if they were older I might have done.

I personally think your mum has probably stressed enough she needs to be home and resting. Your dad will slip away in a peaceful sleep then you and your sister can support your mum. ?

timetogo2016 Sun 11-Jul-21 09:28:50

I wouldn`t tell him either,but he may actually know and doesn`t want to let on.
Yes stay with him,i did when my father was dying,we held hands as he passed.
My mother though was alone when she died,and i am sure she chose to do that as we were all going to see her,which she knew about,and i am convinced she couldn`t face watching us walk away after saying goodbye knowing and meaning goodbye.

geekesse Sun 11-Jul-21 09:28:50

Your Dad may know he is dying, and he may be waiting for you to acknowledge it and give him ‘permission’ to go. You might benefit from a chat with his doctor and those in charge of his care to decide how to handle this, along with your Mum and sister.

Callistemon Sun 11-Jul-21 09:30:56

In my - limited - experience, I've found that people often keep going while there is someone there with them and they don't 'let go' until they are peacefully alone.

I was just going to post the same as Septimia

Shandy57 Sun 11-Jul-21 09:36:04

Don't feel guilty Oopsadaisy, I often wonder if they go when you've left as they don't want you to see their final moment, which can be a distressing memory for their loved ones. My husband was with his Dad in Manchester 24/7 for months, but as he'd been off work for so long, had to come back to London to attend a Personnel interview - his Dad died a few hours after he'd left. I was so worried as he'd only just arrived at 3 am after the four hour drive, he got back in the car and went straight back.

Maisiegreen perhaps you could talk to your Mum and find out what she is feeling, or find out indirectly through your sister. Your Mum might just be completely numb and unable to cope with the thought of what is to come - how long have they been married? Whatever happens, I hope your Dad has a peaceful passing when it comes. Thinking of you x

25Avalon Sun 11-Jul-21 09:37:25

Maisiegreen very good advice from geekesse. Try to find out as much as you can so that you can decide what’s best. When dd has gone it will give you consolation. The important thing right now is to keep him comfortable and let him go when the time is right. xx