Seeking Others Experiences

Updated on November 06, 2008
L.B. asks from Broomfield, CO
28 answers

First I want everyone to know how thankful I am to have all these great Moms in one place to share with. You are all special, wonderful people!

Okay, here is my situation. My Mom was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer a year ago. Two years ago my father died from the same thing. For Dad it was three months from diagnosis to death, at the time we were in 2 different states so my boys were not exposed to him being ill. Now, however, my mom has moved here and I really don't know what to do. For now she is living on her own and taking care of herself, but I am pretty sure that will not last much longer, 6 months maybe... Does anyone have any experience with a situation like this. I am afraid if I move my mom in she may pass away in the house, the boys would be mortified. They are going to be 4 and 6 next month. I don't know if it is fair to expose them to mom being sick. Or is it a life lesson. Also if anyone has any experience with someone with this illness, I need to know what I am in for. Time wise, symptom wise. Thanks in advance for any help or insight you may have.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.J.

answers from Pocatello on

L.- I am so sorry to hear of your life changes. This is so tough on everyone! God be with you and your family.

We recently moved my husbands sister into our home. 7 months ago we found her in a diabetic coma. She remained in a coma for three months. She was released from the hospiotal a month ago. Having used all of her insurance and life savings she had no one or no where to go. We moved into the toy room and gave her our main floor master suite.

I have a 5 year old and a 7 year old. It has been life changing for us. It is very dificult to care for someone- someone who is going thru emotional changes and physical changes.

I know my children have been effected by this move in...my son said "it's not fair that Julie has your room" and my children feel akward to talk to her as she some times acts "different" (she is their God Mother and has been very close to them) Our family loves her very much but, I can see a change already. A change in myself, my husband(don't get me started on that), and a change in my children.

She sits in the living room and vomits as we try to eat dinner, I change her diapers, wash her hair, cook her food, and pay her bills. It is very difficult. It is way harder that having another child in the house.

However, what is the alternative? If at all possible I would contact Hospice and see if you can arrange a home health person to go in and help for as long as possible. She will still be in her home, surrounded by things she loves, and you can get a break by leaving occassionally. Trust me as much as you will want to care for your mother and be with her-you will need breaks.

Please feel free to contact me- I'm new at this too but, I am happy to share my advice and tribulations.

Best Wishes-H.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.O.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would say that if you have to move her in, it will be good for your kids. My mother lived with my grandmother while she was ailing and my sister and her small children moved in with them as well. They learned a lot from my grandmother as she got sicker. They were able to help care for her and although they chose not to see her body after she passed, they were in the house with her and part of it all. None of them seemed afraid because they had been prepared by their mom and grandma for what was coming, and it was a fairly special experience for everyone. I'm sorry about your mom, but do what you have to and your children will be okay.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.K.

answers from Denver on

My parents passed away, quickly and suddently and my children never knew them.
Yes, it will be a huge adjustment for your family but I can say you deserve those precious times with your mom. She needs you now more then ever. Do you have other siblings that could come help you? Does she have any other family? It is is a big job, but you don't want her last days spent with strangers either.
You will be giving your children the gift of learning more about her and though it can be hard having them be around her while she is sick, they won't end up worse for it. It would be a good learning experience from them.
Your mom being stuck with strangers taking care of her, living in a room others had probably passed away in and it being clinical situation isn't fair to her.
How I wish I had that time with my parents. If you want time wise and symptom wise stuff, go search on the internet, call around to Drs and so on.

Get the facts of what you will be taking on from medical professionals, but to be honest, our parents raised us unconditionally and when they need us when they are older we cannot look at it as it doesn't fit into our life, they didn't do that to us! :) If she passes away in the house, God forbid, then I don't think it will harm your kids. They will be learning about life and death really young but at the same time they have to go through that same process to a degree when she does pass away. In the meantime enjoy every second of being with her and her being able to enjoy your children!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

L.- I am so saddened by your loss and the possibility of another. My father was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June of '98. My boys were 6 and almost 2 at the time. He had surgery and radiation in which only extended his life a small bit. One of the most blessed things we did was to contact a hospice service so that Dad could remain at home. My mother had to work full time because Dad had let his insurance go a few months before becoming sick. So I quit my job and took care of him while she was gone. (My family just lived across the street). My boys were very very close to their grandpa. It was definitely a heartsting pulling time in our lives. I watched my stronge and hard working father become unable to move or even speak. My boys would come over just to be with him and tell him stories of their little boy lives. They always left with big hugs... in the earlier stages I know that my Dad was delighted to have them around, and in the later stages, even though he couldn't express it, I know that the boys lightened his spirit... and mine too! They did ask questions, and I always answered them honestly. My daddy passed away the following January, within 7 months of diagnosis. I would not trade the time I spent or the time my children spent with him for anything. I am so grateful for hospice and that I was financially able at the time to be with him as often as I could be. I know how hard it is, and my situation was different, he was not in my home... but I would do it all over again and bring him into my house. Make sure you know your mother's wishes and try to respect them as best you can. If she wants to come into your home, and if your husband is up to the task, look forward to this special time you'll have with her. The children will ask questions... just answer them openly and honestly and with love. Let them spend time with her and they'll have memories to last their lifetime. Good luck! -S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.J.

answers from Fort Collins on

Last winter my dad passed away from esophageal cancer. It was two short months from diagnosis to death. We were 25 miles apart one way, I had 4 kids in school and it was the holiday season. Needless to say it was hectic and stressful. The only thing I would have changed was to move my dad to my home so that I could have cared for him 24/7 but he would not allow it. My kids were 17,11,7 and 5 all of them wanted to go with me to his home to spend time with him and help me with his care. In my opinion this is a life lesson and a very important one. You will teach your children to have patience, compassion, understanding and that family comes together in times of crisis also most importantly that life on earth is not forever. Your kids are young but even so they will get valuable experience that some day they will use. My kids have good memories of the time they spent with him that they still talk about and will always carry with them. I was so proud of their strength and courage and everyone knows that we will always take care of each other no matter what.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.H.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I got pregnant with my second child when my FIL was dying of lung cancer. My daughter was a toddler when he was diagnosed and 3 when he died. He lived a bit over 2 years after his diagnosis, partly because my getting pregnant restored his will to live, and he did live long enough to see his final grandchild born. Those are poignant memories for me, dear.

You are presented with an important learning opportunity that your sons are old enough to understand. But to help them understand, you must put some conscious thought into it. There was a book I read to my daughter many, many times as we helped care for her grandfather in his final days. If I remember the title correctly, it was "Why Did Grandpa Die"?

It was targeted at small children and helped them to understand the concept of death and its natural place in the cycle of life. I can't recommend it enough, even though I could never once read it to my daughter without choking up because it hit so very close to our own circumstances, even to the Grandfather in the book being the father's father.

I take it you have your local hospice involved in your mother's care. (If not, time to do that.) Hospice is a blessing in situations like yours and they have resources to help you and your boys deal with the pending loss of their grandmother. Some hospices have a library of books such as the one I read my daughter back then.

When it was over and we had the family viewing at the funeral home, I picked my daughter up so she could see her grandfather for the last time. She reached out her hand and gently patted his face. He was, by the way, the only real grandfather she had. He was too important a figure in her life, even young as she was, for me to try to shield her from what was happening and I had to help her understand. Children that young need to know that the grandparent did not choose to abandon them.

God bless you and your entire family as you go through this painful time of slow loss. Message me any time you need some support.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.A.

answers from Boise on

L.,

I'm so sorry about your Mom's illness. My Dad passed away with lung & bone cancer in 2005.
I just want to say that I agree with the ladies that say to bring Mom home. But, in addition to doing that, consult a few in-home care/hospice providers in your area. Even though your Mom isn't to the "hospice" level now (end stages), they are VERY HELPFUL and insightful on how to handle just these situations.
They will come to your home and consult you on exactly where you are right now in the process and then explain what you and they can do for you, as things progress.
I used Heart & Home Hospice for my Dad, and they were simply awesome. But, there are many good agencies.
Just my two cents worth.
God bless your family and especially your Momma.
L. Amason
www.sowing4health.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.C.

answers from Colorado Springs on

First of all, my sympathies for your situation. It's a difficult one and to a certain extent I understand what you're going through. I have been helping to take care of my in-laws for a couple years now - MIL has end-stage emphysema/COPD, FIL has emphysema/COPD (not as severe as MIL) as well as blindness due to macular degeneration and deafness. There have been numerous hospital stays for the MIL including several times that we thought it was the end. First my thoughts regarding the children. I, too have a 4-yr. old who has been involved all along in her Meemaw's illness. She has visited in the ICU and I was brought to tears by that little girl's tenderness and understanding of the situation. We explained what her Meemaw would look like, sound like, etc. to prepare her for it - she has never been scared of hospitals, sickness, or the elderly. We've also explained death, etc. and I believe she understands (as much as a 4-yr. old can). We prepared her that Meemaw is sick and will be dying soon and what that means. She's very close to her grandparents so it will definitely be a blow, but I believe it's a necessary thing to involve her in this life lesson. So yes, explain to your children and talk about the situation often to plant the seeds of understanding in their heads. As far as moving your mother in, of course that is a decision that each child has to make at that time. However, keep in mind that being a caretaker is a huge undertaking that is very stressful for you, your husband, your children, your marriage, and your homelife. We currently do all the housework, errands, shopping, some cooking, Drs' issues for my in-laws and it's ALOT! We do it because we love them, but there's no doubt that sometimes you just feel like you want to get away from it all. And this is just the day-to-day stuff, not taking into consideration the emotional issues you will face in losing your loved one. Have you considered hospice care instead of moving her into your home? Hospice is a wonderful thing - they're incredibly compassionate and very supportive of everything you're going through. Plus, they understand the medical issues that will arise in a way that you probably won't. It is very likely that your mother will pass in your house, if that is what you all decide is best for her. Not just for the children, but how will YOU feel about that? As I said before, this is a huge undertaking and a huge decision. Take all things into careful thought before making decisions. And remember, if you have to place your mother in hospice, nursing care, etc. is DOES NOT mean that you love her any less. It simply means that you understand the responsibilities and want to make sure that she has absolutely the best care available to her. Good luck - you'll be in my thoughts.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.B.

answers from Denver on

L.,
I am sorry to hear about your situation. I have what seems like alot of experience dealing with death, so I'll share what I have learned.

I agree with everyone who says these final months, if spent together, would be a great gift for your mom and your kids. However, my mom died when I was 23 of lung cancer; I have since lost a baby and three elderly grandparents,and I want to caution you to be prepared for how the cancer might change your mother. As Crista H. stated, it can be very traumatic for anyone to see someone who is decimated by disease. Some diseases ravage the body and leave it unrecognizable, and others don't. I would not want my kids to see someone they love if that person looks skeletal or in any way scary. Just losing alot of weight can do that.

I also agree with Crista that if your boys are not close with your mother, do not make a big deal out of this now. They will still learn about death, but if it is not necessary, why drag them into an emotional place at this point in their lives. Many of us have to introduce our children to death earlier than may be ideal. Of course if your kids are close to their Grandma, they should not be kept in the dark.

I thought Holly J. had some very good advice about considering how hard - both practically and emotionally - the care might be for your family. Are you prepared for the bodily functions that may not be contained to the bedroom? Each case is different, but you need to be sure you can deal with the illness and it's effects if your mother spends time outside of the bedroom where you can "contain" the most unpleasant moments. I won't even mention the things I had to help my mom with, and it is nothing she wanted me to see, I am sure. I try not to remember that part of it all, but it can be a reality that you might not be able to deal with, or that you don't want your boys to see.

Finallly, I have two sons, age 3 and 7. The seven year old has seen my baby and 2 great-grandparents pass. At the time of each death, he was 2 1/2, 4, and 6, respectively. We spent lots of time with each grandparent, so he really did know who they were and that they were sick and then no longer with us. He is very sensitive and empathetic, so despite his young age, the deaths made a strong impression on him. I tried to be as honest as possible about death. I wouldn't say he has been traumatized by their deaths, but rather that he has a heightened awareness of the fact that people do not live forever. Starting at age 4 he connected this understanding to the possibility that his dad and I could die. Once that connection is made, you are in delicate territory. You can't promise them you won't leave them by dying. I have told him that Grandmother and Grandma Great died because they were very, very old, and their bodies stopped working properly, just like an old car stops working properly. As for my mother (who died quite young) and his brother (neither of whom he knew) I told him that that sometimes people's bodies don't work like they are supposed to, and they die. This has worked so far, but I am dreading the day when he makes the connection and asks: "What makes bodies stop working properly? Will that happen to you (or me)?" I am not sure what I will tell him then, because of course I can't promise anything. Right now I just tell him he won't have to worry about me or Papa or himself dying for a very, very long time.

My final comment stems from the fact that I currently live in Mexico, and we just celebrated Day of the Dead here. It is a really great tradition, and I wish that we Americans had a view similar to this regarding death. Mexicans believe that death is the beginning of life. They see it as inevitable, so they dont treat it as an unspeakable issue. They mock it, joke about it, and honor it publicly (these words are paraphrased from an article about Dia de los Meurtos in the local newspaper here). I think this is the approach I am going to take with my boys so that they hopefully won't fear death so much.

I know this is long, but I hope it helps. I just know that all my oldest has been exposed to has contributed to his awareness of death and loss, which I think is greater than most kids his age. This in turn contributes to occasional anxiety that those closest to him could die. I don't think his feelings are extreme, but part of me wishes he still didn't understand enough to have that very realistic worry.

Best wishes to you and your family in this difficult time.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would contact a hospice and see what they can tell you. They can probably tell you more aout what will be coming and they can help a lot with your expectations.

E.S.

answers from Fort Collins on

L.,
I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I went through the same thing with my mom and it is extremely hard. We were living in different states and I was not yet a mother myself (I was about 7 weeks pregnant when she passed away).

My mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in May 01, had one lung removed immediately, had chemo and radiation, fought long and very hard and did pretty well....she lasted until Aug 19, 2005!

She pretty much cared for herself until August 04...when she was placed on Hospice. She had home visits multiple times a week and they were truly wonderful people. My sister - young and single - moved in with her around this time (for her own reasons, as well) and helped around the house and with driving, etc.

Things really deterioriated for my mom in May 05. I ended up going to stay with her for the month of June. (she lived in MI and I live in CO) Like I said, it was before we had any children. It was an EXTREMELY TOUGH month (for everyone)emotionally. I did everything I could..it was so hard watching her die. In retrospect, I am SO glad I spent that time with her...but honestly I don't think I could put my child through something so hard.

My mom was not peaceful about her passing, continued smoking, kept herself drugged up with pain meds....She lost enormous amounts of weight, could not communicate with me when she was drugged up, etc. It was not her. She definitely made it harder than it needed to be...although I certainly cannot judge...I can't imagine the pain and emotional issues she was going through. It may have been easier if she would have been more accepting of what was happening.

I would definitely recommend spending quality time with her during this difficult time. I also think your boys should spend time with their grandma..when it seems right to you. I don't think I would move her into the house, but would take as much possible time to spend with her in her home. Hospice is a wonderful organization and I would always recommend their help whenever necessary/appropriate.

I hope some of this info is helpful to you. If you have any other questions - or would like to talk to someone who has been through something similar, feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com thoughts are with you and your family during this very difficult time.

Sincerely,
L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.F.

answers from Pocatello on

Your children will benefit from spending as much time as they can wiht their Grandma before she dies. Don't let your fear over how her death will affect them interfear with the precious little time that you have left to be together. The truth is that we never know how much longer any of us will live on this Earth, anything can happen to any one of us or out loved ones. We must make the most of the time that we have together without fear coming between us. Treasue this time that you have left to talk to your mother and see her interact woht your children. Take lots of pictures, even if no one is weating make-up and your hair is not perfect or you really want to lose 10 pounds or whatever, just take the pictures of your and your mom and your children! Buy a tape recorder or camcorder and hae your mother tell your sons stories about her life and what she was like when she was their ages and what you were like at thier ages, these things will be so precious to you and your children someday! Children have to learn about death at some point no matter how hard we may try to shelter them from it, and usually they react better than we would have predicted. We had a close friend and neighbor die of a stroke recently and my children have handled it better than me! My 6 year old talks about our friend and how she can still feel her good spirit in our neighborhood. Good luck and God bless your family!

E.B.

answers from Fort Collins on

When I was six when my grandma developed bone cancer after living next door to us for two years . I remember her being sick, but what I remember the most was her. I used to love to play with her marbles and listen to her stories. I saw her nearly everyday and I saw her cancer progress up until the end.

My family comes from a medical background so they were very open about what was going on with grandma and her health. I do not remember the day she died, but I do remember her funeral. I was not scarred by her death and in fact I live in her house now with my family and I cherish the memories that being there brings to me everyday. My only regret is the fact that she would not let us take pictures of her at the end. I understand her feelings, but I wish now that I had the photos to go with the memories.

Death is a part of life and kids are stronger than we think. Make them a part of her life and be open with them about her health. They will be better off to learn how to cope with grief now that they have you to help them through it.

Good luck and I wish you well

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.K.

answers from Denver on

This is a life lesson that you will be glad you shared with your children. Death is a part of life, and you have the opportunity to teach your children compassion and the importance of caring for others. Having your mother in a hospital somewhere does not change the fact that she is dying and that you will have to address that fact with your children. At least if she is at your home your family can spend what precious time she has left, and you can show your children compassion and respect that so many are lacking these days. I am not familiar with this type of disease, and I imagine that it will probably take a lot of effort from your family to care for her, but you will be glad in the end that you were there for her when she needed you the most. Your children will not understand fully as they are so young, but they will see your caring and compassion, and that will make a lasting impression as they grow. My best wishes to your family.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.S.

answers from Denver on

L.,

I'm really sorry for your situation. I personally wished I could ave spent more time with my Grandparents before they were gone. For my aunts and uncles who were they, y cousins dealt well with the deaths because they were able to see the decline and their parents were able to talk about death slowly to them, instead of just realizing " Grandma's not there". It would also show them early the compassion and patience to have with those who need help. I do agree with others though that as it gets bad, you should be in contact with hospice care as they may be able to help you care for her without negleting the boys or scaring them.

On another note, apparently my grandparents started talking all about themselves and their lives and history before they died. Hearing those stories first hand is great for you and the, and then being able to share those with others is an honor.

D

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

All I can say is that if it were my mom, it would be no question... i would help her in any way that I could and count it a blessing. I have five young children and I think it would be so hard for them to see a loved one die, but it would also be a great lesson in service and love.
I thankfullyhave not faced this situation yet and I wish you all the best as it is hard no matter how you look at it and will be hard on your family either way.
Just as a side note... mortified means - very embarrassed, I am not sure that is what you meant to say your boys would be.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.G.

answers from Cheyenne on

I'm so sorry for you to be going through this. I can't give you any advice about whether it will mortify your children or not, but I would say they will want to spend time with grandma while they can. As for time and symptoms, everyone is different. You might check with a local hospice program and see if they can give you some information. I got a packet from our hospice when my mother was in the final stages of breast cancer and it had a list of symptoms and approximately when they are supposed to appear. It was for the last 6 months. My mother experienced them all in less than a week and was gone. I would also suggest you sit and talk with your mom about her wishes regarding a funeral, if she has insurance, retirement funds, other financial issues that you will need to take care of, where her will is located and is up to date, etc... You might also consider a power of attorney agreement in the event that she becomes incapacitated. (my mother was non-responsive for the last 3 days of her life) And if you DO move her in, you will need to talk to your kids about grandma being sick and prepare them a little bit. Good luck. My heart goes out to you!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.H.

answers from Denver on

Hi L.,

I'm so sorry to read about your mom. I'm sure this is a very sad time for your family.

My grandmother died at my parent's house, too. However, it was a wonderful blessing for her to spend her last days with the family that she loved so much and who loved her dearly in return. My nieces (6 mo, 3 yrs and 5 yrs old at the time) were exposed often (3-5 times a week) to their great grandma and, to this day, they still remember her fondly. Four years later, we still talk of her often...so, they don't forget about their guardian angle.

Everyone deals with death differently...but, it's inevitable...and, hospice has some wonderful ways of talking to kids about death of their loved ones.

I would predict, in a few years, the kids will have wonderful memories...the sadness will pass, they will have been positively exposed to how loving families take care of their elders at the end of this life on earth. Hopefully, when it's your time, they will remember how caring you were to their grandma and provide you with the same wonderful transistion...to be in the closeness of the ones you love the most.

Hope this helps!!! My thoughts and prayers are will your family!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Denver on

Gosh, how do I put this delicately? My kids went through this at the same age. Grandma was a horrible child abuser, so they were familiar with her, but there was no "loving relationship" and they were NEVER alone with her, and I didn't speak lovingly of her, so they weren't emotionally wrapped up in her.

Cancer can be very scary at the end for little kids. We let them visit her at hospice close to the end, but not in the final weeks. Her weight went from about 138 lbs. to about 75 lbs, and she was 5'8". I'd say that dealing with death is o.k., but looking at death is a completely different thing, and that's the part that I protected the children from.

Because I wasn't all invested in the outcome, the children didn't react to my feelings. None of us even cried.

I'm sorry that wasn't pleasant. If your children aren't all wrapped up in Grandma because she's mostly lived far away, keep it sort of casual emotionally, and they won't be all wrapped up in her death.

I'm sorry that your Mom has cancer. Hospice was good, and pain meds worked well. I can't speak on the topic of losing a loved one.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.H.

answers from Denver on

I want to first say how sorry I am for your situation. I cant imagine what you must be going through yourself. I also want to say that my girls are 7 and 5 and my husbands grandfather passed away when my oldest was almost 2. She remembers him and we have lots of pictuers, I would suggest that you be honest with your boys as they are old enough to understand that people get sick. My 5 year old now asks about why grandpa-great-grandpa got sick and how much he loves her. Even though they never met she still has a bond with him. I know it will be hard on them but you would be wrong to keep the truth from them and you would regret having them miss out on what time they have left with their grandma. It may also make her time easier to have the boys around, a beautiful sign that her legacy will go on once she is gone. I wish you all the best and hope that you make it through this tough time. God Bless and good luck

A.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Pocatello on

Hi L.,

My Dad has cancer and I will one day have to deal with the very same thing you are right now, I can already feel part of your pain and am really sorry that any of us have to go through it but it is part of the life cycle.
My husbands grandmother lived next door to us in our early married years and got very sick when my son was 4. My son was in the hospital because of an infection and Nana was one floor down, so we would go and sit with her every chance we got. During one of our visits, with my son in the room, she died... like I said, he was only 4, and even at that young tender age, he could understand what was happening, and he held her hand, and as he put it later, he helped her die...excuse me while I bawl now....He had nothing to do with why she died but he knew that it was time to go and later expressed that he was glad she didn't hurt anymore. I don't know if you are religious or not but I believe that I will see my loved ones again after death so I explained that to him. They had a very special bond as we lived next door and visited everyday, took part in her care while she lived at home and they were VERY close. He still talks about her. About a month after the funeral I found him crying in his room and asked what was wrong, he said he missed his Nana, and I got a picture of her and he held it close and cried some more. Then a stroke of pure genius hit me, why don't I make him a shirt that he can wear when he misses her. So I bought some iron on transfers and printed out a very nice picture of her and put it on his shirt so that if he was sad and wanted to see Nana that he could just put the shirt on and it was much more soft than a picture. You know, he is almost 12 now and I still see him take it out from time to time. I have asked him if he wants me to put it away and he told me that he still likes to have it around so its there in the bottom of his dresser and every once in a blue moon I find it out. They don't forget, but giving them something to help cope really helps. That was his thing.. I don't know if it will work for your kids but it sure helped him. Talk lots with them and let them know that even though its hard, its also normal to die and all the feelings they feel are also normal.. Try to get them to express themselves how ever they can, be it art, reading a story, crying... whatever... they need a vent and so do you.

Now, you have already lost a parent so you know how traumatic it is to go through. Just keep in mind what you will be going through as well and give your self the same kind of treatment as the boys, make sure you surround yourself with loving supportive people and don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be ashamed to go see a grief counselor if you think it might help you or the kids. This is hard and you don't have to do it alone.

God be with you and your family. I truly do believe you will see them again, so its not good bye its good bye for now... Till you meet again...

S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My condolences to you and your family. It is really hard to give advice to someone going through this, I don't think there is anything I can say to make you feel better. But to answer your question. I would be around your mother as much as you can, and your boys should too. She is still living and she should get to see her grandchildren as much as possible. Anything you can do to improve her quality of life and bring her joy for the little time she has left. We all have to deal with death at one time or another. It is better for them to know her when she is alive, healthy or not. It is a hard thing for children to understand, but I don't think it would be fair to keep them away from her. It won't be easy when she does go, but at least they will have had sometime with her. I am so sorry to have to say this part but when it comes time for the funeral, I wouldn't have them go. I think they are too young for that part. Let your boys remember your mother living. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Denver on

My Grandma lived with us the last two years of her life. I turned 9 6 days before she died. I was glad to have the time with Grandma. People change in the last days and it was a blessed time as Grandma shared so much of her life with us. I was glad to have the time with her. The day she died was handled very well by both hospice and all the people involved. It was not at all more traumatic than if it had happened in the hospital. Grandma's death was relatively quick, maybe about a month from diagnosis, so it may have been a bit easier than if it was longer. She was very ill before diagnosis, though. I think your boys, especially the older one will appreciate the special time with their grandma. How they handle the details in large part will depend on how you handle it. I would prepare them some without too much detail as each major change occurs. I hope you find a good solution for everybody.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Provo on

You don't know how long your mom has. Let your children make memories with her. My own Grandmother moved near my mother "to die" this was 10 years ago. She has finally moved in with my mother. She is a wonderful example to my children. My kids range from 11 to 19 months old. And even my baby knows and loves his great grandma. Death is very hard and yes little ones don't understand, but they do understand better than I think we adults give them credit for. Give them as much "grandma time" as your mother can handle, this will give your children lasting effects on this special time. What your mother has is not contagious, so treat her as such! My grandparents on my fathers side died while my oldest was between 4 & 6 years old. She remembers sitting with both of them, vaguely for my Grandfather who died first, but it is still and the feelings she had while she was with them, she can still remember them!

Best of wishes in this time of your needs. My sil had a brother who died from this last year. It was very hard as he left with his oldest being 18 years old. Good luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.F.

answers from Denver on

L., you don't have to take all of this on your own. Your mother's doctor's will be able to give you the names of several Hospice Programs, that are FREE. You may want to check into those programs now as each one has various differences. Hospice will either come to your home or there are programs where she can go to stay if she (you) decide that is in her best interest. These are wonderful programs. Also, be certain that any legal paperwork is finished - wills, burial plans, Power of Attorney and Power of Health Care. Know where her Social Security card is, and birth certificate. This is all very difficult to deal with when someone you love is dying.
One other thing I would suggest - take pictures of your mom with you, with your kids, going places and doing things. Go through old family pictures and have her write on the back - who, what, where, when. And also any special family antiques, furniture, pictures, clothing etc. It could be a relaxing, fun time and good memories.
My mom died recently. She and Dad had finished all the legal paperwork several years earlier, and this gave us more time to relax and 'just be' with her. She had also taken time to go through the old china, special tableclothes, jewelry etc and let us know what meant somthing to her, who gave it to her etc. As difficult as her death was, she made it easy for us in that she did as much pre-planning and work before she became too ill, and in turn, we were able to spend more time with her and less time worried about what was to come after she was gone.
You're not alone, there is a lot of support for individuals who are going through the same thing you are. Check online for bereavement classes, programs; and/or grieving.
You're in my thoughts.
S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.F.

answers from Denver on

Dear L.,

I am sorry you have to deal with this again so soon.

I am a strong believer that God has us go through things so that we can help others. I just was not expecting it so soon. You see I just lost my father in law at the end of September from cancer also. I should say father, as I knew him longer than I did my own father. Any way Dad lived two doors down from us and shared the same Birthday as my son (his only grandson). Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer last November right around his birthday. My kids 15 & 5 (son & daughter) they were blessed to see grandpa almost every day of their lives. When he went into the hospice in mid Sept. he had gone from 185 lbs down to about 100 lbs. With our daughter we spoke with her several times about grandpa’s illness and how God was going to take him home soon. She gave him one of her favorite teddy bears to have with him in the hospice. He kept it by his side the whole time. When he did pass we were all there at the bedside including our youngest. She now has her teddy back and calls it grandpa. I talk with her whenever she wants or I sense that she is in need of a hug or talk. She has asked why God took Grandpa home and I have let her know that he had done his work here on earth and yes, God is sad for us when we are sad about him being gone. But God has made grandpa healthy again and we will see him again.

All of this to say my kids were glad that they were there with grandpa through the whole thing. When our son was 4 we lost his great grandma who also at the time was two doors down. We talked about what he remembers from her time with him, and even though he was there again that night when she passed he does not remember too much of it and only really remembers they fun they had together. I strongly recommend that you let them enjoy the time with Grandma, as they will remember the good over the bad. Besides as much as we want to shelter our kids from hurt we can’t. Just make sure you are there with them to talk about their pain and let them see that you hurt too, but that you will be there for them and they are safe with you.

God bless

J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.H.

answers from Denver on

Hi, I am sorry to hear that your mother is sick. My mother died from lung cancer less than a year after diagnosis. She stayed in her own home until she went into the hospital about a week before she died. She died in the hospital. I only had one child at that time, and he was a baby, but I took him to see her all the time. She needed to see him, and I needed him to see her, even though he doesn't remember her at all now. I wouldn't worry about your children, they are still little and they will hopefully enjoy the time they have with her now, even though she is sick. Good luck and God Bless.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Provo on

Sorry to hear of your situation. It is hard to tell you of your mothers condition, how long, what to expect. Is she going through treatments? It really depends on the type of lung cancer she has and where else it has spread. Sometimes the conditions on the metatisized areas are the conditions to deal with. There is no question that it is going to be hard on everyone (including your mother). My advice is to take it one day at a time doing the best you can. In the end, that is the biggest life lesson for not only you, but for your children as well. As far as medical care for your mother, look at different programs around the area. There are great programs and centers that have options and answers.
God bless you and your family

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions