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How do you psychologically prepare for the death of a parent?


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Old 28th December 2016, 12:43 AM   #1
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How do you psychologically prepare for the death of a parent?

My folks are up in their early 80s. They are doing pretty well for their age and can take care of themselves, but I know they won't be around much longer. I'm close with both of them, and I'm dreading the inevitable. Any advice or pointers would be greatly appreciated, especially from those who have lost a lost a close loved one
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Old 28th December 2016, 12:48 AM   #2
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There really is no preparing that you can do that will help you deal with the loss any easier. Just make the time that you have left with them quality time and use it to show them how much they matter to you.
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Old 28th December 2016, 1:51 AM   #3
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I've accompanied my father as he died to cancer. It took over two years, I hope and expect that it'll be different in your family. It's good to familiarize yourself with the idea. Are you prepared as a family? Are financial and relationship issues sorted out? Make use of the time, there's a day after which you can't tell them things, regardless of how bad you want to. Also help your siblings or the surviving partner in this regard. Some people regret not having had a certain conversation with someone before they died and it can eat at them for the rest of their life.
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Old 28th December 2016, 10:44 AM   #4
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I lost my sweet Father almost 10 years ago. The biggest thing like others said is spend quality time, have those conversations, be kind and gentle on them. After the fact, engage in activities, have distractions, be busy, spend time with the alive. Give yourself some time to process. Write letters to them, write down your feelings, let it all out, talk about them with others, keep their memory alive, pray to them/talk to them.. love them from your heart.
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Old 28th December 2016, 10:57 AM   #5
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Just let them know how much they mean to you, and let your time together be joyful.

Don't let any loving words go unsaid.



Take care.
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Old 28th December 2016, 11:38 AM   #6
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You're very blessed to have both of your parents live until their 80's. I've never had a couple of my family tree with both members living that long.

Have you dealt with the death of other close relatives before? Obviously parents are a special bond, but anytime you lose a close relative it's the same general feelings.

My Mother passed away in her early 50's after a year bout with cancer, and it didn't take long after she was diagnosed to get in the frame of mind that I was going to lose her. You pre-grieve over what you know is going to happen, and then you get over it and have another grieving once you lose them. At least if you have time to process it in advance.
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Old 30th December 2016, 2:22 PM   #7
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My mom died six years ago when I was in my very early twenties.

There's not a lot you can do other than cherish them while they're alive. Ask questions about their life and history you'd regret not finding out.

When the time comes, be prepared for a rough ride. My mom was only 57, but I find it sad when people try console older bereaved kids with 'they had a good innings!' As if their advanced age means that the death is easy to handle.

Grief is difficult but it is survivable. Every last one of us will experience it and most of us come out the other side and carry on with our lives. Is there a reason you're worrying about this right now?
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Old 30th December 2016, 3:08 PM   #8
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I'm not sure you can really prepare psychologically and/or emotionally. Get the tangible things in order, so when the time comes you have the space to grieve. Wills, advanced directives, finances, the house if there is one—these are things you can prepare. Do so. Hopefully you'll have some advanced warning, instead of sudden deaths, which will give you some time to get used to the idea.

Even so, it's one of the hardest and most surreal things to go through. There's no way to prepare yourself. You'll just have to get through it when it happens, one day at a time.
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Old 30th December 2016, 3:22 PM   #9
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Besides the legal stuff, my mom and I talked about death long before her stroke and psychosis and sometimes even after when she was lucid. There was a clear path to follow and we had no unfinished business and had a good relationship and dealing with dad's death years earlier provided an additional roadmap. Unfortunately, people we love die. I don't think there's a formula for accepting that in a consistent and pleasant way so we just do the best we can at the time.
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Old 30th December 2016, 6:58 PM   #10
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You can't. Aside from the obvious, getting financial affairs in order and spending as much time with them as you can... Nothing prepares you for the inevitable loss.

I remember, after the loss of my mother, thinking "I just don't know how to exist in this world without her. I'd never been without her a day in my life." I'm still not used to it.

So many times I get this sense... That I need to call her because it's been so long since we've spoken... I cherish my memories and I miss her, every single day.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobouspo View Post
My folks are up in their early 80s. They are doing pretty well for their age and can take care of themselves, but I know they won't be around much longer. I'm close with both of them, and I'm dreading the inevitable. Any advice or pointers would be greatly appreciated, especially from those who have lost a lost a close loved one
Just enjoy the time you have with them now. They are happy and healthy so why prepare yourself for something that is out of your control? There's no way to emotionally get ready for it unless you want to cut them out of your life and detach...Though I doubt very much you want to do that. Love them with all your heart, appreciate them and make sure they know how you feel about them.

My father died of cancer when I was in my early 20's. It wasn't easy to watch him go through it all and suffer.. even though we knew the 'end' was coming, one is never prepared.
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Old 4th January 2017, 7:49 AM   #12
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I think about this every day and I don't know how to handle it either.

I am lucky to still have both my parents at 51. They are both active and independent still but once in a while we have a health scare with them and we know one of these days it will be the last scare especially for my father who's older and had multiple strokes.

Then I am reminded how life is fragile and they may survive me, when we wake up in the morning we have no idea what is in store for us and every day may be our last day. My ex-h died suddenly with no warning at 54 and his mother 85 buried him.
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