A friend is dying


#1

I may have posted about this before I can't remember. A friend of mine is dying. He is 94 and to be honest, when I first met him 10 years or so ago, I though to myself 'nice guy but don't get to attached he will be gone soon'. But over the years he slowly became one of the BEST friends imaginable. He even became the wise old man that will be around forever.

Well.... he just moved from the hospital to a nursing home. I suspect there is nothing more the hospital could do for him so they wanted to free up the room for someone else and finally a bed came up in a nursing home.

It is so sad because he has lost most of his physical capacities and lies in bed practially all day long except for the 2 hours he spends in his wheel chair that nurses have to put him in and out of.

The worst part is, he is 100% mentally there. Sure at times he is cranky and he has trouble carrying on a conversation at times because he is tired. But nothing more than simply being human. In fact, he is suffering so, it is amazing he is not more cranky.

He has made a few comments that have led me to believe he just wants God to end his suffering. Ouch......... That hurts to hear him say that. I told him 'I know it is selfish but I can not live without you, I don't want you to go'

And in an odd way, it has made me feel very grateful to be able to experience a man's last moments on this earth before he goes to join our Heavenly Father. I can not judge but I would bet my friend will make it to Heaven. Of course I don't ask him what can I do to help ensure his salvation because I don't want him to think I think he is dying.

It is sad and beautiful in a mixed and weird way. Friday, I found out what my bonus at work would be. So I was happy to know I would have money to go and buy him some posters to decorate his room. I was so excited Friday when I was trying to brainstorm what to buy him. Today, I went to the Christian store and bought some nicde posters and a crucifix for him. The second I signed the visa bill and the purchase was final, a big saddenest came upon me. I realized that I can buy as many posters as I please, that will not extend his life. And I just wanted to cry. The nursing home he is in is a bit of a distance from my place and I will only be able to o see him once a week. I am SO scared he will dye before I have the chance to bring him his posters.

It is truly a test from God and it is so odd that I actually feel honoured to have it

CM


#2

Losing a dear friend is just so painful.

Ask the staff to keep you informed if he may pass... they might need his permission to let you know.

Pray that he goes painlessly.

The lovely thing is that it sounds like he lead a long rich life. And with good friends to boot. When my grandmother passed we held a birthday party for her. Figuring she was starting fresh in her afterlife...

enjoy as much time with him as you can. Perhaps you can call him daily as well???

Take Care,


#3

Yes, I agree the staff may have strict rules about what information they can let out.

Calling him is NOT an option. He does not have a phone in his room and even if he did, he would probably not be able to pick it up. It would be a BIG physical struggle to him.

I acutally bough 14 thinking of you cards today and plan on snail mailing 1 per week. Knowing him, he will enjoy the though but hate the clutter. He is the MOST unmaterialistic person I know. But again the best I can hope for is his last fews days will be that much brighter because of my cards

As warped as this sounds, I will look back at this period of my life as one of the best times of my life. I see him a lot more now than before (never had the need to constantly go by) and I do have a purpose in my life. Just hate knowing my purpose could be over any minute

Also, we now always pray together, and to see someone enjoy my prayers as much as me is awesome

CM


#4

I will pray for you and him. May Christ comfort you and welcome your friend home.

Yours in Christ.


#5

I just lost my 96yo mother last November, so I know what its like to see someone you love nearing the end of their (long) life.

A few random thoughts: Your friend may be 94 and physically incapacitated, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is actively dying. Maybe he was released from the hospital because his condition was no longer acute and he no longer had medical needs that required a hospital stay. Nursing homes get a really bad rap as a place where people go to die, and certainly they are not perfect, and there are some that are better than others. But if he is medically stable, the nursing home may be appropriate placement since he needs around the clock assistance with his personal needs.

Does he have family? If so, do they know you and he are friends? You can ask them to keep you in the loop about how he is doing. Family would be the primary emergency contact people, but they may be willing to keep you informed. If he doesn't have family, or if they do not live locally, it may be possible to have you be listed on the emergency contact information. When you go visit him, ask to have the social worker stop by the room. She may be able to facilitate having you listed on his chart if he requests it.

I left the nursing home field 11 years ago to become a SAHM, but even then the last facility I worked at had a cordless phone they could bring to the resident's room if they had a phone call. There are times of day when the staff is busier than others, but maybe you can work out a time convenient to the staff when you could call and they could bring the phone to him for a few minutes.

Spending time with people you love during their waning years is bittersweet. I miss my mom terribly, and one of the hardest things I ever had to do was kiss her goodbye the last time I saw her alive. But it is also one of my most precious memories and one that I am so grateful to have.

I will pray for you and your friend.


#6

Wow. I am so sorry to hear that. :(

It sounds as though he is the Mr. Chips type of character. That book made me cry so hard. And I was a selfish, bratty, 2nd grader at the time. :o

I am truly sorry to hear that the world is going to lose such a great man. However, it is joyous that Heaven will surely be recieving the same man.

I had an experience similar to this when my grandpa from my Dad's side passed away. He had cancer. He was a tough guy though. He fought with everything he had. I remember sitting in his hospital room and we we're listening to a cd that the pianist from Church had put out. Their was one song in particular that really got me. It was talking about going home, and what that might be like. What it would be like, in Paradise. I remember looking at my Grandpa as that song was playing. He had this look of total contentment. That nothing in the world mattered anymore, that he knew everything was alright. Even as he lay on his deathbed, he somehow found the courage and strength to trust in God that it would all be over soon, and that he would see Him in Heaven. Such humility made me cry. I didnt cry though, as I didnt want him to think I was "being soft". But it takes great courage for a man to cry.

I will pray for your friend. I hope everything works out alright in the end. I hope he goes painlessly. And from what you've told us about him, I am sure that he will get to go to Heaven. God Bless. :gopray:


#7

My 46 year old brother died a little over a year ago. My sister and I kind of expected Christmas 2009 to be his last, but he didn't make it. He went from the hospital to hospice. Your friend is only went to a nursing home, not hospice, so he most likely is not dying.


#8

Is your friend Catholic? If he is, get his permission to ask a priest to come to him and administer the Sacrament of the Sick. If he is 94 years old, and seems to be declining that is reason enough. Your friend may be of the generation that still associated the Sacrament of the Sick with being at death's door so you may have to explain to him that we understand it differently today. Give him the comfort that the Church has for those who are very ill, along with the chance to go to confession and receive Holy Communion. You will never regret it.


#9

[quote="cmscms, post:3, topic:229015"]

I acutally bought 14 thinking of you cards today and plan on snail mailing 1 per week. Knowing him, he will enjoy the though but hate the clutter. He is the MOST unmaterialistic person I know. But again the best I can hope for is his last fews days will be that much brighter because of my cards
**
As warped as this sounds, I will look back at this period of my life as one of the best times of my life. I see him a lot more now than before (never had the need to constantly go by) **and I do have a purpose in my life. Just hate knowing my purpose could be over any minute

Also, we now always pray together, and to see someone enjoy my prayers as much as me is awesome

CM

[/quote]

This does not sound warped. You are ministering to your friend. He has been a blessing in your life. And he cannot reciprocate right now, which means you are truly loving him out of your best self, not because he can give you anything back. It is unconditional love which always brings us into Jesus' grace, right?

Why not pray the rosary for him every day? He can't take your call, but he can feel your prayers - and they will have an effect. Even if you aren't there when he passes, you will have given him a gift that matters.

If his family knows you, let them know that you are praying for him too. They will appreciate it. (Assuming they are also good people). Prayers are the treasures we can store up in heaven. It is like winning the lottery to have people praying for us.


#10

Thanks everyone for your kind replies.

He actually is a priest so I am sure someone will take care of the last rites. But that means he has no children and most of his nieces and nephews are no longer around (to be expected at 94).

I know he has one cousin. I did meet her at the hospital once. She does not come around very often which I suspect hurts my friend. However, I pass no judgement since I figure she has her reasons and they are between her and God.

I think I will tell the nursing home to please take my number and call me if something happens. I will also tell them to let me know if he needs anything like socks or undershirts or what have you.

Arlene, I am so sorry about your mom. I am glad you got to give her that one last kiss.

The Real Julianne, what an excellent idea. But I must admit, I will probably just say a few Hail Mary's. Never could get into the daily rosary habit

I am sure as time goes by I will post more about him

One last thing. I know he has another friend that visits him regularly. A retired doctor. I have met this man and he is a nice guy. (what can I say, I am possessive of my friend and secretly 'inspect' anyone that goes near him :p). It makes me happy to know someone else he trust is there for him as well

CM


closed #11

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