How do you cope with a dying parent?


My mother is having an invasive surgery next Tuesday. She is high risk because she has so many underlying serious health issues. There's a decent chance she might not make it. She's had many near death experiences lately, we just never know which one will be "THE one." :( How do you cope with a parent who is always at such risk for dying? My mother was my best friend, before I met my husband. Now she got booted to number 2, but she's cool with that. ;) I struggle with mental health issues, including dependency issues, so this is extra hard for me. My mother is one of the few people who understand me, as is my husband. How to you keep trying to savor every moment, knowing that any moment could easily be the last? :(


I’m so sorry… I haven’t lost a parent yet… my husband lost his dad far too early…
I think it just takes lots of prayers and support…



You realize that this life is here to get us ready for eternal life! You encourage your mom to make frequent use of the Sacraments and to pray often. St Joseph is the patron of a happy death. Perhaps a Novena?


I cannot imagine the pain you are going through right now.

I am praying for you.


For me, I had to see God just as much in the death process as in the living part of my relationship with my dad. God gave me sooo many graces when my dad died after we took him off of life support after suffering from a massive heart attack. Toughest weeks of my life, but also some of the most beautiful too. My faith was strengthened beyond anything I ever imagined it would be in such a situation.

God will give you want you need if and when your mom passes. You just have to be open to it. Some people will do anything to avoid the grief and the pain when a parent passes, but in doing so miss some of the most beautiful blessings God will ever give you.

I will be praying for you and your family.


I would pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet a lot!

And include the closing prayer:

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless, and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments, we might not despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy Itself. Amen


St. Gemma Galgani is the patron saint of coping with loss of parents. I know someone who has a mother that appears to be in the long, slow slide into death and St. Gemma has REALLY helped them be strong and aware of God's presence during this period in their life. Ask St. Gemma to be your special friend in the Lord right now -- she will be with you and help you.

See a whole lot more about St. Gemma Galgani by clicking here and going to her website.


how did I? just deal with the day to day needs, all of them, especially the yucky ones no one but a daughter would do


[quote="prolifewife, post:1, topic:194921"]
How to you keep trying to savor every moment, knowing that any moment could easily be the last? :(


What last moment? Souls are eternal! Love is forever! God is eternal! There is no last....
Get close enough to dying, and you'll see it clearly for yourself.

What great distance do you feel will separate the two of you upon her death? Those who grow beyond the shells of their bodies and leave them behind do not travel some great impossible distance to be with God! *God is as close to you as your own breath * for gosh sakes!

How could you have forgotten Christ's own words to you....The Kingdom of God is within you, the Kingdom of God is at hand.... it is no further away than your own hand, no further away than your own breath. It is within you to see the Kingdom of God. All that separates you.... all that can ever separate you is your own perception.
If you choose to focus on this earth, you will see death and decay and fear and separation....
If you choose to look up, you will see...... forever. The Kingdom of God overlays this earth on a plane beyond what you normally notice (unless you're standing on death's door.) It is right here, all around you, no farther away than your own breath! When your mother begins to stand at death's door, she will begin to see both words .....simultaneously. It's realy quite something.

The only familiar thing I can compare it to is the phenomenon of when you've been in a dark theatre and they turn on all the house lights and it is so suprising to see everything and everyone else that you had never seen all around you up until that point, but that were right there beside you all around and all along!
It's both the gift.... and the curse..... of the near death experience to have seen that....
because a part of you misses having been there, ever after. Sigh. I do.
Sometimes bystanders can see the reflection of it in the eyes and be mesmorized by the mere reflection of all that....LIGHT.

Christ's own words to you were..... "blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God!" They do, you know. You can too! Your love for your mother puts you so much more than halfway there. It is the *clarity of the heart *that opens the eyes beyond normal vision. If you can manage to put aside all your preconceived notions, all your desires, and all your fears....
you will see the truth of Christ's words quite clearly for yourself. It doesn't require belief to be observable any more than gravity requires belief to be observable.

The growth of a human soul beyond its body is an incredible celebration on that other plane...
it's the greatest homecoming you'll ever see and space and time have no meaning there at all. When were you ever apart? A lifetime? A lifetime is no more than a moment....
You'll see.


I'm sorry. I know this is a tough time. My husband and I both lost our mothers in the last two years. And we find it so very hard to believe they are gone. My mother lived close by so I was used to seeing her often. My mother-in-law moved closer in her last six months (to live with my SIL) so we saw her at least once a week toward the end.

You cope by being sad and crying sometimes. That's the normal and good thing to do when we are likely to lose someone or after we do lose someone. Then you ask your husband for hugs.

What you can do is make memories while your mother is still in this world. That's what most of us do in our day to day lives anyway. The thing to do is just be conscious of the fact that the everyday things we do ARE real life even if they are mundane. If you can't visit often, you can still call. You just talk about the same things you'd talk about if your mother wasn't in danger of dying. And as Puzzleannie said, sometimes you do the things that no one but a daughter would do.



[there is no nice way]

[after ten years you will still be kicking yourself for the things you “should have done”]

[just pray for God’s Divine Mercy for them and for you]

[do everything humanly possible to make sure they have a priest before they die; very important for them and for you. More important for them and for you than anything else. If you have to, brief the priest on their mental state so he can be prepared going in. Although I suspect the priests are fully trained to deal with everything. Nevertheless … Nothing else matters.]


I don't know if this will help you or not..

I took care of my grandma during the time when she was first to middle stages with alzhiemers (SP?) I was only 16 at the time, I didn't understand it but I knew especialy toward the end to take every day as it was given, I loved her every moment. When she was having her ministrokes I learned to be extra cautiouse and make sure that she knew I loved her. I showed her I loved her by making sure I was there even when she couldn't remember ten minutes later who I was and why I was important to her. I knew and I made sure she knew though she didn't remember who or what I was that I loved her. When she did finaly go home I felt guilty that I was relieved but at the same time I had lost her so long ago I didn't know how to react. Now every year that goes by it just seems harder with out her, I think of a million more times I could have told her I loved her but I know I told her so much that some way, some how she had to know.

My Dad is dying with C.O.P.D now and once again I am watching the same spiral down hill as I watched with my grandma... I don't think there is a torture that can compare to wondering if the next time I call the ambulance if it will be the last.. what if I didn't say I love you enough? The answer is my friend is faith! I have to have faith as I did with my grandma, I have to take each day as it comes and make sure that I say it and I show it, I have to say in every way possible that I love him as I did for my grandma. I have to have faith that He knows how much I love him and I believe he does. You just have to take each day and do your best. You have to take each hospital visit and just have faith. Do not tear yourself up over this, just have faith and know that if you said I love you a million times each minute you will always think of one more time you could have said I love you when they have gone home. Have faith that God will let them know during those times. Stop beating yourself up over it. I know its scary, heck I'v been through this before but I am still scared to death as I know you are. If you need someone to unload on PM me, I am here.


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