Going to see a former bandmate in hospice soon.

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by amstratnut, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Jaguar Convert Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I was talking about this to my wife today. Why don't we do "living funerals" for those who are terminal, but still able to talk to, and listen to their friends/loved ones?
    Of course, living funeral is a pretty harsh term.. but why not show people we care while they have the capability of hearing it????

    all the pomp and circumstance over a body in a casket, but IMO, it would be so much better to talk to that person while alive, and say what you need to say, then. In the scenarios where that's possible, of course.

    People might think that's morbid.. but I think funerals are morbid, and usually preachy, in my area. I had two aunts die in their 50s and 60s in the last calendar year, and another (on the other side of my family) has late-stage cancer in her 50s. Both of those funerals turned into an extended grandstanding session from the preacher, versus honoring my aunts' lives.

    If I had a choice, I'd prefer not to have one for myself. Just throw a party in some bingo hall, or something. Have some people say a few speeches, whatever. I'll be dead, I won't care.. Or i'll be flying through some psychedelic afterlife scenario.. and I also won't care.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  2. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    When you are 'interred' in a rehab hospital, it is a very difficult space.
    Firstly, you are perceived by staff as one of two types of patients... one recovering or one without a chance.
    So many different things go through your head, and combined with the effects of the medication being pumped into you, the true 'reality' is never understood... until you get home and get yourself off the medication as quickly as possible.

    Visitation is not just about 'keeping up appearances'. Visitors probably have no idea that you are completely off your face, without any true grasp of the level of medication.
    There's a fine line between pleasure and pain.... or so Chrissy said.
    Many visiting friends and family leave thinking "they're on the mend, there's nothing wrong" and "he'll be out in a day or three"... except it's at least 3 months, which is maybe 2 months longer that you even thought as the patient...

    As a visitor:
    What is really important is that you show up. Whether you understand or not, showing up and sitting down and saying "hi, how are you?" is a moral support that is not measurable. Just don't be insincere. If you think someone looks like ****, say it with a smile and a laugh. make a joke about it.
    If you are concerned, be honest and say so. It makes the conversation frank and easier to deal with.

    If you ask someone if they need anything and they say 'no', then you know that is saving face. Everyone in that situation needs an act of kindness to uplift them. It's never forgotten. Maybe it's as simple as a bag of crisps or non-hospital food (be aware of patient treatment) or maybe a chocolate bar or a bottle of single malt for 'when you get home' and a cheer-up... maybe something as simple as asking the nurse to make them comfortable... Generally, it's simple little obvious things that make a big difference.

    If you can't handle it, it's a time for you to briefly persevere and learn a life lesson, before making a graceful, dignified exit. It's clearly understood and accepted by the patient and not held against you, even if you find yourself confronted or embarrassed by your lack of ability to cope with the situation.

    Everyone has a different coping mechanism. The most classic is patient false bravado.
     
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  3. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Jaguar Convert Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yep. I worked in a retirement home right out of college, one thing that stuck with me is a lady who lost her husband a decade or more prior.. She lamented the fact that nobody came to see him in his last weeks/months. They didn't want to see him in that condition.. but all he wanted to have is some of his friends come and see him. There is so little joy in these situations, and I guess just even seeing an old friend would mean everything.
     
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  4. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-O-Master

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    That was great that you saw your friend. I had a very similar experience about 9 months ago when one of my very best friends had his kidney cancer come roaring back from remission with a vengeance. We played cards and things were starting to really get dicey. After everyone left I told him that I promised I’d be there for his wife if she needed anything. I did quite a bit of work for them (electrical and plumbing) for free because I knew he just couldn’t handle it in his condition. He said he really appreciated it and shook my hand. A few days later the cancer just skyrocketed and he passed away. Hopefully you can offer to help his family if they need it. I’m sure that’s the best gift you can give your friend. I check in and text his wife at least every 2 weeks to make sure she’s okay. Good luck to you and your friend.
     
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  5. CigBurn

    CigBurn You should see the other guy. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The only gift you can really offer at this point is your own well spent time.

    You did fine I'm sure and the gift, appreciated beyond expression.
     
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  6. StratMike10

    StratMike10 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I’ve done this for friends and family more times than I can count with two hands. So hard... you can never prepare for something like this, you have to trust that you’re there because you’re wanted there no matter what.
    You did well.
     
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  7. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Time is the most precious gift we can give.

    Listening might be next in line.

    You strike me as a decent man...just be a friend to your friend.
     
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  8. artisan4

    artisan4 Strat-Talker

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    My wife was in hospice, she was unable to speak but indicated that she knew that family and friends were there. I'm sure it helped with her passing knowing she was surrounded by people who loved her. That is what matters.