Watching someone die slowly, painfully.

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My long time best friends mom recently died of liver failure (alcohol).
For 9 month she was in hospital, much of which I spent there visiting and saw the worst of it.
I’m not sure what to make exactly of my feelings about it. On one hand it was super sad and traumatic as watching anyone suffer and die would be and of course by default she was dear to me.


On the other hand, I don’t feel as deeply saddened as say my friend does, because this isn’t my mother we’re talking about.


Watching this incredibly intimate thing happen to someone who wasn’t my blood has me feeling odd about how to process the death.


Any insight would be appreciated.
Thank you.

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I am so sorry for the loss of your friend’s mom and your witnessing her suffering before she passed.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no script or schedule. There is no saying “I should feel this way” or “I shouldn’t feel that way.” You see your dear friend’s grief and you may feel inadequate because you don’t feel or grieve the same way. On some level, you may even feel your friend’s mom hastened her death by her alcohol abuse. Let yourself grieve without judging yourself and thinking you’re not doing it right. Watching someone die is very traumatic and it takes a while for us to “thaw out”,so to speak. Your grief could subside in a week, or become more intense. Spend time with your bereaved friend and talk things out if your friend feels like talking, or just sit quietly with them. Let your feelings of grief come and go as they will and don’t dissect them. If you feel overwhelmed or confused, speak with your pastor if you have one or another trusted friend. Talking it out and over helps. And come back here whenever you feel the need. We’re here 24/7.
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Suzyq,
I'm hoping that your friend's mother was in a hospice program and receiving medication to keep her out of pain or anxiety.
If not, I think you can see the value of end of life hospice care.

It's a terrible thing to watch someone's life slowly decline. I would much rather get hit by a bus and have it be over instantly than linger in pain for many months. But we don't necessarily get what we want.

If I were to have a terminal illness, my first consideration would be for my own comfort, then that of my family. I would make arrangements to have as many conveniences as possible at my disposal, to make my limited life easier. I also would do whatever I wanted to do before I got to the point that I could no longer function well. I would hope that my loved ones would be close or at least able to visit occasionally.

I guess it also depends on what you believe happens AFTER death. If you believe in an afterlife with God or a Higher Being, then only the physical life is over and the spiritual life continues with the soul in a Heavenly realm.

You may find that you'll process this over many months. In your friend's mother's case, it sounds like death would have been a welcome relief from a non-functioning body.
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