How should you address loved one's dying wishes when you don't want to do what they are asking of you?

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My nana, who is dying of endstage emphysema, and getting worse every day told the hospice chaplain that she wants to die with me and my two boys at her side....um, i love her with all of my heart and would do anything for her, and if i have to, I would be at her side, but I pray to God that when he decides to bring her home to please let him do it in her sleep....idk that i will be able to not totally lose it if im there when it happens, i know i dont want my 10 year old to endure that, and my 18 year old says no way, he can barely handle to come visit her periiodically b/c the ill lady in the other room is not his nana....so do I discuss this with her? Do i discuss it with hospice chaplain and ask him to talk to her about it, or do I just leave it it God's hands, since that's where it all is anyway. And am I selfish for even thinking any of this?

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Top Answer
I just don't think an elder should make the decision for a child to witness their death. It should be left up to the child. If that child has had a healthy and wonderful relationship with that elder, they will make the right choice, but it should be their choice and they should come to it by themselves.
Please all remember how sad we all are in our own lives while we deal with the transistions of those we love so much. All I do is cry.
No one is selfish, no one is angry and no one hurts like we all hurt in our own ways.
There is a world of difference between anger and grief. And our grief will surface in unusual ways.
blessings to all who take the time to answer and help those of us who need the help and support to make it through another day.

Pooh: you are right. God will decide and at the end of the day it all really doesn't matter. You and your children love your nana and she knows that and so does God. he will spare you and yours what you truly cannot handle and it's no concern to anyone but you and your children.
Your nana will be released from her pain and she will know the truth and the huge scope of your love and she will smile with the countenance of a saint when she takes her place in the heavens.

As for the thoughts of our 10 year old 'old soul', I am interested in what you have to say. You are a caring individual to take your time to help us and what you did wth your Dad and Grandad is so sweet and enough to bring me to tears. Just please be tender with us because we are bruised and broken with life and the pain we feel now is something you have already experienced and have the wisdom to help guide us and I for one thank you. Just be tender with Pooh and her children and Pamela and her amazing challenges while she cares for her mom. We are all tired and sore and ready to be on the BOAT!

Wish I had something more intelligent to say but I am in fear that my mom won't last the night and I can't stop crying. I want her to be released from her suffering but the selfish part of me dosen't want her to go. Ow. Hurts so bad. I hope I'm next to her when it happens.
I sat ther so long yesterday that my butt fell asleep. I didn't realize it was asleep until I tried to walk across the room. I'm walking like one of Jerry's kids and mom sees me and gives me the eyebrows as in what's up and I said A** asleep and she laughed. I could live with a sleepy butt forever if I could hear my mother's laugh.

Love to all and please let's love each other. In some cases we are all each of us has. (Like my case).

lovbob
pooh, my heart goes out to you in your situation. There are so many choices. I'm sure your nana's main concern is that she doesn't want to die alone. I can understand her wanting you there but not your kids. You don't want them to experience it so they shouldn't plan to be there, they're your kids and you know what's best for them. Maybe you and the chaplain can find some way of reassuring nana that someone will be with her if possible. When my dad passed away at home, my 20yr old daughter and I were on our way out to get groceries when a huge thunderstorm blew in so we stayed waiting for it to get over. Dad died peacefully with us by his bedside giving him words of encouragement. To this day, we both are thankful for that storm or we'd have missed saying goodbye. On the other hand, my grandma died all alone in the hospital a few hrs after my daughter and I'd been to visit. It makes me sad to think she was by herself. To be there or not be there is such a personal decision. If you choose not to be there don't feel guilty about it. Nana could pass in the middle of the night in her sleep and it's doubltful you'd be there anyway. I truly believe she's afraid and just wants to know she won't be by herself. Sometimes a dying wish is impossible to keep.
pooh4292, the replies which have been shared with you thus far reflect tremendous compassion, wisdom and caring. The question and issue you pose is a sensitive and complex issue. I wholeheartedly understand and support your candid sharing that even though you love your nana, you would rather not be at her side when she takes her last breaths. There is nothing wrong with your wish. It is true that your nana does not wish to die alone. I am sure there are many people who feel the same way. Letting go is never easy. Don't allow yourself to crumble under the pressure of how you may be perceived because of what you feel and have shared here. If you are not present with your nana when she dies, your love for her will not be any less. In death, as in life, our individual comfort level should always remain visible. Your nana's expectation is hers, not yours. Let the chaplain know how you feel. I can't imagine a hospice professional who will not understand where you are emotionally on this issue. A good hospice professional will help you to sort through your feelings - if you wish to do so, but if you don't wish to sort through the issues at this time, there is nothing wrong with that, either. You may be on emotional overload and at your limit for the time being. I respect that, and understand. You need to move at your own pace. For me, fast-forwarding one's emotions to adjust to someone else's expectation of what you should be doing is not helpful or emotionally healthy.

Whatever your final decision may be, make it right for you. Love transcends rituals. Best to you, your children and your nana during this difficult period in your lives. Am saying a little prayer for right outcomes and guidance for you. Keep sharing if it helps any, ok?
Hi,this is tennessee's daughter.I am 10 years old.I helped my mom when my grandfather was sick and I was only six. I was in the ICU with him when I was six or seven.We basically lived with him for a while. We visited him as often as we could when he was in the hospital and nearly every day when he wasn't.I was with him because I loved him.My dad had cancer nearly all my life and I didn't go to a different room.I was four and younger. I went to the hospital with him and I didn't mind.I just wished for him to get better.I was in the same room he was in when he died I was asleep but I was in the same room.I woke up right after he died though. I thought he was asleep.
I think there are some wimps and selfish people on this sight and yes, I think you are selfish for thinking this pooh4292. You should forfill your mothers wish.And yes my mom gave me permission to write.
Ibarro, We all have to do what is best for us. I agree with you. It's not something I would want to do, and I think others should respect everyone's way of dealing with something that is very personal. People should not be criticized for how they handle any situation in life.Each one of us does the best we can!
Pooh, I think each case is different personally. My Dad had COPD and passed away two years ago quite suddenly. He had gone to the hospital for a kidney ailment and just got worse and passed quite unexpectedly. My Mom, sister, daughter, niece, nephew and his wife were all in the room with Dad. His 'girls' were all sitting on the bed with him when he took his last breath.....it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life but we all needed each other and he needed us. We talked to him and held him and rubbed his hands and arms until he was gone. We didn't think we could have ever done that beforehand but we knew it's what he wanted and drew our strength from him to be there. I would not change it for anything looking back. He left this life surrounded by the most important people in his life and he was happy. Hope this helps you make your decision.
Pooh what a great topic, and this is a great question.

My 21 yr old is like your son. He is sensitive and get's quite upset when he goes to see my mom, (his grandma). He always tries to be hard, but once he sets foot into her room and starts talking to mom he has to go out for a time, and he actually cries.

My 19 yr old on the other hand is quite good with my mom. He spends time, right next to her and reads to her, and makes her laugh. Whatever she needs he's there for her. He has always been able to make us all laugh.

I wouln't push my sons into anything they didn't want to do. If they chose not to be there I would accept it. I've already spoken about this with them and one never knows when that time comes what will happen. I may break down and they may need to be there for me, I just don't know. But as far as holding them to being there to watch someone die, I wouldn't commit them to that. They've gone through something similar with my X's mother and it took them a long time to get over it. Every child is different and mourns in different ways.

Sure they will get old, I pray they live a long healthy life. I pray they have a great relationship with God, a great family, and great health. But I would let them say what they wanted, and they themselves would have to live with it.

I pray that my moms transition is peaceful and that she not be afraid to let go. I also pray that same prayer for myself when my time comes.

I hope this helps.
first and foremost, i did state that if it had to be, I would be there by her side, holding her hand, doing whatever she wanted when she goes home, I just wish she would pass in her sleep, neither alone nor wirh us, just go to sleep and wake up with God. I would never deprive her of her wish, if that is God's will too, I was just stating my uneasiness with this. i lost my mom @ 7 y.o. in which nana took over, adopted me, raised me and gave up her life for me, I had no problem doing the same, i have been anything but selfish...and my 18 year old knows what he can handle, he came over tonight when she was having a very hard time, and it killed him to see her like that, that's not his nana and it's painful for him. I know adults who make choices to go see sick ones b/c of the pain it causes, it seems more understandable froma kid's pointn of view, esp one who has had a rough past himself...and as far as the 10 year old, i will give him a choice, but i dont want him to be traumatized by witnessing his nana die....that's gotta be painful and will break my heart...well whats not already broken....i can only imagine what it would do to a child that may not even grasp the reality of death, this will be his first. I appreciate the advice and the things that y'all shared in your experiences...I did talk to the chaplain today, and we prayed for what is God's will, for that is wht it all comes down to. She's declining rapidly and i've been there every minute she's needed me i wont abandon her in her last minutes, ijust wanted insight into how others felt and some opinions...didnt expect to be called selfish or have my son torn in to b/c of who he is and what he can handle :( sorry if im steppinng on toes...
i am taking like shifts, spending a good bit of time in her room, talking to her, holding her hand, stroking face, arms, belly....then i take a lil shift out of there, usually in my room....you know this whole process since nana moved in with me has been incredibly difficuilt, i wasnt prepared for it, but i knew without a doubt, here with me is where she needed to be, and knowing now that I was bringing her to my house to die (it began as rehab, and then her getting indepence to stay in a lil place closer to me, before we knew of the disease) I would do it all over again. Now, this phase, the "actively dying" phase is what is almost killing me, breaking my heart soooooo much, it's definitely the hardest thing I've ever gone through in life, and I've gone through a lot....the hospice nurse described it as one door thru the gates of heaven, and one still in our world, i do hope she makes that other step soon....she has children, siblings, her parents waiting for her, and up there she wont be saddled down with a lung disease or weakened bones.....
I'm so glad I found this place, if only I had looked earlier....but I'm thankful for all the support and advice I have found here in the short time I've been here.

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