My dad is dying from pancreatic cancer. He is at his home in North Carolina. I live in Los Angeles. His wife is caring for him. She is a nurse. My father is only 73 years old and was diagnosed in early February. He was totally active and was kicking age's butt until this monster robbed him. After surgery and chemo didn't work, the inevitable is happening. In March I flew with him to North Carolina to care for him. He and his wife were moving there from California for retirement. She stayed behind to get everything shipped, I went with him to care for him as he recovered from surgery and to take him to oncology appointments and such (he couldn't drive). Now, we count down the days or hours and I am torn on whether to go or not to see him in his final moments. I am not sure I want to remember him this way. But I also don't want to regret anything. I have told my stepmother this. My brother has decided to not see him this way. I understand that. I want to remember him the way I do now. I love him very much.

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If it was me, I'd go. The "sight" of him in his final days will quickly fade from your mind. I was with my dad throughout his final weeks, but yes, he looked terrible when he died. I was sure I'd never get that sight out of my head, but I couldn't conjure it up just a month later. I remember my healthy dad, not my dying one.

My dad and I had so many wonderful conversations in those last days, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. He didn't become unconscious until the day before he died.

I'm sure he'd want to see you and hold your hand if you could bring yourself to do it, but if all you can bear is to Facetime, so be it. Just don't paralyze yourself with fear over death itself. It's a natural conclusion to life. We aren't very pretty when we first arrive on this earth either, but our parents didn't turn away from our scrunched up faces and pointed heads then. :-)
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Reply to MJ1929

When I think about dying, I would like my family around me, holding my hands.
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Reply to kahill1918
IhaveQuestions Jun 13, 2021
That is my thought also. I believe I will feel them with me, no matter the circumstances....and I truly believe there is a comfort knowing you are there at the last second of your loved ones life. It's something you will always remember and for me I cherish knowing that my loved ones knew they were loved by our presence.
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I’m sorry you’re losing your father. Pancreatic cancer is silent and fast. I also lost my brother this way. I flew from California to the hospital inNew Jersey. He was also in his early 70s; still practicing law. I am old now but I still remember how happy and surprised he was to see me and I am so thankful that I went and visited him because it was the last time.
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Reply to psuskind1

Go see him, the good memories will replace the bad and it will bring him comfort to see you there.
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Reply to NYCmama

Dear smorris77,
What does "I love him very much," mean?
Do you love him enough to put aside your needs for the sake of his needs?
If he can hear you, go tell him all the things you want him to hear. In person.
You won't regret being kind in his final moments.
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Reply to LillianS

What would your gather like? You might not like seeing your father in these last days, but these memories will fade in favor of happier memories.
If you can gear up for a final visit, it will meaningful for your father and you will be glad you did it.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie

If you don't see him during his last days, and know you were able--you will regret that. Because when they die, that's it. They are gone forever. Once dead...too late.
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Reply to cetude

This one really sits on you, hard. Most people have aversion to seeing beloved ones in misery, and, in my opinion, also talks of personal strength of character. I know from first my own experience of dealing with cancer, how quickly some people disappeared in fast abandonment, and who showed up true blue. The wife that is a nurse , has a stressful and difficult situation and could use unconditional support. Just because she's a nurse, doesn't mean she isn't a human under major stress with a dying husband. Your position of "wanting to remember him" on your terms, is selfish... and since you are responsible for yourself and your well being, the choice is yours, and yours to live with for the rest of your life. And, you can feel good that you did step up to the plate when he was recovering from surgery. May you make a decision that will allow you a clear conscience and loving memories.
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Reply to cwinter

Before my dad passed away the family was with him. It was so sad to see him take his last breath, but I am glad I was with him during his final days. He was quite comfortable and peaceful the last days of his life. I held his hand throughout the night before he passed and it was so special to me. I feel contentment knowing we were there to give him support when he needed us most. I feel blessed I was able to say goodbye to my wonderful father.
Only you can make that decision. My thoughts and prayers are sent to both you and your dad.
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Reply to earlybird

Everyone has their own feelings about death. For me personally, I have been present for grandparents last minutes, a beloved uncles last minutes, and my own dear mother. Our whole family actually was there for all of them. And there is something inherently comforting as you are there with your loved one, touching them as their time gets closer and closer. Please believe me and others when they say that you will forget how your dad looks now. You will only remember him as he was his whole life. I know that when it is my time, I hope that my family will continue our caring "rituals" and be with me. I truly believe that I will know they are there and I am not alone. God bless you...
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