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I have had some boughts of high anxiety and fear for some reason it has taken a hold of me at times. I wonder if anyone else has that when they are watching a loved one in their last days on this earth. I have cried. I have taken walks. I have been hot all over my body and I know that is a stress response. Lord help us all of us who are there to the bittersweet end of our loved ones life. The pain in the chest is so hard. I wish I could make it go away. Thank you to all that answer and send hugs. Your words are so comforting and the love in this site is the greatest. Blessings.

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Cookie thank you for sharing your heart as well. You are right nothing is as draining as this time now and I try to maintain that smile and strength only the Good Lord gives me to make it through. I so appreciate you wonderful people on here more than you will ever know. God Bless.
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Oh yes thank you so much for your words AlwaysMy Duty. Dads sure are special and so much in the heart for real. It is hard to write tonight. My heart is heavy and I am asking God to lift the pain and fear out of me for He is the only one in control now....I am thankful for each new morning I see my father with the sun on his face when I open the bedroom door and it is another day I have with him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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Crystal, oh what a precious dad you have. I'm glad you've had this time together to share good times. Isn't it just like a loving dad to make sure his daughter is going to be ok. When you said nobody could fill his shoes, ever...I feel that way about my dad to this day. I know I post a lot on AC about my late mom and what a hateful, mean, narcissist she was BUT it is my father who influenced me most. Very few people/family know what my mom did but you can be assured they know about how wonderful my dad was! It is rare my kids and I even mention mom but every time we are together we remember dad and vow to be more like him. You know, I think my dad would beam with that sweet, shy smile of his to know how much he was loved by everyone and that nobody has ever said a cross word about him. The gift of a loving parent is like none other in life!
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Thank you so much Mary for sharing your story too. No one will know until like you said they have lived it. We caretakers live it. Eddie I am taken back a bit about your Death Row comment..but I think I get your point. Trust me I have been and done it all alone these past few years on top of my own illnesses. I have been taking care of my father for over two years nonstop and yes I have been grieving probably most of those two years as well with all he and I have gone through between chemo, falls, sickness - the whole nine yards. I have not had any good sleep in weeks but know tonight I must sleep. Today was a good day. One in which I put on some old records and Dad and I had some great memories shared with those old albums. My father is a jazz drummer so his music has always been a close thing to my heart as well. The last few days we have talked and listened and comforted each other as he knows and he is telling me - Everything will be okay. He has said that over and over. I just did a blog post where I posted a video and the song Wind Beneath My Wings - That is my Father - my hero. Always was and always will be. Live in the heart. You got that right. No other man could ever touch Dads shoes. Ever. That's just the way it will be forever. Hard to see it. Harder to say goodbye but I know my Father will not be suffering anymore and he will be in the Peace he so deserves. We never want to lose our parents and when you watch the decline month after month..well you start to decline as well. I think I have hit the bottom but I will climb back up with the strength and love of my family, friends and the Good Lord above. Without Him I could of never made it this far. Thank you to all you wonderful caretakers! Blessings.
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CRYSTAL:

Sorry if I sound a bit insensitive, but sounds like you're on Death Row yourself. When my father's time approached, I could barely sleep. At work, sometimes I locked myself in the office for a cry-lunch. Other times I wished I could go with him because I couldn't imagine my life without him. Put simply, I went up and down the Stages of Grief I don't know how many times. At first, it might feel a piece of you dies too. Eventually you realize that their spirit lives on, within you.

Dad's last words were "Thank you;" mine were "I'll see you later."
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I am brought to tears reading your post. I have felt all those feelings. Even though my dad has been gone a long time, the feelings can still be raw at times. We, as the kids, just do not want to let go of the parent who loved and cared for us, who taught us how to get through life, who secretly cried with joy AND sorrow when we left the nest, and who would always share our accomplishments and failures. I had years to prepare for dad's death but when it came to the end, I went to pieces. I was with him when he drew his last breath after I told him it was ok to let go, we'd be ok, and he could go to heaven and be with God and his family. Those were the hardest words I ever had to speak. The last lesson my dad taught me was how to not be afraid to die, sad as it sounds. He died with dignity and peace. He no longer was in pain, his suffering was over. He no longer looked ill but was the handsome man he had always been. I could let go and begin the process of honoring his life every day for the rest of my life. What a joy it was to have been his daughter!! I know I will see him again one day.
All of us go through the death of a loved one in our own way. It is very difficult but it is inevitable. Cherish every minute with your dad, crystal. Even when he is gone, please know he will always be in your heart. Those of us who have gone through this understand your sadness and are here to support you. Prayers and peace, Mary
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Thank you Cookie. It is not my Mom it is my Dad. That is okay. You are right I may be holding on too tight but that pain is rough. I told him the other day Daddy it is okay to go as I had a few real scares. His eyes were opening and shutting while he was sleeping and then rolling in the back of his head. I never seen him do that before. Then the other morning I could not see the blanket moving and kneeled beside him removed the blanket and put my hand on his stomach to feel his heartbeat. It was slow and then he awoke. We have had so many talks and he cries. It is heartbreaking to hear him but I know he is telling me these things so not to worry. He keeps asking me When is it going to happen? Lord that is another hard one. He said Jesus I am ready and thank you. I had to hold that moment in for he has never said anything like that before. I am reflecting on hwat you said about holding on too tight. The pain also in my spine is from my surgery so it is amplified at this time due to the stress. It burns. I go out to my porch and try to write my feelings. I am a Poet and I am trying to write a poem as I have written so many and there is where my heart is also in the words I feel to express love and peace through God Almighty. If not for Him I would not still be standing this strong although weak in mind but strong in spirit. I know He is watching and He will provide the strength we all need. Saying goodbye is never easy and we as human beings may sometimes be selfish for not wanting them to go. It is just our nature to hold on I suppose. God will give me the strength and peace when Daddy passes over to the beautiful valley where there is no more pain and no more tears. When I write this my heart is heavy. This site has me bearing my soul to everyone as your soul meets mine in your responses I feel it as well. Ms Daizy I wish you were here and we could have coffee together. Your heart is so beautiful and I put my hand on your heart today as well and ask the Lord to heal the pain of loss of one so dear. We are truly gifted to have such beautiful parents and they are gifted to have such beautiful children who tend to them through all their rough times just as they tended to us throughout our lives. Thank you in much sincerity and heart to you all here. Lord give us Peace. Your Peace. Amen.
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It is so not fair...to see the ones we love and cared for go through such an agonizing process of death. I know what you are saying...mom held on for so long. The nurses would give us a time line and she would surpass that time. I think that's why we stayed with her for a straight 48 hours. Because we hung on her every breath...but taking a break, walking away, and crying is all part of the process. You are the one that is hurting..he is medicated and comfortable. I know its so hard to realize it but we on the other side of the bed are the ones that feel the most anguish. Because the site of our loved one dying is the worst. I hope and pray it is over soon for you....Only then will you begin to breath and feel peace. God be with you dear. ((hugs)) and much love. Debbie
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Oh Crystal, my heart aches with you. The agony of watching our parents slide away DESPITE our best effort(s) is gut wrenching.I hung on every breath my mom breathed during the night for a solid year. Nothing worse than leaning into a baby monitor to be sure they are still breathing. She's better now but the next shoe could drop at any time and I know it. During these agonizing nights I realized that as hard and tight as I was holding on I needed to understand it was time to come to come to terms with the process of letting go. The bad news is we loose our loved ones a little piece at the time and we grieve every time they slip a little futher. The good news is that this is your opportunity to love her with compassion and mercy. This is the time to remind yourself that YOU are a GIFT to her and she is a gift to you. It is by meeting the needs of the most vulnerable that we are most God-like. Allow yourself to work through the "transition" of letting go and accepting that you've consistently done your best. You my dear have told her you loved her many times but YOU have more importantly SHOWED her your love. The difference is night and day. SaAs they say, "say it less-mean it more". I would say the process of learing to let go is a spiritual one. We think if we care enough, stay attentive enough, educate ourselves enough we can postpone the enevitable. And maybe we can for only a time. Live TODAY. Let yesterday go. Don't worry about tommorrow. Keep yourself ready for whatever comes by accepting that change and death is as much a part of life as birth and living. You are there for your loved one everyway. That takes strength and foritude that not everyone has or ever will have. You have been choosen for such a time as this. You are loved and YOU are not alone. Remember we can't place comma's where God places a period. The anxiety you speak of and the pain in you chest is there because your still holding on sooo tightly. Release your pain and step into this TRANSITION OF ACCEPTANCE. To do this will give you a strange peace. Also, keep in mind that you are really not in charge. You've never really been in charge...God is and he's got you. Close your eyes in a quiet place and imagine angles pouring out the oil of mercy, strength and love upon your head. Feel it running down your body and penetrating the depths of your heart and healing your hurt. This is the source of answers, acceptance and the strenghth you must have to go on and be a caretaker. God Bless You sweet sister. xo CookieMeachum
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