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Dad’s pancreatic cancer has metastasized and he is feeling more fatigued, unable to eat as much as he used to. “Well-wishers “ (especially extended family) keep talking like he’s already dying. I’m grateful for thoughts and prayers and all acts of kindness but I admit a part of me wishes for no contact (at least at this moment), their preaching and holier than thou attitude, is getting me down. I almost feel like a puppy being patted on the head—oh you poor thing, your mom died 9 years ago and now you have this. The most critical ones have not yet experienced the deaths of their parents nor do they have experience with this type of illness yet talk as if they know better and treat us like a duty, a charity case. It’s sad because the last time I saw most “family” was at mom’s funeral. Since then, no attempts at a real connection. Just a lot of judgment and pity. So sad that people rush over for imminent death but are not around for life. Has anyone else had to endure this?

DO NOT RESPOND.
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Reply to ALVISE
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I remember I had a similar situation with my father who dying of lung cancer. At the time my father’s condition was deteriorating, but he was still in fair condition and cognitive. My mother and I decided that it was time that he should see his sisters and they should see him before he passes in the hospital. When they came to see him they told me afterwards, Well, he is not dying yet! I just ignored their comment because that was the whole point of the visit, to see my father while he is still in good condition to talk to his sisters before he would become worse and pass.

I think that so many families are not taught how to love one another as a family and they become estranged from one another.
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Reply to Ricky6
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https://www.agingcare.com/questions/how-to-tell-dad-these-relatives-dont-want-to-see-him-469588.htm?orderby=helpful

So I am confused. I know one post you talked about relatives in the Philippines asking for money and you needing to cut them off. The above post you ask how can you tell Dad relatives just don't want to visit.

So who are these "well wishers" and do they visit or just email and/or text. If they visit without calling first, than ask that they call first because it may not be a good time or day to visit. This means not a good day for Dad and not a good day for you. If its email or text, ignore it. People who have never experienced have no idea.
When they do visit. Leave them alone with Dad. Go take a walk or a drive. "You know while your here, I think I'll run to the store". Stay out as long as you think Dad can hold up for a visit. Then come back and say "so nice you visited but Dad looks really tired". They should take the hint and leave.

I find that the only people who show up when death is imminent are those who want something after the person dies. Otherwise, people stay away. I did have an Aunt, that I am sure if my Mom was dying in her home, would be over to make sure I was doing it right and making her "suggestions". My brother had a knack of putting her in her place. Of course, it usually hurt her feelings but I find people like her seem to get their feelings hurt easily. Or, they get indignant.

When it all comes down to it, Dad needs peace. If these "well wishers" are visiting and that makes him happy then you may just need to trudge thru it. When he passes, you can do what needs to be done and never see or hear from these people again.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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LeahO71 Aug 31, 2021
These are relatives from my mom’s side, who live in various parts of the YS. My dad’s relatives are the ones in the Philippines asking for money. None of my dad’s relatives visit or call. I know it all sounds confusing but this is the complexity of immigrant life. Soap opera I know but it’s the gritty reality. Dad’s relatives have this pattern of indifference, which they showed even to my grandmother, so it’s not surprising. I don’t like Dad to be totally isolated so when my mom’s in-laws call it’s often negative but at least it’s something. I am just alarmed though by them assuming that he’s already dying and I’m not in denial his condition is worsening but they don’t need to rub it in .
I hope this clarifies the story for you. Many immigrant stories are complex, with people in various places, it’s hard to imagine it unless you’re in our shoes. I think the situation in Afghanistan brings to light the sheer heartache and complexity of non-American non-Western cultures. Thanks for your patience and understanding, I know it seems awfully confusing. The reason it’s often hard for me to get counseling is I spend an awful lot of session time just explaining the back story, like I am right now. See how much time it took for me to just provide context? Exhausting is an understatement.
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How are the Well-Wishes communicating? In person, phone, txt, Fbook?

Setting your own boundaries where & when you need, while you feel so raw may benefit.

Is it possible to limit in-person visits to a set time that suits? Let phone messages pile up, call back only those you want to & send thankyou text replies for the rest. Other txt or social media contact can be ignored if reading & feeling you have to add a little thumbs up etc is not helping you - respectfully unplug for a bit.
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Reply to Beatty
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LeahO71 Aug 31, 2021
Excellent advice! The messages come ruin all sources—phone. Text, email, social media. I have placed boundaries on certain people but here’s the thing abd it may be cultural. Filipinos love yo gossip, I’m not stereotyping but it is endemic to my culture, when I choose to ignore one that person starts raging and ‘reporting’ it to the grapevine, which then starts buzzing about how I’m not a good Christian, sad to say but in this culture m—a d especially when there’s groupthink and large families—it becomes a form of mobbing a d ganging up, really challenging as I’m an only child versus these big families of seven-plus siblings who think their relatives are always right.I’ve talked to several Asian elderly folks who agree that boundaries and emotional empathy are not prioritized in the culture, they themselves are aggravated.
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What do you want them to do?

If it is, literally, butt out and leave you in peace to get on with it, then tell them that. Not in quite those words of course but it's fine to give them the gist. E.g. "this really isn't a good time to talk, perhaps you'd like to send Dad a card or a magazine *instead.*" (By stressing the instead, you should be making it quite clear enough that you're not inviting them to call back later).
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Reply to Countrymouse
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LeahO71 Aug 31, 2021
Great advice but they don’t respect boundaries, a bit if a cultural aspect where family and friends are expected to open doors at all times. I know this can be hard for Americans to understand but such is the complexity of immigrant life
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Leah, pancreatic cancer is often very quick. Have you asked for a prognosis about how long? If it’s 6 months (which I’ve been told is usual), it may not be worth dealing with people who are saying the wrong thing and annoying you. No-one’s reaction to galloping cancer is ‘good’, unless they just keep quiet and bring food. Is there something like that you could ask for? Let them know that right now you are too busy to chat, but if you would like to help …….
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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LeahO71 Aug 31, 2021
Both his primary doctor and oncologist warned me about him not lasting beyond December, they’re trying to prepare me and I’m aware but hearing people rub it in dies hurt especially because the person saying it has a history of bragging and always making his family Gus kids always look “better”, he has not experienced this illness and his kids are lucky their parents are alive but honestly they’ll never understand how painful it is to lose a parent, I pity them when that time comes, as they are now so smug and holier than thou.
thanks for your advice!
so grateful for this forum which allows me to be real and raw and vulnerable, it is healing.
god bless and thank you
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