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My father has had MS for 13 years now and he lives in his wheelchair. Today he said that he is tired and wants to die. He is losing his appetite and always cold. If he gives up will he die? And is it wrong to pray that he does go home? I am his caregiver and I just watch him get worse day by day. I don't know what to do. My mother said she was tired and depressed just like him and she passed away that night almost a year ago.

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This really is a spiritual question that may be true in many cases. I've known some people who have said they would rather be dead, but live on for years. Then I've known others who wanted to live, but died anyway. I do think that when someone is truly dying physically that they reach a point where their body and spirit are both ready to leave. Even then, the spirit may have a hard time separating from the body so that death can happen.

I have wondered if some people's spirits leave their bodies before they die. When my father was actively dying I got the feeling he was no longer in his body, but had already left. I didn't feel his exit after he took his last breath. So I wondered if sometimes the person is not really there anymore.
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Dear Brandi,

I'm so sorry to hear how your dad is feeling. I know its very hard to watch him in this condition. The mind does have a lot to do with our will to live. I know a lot of people do lose the will to live. They have had enough and sometimes they do give up on life. Or they know their body is shutting down and come to terms with it.

I know this is very stressful time. Have you considered talking to a therapist, counsellor or joining a support group? For your dad, can you have a doctor, nurse or social worker talk to him? Are there any other options for him? Can they change his meds to lift his mood? I know there are no easy answers.

As soon as my dad lost his independence after the stroke, he kept telling everyone he rather be dead. This hurt me a lot. I tried and tried to keep my dad going but no matter what I did, he seemed very unhappy. Now that he has passed, I still regret not doing more for him. I felt in my heart there had to be something that could turn around his condition.
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