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My dad has been on hospice care for 21 months, surpassing all expectations. He is now very close to death. One thing that is very clear - no matter his suffering, he wants to live. Once he said to my mom and I “how am I going to live without you?” And lately he has been asking me “where are you going!?” Repeatedly. How should I respond and is this normal! What might it mean?

I agree about him getting his words mixed up. So he may mean "where am I going" You could tell him "I am not going anywhere but you are going to a beautiful place where u will be whole and pain free. Where you will see ur LOs (name them). Maybe granddad (or some close relative) will come for you to take you there. We will miss you but we will be OK so its OK to let go.

My Mom shut her eyes two weeks before her passing. Just about the same time she fought not to be gotten out of bed. My disabled nephew, who had lived with her, and I went to see her. She was actively dying. I told him to tell her that he would be OK and to say goodbye. We left at 1:30 she was pronounced at 1:50. Up till then, everyone had stopped in to say goodbye, my nephew was the only one who hadn't. A nurse told me that she thinks they hang on for that last person. When this happens she asks the family if there is someone that the patient needs to know will be alright or needs to say goodbye but is too far way. She tells the family to get the person on the phone and put it up to the patients ear. When this is done, she claims they pass not long after.
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Jesssa Nov 29, 2020
Due to covid we have kept visitors down, and he has always been a private person. My mom and I are there every day, my brother doesn’t visit as much as he should but he does come over, and my three aunts have all been there. My dad has two brothers who have gone before him, and he said to us “when I die, I don’t want a room full of people watching me.”
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What is his diagnosis? It might not matter but if there is any other mental confusion it might be possible that he is getting his pronouns confused. Never can tell what wiring gets short circuited in the brain.
I would just reassure him that he is safe and cared for. You are safe, mom is safe and cared for.
I would not correct him, that might add to frustration, anxiety.
By the way..."normal" is an over used word and when it comes to people "normal" is impossible to define.
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Jesssa Nov 29, 2020
He has end stage emphysema and a lot of mental confusion lately. It is also heartbreaking because anytime we ask if he need something he says “I want to go home.” For months he has not thought he is in his own home.
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He may need reassurance that it's ok to go along before her. Is there a hospice nurse that you could discuss this with?
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Jesssa Nov 29, 2020
We do indeed.
My parents have been married 41 years. It’s almost like he thinks that she and I, their 38 year old daughter, are leaving him. Other people’s theories about him mixing up his words are probably right.
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Is he afraid to die alone?
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Jesssa Nov 29, 2020
Possibly. He definitely does not want to go.
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