I've had a very rocky year with my parents - dysfunctional parent/child relationship, dysfunction individuals, meddling relatives.

My 13 year old beloved dog had to be unexpectedly put down a few weeks ago.

My father started home hospice a couple of weeks ago. He doesn't have long and is weaker by the day. We've had a rocky relationship later in life, probably starting when he was in his 80s (he is 89 now) and he has been very difficult these past few years. He blamed a lot of his unhappiness on me so I took the brunt of his anger.

I'm feeling so broken these past few weeks. The loss of my dog was devastating and I am dreading the loss of my father. Though we have had our difficulties I know he did the best he could and I know I will be devastated when he dies. He's always been quite isolated from the family, preferring to spend time alone in his office reading or watching tv. He continues to spend a lot of his waking time alone - sitting outside on the deck or sitting in his office. It's painful to watch him fade, he can't hear, he can't see, he doesn't eat, is confused, is exhausted...

Does anyone have any words of advice on how to handle this time of life? I want to see him into a peaceful end of life. He is a bit less agitated these days since started CBD oil. Is there anything I should be doing/saying to make this transition easier for either of us?

Thank you for your support, it's really so appreciated.

I am so sorry. Dog. It's God spelled backward, and while I am not a "believer", I am sure a believer in DOG. An animal lover my entire life,now having the last of my three elder dogs with me still, but slowly seeing her go from me (small dogs live longer sometimes, and she is 16, going grey in all her blackness, all over her body--started at the muzzle and now down to the feet).
And what a COMFORT they are in the pain of our lives, daily, no matter what we are going through. To reach out and feel them in the night. By us. Such a connection.
My two beloved elder girl dogs passed 5 years ago. I can see them still in my heart, in my mind, and their collars hang in the room; I am so much closer to adding another to them. I am fine usually, can see pictures of them wading in the water and feel so good. Other days the pain just flummoxes me.
We do rescue work, and we foster dogs, then place in a new home. Whatever dog is doing poorly in shelter comes into the Rescue and we place them one at a time. One named Soldier just left for his forever home yesterday, and even that is another loss. Saw him through eye surgery, saw him made whole. And now he is gone.
So my sympathies on the loss of the pet that sustained you. There is nothing on earth I sometimes thing that sustains us so much.
Now there is Dad, and being humans, that loss is so much more complex. And it IS painful. How lucky you are to know, to recognize, that he was just another flawed human. You needed a perfect Saint; you were dependent on your parent--and he was just another flawed human. But he is YOUR DAD, and he doesn't deserve to fade in this manner. And your message says you recognize that.
So no, you are right where you are, and there is no way to do this more perfectly. How I wish you had that fur-person to help you through. Keep on keeping on. And when this is over consider paying all that love forward to another animal in need--there are so many. Clearly you are a special person who feels it all. While that hurts, I still think you are the lucky one. Just keep telling yourself that you are the lucky one, to feel so much love.
My heart goes out to you. Wishing you luck. Hoping you will update us.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to AlvaDeer
gkcgkc Sep 3, 2019
Oh AlvaDeer, there is so much truth in your reply.
Thank you for understanding the depth of mourning I feel for my dog. I know there is real suffering and loss on this forum and I was hesitant to mention a pet's death. His death brought me to my knees.
I feel so much guilt because the past 18 months have been so difficult caring for my parents and he received the bare minimum attention from me and I was often short tempered with him. He has seen me through some dark periods in my life and he deserved better by me. I'm not sure I will ever get over his death.

And my father. Without empathy for my parents I think I would ruin the rest of my life drowning in resentment. They loved me imperfectly and I will work on acceptance .

Thank you for saying I am the lucky one. It's a beautiful perspective. I was reading something about the loss of a beloved pet and it said, "they only thing they can leave to you is love". So if I can focus on the love that I've had, maybe I can get through this.

You're so kind.
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I always had a tricky relationship with my father.....distant, emotionless, for the most part, but I loved him dearly and I know he loved me as well. When the end of his life drew near, I got in bed with him and put my head on his shoulder. I told him how much I loved him, how I admired him for the kind human being he'd always been , and his accomplishments in life. I asked him if he was afraid....he said no, and I felt relieved. We talked a bit about how life is eternal and he'd be going to a peaceful place where he'd be able to see his parents and brothers again. It really was cathartic experience for both of us. I was able to say things I'd never been able to say, and I'm relieved I did.
I am so sorry for all the loss you're suffering right now and hope my comment gives you a tiny bit of help.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to lealonnie1
gkcgkc Sep 3, 2019
Thank you Lealonnie1. Thank you so much for sharing such a sad and poignant time. I hope I can see my father out of this world with as much grace. Right now he is still distant, but I hope we will find a way to share our feelings as his time grows nearer.
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Sorry for the losses you are experiencing.  Keep sharing, it helps.  It helps to just talk to him at the end, as hearing is last to go.  Let him know it is ok for him to let go.  Can any friend be with you for a few hours during this time?  I needed to be reminded to eat, take my pills, etc. and given a hug.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to anonymous272157
gkcgkc Sep 3, 2019
Oh GrannieAnnie, thank you. Yes, this forum is a blessing. So much generosity and kindness. I feel so fortunate to be able to talk to and hear from others who've been through this journey.

Unfortunately we are quite new to this area so don't know many people and my parents aren't too keen on having unfamiliar faces in the house. However, hospice said maybe a volunteer will eventually be found that will visit regularly and they could get used to them giving me some down time. We'll see.
I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved dog. I know the connection between a canine & a human is profound.

I will even confess that I mourned my dog more than many folks I’ve known.
I too wish you had your fur baby with you now to help you through.

I lost my baby in June 2017 & I miss him Some folks say get another dog quickly. I have not yet been ready to replace him.

I suggest you focus on your dad now during this additionally emotional time. You are coping with two personal disasters. But you will make it through.

Most of all take care of you. Stress is a terrible syndrome that will turn your body inside out and make your mind go warbly. Pay attention to your needs & don’t forget the basics -like rest and hydration.

Maybe in a few months you will be ready for some pure happiness which could be a new pup (or not). This will be up to you as time passes. I suggest you slow down, mourn your dog and spend as much time as you need to with your ill father. Talk with him. Be with him.

One thing at a time. Your baby is over the “Rainbow Bridge” - he is whole, wild & free.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Shane1124
gkcgkc Sep 3, 2019
Thank you so much for understanding Shane. So many people don't understand how painful the loss of a pet is. I'm so sorry you too lost your dog and I agree the loss is more keenly felt than many others.
I truly dearly hope there is a doggie heaven and they are all there waiting for us.
You are right, I need to focus on one thing at a time. I guess one day at a time. Week to week things seem to shift so I need to learn to adjust as I go.
You're so kind, much love to you.
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Thank you all so much for the kind responses. Your thoughtfulness made me cry.
Sometimes I don't think I'm going to make it through this and it's comforting to know there is kindness and support available on this forum.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to gkcgkc
cherokeegrrl54 Sep 6, 2019
Im so sorry about you losing your beloved furbaby, i know that heartbreak very well. Just take one day at a time, because really in the grand scheme of life, thats all we really have. As others have suggested, sit with him, ask questions about his young life, take pictures and videos, listen to soothing music .....just be together. Losing a parent is hard, i feel your pain. Just let him know you love him......keeping you in my prayers. Liz💞
First, my condolences on the loss of your dog. I am a fierce lover of dogs myself and I do understand how strong the love is between a dog and their person.

As far as your father is concerned, I wonder if now would be a good time to ask about him, his life, his family history. Tell him you want to understand what "makes him tick" before you have to say goodbye. Some older folks just love talking about their lives - their childhood, college days, military service, early parenthood, but often no one wants to listen. Does he like music? If so, sing with him some songs he used to listen to or play them for him. Does he like sports? Watch a ball game on TV with him and ask him about live games he went to or days when he played a sport. These things can often loosen an old person's tongue and they'll share random stories with you that you will never forget. If you have children, tell him you want to pass some memories and tales about him down to the kids to remember him by. Many bookstores carry family books with places to include pictures and memories. He might like the idea of filling one for you and your family.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to lablover64
gkcgkc Sep 6, 2019
Thank you for the great suggestions Lablover64. I will definitely attempt to bridge the communication gap. He's been calmer this week and allowing me to help him a bit more than usual. I feel panic inside that I won't cover all ground we should have so I best get started. Thank you.
Goodness, my heart goes out to you. Two losses so deep and close together. You will get through it even though it will be tough.

One of the ways that helped when my FIL passed away is that we got pics with him a couple of weeks before he passed away. I treasure those pics of him with each of us as well as the group of us together.

When he was in hospice, I took my boys to see him. They had written down questions for him (favorite job? favorite candy bar? etc.) He enjoyed talking with them and sharing some memories. I with I had had the forethought to make a video of that visit. I miss hearing his voice.

I hope that you have peace as you face the loss of your father knowing that you are a kind, loving, and supportive daughter.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to metoo111
gkcgkc Sep 6, 2019
Thank you for your kind and supportive response Metoo111. I guess I should be taking photos, but I loathe to remember either of my parents in this condition, but I guess once they are gone I will treasure a photo.
I wish I had peace and hope someday I can look back and feel I did the best I could. But most days I think I fall far short of the ideal, but I suppose that is part and parcel of being a caregiver. I just don't seem to have enough time or patience to go around. Thank you so much for your support, it's so appreciated.
I'm so sorry, it sounds like you are going through so much, you sound sad and alone. It sounds so odd, but I hope my dad passes before my pup. My dog will help me through the passing of my dad, but dad would not help me through the passing of my lovely dog! You ask a good question about what you can do during this time. There is much that can be done to help your dad, but more to help you. You're lucky that you have time to think about this and can do some things to make this hard time a little bit better. There is too much to write down here, this video might help you. Best wishes, and I'm so sorry about all your losses :(
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to SofiaAmirpoor
gkcgkc Sep 10, 2019
Thank you for your kind thoughts Sofia, you are such a blessing! I was hoping my pup would outlive my father, but it was not to be. My last words to my dog were to please wait for my father and I believe his waiting to accompany him.
The wisdom in your video(s) certainly holds true. The other evening my father was very weak and confused and I was putting him to bed. He gave me a hug and said "what would I do without you?" I replied that it's okay, not to worry, that I loved him and that he's been a good father. We've had many negative interactions over the years, but I don't want him dwelling on that. I want him to go in peace and just having said those few words I have felt so much better. I'm not sure if he remembers what I've said, and I hope to get the chance to repeat them, but it was very healing.
Thank you for sharing all those videos, they are a valuable source of much needed support and information.

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