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WOULD YOU RATHER: Facing death

Posted by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 7:32 PM
  • 15 Replies

I have known three acquaintances to pass away in as many days.

The first was battling cancer and suffered a stroke which prevented his chemo from continuing. He lasted nearly 3 months in hospice care in immense pain and only occasional lucidity.

Another died suddenly, taking her daughter by surprise.

The last was a cancer survivor who may have been ill. As I said, these were acquaintances, so I am not always privy to the circumstances.

Which might prove easiest on you- losing someone suddenly or being able to say goodbye? Which do you think you'd prefer for yourself?

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by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 7:32 PM
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by Ruby Member on Jun. 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM
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Both. I know you wanted an either/or.

My Mom was sick for about 8 years before she died. The last time she was in the hospital....more like a rehabilitation center....I went and had lunch with her every day and took her to the excercise class. I was able to talk to her about alot of whole childhood....putting to rest some issues, even if I didn't hear what I wanted to hear. We were able to talk about her coming death, how she felt about it, what she believed spiritually, etc. It was very good for me to know that when she died, I had that opportunity, and that she was fully accepting of her coming death. It gave me a sense of peace. Losing your Mom is so so hard, regardless of your age (I'm 54).

On the other hand, my Father did die suddenly, without illness, etc. There was so much not done, not said, etc.

by Whoopie on Jun. 18, 2012 at 8:42 PM
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Sudden- hard on the survivors but better for the person involved- I'm all about no suffering for the dying.

Obviously, accidental or violent death of a young person or child would be the worst-

I follow a blog where a child has had a recurrence of brain cancer and was dying and comatose last week, yet is alive, active, alert and appropriate this week. I think of L. and her family everyday. I am happy that they are having more time together and that L. is seemingly pain free at this point.

by Silver Member on Jun. 18, 2012 at 8:45 PM
I've had loved ones die both ways....while shocking, having them go suddenly was much better for them and everyone involved. Those that died from a long illness seemed to suffer, which is horrible for the one dying and everyone else who has to watch the illness progress. While it is nice to be able to say goodbye, in my experience, there is always some shock at the finality of death whether it was expected or not.... there always could have been one more goodbye....

Death is the great reminder to try to live life in such a way that if you got hit by a bus, everyone you cared for and loved would have absolutely no doubt about your feelings for them once you are gone. And there will be a few people to say nice things about you at your funeral!
by AllieCat on Jun. 18, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Honestly, I can't answer those questions.

Wanting a chance to say goodbye seems optimal but when it comes to death, there is no hand book. 

Another reason why being in the now and living your life with kindness towards others is important.

by Bronze Member on Jun. 18, 2012 at 9:06 PM

My father died very suddenly from  a heart attack when I was 9.  My mother lived to be 79 and had a year long downward spiral before she finally passed. 

I used to think I'd like to go suddenly, but now I think dying so quickly must be very much like walking through a door and have it slam shut behind you and you suddenly realize you can't go back the way you came.  Whereas my mom's mind wandered as she was dying and it seemed like she was kind of drifting between the worlds before she finally passed.  I think maybe I'd like to have some time to get used to the idea before I die, and certainly have time to say goodbye. 

But I also recognize that these are my very idealized notions of death and no one gets to pick how or when it happens.

by Silver Member on Jun. 18, 2012 at 9:37 PM

My grandfather died suddenly of a heart attack, while he knew he was facing the end, he said his peace in his way to everyone and I have cherished and held closely what he said about me right before he passed as I think all of his children did.  My uncle who was 8 years older than me passed in a car accident suddenly and young, and I still have a hard time coming to terms with it, but I am glad it was quick and he never suffered.  My grandmother is dying a slow death, I find myself in pain for her and wishing she could just succumb to the end.  It is hard to watch them change and become upset and helpless.  

I would prefer people pass quickly without suffering and that we would all treat eachother like it could be our last day with a loved one.  

by Andie on Jun. 18, 2012 at 9:53 PM
I'd say both also. I've lost both expected and unexpected. They both hurt just the same.

Personally, I hope my death is quick and not lingering. I think the lingering deaths must be harder on the one dying. Even though you have that time to put your affairs in order, it seems the waiting game must be hard. I suppose this is why we are told to live every day like it could be your last.
by Milami on Jun. 18, 2012 at 9:57 PM

 If I had a choice it was be to be able to say goodbye but also not have them suffer for weeks or months on end.

by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I lost my mom suddenly and never got to say goodbye. I live with the fact that i was a 16 year old douchebag to her right up until the day she died.

My dad, i knew it was coming. He deliberately waited until i'd married and settled down. He was in pain, and felt shitty for the last year or two of his life but was holding on so he would know i would be ok. At 21, it still wasnt easy to deal with

Both situations sucked pretty hard core for me however, i would much rather lose someone expectedly than unexpectedly. I told my father i loved him, and was able to be with him the entire week before he died. As for myself.. Id rather my daughter be able to say good bye to me. Even if it means i'd be in terrible pain for a while. For her to have that sense of closure, id be willing to deal with pretty much anything.

by Bronze Member on Jun. 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM
They hurt the same its the circumstances surrounding it tht make it harder for me.
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