When someone is entering their last days close to Christmas

by CC
(NC)

My mom has been in home hospice since June. She is now bed-bound, very weak, and doesn't speak or think clearly. It seems like our neighbor is so overwhelmed with seeing her that they no longer come around or call. I spoke to her brother, and it was difficult - for him and for me - he did not stay on the phone very long at all. And - now comes everyone's most favorite season of all - Christmas. What now? Everyone is so merry - "Hey, Merry Christmas. How's your mom? Tell her I said hi, blah, blah, blah." I have no responses at all. What do I say to these people?

Comments for When someone is entering their last days close to Christmas

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Dec 03, 2018
Christmas is Tough for Caregivers
by: Betty from Grief and Sympathy

Dear CC

Thank you for writing to us at this very difficult time for you. It is happening at the worst time. As you are aware, everyone is trying to be merry and preparing for the festive season. Like you, close friends and neighbors do not know what to say. Everyone is trying not to upset anyone, so they do tend to keep a distance. This is sad for you as this is the time when support would be helpful.

You do not need to go into all the details of your mom's health with only distant friends. I can understand how you do not want to go into details of your dear mother's situation to everyone who asks in the cheerful way you describe. The best thing to do is create in your mind a few simple responses without going into details.

EXAMPLE responses could be..

Mom is not well but we are coping with a day at a time and she is comfortable thank you.

or

Everyone is doing the best for mom. She is not well but we are making the best of each day and looking after her as well as we can. Thank you for thinking of her.

Have simple responses in your mind, but keep the details and your tears for discussions with close friends, who you are going to need. This way you can move along with your day without getting into long upsetting meetings with everyone.

I always felt that the very ill had a certain quality of life if they were pain free, slept well and were able to eat and take fluids. Our expectations have change to deal with situations.

She is very lucky to have such a caring child who has obviously done such a lot for her. You will survive this difficult time in your life and know that you did your very best.

Our heartfelt wishes are with you. Take life a day at a time and don't forget to care for yourself as well.

Be aware that you will be coping with grief already, so do read some of our pages on How to Deal with Grief too.

Betty
GriefandSympathy.com

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