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How do you say good by to someone you’re never gonna see again?

napanutt

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My wife’s BIL Jerry has stage 4 colon cancer. He’s 80 and in a skilled nursing facility in Clovis.
We live 3 hours away.
My wife being the baby has known him her whole life. I’ve known my wife for 38 years now so I’ve known Jerry a long time too.
We drove down to see him this weekend basically saying good by. He isn’t expected to live more than a month or so.
It’s really sad because he’s actually pretty aware just weak as hell and tired. It’s like he just wants to be done.
 

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Dang. That is tough. Best wishes for your BIL.
 
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HubbaHubbaLife

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My wife’s BIL Jerry has stage 4 colon cancer. He’s 80 and in a skilled nursing facility in Clovis.
We live 3 hours away.
My wife being the baby has known him her whole life. I’ve known my wife for 38 years now so I’ve known Jerry a long time too.
We drove down to see him this weekend basically saying good by. He isn’t expected to live more than a month or so.
It’s really sad because he’s actually pretty aware just weak as hell and tired. It’s like he just wants to be done.
I'll jump in on this one brutha.... I lost my dearest friend to cancer 9 mths ago.... and I lost my best high school friend to aids when I was only 21. So I have some real life experience regarding your question. Sounds like you said your goodbyes earlier today based on your post.... so I'll simply say you tell them you love them and remind them how much they meant to you in your life ..... if you choose to take another 3 hour drive simply speak to the fond memories and positive aspects they represented for you & your lady in knowing him.
 

napanutt

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I'll jump in on this one brutha.... I lost my dearest friend to cancer 9 mths ago.... and I lost my best high school friend to aids when I was only 21. So I have some real life experience regarding your question. Sounds like you said your goodbyes earlier today based on your post.... so I'll simply say you tell them you love them and remind them how much they meant to you in your life ..... if you choose to take another 3 hour drive simply speak to the fond memories and positive aspects they represented for you & your lady in knowing him.
Thanks.
The real good by is going to be tomorrow morning. Wifes sister and one of her kids weren’t there today.
We’re supposed to take a group photo with Jerry in the morning but we’re not sure if he’s going to want to exert the energy to get out of bed to do so.
Jerry’s daughter Kim and her husband will hopefully, with our help, coax him, as long as he isn’t too tired.

FUCK CANCER!
 

rivermobster

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Thanks.
The real good by is going to be tomorrow morning. Wifes sister and one of her kids weren’t there today.
We’re supposed to take a group photo with Jerry in the morning but we’re not sure if he’s going to want to exert the energy to get out of bed to do so.
Jerry’s daughter Kim and her husband will hopefully, with our help, coax him, as long as he isn’t too tired.

FUCK CANCER!

Just take him something he loves to eat and bs with him and make him laugh. If you've been friends That long, there had to be some stupid shit in your past!

You both know the reality of the situation, so there is no point in dwelling on that.

Love you bro and see ya later, is really all you Can say. The best thing you can do is try and put a smile on his face for a bit.

Just my worthless 2 cents. 😊
 

Sharpy

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Just take him something he loves to eat and bs with him and make him laugh. If you've been friends That long, there had to be some stupid shit in your past!

You both know the reality of the situation, so there is no point in dwelling on that.

Love you bro and see ya later, is really all you Can say. The best thing you can do is try and put a smile on his face for a bit.

Just my worthless 2 cents. 😊
Well said. He understands the end is here, don’t sugar coat it Brian. Call it for what it is and remember the good times.
 

Hypnautic

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My co-worker just went through this with his Brother. There are so many moving parts to his story that I can’t share.

But—know this, his Brother did not want him hanging around waiting and watching him die. He wanted his Brother to live life—live life for and in memory of him.

They took the time to share a memory, a laugh and a cry. He told his Brother what he meant to him, what he learned from him and why he loves him. They were both a peace knowing the future. His Brother was happy knowing that he (my co-worker) would be freed from the struggles that cancer puts on the family. Comforted in knowing his life, although know physical, would live on in memory, stories and pictures.

They said there goodbyes 5 weeks before his passing.

So sorry for your families hurt during this time.
 

TPC

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Nothing lives forever.
Amazing when you accept your fate with cancer. It's a peaceful resolve.
It sux but ya just say goodbye.
 

RadMan

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The thing I remember most after seeing my grandfather the last time after walking out of the room, I made it a few doors down the hallway, stopped and told my wife I bet that’s the last time I see him. Then I quickly walked back in and gave him the biggest hug of his life. I always think about that when I think of him. I don’t remember the words, but that hug was very special.
 

MPHSystems

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Just went through something somewhat similar. I happened out to eloy looking at a boat and saw my old mentor who has retired with his wife in AZ. I went and visited with them and realized I would probably never see them again. I decided to not think of that and just have the best time with them that I could. We went out to dinner and stayed up all night talking. We had a a great time.

Not sure if that helps.
 

Backlash

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When my Dad passed away four years ago, I simply hugged him, told him I loved him and I would see him soon. I never said "Goodbye" because there was nothing good about it. He wasn't responsive at that time, but in my heart, I want to believe he heard me. He passed the next morning.
 

wzuber

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I have a couple examples to share in hopes it's of some help to you.
My uncle Jim had cancer and unbeknown to my dad and I was just days away from his time here on earth. My dad and I stopped in to see him and his family. Jim could no longer see or speak but was coherant. After visiting for awhile we prepared to leave. My dad took Jim's hand to shake goodbye looked him in the eyes and simply said..."I'll pray for you". Jim noded in thanks. It was a rare yet very real, honest moment, very moving. Jim passed 2 days later after they returned to their main home in NorCal from their winter home in La Quinta.
My neighbor Mark was dying of prostate cancer. He was bed bound and had been on morphine for about a month at this point and was very near his last moments. His wife came to inform me and asked if I wanted to come say goodbye. I went over to see him, I had never seem him in this condition and it was tough. Mark was barely coherent and I couldn't readily tell if he could understand who I was or not. After a couple awkward moments of small talk with the family present I took Mark's hand and tearfully said.....Mark it's warren. Thank you for being a great friend and neighbor. It was my honor to know you and be your friend and I love you. I will do my best to look after your wife and daughter. Mark passed the following day.
My mom was diagnosed with stg.4 lung cancer in early may of 2019 and passed Sunday, June 23, 2019. She never smoked.
We brought her home from the hospital on Friday June 21 st.. Hospice came to manage her care. My family and I didn't fully grasp the gravity of this so they also managed us in this process. Hospice was upping her morphine with each dose, we were reeling a bit at this and in shock that she was declining so rapidly. (she was rather tired yet fully functional the previous Wed. When we wheeled her into the hospital to have her lungs drained). We called the local family members, grand son/daughter etc. And they came by to see her for what would be the last time. My father was in a home and not able to be there so I called him and they were able to talk on the phone for a few minutes and he was able to say goodbye. Mom was marginally coherent on morphine at this point but she knew who she was talking to. Shortly after that, my brother, my wife and I were alone with her at her bedside. I was holding her hand watching her fade and said.... mom If your tired and want to go it's ok, we will be fine. I will take care of dad. Then I thanked her for being the best mom she could be and told her I loved her and would always be grateful for her love and dedication to our family and we will miss her. With that she took her three last deep breathes, (it was as if she was diving under water) and slumped..........3 seconds later she pops up, looks at us, and then closed her eyes and passed over forever. (That still freaks me out a little.)
I tell you these stories in hope to convey their similarities, the gravity of each individual situation and their unique differences.
Let your heart lead you to what to do and say in the moment. Be real in the moment.....and there for them. As uncomfortable as it may seem it will be ok, it is only temporary. Allow your self to be emotional, cry etc. if that's how you feel in the moment, it's real. Follow your heart and you will be fine. Share with them what they meant to you and let them know without a doubt how they benefitted your life, how they impacted you in a good way and thank them for that.
Good luck to you in this situation. You will do well, you will do what's right for the relationship. God speed to your friend, may he forever be in peace, free of all stresses and pain when he passes over.
 
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RitcheyRch

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Just tell him you love him and wish him the best. My mom died on COPD and lung cancer 6 years ago. I was going to call her one night and got busy with some tsting requirements for work. I kept telling myself to call her and see how she was doing. Needless to say, I didnt call and she passed in the night. I will never let myself forget that I didnt take 5-10 minutes out of testing to call her.
 

Spudsbud

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Ive been down that road wkth several friends and family......
Ive always triedto recall a funny story tney were invloved in...... maybe get a smole out of them.
I tell them that story and a few others wjll be shared with my kids..... their memories will go on. They will not be forgotten
For instance, my Dad. Passed in 2017 at 99.
He had a good run. He was the neighborhood "lawn guy"..... you know, every block has 1 !
His favorite saying was
"Any idiot can grow grass in May
Lets see how you do thru the dog days of August"
My neighbors now yell that at me !!!
They know where it came.from !!
Hes smiling I can feel it !
 

monkeyswrench

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The last time I was up your way was for this very reason. A few years back, my great aunt had called to tell me my great uncle was ill...he too was 86. Luckily, I had the time, and the means to pay for a room for a few days. 13hrs after the call, I was at his bedside. Spent a few hours with him Friday, Saturday and said goodbye Sunday. The last day he was very coherent, and we talked about places he'd been, and places I still needed to see. I told him there's still more for him to see, and he'll walk those places again...He was and avid hiker and outdoorsman...he was trapped in that bed.

He passed the next day. I swear, I think he waited for me to leave, to not be "rude" to company.

Thought of him quite a bit the past few days...checked 2 places off the list he said I should see. I believe nothing is forever, not our lives or our time apart.
 

Tremor Therapy

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Like a number of people here, I have also had too many of these experiences. There really is no right or wrong way, it is personal to each of us. My mom had stage 4 breast and bone cancer. We all knew what the elephant in the room was, but all of us kids decided to talk about the hilarious situations that had happened with the family over the years. We told story after story, and the time just flew by. My mom could not muster the energy to laugh much, but the tears streaming down her face and ours was priceless. She passed two days later. I did not get to see her again, but I am forever grateful we got to share those stories with her one more time!
 

napanutt

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Home now.
Eight of us spent around 3 hours with him at his assisted living room this morning.
Due to “pandemic” only two were aloud in at one time. Where he is he has a back door to a courtyard so the rest of us just stand out side the back door. It worked out great until one of the aids came in to pass meds and most of us were in his room. We scattered back to the courtyard like cockroaches in the light. Kind of funny.
So anyway he’s basically bed ridden and tired. Not necessarily sleepy tired just tired.
My grandpa died in his sleep at home one random night. My grandma lived in assisted living for 4-5 years until her passing.
Neither way is what is wanted but wondering which way is better.

Thanks so much for the thoughts and personal experiences.
 

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Bpracing1127

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Be there and share stories and bring up memories good ones, funny ones, sad ones. Doesn’t matter.

I look at it this way, my dad passed suddenly a few years ago and I wish I could talk to him and say remember that time when…….
 

Ace in the Hole

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Have had to do it a few times. Its never the same in each situation. Two people stick out. One was my grandmothers best friend who was like a grandma to us (never had children of her own and we were extremely close to her). I knew she was on her way out, hospice etc. We face-timed a few weeks after MaK was born, she got to interact with her a bit...we talked about old stories from when I was a kid (she was an amazing influence and person to me). We just had a normal conversation, unlike normally I didn't say when I'd see her again..I told her that I loved her and we would see her when we see her. I knew it was the last time, so did she. Miss her everyday.

The other was my uncle, he had cancer. I was really close to him. We shot clays together and he would always travel to see me and take me. I spent about a week with him a month or so before he died (my mom (RN) was taking care of him). He lived in a log cabin on the snake river in Idaho, had hunted the world..africa etc. We spent a day or 2 up in his "mount room" which was a big loft which was the second story. Talking about his hunts etc. He had a log house so the next morning early I hear a loud BANG BANG, and it was him, he had shot a woodpecker off the side of his house (did some solid damage to the log with the shot lol), it woke him up and he was over it lol. We had a great laugh about it, and he made the comment that his son could pay to fix it when he was gone. We shot a bunch of clays off the side by the river for a couple days then he was "tired" and I knew that was coming. We had some good meals, good laughs, and it was hard to leave. I never asked him for anything but he took me to the safe before I left and gave me 6 guns that we had either hunted with, shot clays with etc. His sons have the rest, but I hunt exclusively with the 7mag he left me and have for 15 years. I also have his blackpowder bag that he carried hunting...everything in it is the same as the day he passed. He needed a cane by the end of my trip, and it was hard to see him like that. Our last conversation was just like any other trip we had..see ya when I see you. About two weeks later he wasn't "with us" anymore as in the cancer had really hit his brain and he was just asleep essentially. MaK is named after him, and a photo of him with an elk and that 7 mag hangs in her room. He is solely responsible for my love of Havasu, and in reality is the only reason we ever got started going there.

Sorry for your loss
 

Tamalewagon

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There is no right or wrong way to say goodbye. Express your feelings and reminisce on some good times together that brings a smile to his face. Laughter is the best gift you can give right now.
 

Racey

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I had to deal with this in 2019 with my Grandfather in NZ, he was 91 with bladder cancer and refused any treatment other than pain management, morphine drops, he was done and wanted to just be over with it. My mother, sister, and myself all flew in separately, we met my Aunt and Uncle and Grandmother who are there, had a wonderful lunch together and just enjoyed each other's company. I'll never forget as we were leaving on the last afternoon looking at my grandfather sitting on his couch just worn out, with the afternoon sun coming in on a Winter/Spring day, knowing completely that was the last time i would ever see him. The shitty part is that i never thought it would be the last time i saw my Grandmother as i planned to go back for the America's Cup, well we all know how that has worked out with China flu. Very little chance of me getting back there in the foreseeable future.

You all know the inevitable is there, just do something that he is able to enjoy with you both.
 

rrrr

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My mom was dying in October 2011. This came on quickly. My wife and I flew to Albuquerque. I was at her side, knew she was dying, and I had a surgery scheduled three days later I could not ignore. I'll leave it at that.

I had to tell her goodbye, knowing I would not see her again and that I couldn't be at her funeral. I could accept that, because it was more important for me to be at her side while she was alive than being at her funeral after she had died.

But the conversations we had tore me apart. How do you deal with losing your Mom? How do you relive the memories of a lifetime in a few hours?

I flew home from Albuquerque on Saturday morning, and she died the next day.

It was ten years ago last week, a pretty rough couple of days.
 

Rajobigguy

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If he has accepted that his time is near and he is really ready for it to be over then the best thing you can do is assure him that the family and his circle of frieywill always take care of one another and when he is ready it’s all right to let go.
 

monkeyswrench

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How do you deal with losing your Mom?
Been nine years, and I still can't answer that question.

I wasn't ever the best son, and we rarely saw eye to eye...she still loved me, and I her. Watching cancer take her was horrid. I don't wish cancer upon anyone, the illness itself, nor the toll on those close.
 
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