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What do I say to her?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
moving on a little from Zella's thread, however i was gonna post this yesterday when i heard the news anyway... but;

my (great) aunt is going to die very soon, she is 82 years old and has asked us to go and see her so she can say goodbye on friday.

I have never been in this situation before and i feel very aukward.
a) she's going senial and im worried that she wont recognise me and i dont want to have to explain who i am
b) i havent spoken to her in a while (partly because when i call she doesnt know who i am and she gets confused) and she still sees me as 7 years old. She doesnt know anything about me or my life, and yet she knows enough and loves me enough to want to say goodbye to me before she passes away.

So im going to see her on Friday morning, and i dont know what to say to her. I really dont.
I'll obviously say the obvious eg. how are you feeling and what im doing with myself etc etc, but what else?
I mean, this woman wants to say goodbye to me on her death bed and i dont know how im going to do that or what the hell im going to say. I dont know if i should litterally fall into her arms and tell her i love her and i will miss her, or to just say goodbye when i leave as if, in a few weeks we will see each other again.
I really dont know what to do

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've been in a really similar situation.

    To cut a really long story short, my Granny went kinda senile, and started thinking my whole family was the enemy. (she told my mam and auntie to fuck off). And I was the only bugger she'd talk to, and so the only one who could get her to go in the ambulance one night she was really ill with her breathing.

    Anyhow, the ambulance journey was fecking long, and I had to keep her talking, I just went on about how there was this really clever lad on Countdown (she loved that, bless her) and just kept her talking.

    I don't think she knew who the hell I was, but I went on pure adreanline, I just did what I had to do and didn't think about it.

    Just do your best, its all you can do, and I'm here if ya want to talk about it :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Speaking from a parents view here and im not saying you should do this but here goes, how i see it :)

    If shes going/gone senile then chances are she wont recognise who you are. She may have requested you to go but 10 mins later she could have forgotten what she said. She may think you are someone else (which happened to a friend of mine). She might just talk a load of nonsense and repeat herself over again.

    What have you been told about her condition? Do your parents think you should go? You see if she was quite poorly then I personally would not want my Daughter visiting, id like her to remember how she was, especially if shes not going to recognise you when you go anyway.

    I think if you go just see how it goes, if shes confused then just play it by ear, see what she is like with you. If you feel that you cant handle being there then say bye and basically leave sooner than later. It can be quite upsetting if someone doesent recognize you, says silly things etc. It wouldnt be nice for you if your left with not so nice memories of the last time you seen her, youd have to live with that :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks I appreciate that.

    I feel extra extra bad aswell because apparently im going to recieve quite a bit of expensive jewellery when she goes, and its not that im not greatful that she's thought about me in her will, but i feel so bad because i dont have a *relationship* with her, and if she new the real me, rather than the one who visits on birthdays or at Xmas etc, then im pretty sure she'd hate me!!

    But what can i do... not much.

    I will just try and do whatever i can then, but i am so stuck on how to actualyl say it, when it comes to leaving, its the last ever time im going to see her alive and im worried im going to fuck it up - ive never done this before.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by BeckyBoo
    Speaking from a parents view here and im not saying you should do this but here goes, how i see it :)

    If shes going/gone senile then chances are she wont recognise who you are. She may have requested you to go but 10 mins later she could have forgotten what she said. She may think you are someone else (which happened to a friend of mine). She might just talk a load of nonsense and repeat herself over again.

    What have you been told about her condition? Do your parents think you should go? You see if she was quite poorly then I personally would not want my Daughter visiting, id like her to remember how she was, especially if shes not going to recognise you when you go anyway.

    I think if you go just see how it goes, if shes confused then just play it by ear, see what she is like with you. If you feel that you cant handle being there then say bye and basically leave sooner than later. It can be quite upsetting if someone doesent recognize you, says silly things etc. It wouldnt be nice for you if your left with not so nice memories of the last time you seen her, youd have to live with that :)

    thats why im so anxious not to fuck it up.
    My parents are going through a divorce so my dad doesnt really know much about it and wouldnt really have an opinion anyway, but my mum wants us to go with her, and i think we should really.
    If she knows that we're coming, which she will, and im with my family then she will probably remember me, just not recognice me. A lot's changed since i saw her last, my hair is dark when it used to be blonde, and i've grown up a lot.

    Its the right thing for me to go, i know it is as she wants to see me and im granting her dying wish, but as you say, its going to be very upsetting if she doesnt recognise me or hasnt much to say.

    The main thing im stumped on is actually sayind goodbye. Most people would kill for the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones before they go, and i am privaledge that i have the chance, but how do you say goodbye to a senial old woman who may not even recognise you yet knows you're their because she's dying?

    I dont know, i suppose i'll just do what you suggested and play it by ear. Gonna be a difficult situation tho.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: What do I say to her?
    Originally posted by badabing

    my (great) aunt is going to die very soon, she is 82 years old and has asked us to go and see her so she can say goodbye on friday.

    I have never been in this situation before and i feel very aukward.
    a) she's going senial and im worried that she wont recognise me and i dont want to have to explain who i am
    b) i havent spoken to her in a while (partly because when i call she doesnt know who i am and she gets confused) and she still sees me as 7 years old. She doesnt know anything about me or my life, and yet she knows enough and loves me enough to want to say goodbye to me before she passes away.

    badab, i've been here a few times. it's coming round again soon with my last surviving aunt, who i was very close to as a kid. when she hears my voice she says "oh i thought my brother was dead"...my dad. then when she realises it's me, her nephew, she thinks i'm a child. theres nowt you can do about it. don't plunge in there with all the i love you and i'll miss you stuff, that will realy start the confusion machine going in her head. be quiet, calm and responsive. if she confuses you with someone else then , gently and kindly give a quiet chuckle and a very brief explanation of who you are. hold her hand if she will alow you to. don't try and be close. be nice. be patient. be quite.
    but be willing to chuckle at her confusion and gently point it out.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Re: What do I say to her?
    Originally posted by morrocan roll
    badab, i've been here a few times. it's coming round again soon with my last surviving aunt, who i was very close to as a kid. when she hears my voice she says "oh i thought my brother was dead"...my dad. then when she realises it's me, her nephew, she thinks i'm a child. theres nowt you can do about it. don't plunge in there with all the i love you and i'll miss you stuff, that will realy start the confusion machine going in her head. be quiet, calm and responsive. if she confuses you with someone else then , gently and kindly give a quiet chuckle and a very brief explanation of who you are. hold her hand if she will alow you to. don't try and be close. be nice. be patient. be quite.
    but be willing to chuckle at her confusion and gently point it out.

    Thank you mr. roll, thats helped a lot x
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just try to be yourself, thats all. you cant be anything else can you :)

    I never had a relationship with my Grandmother, she lived away from me so we never saw each other. I dont know your circumstances but you cant blame yourself for not seeing her.

    It seems to me as though your putting yourself down here and you shouldnt. If it helps im a lot older than you and ive never been put in the same position as you and if I be honest Id be shitting myself.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by BeckyBoo
    If it helps im a lot older than you and ive never been put in the same position as you and if I be honest Id be shitting myself.

    actually that does help... at least i know that how im feeling is pretty much normal. I was beginning to think maybe i was just weird and shouldnt go to see her at all because i didnt know what to say to her.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Its all about the unknown. you dont know what she is going to be like, you dont know what to say, before you go your worked up anyway.
    So no youre not alone on this one, I think lots of people would be quite stressed about it all :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Badabing, if you're going with your mum you can always hide behind her words, just follow her lead in a way. But what Becks and Roll have said is good advice. Don't push the situation, act normally, you don't want to rub it in that she's dying and you're saying good bye.

    I didn't dare go and see my grandma when she was dying. i chckened out and I do regret it now. The last week after she took a turn for the worst and she was only given a few weeks to live (she died earlier cos she asked them not to give her any more blood transfusions which basically meant with the amount that she was losing through internal bleeding her body couldn't replenish it quickly enough) I never went to see her. Wish now I had, but at 11 I didn't have a clue what to say, how to act and I didn't want her to see me cry. I was close to her and was selfish and wanted to remember her as she was, not as some poor old frail dying woman.

    YOu are brave for saying yuo'll go and I admire you for that. I'm also sure that when you get there, you'll be fine. t's scary to think about, but when yuo're actually there I'm sure you'll act how the situation needs. YOu'll not let yourself down or anyone else so long as yuo are yurself hun. :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: What do I say to her?
    Originally posted by badabing

    my (great) aunt is going to die very soon, she is 82 years old and has asked us to go and see her so she can say goodbye on friday.


    i had to do this with my grandma. in the end i didn't say much, but she grabbed my hand and would let go for the longest time.

    in the end i just said 'good night' in polish (she was polish). that seemed like enough.

    and apparently i was the last person she recognised before she died.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    all i hope is that she's happy i suppose.

    I want her to remember me as a young lady with my whole life ahead of me - because thats what she likes to think about me.
    She cant think of me as 7 anymore, because she's seen me since then and is starting to accept that i think.

    I've decided to tell her about all the exciting things going on in my life at the moment, and just be happy when im there, for her.

    i dont want to regret anything, let alone anything involving death and other people (aswell as myself). I guess all i can do is just go and be polite, say what i can. If she wants to hug me before i leave i will let her, but i swear, if she dies before friday i really am going to be gutted.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by badabing

    I've decided to tell her about all the exciting things going on in my life at the moment, and just be happy when im there, for her.

    I really hope it goes the way you want it to.

    You've got a good head on your shoulders, and a really good heart :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Brian Kitten
    I really hope it goes the way you want it to.

    You've got a good head on your shoulders, and a really good heart :)

    thanks mate, i'll let you know x
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    all the best bad. play it by ear and you'll be fine.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by morrocan roll
    all the best bad. play it by ear and you'll be fine.

    :) thanks, everyone's been really nice about it, i didnt think that after 12 views and no replies, anyone would post back, but they have, and with good thoughts, so thank you
    x

    i will let you know how it goes, if it doesnt go too badly
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by badabing
    :)

    i will let you know how it goes, if it doesnt go too badly
    hey ...if it goes badly come and have a cry on our shoulders and tell us about it. that way we may learn something.
    i hope you agree that we're all learning from each other here.
    thoughts are with you chuck.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by morrocan roll
    hey ...if it goes badly come and have a cry on our shoulders and tell us about it. that way we may learn something.
    i hope you agree that we're all learning from each other here.
    thoughts are with you chuck.

    :)very much appreciated
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well i just got back.

    she doesnt look very good and she cant hear a thing even with her hearing aid in so i changed the battery for her but it didnt help. So i dont think she heard much of what i was saying.

    I had to go in her room to get a new battery and it absolutely stinks of urine and its horrible to think that she's living like that but she doesnt want to go in a home.

    And then she said she wanted to live near my nan (lichfield) but couldnt be bothered to move. And then she complained about all the shootings in birmingham, she said she didnt feel safe, she's been robbed twice this year in her own home alone, and once in the supermarket.

    She doesnt go out any more.

    So i didnt get to tell her much because she couldnt hear me, but she seemed really happy when we were there. She was a little confused and talked a lot to mark when we first arrived but not me, and then my mum said "Kathryn's at college now" and pointed to me and she started to talk to me, i think she was slightly unsure as to who i was, but we got there in the end.

    She said she was convinced we werent going to turn up, so she was pleased that we had. Its really sad to think that she's sleeping in her own urine and living off fish fingers since she stopped her meals on wheels. I think its just a matter of time now. She kept going on about how she hated being old and never wanted to be like that, and there was pills everywhere in her kitchen, but i dont think she's taking them, she doesnt even remember seeing my mum the other week. she cant remember who asked her to get her spare key off her neighbour and who it was for, when it was her who wanted it back for herself.

    Oh i dont know. But its finished now. I doubt i'll see her again before she dies, but if i do it'll be a lucky thing. So yeh, just thought id update you.
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