Saturday, October 18, 2014

When Someone You Love is Dying

Many of you know my father was diagnosed with lung cancer about four years ago. He did really great until about seven months ago when it spread to his liver and bones. He has been bedridden ever since.
These are some of my dad's amazing care-takers.
Missing from this group are my sister-in-law, Shannon,
and my sister Allicia and her husband, Justin.

He can do nothing for himself. He can not be left alone. Someone needs to be there taking care of him 24/7. This is a huge task that is taking our entire family to accomplish. (Thank God there are so many of us!)

It's really amazing to see a family in action during a time of stress and grief. Everyone gives what they can and in their own unique ways. In general, the boys are the fixers -- helping take care of things around the house that my dad normally would. The girls are care-takers -- helping him get to the bathroom, feeding him and more.

Everyone in my family is taking turns during the week being at the house -- both to take care of him and to spend time with him. We have been particularly blessed by the women my brothers married. They have also taken on a huge chunk of the care-taking.

I recently read a post that said, "How would you choose to spend your time if you were taking care of someone who was dying?"

Taking care of someone who is dying is a real eye-opener, and it forces you to cast aside those things you come to realize are really not that important, because you no longer have time for them. I'm watching all of my brothers and sisters and their husbands and wives make these choices on a daily basis. It is humbling.

They say it's during times of stress that you see what people are made of, and I feel so fortunate right now, because my family is really holding it together. Everyone is doing their best to be a good to my dad, while still juggling the needs of their own families. For that I am so grateful.

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