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Old 10.12.2011, 05:42
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One month to live...

Yesterday a good friend of mine was told that he would be lucky to live for a further month due to advanced cancer, just months after his wife and family took all his money and disappeared

I really can't help thinking about his situation, he has nothing to fight for and he is very difficult to motivate, obviously....

I'm am trying to think of a way to ease his suffering but can only think of one and that is to try and fulfil a life ambition for him...If you like a last request, however knowing him to be a very proud man i think he won't allow this!

Can anyone give me any ideas, what would you do?
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Old 10.12.2011, 06:20
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Re: One month to live...

If someone knows and senses that their own passing is inevitable, one often senses their desire to clean up their affairs, to put away minor matters, be that financial or family and friends. Sort of like a spring clean up before moving on.

Whilst that can be said of people that have lived a full life, I presume it becomes that much more difficult to enter that closing state of mind when one hasn't had the opportunity to live a full life. If sickness steals years from you, you don't have as much matter to mull over and calm yourself with the knowledge that you've led a fulfilled life.

Tough call to give you any useful advice without knowing you as individuals. There is this point as a friend when I guess you may want to stop feeding optimism and hope and maybe just speak the truth the way you see it. Personally, I'd go with your friend's line of thought and speak to him on that kind of level. It will be terribly difficult and something you'll never forget; you're not meant to forget, because ultimately, it's also a big part of the puzzle for your life as well.

Wishing you strength and calm in stormy seas.
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Old 10.12.2011, 07:20
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Re: One month to live...

Nothing to add after Mr A's fine and true words.

I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around the wife/family question. Perhaps you could bring him solace by helping him find his way back to his loved ones ?

For there is no greater fulfillment in life, in my mind, to know that you have been loved.
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Old 10.12.2011, 08:01
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Re: One month to live...

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Nothing to add after Mr A's fine and true words.

I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around the wife/family question. Perhaps you could bring him solace by helping him find his way back to his loved ones ?

For there is no greater fulfillment in life, in my mind, to know that you have been loved.
SKY I have spoken to him about that but he has no wish to pursue them, he believes they are in Libya, the house he built himself was sold without him knowing, his bank accounts and investments were all emptied and taken, he only found out he was not well when he came back from a business trip to find that new owners had moved in, obviously his family had been planning for quite sometime !!!!! The police found him sleeping in his car as even his joint credit card had been maxed out.

His wife he believes found another man whilst he worked to keep her, he is bitter about the whole thing and changes the subject when I try and open it.

He is without doubt a very generous and gentle soul who has been decimated by those closest to him, his will to live I fear now will degrade very quickly, personally his situation rocked me to my core today but I am obliged to try and console him and like the assassin said it will get emotional for both of us, as a friend I must see it through with him or I won't be able to live with it.

My girls are going to bake him a cake today and deliver it to him, I want them to try and trigger his memories to better times then we will try and heal his heart and mentally prepare him, he is not religious but he is a realist, he has already come to terms with his death, it is our mission to see he goes out with a smile...
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Old 10.12.2011, 08:25
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Re: One month to live...

What a wonderful caring person you must be. Hope I have a friend like you if I ever find myself in such a position. The cake will be wonderful- its often the simplest gestures that mean the most. My thoughts are with you
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Old 10.12.2011, 08:58
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Re: One month to live...

A good friend is there in good times and bad, happy and sad...

Being a very good friend is all you can do. Call or write to him daily, give him your time, laugh together, cry together, have deep conversations together, accompany him through the different stages and just let him know you are there for him.

What has happened in his life, has happened. That cannot be changed. What matters now is that he knows he's not alone, he has a friend to rely on and he has somebody to accompany him through these final stages. This is what great friendships and humanity is all about.

It's an intense time that will bring the both of you much love, insight and great satisfaction in knowing that even in death, love and friendship perservered.

Good luck and may you find courage and peace through the next coming months.
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Old 10.12.2011, 09:10
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Re: One month to live...

If he's got just a few weeks to go it's possible he will start the decline quite quickly. If I think of my father's last 4-6 weeks he went from being in a bit of pain to being bedridden and zonked on morphine within a very short time.

Does he have other family nearby? Brothers, sisters, parents, etc?

What has happened to him is indeed shitty with his wife and family ripping the guts out of his life but now he needs to focus on the next few weeks and he will probably need close friends and family members to help him do that.
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Old 10.12.2011, 09:38
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Re: One month to live...

I think a gift that you can give him is your empathy and acceptance of where he is at, physically and emotionally. It is an incredibly powerful gift to feel understood and accepted. In contrast, it can be extremely frustrating to have someone refuse to accept where one is at, to try and spin the emotions, to look for the bright side, when it doesn't feel bright. I appreciate that you want him to part this world smiling, but that might not be authentic for him at this time. It is a human tendency to avoid vulnerability and challenging emotions, but they are valid too. Just stay by his side and experience that vulnerability with him, and in this way he is not alone.

He is lucky to have a friend so caring as you.
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Old 10.12.2011, 09:38
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Re: One month to live...

When the going is really rough sometimes the best thing is to have someone who is just there and says nothing. No cheering up, no questions, no 'I have to fill this awful silence with words'. And if you are ever asked to leave. Do so.

Been there, done that. I don't wear the T-shirt any more. It is heartbreaking - even after 20 years.
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Old 10.12.2011, 10:37
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Re: One month to live...

I'm sending you a hug, as I know how hard it is to watch a dear friend/family member deteriorate with no hope of recovery. I don't think there is a "one fit all recipe", patience, a good ear, being there when the person needs you and respecting their privacy when they want to be alone.

Please look after yourself too during this sad period, empathy and support takes lot's of physical and mental energy, make sure you eat and spend some time with your loved ones, one needs to tank up on positive vibes to maintain a balance.

I wish you strength.
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Old 10.12.2011, 10:46
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Re: One month to live...

something practical you could do...help him find out about hospice / home nursing / palliative care. Hopefully the doctor already started that process if there is less than one month left, but it most likely needs some co-ordination so that pain relief etc can be readily on hand when needed.

And a topic that is difficult to broach and will raise arguments - euthanasia is legal here in Switzerland. Does he want one month of decline, or a week of organising what remains of his affairs and a rapid exit? It's not for you to raise the topic (unless you are close friends), but if he talks on this level, you might want to be prepared mentally.
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Old 10.12.2011, 12:40
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Re: One month to live...

So heartbreaking to read about it.
I think you are doing what is right – showing him that he is loved.
One would wish for closure and forgiveness on his part before he passes away (this would bring him relief) but you are not the one to force that upon him.
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Old 10.12.2011, 15:44
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Re: One month to live...

I'm really sorry to hear about your friend.

As a friend, as others have said, it's the being there and listening and just showing up on his doorstep and showing you care that counts in such circumstances. When it comes down to it there's not much you can practically do to help someone like that, you can just be a good friend and help him to know that he is/was loved.

I lost a good friend this year too it's not easy.

Take care of yourself too.
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Old 10.12.2011, 16:03
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Re: One month to live...

Thinking of you too. Lost my best friend aged 52, 10 years ago. Just a few months between diagnosis and the end. Flew over from UK as many times I could to just be there for her, with her- and returned just in time to hold her before she left. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her totally unselfish and quiet friendship.

Hug.
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