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Gen. Chat “Dealing with Death” by DoomMonky

 
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DoomMonky 2 years ago on 04/23/12
A friend of mine has a brother who has a very rare form of cancer. He's gone through the wringer with experimental procedures. The latest didn't go as hoped. All his tumors have regrown and he's been given til June/July, with extra cheer added that, "it'd be a miracle if he saw next christmas". He's 22 years old.

He's coming to town next week to hang out with my buddy, basically to say goodbye. I've never met the guy. I've had several people close to me pass, but never with the kind of foreknowledge that allowed for a farewell tour. I want to be there for my friend and his brother.

But now I'm nervous. I don't necessarily want to meet him now, knowing that he's not got much time left. First off, how do you know what to say, or what kind of jokes you can make with someone like that? Additionally, I've heard he's a great kid, and if I gain a relationship with him, that'll make it that much harder for me when my friend will need support. It's stupid and irrational, I know, but it's an intense situation.

So, being invited to see Avengers with them, and hang out while he's here, I'm going to ignore my lizard brain, and go try to show them the best time I can. Being a thinking animal has it's advantages.

Have any of you had to handle something similar? Death I can handle. It's the living beforehand I've always had issues with. Everyone knows we're all going to die eventually, but how do you handle someone who knows they're going to die in the next few months? How have you handled your own brushes with mortality?
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Kerridwynne 2 years ago on 04/23/12
Equipped: Ticket for the Man Train named "I like trains."
Speaking as someone who has almost died twice due to serious illness and one who watched her father die slowly, then accelerated towards the end, it isn't always something you can prepare for. When I was sick, I was happiest when people didn't bring attention to my illness. I wanted them to go on as though everything were normal, that my mortality was something I had to handle and internalize. My father wanted very much the same for himself, for us all to be focused on remaining cheerful and as normal-minded as possible.

Just enjoy yourselves. Don't look at him with pity or feel awkward when mentioning something that alludes to the future. He probably isn't expecting you to walk on eggshells around him and possibly would rather you didn't. Behave normally, have a good time, show him around to the things you love. Allow him to absorb the things around him, even though you know, and he knows, that it'll be the last time.

And always remember: It's about his feelings towards his mortality, not yours. You'll have the time to grieve should you gain a relationship with him.
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Rexall 2 years ago on 04/23/12
Equipped: Totoro Plushie named "when i think of you...ooooh..."
DoomMonky said:
So, being invited to see Avengers with them, and hang out while he's here, I'm going to ignore my lizard brain, and go try to show them the best time I can. Being a thinking animal has it's advantages.


That is the best thing you can do. It's not about saying goodbye, it's more or less just making more good memories/fun stories to talk about.

I did something similar with my dad when he passed away from cancer. Most friends and family came by to visit him. He was mostly bedridden, but being able to laugh and smile meant a whole lot to him.

To answer your question, knowing that someone was going to pass away in the next few months made things easy. It was traumatizing at first, but it gave us a chance to prepare (paperwork, wills, etc, etc), to grieve as a family, to enjoy those last final moments together, to make sure to say the things that need to be said.

By the time death comes, it's more of a release of happiness, knowing that the person isn't suffering anymore, and can finally be at peace.

Hope this helps. If you need more advice, PM me, or ask on the thread and I'll add more
 
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DoomMonky 2 years ago on 04/24/12
Thank you both for your insight. I appreciate it.
 
Member
Uppity Negress 2 years ago on 04/24/12
I have to second what Danny said as well. We knew when granny was diagnosed with Alzheimer's she wouldn't live much longer, but when things got really bad and the doctor gave us the whole "if she sees next summer it'd be a miracle" speech it did give us that time to mentally prepare ourselves. I'm not saying it still makes it easy, but it does give you that time.

It was easiest for us to go about life like it wasn't looming over our heads every second. Sometimes we -could- forget, even if it was just for a little while. Just try to make the best of things as much as possible, make it happy times instead of 'omg you're going to die' times.
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Donitsu 2 years ago on 04/27/12
Equipped: Spike Spiegel's Gun (Jericho 94)
My dad passed a couple months ago due to cancer. Shooting the shit, pretend like he doesn't have one foot in the grave, and show him a good time. Life sucks, don't let it end on a bad note for them at least.
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Momoko 2 years ago on 04/28/12
Equipped: Coupon For Free *unf unf unf*
The best thing you can do for someone with a terminal illness is not treat them any differently. My mother passed away from a terminal illness and she never even wanted anyone to bring up the fact that she was sick. She wanted to enjoy whatever time she had left and spend it having fun rather than thinking about "the end."

Just treat him like any other new friend you're meeting for the firs time.
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(s)Aint Chimo 2 years ago on 04/28/12
Equipped: Rose Bouquet named "Do these smell like chloroform to you...?"
Have fun with a new friend! Spend the day getting to know him as you would anyone else. Of course the situation will be in the back of your head, but don't seem nervous or treat him like he's going to fall apart.

I have a friend who has a disease that is quite bad, so bad that she's already stated she probably won't live to see her 30s and she's in her late 20s already. Whenever I see her or think of her, tho, I don't have her disease flash in my head first, I have how interesting and cool she is. When we hang out, we have a great time always. Unless she brings it up or unless she had a recent appointment, we don't bring up her illness, we go about having a fun time.

Also, hope you guys enjoy the movie!
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LeTonzy 2 years ago on 05/30/12
Equipped: Ticket for the Man Train named "there's a train i wouldn't mind riding on"
I learned my grandmother just passed away on saturday. I didnt find out till today when my mother called me. My brother put it on facebook the day it happened but I hadnt been online since thursday. Now both my dad's parents are gone. I never got to know my grandfather since he passed before I was born. Im just feeling down. Any good thought and prayers are welcome
PS: sorry, just venting
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fukkake 2 years ago on 05/30/12
Equipped: Cockblast of Vengence named "Crotchfire!"

I had the same sort of thing happen in my family LeTonzy, I didn't really know my grandfather (Dad's Dad). He was a vagabond that came home when he felt like it and the rest of the time he lived at the horse track. He died when I was 2 1/2 without me really even remembering his face. I think he held me like 3 times. My grandmother (Dad's Mom) passed when I was in high school but she had been mute for years due to a stroke. When she passed I just felt sad. There was no other explanation of it.

My thoughts go out to your family and sending LOTS of mental hugs to you.
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(s)Aint Chimo 2 years ago on 05/30/12
Equipped: Rose Bouquet named "Do these smell like chloroform to you...?"
I recently visited an ex who has cancer and is now an amputee cos the cancer settled in his left leg. I struggled with wanting to visit him but I decided it was the right thing to do if it would help his morale knowing that he did have friends who want him to beat the cancer. There is a chance he will beat this fully since most of the cancer was in his leg but there's always the chance of something going the other way. It was a little unnerving seeing where his leg used to be but he's so confident and determined, he makes it seem like he's not ill at all. I tried really hard to treat the visit as if it was nothing out of the ordinary and he appreciated it a lot.
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Kundalini 2 years ago on 05/31/12
Equipped: Espionage Codec named "They're armed with five-five sixers and pineapples"
My uncle is currently in the hospital dying of cancer with roughly two weeks to live and I'm rather heartbroken over it. He never told us had cancer and now it's spread throughout his body and he will be spending his last days his agonizing pain and none of us will be able to visit him before he dies.
He's one of the last people you'd ever want to lose on this earth, he is a Korean War veteran and his favorite actor is Charles Bronson and his favorite movies are the Death Wish films.
So, I too am really sorry for your losses and can relate only in my own way.
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Boudicca 2 years ago on 05/31/12
Equipped: Lightsaber named "I AM the Dark Side, Motherfuckers!!"
Uma's stepdad that we have battled off and on with for years passed away about an hour ago. The hospital called. Uma's mom is a wreck.

You know, even if there are hard feelings and baggage and you know someone is in poor health it is still a shock.

Don't know what to think right now.
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John Booty 2 years ago on 05/31/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
You know, I don't think there is a thing you can say to somebody in this situation. But you probably don't need to say anything. They probably just want to be with friends and loved ones.
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marinasaurus rex 22 months ago on 10/16/12
Equipped: Shark With Frickin' Laser named "Raymond"
one of my best friends mom/basically mom/my auntie who I lived with for over 5 years, I just found out has 3 - 6 months to live. Diagnosed with a metastatic melanoma. She went out to Sedona, AZ to deal with her dying father and then also found out she is apparently also dying, right after he father dies. She wants to stay out there instead of coming back to California.

The idea that I won't ever be able to see her again or anything is breaking my heart already more than it is. Someone said they'd try and help me get a plane ticket out there but I don't even know if they would want me there. I just love her so much and I don't know what to do except cry like I've been doing for the past hour straight.

I don't even know what advice anyone can give me but yeah.
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John Booty 22 months ago on 10/16/12
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
I'm so sorry, girl.
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Orin Sempton 22 months ago on 10/16/12
Equipped: Map to Secret Pirate Hideout named "X never, ever, marks the spot"
marinasaurus rex said:
one of my best friends mom/basically mom/my auntie who I lived with for over 5 years, I just found out has 3 - 6 months to live. Diagnosed with a metastatic melanoma. She went out to Sedona, AZ to deal with her dying father and then also found out s...



Go. Be there for her before it happens. You will regret it it you dont.

I just had this happen to me a month ago. An older friend of mine who was basically another mother to me passed on due to cancer. I hadn't seen her in 6 years between college and moving around the country for work. If her daughter hadn't told me, I'd never had known. I never got to say thank you and goodbye to the woman who gave me sanctuary from my shitty home life and it still kills me.

Go, spend time with her. You'll both be thankful you did.
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Dobby's Sock 22 months ago on 10/16/12
Equipped: Handcuffs
I just went through the same thing actually. My close friend's father was diagnosed terminal after years of battling cancer. I made it out to see him just hours before he passed away and I think it was the best decision I have made. Having him look at me and see his eyes light up and say "Hi! It's nice to see you!" will stick with me forever.
If there is any way possible, GO.
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Lucifer 22 months ago on 10/16/12
Equipped: Men's Pocky named "For the man, by the man."
I lost my mother due to cancer 2 weeks ago. One thing I can say is that is to get everything out of the way you need to with that individual. Say EVERYTHING you need to with them. Share with them all. Every action that comes to your mind with them, do so. They deserve your personal best with the limited time that they have.
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marinasaurus rex 22 months ago on 10/16/12
Equipped: Shark With Frickin' Laser named "Raymond"
I got to talk to my bestie a bit today (her daughter) and once they get settled there in a place, she's going to come back to take care of a few things in Cali and I'll prolly go back with her then. I also want to be there for her daughter who has been one of my besties for years 'cause she's going through this all alone and I'm assuming going to be doing a lot of the care work (she was a CNA for quite a few years) and I know is going to need support (though she's always the strong calm one in like, every situation)

I was able to spend time with my grandma before she passed a few years ago, and we were really close and I still feel I didn't get to spend enough with her towards the end. I want to make sure it's not like that this time with my friend.

I'm so sorry for everyone else in this thread too <3 I love you guys!!!

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