I used to have a best bud, G. Those of you who have been on my blogging journey since the onset may remember my talking about G. G died about twelve years ago when he was in his mid forties.

The road with G was quick and painful. He went from not feeling well to pt scan to a terminal cancer diagnosis to death all within two months.

I was very pragmatic during those two months, me and our third musketeer S. We picked up his kids from school, we made trips to chemo and hospital. We comforted his mother and his grandmother.

We knew that death was at the end of the road and we prepared for it. We accepted it. It became the companion we didn’t want.

Now, after he passed, I had a little bit of non acceptance… I really couldn’t believe that my friend had died. The grief blindsided me at every turn…

I guess that’s how grief works though- you think you have it concurred, and then it bites you in the ass.

So how do you prepare for the death of a loved one? Can you prepare?

Or should you just go along for the ride and accept the emotions as they come to you?

I know I’m asking questions that are impossible to answer- questions that we tend to avoid because really, who wants to talk about death? Who wants to think about it?

We all handle these situations differently: what might be right for me might not be right for someone else. There is no one definitive guide to dealing with death. The only commonality is that all of us at some point will experience the death of a loved one. And that it will hurt. It might hurt forever. We might hurt forever.

When someone you know is about to experience a loss, be patient with them. Follow their lead. Be their support system in the way that they need to be supported. Don’t assume how someone feels or what they need from you. How we handle death, the coming reality of death, is unique.

As my Dad is ill, I have to learn how I need to cope with the situation. I need to help my Mother and my Sister with it. This has proved difficult because we all look at it differently. Sometimes we get frustrated with one another, but I have to keep reminding myself that I just need to be there for them. This is way more challenging than I ever thought it would be. It’s one of those moments when life is more challenging than it should be.

Do we look death straight in the eye? Do we battle the reality of it? Or do we quietly accept it? I guess we sort of do it all. Because there is no way to accurately hand death. I guess the process is just one we must endure.

85 thoughts on “Death Be Not Accepted

      1. Agreed and then there are the myriad ways we try and handle recovery or death. And I do not think it is a family ‘thing’ but personal to each one of us. We think we know how we would react and then it actually happens to us and often it is not how we act/react at all.

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  1. Circumstances matter in how we experience it. I live 600 miles away from the rest of my family. My experience with my mom’s death after a battle with cancer was different than the experiene of those who aw her every day. Not easier or harder. Just different, though I think one sibling thinks I had it easier and juidges me for it.

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    1. My dad went back to the hospital on Monday. I don’t think my mm is being logical about the whole thing, but I guess there’s no logic when it comes to this. Thank you for thinking of me…💗

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      1. I will pray for you and your family. There’s nothing else I can do for you, but I believe any little thing helps. Feel free to reach out if you need someone to just vent to. I’ve been there with both my parents, and sometimes you just need someone to listen to you scream.

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  2. Grieving is such a complex thing and like you said we all handle it differently! And its so easy to think that the other person is handling it wrong. Prayers for you as you deal with your Dad. So sorry! We are never ready to lose a parent, no matter the age.

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  3. Sorry to hear about your Dad. I have nothing useful to add – we all have to handle it in our own way and each death we experience is different. My mother’s long decline into painful Parkinson’s/Dementia was very different to my Dad’s happy Dementia followed by isolated Covid death. One, I felt guilty about seeing it as a release, the other, I feel robbed. I could write more, but it probably wouldn’t help. Just remember, when dealing with others, that you will have to live with them for years to come.

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    1. I am often called “emotionless” by my family because of the way I deal with things. In truth, while I may handle things pragmatically, or logically, I do feel emotion….I just don’t make a huge splashy deal about it. Trying to help my sister and my mom navigate this has been touch

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      1. You’ve always seemed thoughtful and well balanced to me and this all makes sense. My sister has done most of the practical stuff regarding Mum and Dad but it surprised me how much had to be done (and paid for!) You need practical people as well as emotional ones.

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      2. One of my granddaughters said once of me, “Boy, Nana really knows how to suck it up!” I think that may be you too. We all handle things differently, but it doesn’t mean you feel pain and sorrow any less. I’m sorry for you, your Dad, and your family. I will pray that God will give you comfort and strength.

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  4. I am so very sorry you and your family are going through this. There is no “right” way, but in my experience of losing my first husband and sister (both very young), as well as my mother and father, and then in my 11 years as a hospice volunteer, I have found a couple of things to be helpful. One, just being present is a comfort. You don’t have to necessarily talk or “do” anything. This may be true of your presence with your father as well as your mother and sister. Playing quiet music is nice sometimes. Second, when family members disagree, focusing on what the person who is ill needs to be comfortable and at peace can defuse the conflict. Wishing you and your family peace and courage.

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    1. The Dad is in such a bad mental state, I don’t know if there’s anything good that any of us can do. He alternates between wanting my Mother to leave and wanting her to stay. His mood is just horrific. It’s so hard to watch.

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  5. Personal reactions to death, or the stages leading up to death are so individual and something that really can’t be a “let’s sit down and figure all this out” sort of conversation. We THINK we might react in one way, only to find we are wrong. We would like to BELIEVE that other families members will react as we do, only to find just how individual these adjustments and grief are. Your reminders to yourself to be tolerant and accepting of the process are really the best avenue right now, along with giving yourself permission to change up how you eventually react. An excellent example of no right or wrong LA, just dealing with changing emotions as they arise. Take care.

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  6. Sending hugs. It is exhausting, I’m sure, so take care of you too. My mom is 98 and definitely slowing down. She claims she’s fine and I believe she is going to hang on so we will have to throw a party for her when she turns 100.

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  7. Definitely all handled differently. Depends on if your relationship was in good standing with the deceased. It took about 7 years to get over my Mom’s death, very rarely do I find myself grieving for my Dad, although I do miss him terribly despite him being the catalyst for a lot of my anxiety and depression. I often worry how my wife will get by when I’m gone. I shouldn’t let it worry me, because I won’t know if I am no longer here. Sorry you are facing this LA, lots of ❤ and hugs

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  8. […} who wants to talk about death? Who wants to think about it?

    Indeed. I’ve said this for years: we all avoid talking about the subject. It’s taboo. And, as a result, none of us is prepared… for the inevitable. We think we’re so smart: but we refuse to even acknowledge the existence of the difficult problems. It’s so sad.

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  9. Both my parents have passed so I understand the emotions associated with being a caregiver: frustration, fear, regret, love, compassion, and a new respect for the gift of life. I tried to bribe God for more time but she didn’t budge. My sister and I handled our emotions so differently but we showed up and gave each other permission to do what was right for each of us. We made it through but I miss them fiercely, every day, and I’m grateful for the time I had with them. Sending you love and strength as you maneuver through this difficult time. 💕C

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      1. “Feeling our way,” it’s sort of how we do life. I remember when I brought my first kid home without an instruction manual. Talk about feeling your way! Life is emotionally complex whether you’re coming and going. C

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  10. A wise post, LA. Indeed, I think we go through all of those feelings and stages. When my dad passed tow years ago, it was sudden, and super hard; grieved for a long time, still do sometimes. Normal. I think accepting death is helpful, yet also knowing that we will resist death, also normal for human beings is a part of the process. As you write so eloquently, there is no one way to prepare to loose a loved one, no one way, and no right way or wrong way.

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  11. I don’t know about how to deal. I’ve been present when my step dad passed, and my grandfather, whom I credit with any good trait in me. It was years later when I sat up in bed and thought- oh my gosh, I haven’t written to my grandpa in a long time. He’d been dead 3 years. It hit like a brick. And it still will knock me out. Yeah, I don’t like to think about it yet more and more of my friends are passing because I’m getting older. Close , close people, I don’t know. I sometimes wish I would die before then because that pain is awful. But, it’s not my decision. Tough subject

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  12. My Mum died recently as you know, freed from dementia at last, and I’ve been surprised at the bubbles of grief and memory which keep gently popping. My advice:
    Be gentle with all.
    Be as present & as grateful as you can be with the Sick One.
    Have a safe place to cry and be held when you need it.
    Accept help that is offered: meals, house cleaning, pet care, a foot rub.
    Walk outside in the fresh air, and yes, smell the roses.
    Accept the challenge of death and dying, don’t fight it like our culture teaches us.
    Name your fears, your stress, your sadness.
    Look Death in the eye, with a cup of tea and an open heart.

    You’ve got this LA.

    Love G in Australia ❤

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  13. It’s hard. You know it’s coming and yet you really.can’t prepare. You grieve before and you grieve after. Every death is different. Sometimes I think its the hardest part of life. Unfortunately the older we get the more people die. Maybe this prepares us.on some level for our own desth.

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  14. There is no handling of death for those left behind. There’s only facing the multitude of emotions you will inevitably feel. How or whether you let that show is up to the individual, and I hope your family are kind to one another and accepting of the differences in how grief manifests in each other. Knowing and accepting the reality of death before it happens can be helpful, as I’ve witnessed that those who do not do so also have to deal with shock on top of all the other emotions experienced in grieving. Being the practical & pragmatic one is a tough road as I know from experience, so do take good care of you LA.

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      1. When my father died after a long and drawn out illness, my mother went into shock because, although she’d been told to expect his death not just by her children but by medical professionals, she blocked it out and kept urging my father to fight on. I’ve also had friends who experienced same themselves or observed it in their family members. The thing is no amount of outside urging to accept makes a difference, it can only come from within. I’m sorry. I hope you’re not experiencing this with your mother or sister, it can make the time after death much more difficult for all concerned. If you’re having to take care of them, do please seek out support yourself, either from friends or a professional. All the best LA.

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  15. Sad to hear about your dad. That’s hard to handle, I’m sure. I don’t know how I’ll feel about my parents passing – I’m not close to either of them, physically or emotionally.

    When I got the text about my husband’s accident, I thought I might have to be prepared for the worst. Fortunately didn’t happen. When my BFF died suddenly of a heart attack and her family didn’t tell anyone (I found out because her phone was disconnected!), that hit me really hard. I still find it surreal. Same thing happened to me with two sudden heart attack deaths in 2014 – my friend next door and my brother. Both under age 60. Hard to deal with.

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  16. Sorry to hear your father is not well, grieving is a very personal thing, when my parents died all three of us took it differently. My youngest sister who lives in another country hardly talked about it, middle sis cried none stop, talked to anyone who would listen to her about how hard it was for years, and me I just accepted it. My philosophy is no one escapes death so why fight it, accept and move on.
    Sending you love

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  17. Grief seems to be as unique as our fingerprints. Grief as you face death, grief when it happens, and then the ongoing grief process. My sister and I each held one of my dad’s hands when he passed in 2015. The way we handled the grief was VERY different. I thought it was odd to wear a t-shirt with his picture on it, calling him “her hero” to his funeral. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have been so focused on the way she was handling it…even if it struck me as odd. 🙂 Even six years later, we are handling the grieving process differently. Recently obtained some old video footage (I’m talking VCR stuff!) and so enjoyed watching several old videos of him. I was so excited to tell her about them, but she isn’t ready to watch them. It’s six years later and although, I don’t understand…I have to accept it’s her way of dealing with it. This is a very challenging issue to face. How we handle it is either healthy or unhealthy. But then again, whose to decide which is which? Not an easy road to travel. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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