Hi Dr. A...I can truly relate to all you're experiencing, and however you're dealing with it is OK. I guess there's no right or wrong, and for me being in a situation where a friend of mine is dying of cancer that's spread throughout her body....I don't know if I'll go visit her at this point.
Her will to live is only allowing her to suffer a long death...miniscule amounts daily, and I've come to realise I see no dignity in that type of process. I know what I've learned through this...I will never do as she's done it.
Closer to your situation, another friend who has CD just experienced the death of her beloved grandfather. She was quite distraught at the nowledge that he was wanting to die, and when she went to visit him, she asked him how he felt about
it and what his thoughts were on death, etc.
His shared thoughts brought her comfort....and she viewed his death as extremely sad, but not tragic. One doesn't want to see loved ones suffer.
My mother, on the other hand, died June 21, 1994. I pretty much had to ignore much of it hoping she would survive until I graduated from the program that consumed me at that time. I wanted the summer to connect with her, etc. My brother was living with her, and his girlfriend (a nursing student) was caring for my mom....because my mom decided she didn't want to die in the hospital but wanted her kids to care for her. WTH??? Like we have practice at it?
A lot of emotional distresses for me, but I had to stay away based on my mom/brother's relationship until the critical stage happened.
When my mom died (on my graduation day), it was a relief in the way I didn't have to deal with the life-long rejection I felt. It took a while to find any information on how I was supposed to feel (even though I was in therapy)...as pb4 stated, the quality of a relationship pretty much determines how much grief and loss one feels.
Again, the same with my dad's death a few years later...he didn't even want my sister to tell me he was in the hospital. say what??? How does one show actual feelings other than hurt/confusion when there's competition but perceived not caring?
I did have a male friend whom I knew since 1960....he was truly an integral emotional part of my life as a teen and in my early 20's. But, we went our separate ways, and on occasion ran into each other catching up on each other's lives. He died suddenly in 2004 and I still have a severe feeling of loss in my heart knowing that he's not here, even though I barely saw him.
So, whatever my point is....you will never be prepared, but I think the bottom line is your reaction will be what you believe how you are to react. You may flare, so prepare yourself that way by possibly increasing your meds...for the calm after the storm is when it can hit.
There is a book called "Tuesdays with Morrie"....very fast read, but insightful as to connecting with someone who is dying.
The fear of going through it is the hardest I think....but maybe other family members are wanting to share how they're feeling and no one is asking. Maybe connect that way and you may be surprised that you're not the only one.
I'm impressed that your grandfather has made arrangements. My mom had her arrangements too, but when she was in a bad state, the pastor from her church laid the guild trip of being creamated and she had to call in the funeral director to come and help her pick out her coffin. I won't say what I told the minister after the funeral.
Apologies for this being long-winded...but unfortunately the older we get, the more experience of loss we have. No wonder "old" people are sad and miserable sometimes. Acceptance of what we feel and think is really the key.
*Heather* Status: maintenance Asacol 6 daily + Salofalk enemas every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux); Effexor XR 75mg(depression); Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~vitamins/minerals/supplements; Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS" worth it !!!