Another huge decision and I don't know what to do

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 492
   Posted 7/14/2008 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Last Saturday Morning I received a phone call that I was dreading. Moms sister ( my aunt Betty) lost her battle with cancer and passed at 9 am that morning. I am now faced with do I tell Mom her sister has passed? I am almost afraid that if I do she will become so upset it may cause her already sick heart to give up completely. Mom has been living with Atrial Fibrillation for almost 14 months now along with her dementia. Aunt Betty was her last living family member other than her children.. (myself, my sister and my twin brothers) and many grandchildren most of which she does not remember now.
She and Aunt Betty stopped talking on the phone regularly about 3 years ago when Aunt Betty was told she only had 6 weeks to live. Aunt Betty didn't want my Mom to know she was dying and was always afraid that if they talked on the phone Mom would sense something bad was wrong so, she quit calling her. Mom hasn't asked me about her in almost 6 months now. I wonder if maybe she has already begun to forget her too.
Am I wrong to not tell her? I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place and nowhere to squeeze through.
Have any of you faced this problem?
Do I even have the right to NOT tell her? Life has become so difficult so quickly.
[color=purple>Dx'd 1983 Crohn's Disease, COPD 2000, Psoriasis 2002, Fibromyalgia 2005 along with Cronic Inflammatory Disease 2005. Currently takeing Humira, Pentasa, Lomotil, Elavil, Sinemet, Skelaxin, Advair, Abuterol, Avinza, Percocet and Xanax as needed[/color]

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/15/2008 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Monring Lynn,
I am so sorry about the death of your Aunt.
My husband's Grandmother had Alzheimer's Disease and did not know or remember her own daughter from day to day toward the end.   That was my Mother-in-law, who went everyday and spent a lot of the day with her at the Nursing Home.
When My husband's Aunt, Grandmother's other daughter came down with cancer and died the family decided not to tell Grandma as every day if she would ask about her daughter it would be like hearing it for the first time and she would grieve every time.  Grandma asked for her husband everyday and telling her he was gone always upset her.  In the end she did not know anyone which was sad but we all continued to visit her and just sit with her and talk to her.
I remember going to visit her at Christmas time and my husband is her first born grandchild.  It was sad to have her look at him and she would ask him, and just "Who are You?" He would tell her and she would just shake her head.
She loved the Christmas present...............the wrapping paper and the bow, it kept her hands busy.  She had know idea what the present was but the bright colors of the paper made her happy.
Well that is how our family handled it but I know your family has to make the decision based on what you feel is best.
I will pray for you and may your God bless you.

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
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Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 7/15/2008 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Lynn, from what I've read of your posts, your mother is living in the past now. So in a way, for her Aunt Betty will always be alive and young. I don't see any good to come from telling her. If she asks about her in the future, you can gently tell her then or you can say something like "Gee, we haven't heard from her for quite a while, have we? Tell me again about you and her growing up."

A.D. is a terrible disease, but in looking for any hint of a silver lining, the only one I can find is that it does relieve our loved ones of having to face and deal with some of the painful realities of life. I don't think I'd take that from her.
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Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/19/2008 6:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I dont believe in out and out lying to ppl with AD BUT I do believe in going to their world so I would be doing something akin to what Judy has posted
Kitt has some great input as well

I am so sorry for your loss

God BLess
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