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 moonwalkerman
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 1
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Struggling with accepting demisePage 1 of 1    
My girlfriend's dad is very old, 93, and I can see the physical and mental demise. We have been taking care of him and put massive energy into his well-being after his wife died. So far, so good. Here is the point: I know it is almost childish, but I am struggling massively with the fact that I cannot do anything about his demise. I keep thinking: more exercise, better food, anything,will make him better. It is very frustrating that it seems I am buying time at best. Worse yet, it feels like I am failing because I cannot save him. Don't laugh, I know that few people at all make it to that age. I simply cannot accept that he will perish. Now here is my question: have any of you had experience with something like this, and how did you manage to cope ?
 gingerosity
Joined: 12/10/2011
Msg: 2
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 12/31/2018 4:04:24 PM
"As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters." - Seneca
 moonwalkerman
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 3
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/1/2019 2:09:25 AM
Thanks, that is a very good thought. And very much part of the problem: he had a bad marriage, and the best part of his life started at the age of 81, after his wife died. I feel responsible for adding as many good days as possible...but the physical and mental deterioration gets in the way !
 Million_Reasons
Joined: 10/23/2018
Msg: 4
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/2/2019 4:25:02 PM
There comes a point when you have to recognize your own selfishness.

Confront your fear of death so you can make his transition as peaceful as possible.
 LeFouGamboj
Joined: 11/17/2018
Msg: 5
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/3/2019 7:49:36 PM

I simply cannot accept that he will perish. Now here is my question: have any of you had experience with something like this, and how did you manage to cope ?


by opening up your mind to the realization than nothing truly dies in this Universe..........Although the body physically dies, his immutable life energy returns to the default state whence it came.

You can choose to handle his demise however you wish.......but you will never make sense of it by viewing it from a physical standpoint.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 6
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/4/2019 5:23:21 AM
I have this struggle as well, since my mother died last year, followed soon after by the surprise death of my sister, and now my father is well on his way to the end.

I can't tell you any way to be okay about it all, I don't think there is one. However, what I think we can do, is to accept what parts of it all are for us to bear, and what is for our loved ones to experience.

The pain that you and I are suffering is entirely within us, and our own responsibility to cope with. There is no transferring it to anyone else, for our relief. Not even to a god, if you are a religious person.

My own sense, is that since it is my burden to bear, that I can accept carrying and dealing with it, just as I accept my limits as an individual human being with whatever skills and inherent shortcomings I have.

The greatest challenge of all, is that accepting THEIR demise, means accepting our own. That's the terrifying part. I have no answer for you there. My only "solution" to that terror so far, is that I can do nothing about it, so I decide each moment, to do other things with my existence, aside from staring into the abyss in fear.
 platitude545
Joined: 10/2/2018
Msg: 7
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/4/2019 9:07:56 AM
At 93, you can and should be grateful that he has made it so far. I just lost a very dear friend at the age of 63. I have had friends who have passed in their early 50s. I had a college friend who killed himself at 22. It is much harder to accept the death of those we know and love when it is at an earlier age than it should be.

We all have to struggle with knowledge of our own mortality. I simply try to look at it like this.....the dead do not know they are dead...only those who are left behind know you are gone. Inother words....we return to the same State of being before we were born. Presumably...assuming only one life...that State has existed for a period of eternity and the same state will go on for eternity...and we will never be the wiser for it.

Or....Consciousness is the Universal default...and no matter what happens to our physical bodies...that conscious state continues for eternity. Who really knows....whatever the answer...nothing we can do about it or to change it.
 Doremi_Fasolatido
Joined: 2/14/2009
Msg: 8
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/4/2019 5:50:03 PM
I know not what lies, after my demise... If it's an ending or a beginning.
Makes me wonder at times. if I should be praying for forgiveness .... Or, just enjoying the act of sinning....

Hell is just as good as heaven. since they're both here and now....
Where you wind up is in your head.

Help folks when they are here I'd say, 'Cause it doesn't matter much after they're dead
 moonwalkerman
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 9
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/5/2019 2:48:26 AM
@IgorFrankensteen: Mother, sister, and possibly father, that's tough...sorry to hear about that. The thing that really sucks is that we can do nothing about it. I solve computer networking problems for a living, and even or the most difficult situations, there is ALWAYS a solution. But all the money or knowledge in the world cannot save somebody from ceasing to exist.
 moonwalkerman
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 10
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/5/2019 3:02:39 AM
@platitude545: you are very right. Dying at a young age is a whole lot worse than being very old. That however doesn't really change the weirdness of the entire concept: one day you talk and communicate, the other day, everything just stops, only to be replaced by eternal silence.
That I find the most scary part, it is almost like being abandoned, left behind. Because I cannot go where they go.
My girlfriend is a gynaecologist, she always says it is just as weird that people come into existence, out of nowhere. But you are right: we were not there before we were born. Interesting thought...
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 11
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/5/2019 7:23:00 AM

@IgorFrankensteen: Mother, sister, and possibly father, that's tough...sorry to hear about that. The thing that really sucks is that we can do nothing about it. I solve computer networking problems for a living, and even or the most difficult situations, there is ALWAYS a solution. But all the money or knowledge in the world cannot save somebody from ceasing to exist.


Perhaps I am more fortunate than you in one sense. I have always been in the repair business. And there, accepting end of life (albeit of machines) is built in. While I certainly don't think of my relatives and friends as machines, the overall concept of limits of solutions has been obvious to me for my whole life.

It didn't prevent the shock when my mother died, since I had become used to her existing (I still find that I continue to think of she and my sister as alive, and have to repeatedly remind myself they are not) .
 platitude545
Joined: 10/2/2018
Msg: 12
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/5/2019 1:55:57 PM
My only point was at 93. A man's long life should be celebrated. If a person is deelling on that person's ultimate demise, he is seeing the glass as half empty, maybe should even seek coumseling. At 93 and the frailties of old age, my guess many people stop fearing death and maybe look forward to it. My own mother who suffered from copd and heart failure towards the end opted to stop any treatments that might have kep her alive for a few more months or even years. She decided on her own it was time to go
 moonwalkerman
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 13
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/6/2019 2:35:45 PM

At 93 and the frailties of old age, my guess many people stop fearing death and maybe look forward to it.

I agree, if you are that old and extremely uncomfortable, and in constant pain, death is probably a relief. I also do believe when a person loses the will to live, that is the end of it. But in this case, and it is a very special case I must admit, he really doesn't want to die. His body is old but his mind is not. So, I don't care how old you are, if you want to live, I am not giving up on you. To come back to the very point of my post: even if I don't give up, even if he wants to live, at some point nature, biology, whatever you want to call it, will overrule it all. And that is extremely frustrating.
That said, whether the glass is half full or half empty depends on the state of development of mankind. Only 100 years ago, most people would not get past 60, and that was considered old. 100 years from now there will probably be a pretty simple cure for COPD and heart failure.
 moonwalkerman
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 14
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/6/2019 2:58:48 PM

...accepting end of life (albeit of machines) is built in.


Very good analogy, however, even with machines, is there a fixed expiration date ? Very often, if you just replace a small part, you can extend the life of a machine. Of course there comes a point when something cannot be fixed, or when it is cheaper to replace the broken with a new model.
On a side note, in my particular line of business, there are too many people that say there is no solution because they are either too lazy to look for one, or their ego is too big to admit that they don't know something.

I think the entire concept of mortality has been sort of bothering most of mankind forever. Didn't even Indiana Jones look for the Holy Grail ? The real problem is probably that our brains are too big, and because of that, we are able to think about and reflect on these things...
 dragonbytes
Joined: 9/15/2015
Msg: 15
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/7/2019 7:52:19 AM

I agree, if you are that old and extremely uncomfortable, and in constant pain, death is probably a relief. I also do believe when a person loses the will to live, that is the end of it. But in this case, and it is a very special case I must admit, he really doesn't want to die. His body is old but his mind is not. So, I don't care how old you are, if you want to live, I am not giving up on you. To come back to the very point of my post: even if I don't give up, even if he wants to live, at some point nature, biology, whatever you want to call it, will overrule it all. And that is extremely frustrating.
That said, whether the glass is half full or half empty depends on the state of development of mankind. Only 100 years ago, most people would not get past 60, and that was considered old. 100 years from now there will probably be a pretty simple cure for COPD and heart failure.


That is a common misconception.

Most people in the past lived a long time if they managed to live past the age of 40. Life expectancy has increased because life expectancy is calculated on AVERAGE age of death. Many people died in childbirth, as a simple example if 100 people die at age 1 and 100 die at age 100, then life expectancy would be 50. Famine, starvation, diseases, war caused many people to die young.

Maximum like expectancy hasn't changed much. The theory is that the max is 125 years, the longest lived human was born in 1875.

Did you know two interesting things ??

1) Life Expectancy has been declining among Americans, it has done so for two years. (I can see why that might happen)

2) The theory is that the max is 125 years, the longest lived human was born in 1875.

This is a list of tables of the oldest people in the world in ordinal ranks. To avoid including false or unconfirmed claims of extreme old age, names here are restricted to those people whose ages have been validated by an international body that specifically deals in longevity research, such as the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) or Guinness World Records (GWR), and others who have otherwise been reliably sourced.

According to this criterion, the longest human lifespan is that of Jeanne Calment of France (1875–1997), who lived to the age of 122 years, 164 days. She met Vincent van Gogh when she was 12 or 13.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_people
 dragonbytes
Joined: 9/15/2015
Msg: 16
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/7/2019 8:07:11 AM

Very good analogy, however, even with machines, is there a fixed expiration date ? Very often, if you just replace a small part, you can extend the life of a machine. Of course there comes a point when something cannot be fixed, or when it is cheaper to replace the broken with a new model.
On a side note, in my particular line of business, there are too many people that say there is no solution because they are either too lazy to look for one, or their ego is too big to admit that they don't know something.


Ultimately, I don't think there is a fixed expiration date, either for machines or people.

Machines simply get too expensive to repair. You can replace all the parts over time, one might argue is it really the same machines if everything has been replaced leaving no original part?

Some trees have lived 3,500 years.

Living machines like people can self repair, IF, a BIG IF, science can discover the cellular mechanisms behind aging they might be able to turn off aging. I think it's likely they will be able to, but maybe another 50 years from now.
 platitude545
Joined: 10/2/2018
Msg: 17
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/7/2019 8:37:22 AM
I think knowledge that we will die effects everybody but in different ways...some may try to make the most out of life...be the best they can be. others may have a fatalistic attitude towards life...that nothing matters in the long run. ...probably where religion comes in, to give people a purpose for living. No doubt the thoughts of our demise causes us much sadness, angst and depression. Better to be a goldfish?

I am getting older myself. I know death is likely much closer than it was when I was say, in my teens. Its something all of us must think about although some far more than others. I read about things that may be happening in 2050 from global warming and think to myself it is highly unlikely I will be here to see it, while my daughters think to themselves...what kind of world am I going to be living in when I am middle aged.

As you well know, there is no answer to your question. All people can do is accept what is a given conclusion.... we have no other choice.
Expanding on the concept, some day our Earth will be devoid of life....a rock burned by the expanding sun into our orbit....eventually our earth will be nothing but space dust traveling through the Universe, our own atoms will become part of newly formed stars. Our great civilizations will be erased from the history of the Universe. Even the Universe will one day cease to exist. It will be like we never existed to begin with..........

But.......how is that any different than our non-physical state before the creation of our earth and our lives? Did we care then? The Universe is only 14 billion years old...did we care before its creation?
 dragonbytes
Joined: 9/15/2015
Msg: 18
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/7/2019 9:04:09 AM
Philosophically speaking, how long would you want to live?

If one could extend life to unlimited years, would you want to live another 1000 years? (In reasonably good health.)

When I was in my 30s I asked those sorts of questions, surprisingly to me many people didn't really want to live a lot longer.

For me, the longer the better, but if I got bored with it all suicide is easy, living longer is tough.
 platitude545
Joined: 10/2/2018
Msg: 19
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/7/2019 10:07:22 AM
^^^^ I think the better question is, if as Friedrich Nietzsche speculates, there really was eternal recurrence, and you had to live your same life over and over and over for eternity..without change...would you want to? My guess is most people have made so many mistakes in their lives, suffered so much hardship ... that they might say no. Me... I just feel an overwhelming sense of tiredness just thinking about it.....and yet my life as a whole as been more successful than most, a good childhood with lots of love. I would like to relive my youth...see my parents again...old girlfriends....but geeze...so much angst along the way.
 platitude545
Joined: 10/2/2018
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/7/2019 10:16:45 AM
Or as Barbara Streisand might say:


If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?
 dragonbytes
Joined: 9/15/2015
Msg: 21
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Struggling with accepting demise
Posted: 1/7/2019 11:43:35 AM
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?

I like groundhog day situation AKA the movie, maybe I need to be able to do it all many times to get it right. I can see one do over I would get it wrong a new way.
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