A little guilt, maybe

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by twoton, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. twoton

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    Both of my parents are dead. I guess “passed away,” is a more sensitive way to say it. Or “passed on,” or “passed.”

    Frankly, I’ve never been one for softening euphemisms.

    I’m one of a few people in my age cohort who has lost a parent, and the only one I know who’s lost both at my age.

    As my peers’ parents are getting older, sicker, frail, and they’re having to think about living arrangements and planning.....of course, I miss my parents, but I’m also thankful that all those worries and stresses and fears are over and done with. Been there, done that. And dealing with death isn’t scary anymore.

    Anyone have similar feelings about having gone through major life shake-ups?
     
  2. Enid

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    See, a couple months ago I would probably have said, maybe even would still say, I want to be in your shoes.

    Because I just went through my mother's death in June, and while numb a lot of the time, there has also been great pain. Lots of crying in the middle of grocery stores. Plus death benefits hassles. Jeez, I am so thankful for my sister who battled tooth and nail to get us all the money we were owed. Which we needed.

    I did find myself secretly envious about the idea of someone who lost a parent while young, which is really pretty awful, but in my grief-stricken brain I sometimes found myself thinking "Gee, wish I'd been so-and-so losing a parent in their 30s so I wouldn't have to be going through this NOW"

    but this is all selfish thinking. We don't get to choose. We just get to appreciate the time we do have

    I cant even THINK about dad. Oh god. He's started wanting to give me a class on all his stocks and I'm like oh no please I cant take it right now because I know you're thinking end of life you're nearly 80 I get it but NOOO not now

    If losing a parent is this hard (and I admit, I'm very lucky, both of my parents are saints, true facts) I dont even know how a parent must feel losing a child.
     
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  3. Tight_N_Juicy

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    A lot of the funerals I've been to were for people my age. And yes, I've been to too many to count.

    The thought that's popped into my mind that I wish hadn't: at least they don't have to watch the shit-show humanity is becoming anymore. They left the world way too soon, but at least they didn't have to see everything I've seen since they died.

    I do feel guilty for being envious of the dead. It's a horrible way to look at life. These thoughts are ones I had when I was still pretty severely depressed. It's a big part of why I take mental health issues so seriously. I don't think enough people do.
     
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  4. swoon

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    Someone I don't really know broached this subject in the street today. People who want to talk single me out for some reason. I'm glad I don't know. Hopefully, I'll never know. I saw my mother experience it, and she continues to experience it. All I could say to the woman who spoke to me today was " It's ok, it doesn't matter that it was twenty years ago, I understand that it's not something you "just get over". It is was it is". Then we ended up talking about caring responsibilities (she looks after her mother), and politics.

    This bit is not in reply to @Enid specifically, it's just my general rant on the subject:

    There is something about this time of year that rewakens the grief and loss, and there are many people who spend the weeks around Christmas feeling absolutely bereft. I've never liked Christmas, and long suspected that only very few people ever experience a "perfect Christmas". It's just an orgy of excess and rampant Capitalist values (and I say that as someone who loves buying stuff, but even I want to puke). It marks the darkest part of the year, and sometimes it can be a struggle not to get pulled down into the darkness. There is a lot to be said for being thankful for what you have got, whether it is a roof over your head, or wonderful memories of loved ones who are no longer here. It matters that they were here, even if they aren't now, because they've contributed to making you into who you are. You can make it matter by taking the positives that you can find and sharing them with others who are struggling.
     
  5. Enid

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    Just know I'm weeping copiously right now but I also love you

    It's my first Christmas without my mom

    Without her smile

    **desolves into a stupid mess**
     
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  6. liquiss

    liquiss Well-Known Member

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    I'm a financial planner by trade. What that means is, not only do I help my clients manage their wealth and plan for financial events throughout their lives, but also to build out an estate plan for children/charities/whatever they want. As a result, it's part of my job to make sure I'm having regular conversations with people about this. Because it's inevitable. There's no escaping that at some point, we're all going to lose our parents, and our kids are going to lose us (hopefully! It's a terrible tragedy the other way around). That doesn't make it any easier, but I don't think you can feel guilty for not having to watch your parents deteriorate through terrible diseases like Alzheimer's or dementia. We're hitting a phase where a lot of us are going through a "sandwich generation", wherein we're caring for our ailing parents, as well as our children. That's a tough spot to be in, and causes a lot of stress, especially when sound planning hasn't been done (which is commonly the case).

    @Enid I'm terribly sorry for the loss of your mom. I can't even imagine what it'll be like when mine goes. If there comes a day when you're needing to deal with your parents stocks or investments and you have an questions, and we happen to still be in touch, don't hesitate to message me. Obviously your investment and taxation system in the US is not the same as ours in Canada, but I can tackle any general questions about the investment products for you as best as I can.
     
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  7. LaFemme

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    I’m planning my specific retirement plans now. I mean I’ve been planning for awhile, but the whole retirement / death thing is getting very specific now.

    I was hours away from dying this past spring and realized that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. Hadn’t updated my will, beneficiaries, etc. Funeral planning. I might not die when I’m old. So I got on all of that. The worst thing to do to my family is to leave all that stuff to them. And retirement, making sure it’s all in order for when I’m ready.

    I have lost both my parents already. My dad went into ICU on Christmas Day 17 years ago. He died ten days later. My mom died 41 years ago. Both feel like yesterday. You learn to live without them, but you never get over it. You will always miss them, always grieve them. It will hit you at the weirdest times. It’s just how it is and that’s ok.
     
  8. liquiss

    liquiss Well-Known Member

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    Yeah dying without a will is a mess, no matter where you are. Never ever do I want to put any branch of government - be it provincial or federal - in charge of taking care of my estate and family after I go. I seem to recall that you're outside of Ontario from another thread or something, but one think I can certainly help with is any questions you might have about anything. At least within Canada I'm familiar with all of the vehicles for tax planning and saving.
     
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  9. twoton

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    And you absolutely do not want to leave your family without drawing up a living will. Unless you hate your family.

    My mom had prepaid and made arrangements for as much of her funeral as possible. It was a huge help to us.
     
  10. LaFemme

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    I’d appreciate that. It’s truly kind of you. I’m in oil country. True prairie girl, born and raised.
     
  11. liquiss

    liquiss Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm not in the business because I don't like talking about it ;). But kidding aside, it's my pleasure. I'm a certified financial planner and a chartered life underwriter (which is basically the estate planning equivalent of the CFP), so I like to try to get use out of all the money I've dumped into that education :D
     
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  12. halcyondays

    halcyondays Well-Known Member

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    My WWII generation parents have been gone over fifteen years. I experienced two kinds of grief.

    The first happened as they circled the drain, their health failing, their dementia worsening to the point where they didn't recognize me or my sibs. It filled me with grief to watch, wondering if or how much they were suffering, knowing they were dying. It's a terrible helplessness that went on for months. After they died I felt huge relief that whatever they were suffering was over. Then came the second grief which was missing them. I call it absence grief. My loss. Full recovery from that took about five years.

    The important thing is that you remember how gutted you felt going through it with your parents so you'll understand and empathize with your peers as they go through the same.
     
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  13. creek47

    creek47 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t have a ton of guilt. Life happens for a reason I suppose and I just don’t know. But I don’t feel like I can ever have the feeling of guilt for life happening.
     
  14. palakaorion

    palakaorion Well-Known Member

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    I'm 57. Lost Dad 15 years ago at 75 to his cigarette habit. Lost Mom 2 years ago at 86 to an undiagnosed congenital heart valve issue. Lost wife 3 years ago at 54 to multiple issues all traceable to her lifelong illness. My in-laws are in the 80 ballpark. Most uncles and aunts are gone or close to it, and some cousins too.

    It's a lot.

    This year has been the worst so far. Oddly because there haven't been any fresh losses, so I've finally moved from "initial loss trauma survival" mode, and into "so this is how things are now huh" mode. And it sucks.

    I've battled the depression monster twice before, and picked up some battle and surveillance tactics. So I don't wallow. I don't feel like whale shit at the bottom of the ocean.

    But I also don't fear my own end any longer, either. I'm in no hurry, but when my day comes, it comes.

    Agree also with TnJ that I'm relieved my wife hasn't had to experience the shitshow the world has become lately. She was a TV junkie, so she would have been awash in the daily manure and an emotional wreck.
     
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  15. twoton

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    I moved from my hometown close to 30 years ago, and after that I saw my parents at most 4 or 5 times a year on weekends. I wonder if their absence would've hit me harder if I'd have been living there when they died.

    So I guess, if I have guilt, it's that I wasn't there to help them help my parents right up to the end.

    Just as an aside, when my mom was on her deathbed, a doc came in to her hospital room and talked to my sister and me. I never caught his name and I wish I had because I'd nominate him for sainthood. He asked us all kinds of questions about family medical history, my mom's medical history, etc. and it was a very hard conversation and I was talking through tears but by the time he left I had a huge feeling of relief and healing. He didn't say anything magical or profound at all. He spoke professionally, clinically, but he spoke with compassion, concern, and healing. There was an aura of fatherhood around him, if that makes any sense. I started to write a letter to the hospital to thank him but, like I said, I wasn't sure of his name and I couldn't find anyone in the hospital system's online directory that seemed to be him.
     
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