I'm glad you've found that there is a place on the AARP forums to come unburden yourself of wearying thoughts regarding the recent unhappy news of your sister-in-law's diagnosis.
Sharing your burdens makes them light enough to bear...though bear them we must. This is a troubling and difficult time for all of you who love this lady and want to see her through this with as much grace and as little suffering as possible. You are blessed to be able to share in her difficult journey with the help of hospice. Even though you feel like you don't know what to do for her, in truth you are doing all you need to be doing. You are there. So many people fear death and they are uncomfortable being in the presence of someone who is at the end of their earthly life. You are showing your love and respect for her by being present in one of the most sensitive and profound moments of the human experience. You are supporting those she loves by being there and you are expressing your love for your own husband by caring for his brother and his brother's wife. That is a lot of love and commitment!
Your comments about Hospice are well-deserved. Hospice is a calling and the nurses and volunteers who help ease the end of life issues of the terminally ill and comfort them in their transition are truly dedicated. I say this as someone with a perspective composed of many facets and a personal interface with the work they do. You are very kind to express your views and gratitude for Hospice in a public forum...they do their work quietly and never call attention to themselves. Their work speaks for them and I'm sure the people you have met in Hospice care are very appreciative of your role in the care of your sister-in-law.
Grace and peace to you and your family. ~ Mimi
"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I feel like I don't know what to do for my sister-in-law. She has declined so quickly from the lung cancer - now in her lymph nodes.
Sadly, she's leaving this earth soon. My husband's brother is having a hard time dealing with it as all of us are going through.
Hospice is so helpful. The nurses and aides come in and out daily to help ease the inevitable. I can't say enough good things about them.
I just wanted to share. This is a sad time for our family.
Hi Grandma Chloe.
Thank you for writing about your family, and your sister in law. It is a very sad time for her. I'm relieved to hear that hospice is involved. I was a hospice social worker in Maryland before i moved to rural Oregon.
For your sis-in-law, here are some suggestions:I don't know what your relationship was like before this illness, but there's a bunch of stuff you can do. You could see if there's a funny movie she'd like to watch, perhaps watch again, and bring it over with a portable dvd player if she doesn't have one. Have you ever seen Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black in Bernie? It is hysterical. Or old Carol Burnett reruns. Whatever she wants, preferably light fare. Or visit and talk about whatever she wants to talk about. Rub her feet with baby oil if she'll let you, or her hands. If you aren't that close, you could write a lovely letter with a list of good memories you have of her, how you're grateful to her for whatever reasons, that she made your brother happy, etc. People tend to shy away from the elephant in the room, which is, someone here is dying a lot quicker than everyone else. And it has the effect of isolating the dying person, like her illness and the fact that it's 'winning' is so shameful that no one dare speak of it. Blech with that. Be yourself. And if you cry, that is a showing that you care.
For your brother: is there a way to lighten his load? Does he need a break? Is there something his wife did that you could do now like bake a favorite thing? Or write thank you notes to people so he doesn't have to? (Seems like the females in every straight marriage gets assigned the job of 'be nice to the relatives'. ) Is there a chore or an errand? Does he need a funny movie too?
What have you tried? What do you think you could do?
It is so very hard to lose someone, even if they've had a long life. Thanks for sharing, and for reminding us that caregiving can be for a few months only.
I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Please know that this community is here for you in your time of need. I wanted to also make you aware of some resources HERE that could be of use to you and your family during this time.