How to comfort my sister about passing away?

Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 03:42 pm
You want to tell her something comforting?

Do you think she is telling her counsellor how she really feels, or putting on a brave face to that person too? If she is, would she allow you to help her to tell that person how she is really feeling?

I am so sorry it is a major taboo to talk about death in your family.

I really DO know how awful that is, having been through the death of a 10 year old sister, and a mother, before I was your age....all without any speaking about it going on in my family. Drove me crazy!

I understand why your parents may be unable to face all this yet....but it is still adding to your burdens.

It sounds as though I was wrong, and your sister DOES have a religious belief?

I wonder if the priest realised he was pitching things way above her understanding? Do you think there's some hope he might be able to come down from the nice word world to really help her deal with her actual fears?

Again, I'd be trying to help her explore her beliefs about how she hasn't been "good enough" and helping her t put them in proportion. Does she think, deep down, her illness is some sort of punishment?

What do you think might comfort YOU in such a situation?

Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 04:05 pm
Oh dear God, what a dilemma to face at 10 or 15 years old. Sorry I don't think I have anything very useful to say, but I felt compelled to say something. Love her and make sure she feels your love, and make her laugh when you can. Rest assured, there is no place in Hell for 10 year-olds. God bless you both.

((((( AbbieMcKenley & Sister )))))
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Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 08:04 am
I'm not exactly sure what she does tell the councillor, she usually goes on her own, but i'm sure she does say things to look braver than she is as she does to everyone. She is brave, but brave people get scared too.

As for religious belief, it's somthing she's interested in sometimes, but nothing she's grown up with.

I think because she spends so long on her own, in bed and such she thinks about things so much more and she hears people talking.

When she was younger she always used to ask what she'd done wrong to deserve everything she was going through, she doesn't speak about that anymore, but i guess i don't know if she still thinks it.


I'm sorry about your mum and sister.

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Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 10:04 am
Hi Abbie:

Geez, what a tough situation to be in (you, I mean). I'm sorry for all of you - you and your sister who face the truth, for your parents who are in denial, and for the counsellors who aren't providing much counselling. Your sister should be the priority right now and it doesn't sound much like she is. If she wants to come home, I think she should be there.

It's natural for your sister to be thinking of death, in her situation, and quite normal for her to be scared of it, I'd expect. I can't think of anything that one could say that could take that fear away - I think that comes from within. I do wish there was someone who could relieve some of her fears, though, and just let her talk it all out, besides you. At your age you shouldn't be the one in charge of dealing with it - you will need someone yourself, despite knowing for the last five years that this was going to happen. You already have feelings (anger or resentment or frustration with your parents) that should be expressed and dealt with.

Why not tell her you'd be scared, too (if it's true, that is), so she has someone who feels the same way.

Do your parents know she's scared?

You're a caring and concerned sister, Abbie, and I'm glad your sister has you.
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2009 10:21 am
Abbie- Many people, even adults, are not comfortable with talking about death.

Or she tells me that anger and denial are part of grieving, i mean jez, my sister is still alive!

Hon, you ARE grieving. You have been watching your sister deal with a terminal illness. In a way, this is even harder than having a person die suddenly. In a situation such as this, the person feels helpless in not being able to assist the ill person. The situation is especially sad when the sick person is still very young.

Obviously i do speak to my friends, but none of them really understand what's wrong with her and they keep telling me that they "reckon she'll get beat it"

Young people have little experience with the death of loved ones. For many the thought is so emotionally upsetting that they go into denial. I know it is hard, but try not to be so upset if you don't get the empathy that you seek from young friends. They really don't know how.

Sometimes I think no one actually gets it. Even the doctors don't say what they think.

Doctors are just people too. Many of them, in order to be efficient at their work, try to separate themselves emotionally from the patient, and focus on treating the illness. It is a rare physician who has the skills to be able to give comfort to their patients' families.

Some years ago, I met a woman who was a professional social worker. Her job was to teach medical school students "bedside manner". Apparently, at the time, her program was one of the first in this country. Sadly, our society has produced many technically proficient doctors who don't have a clue as to how to relate to their patients and families on an emotional level.

You are going through a rough time. I think that it is important for you to let your feelings out. Is there anyone else in your life (friend, relative, school guidance counselor) to whom you could speak openly?

I am glad that you found A2K. There are a lot of people here with life experience who may be able to assist you as you are going through this trying time.
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Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 12:29 pm
If she wants to come home, I think she should be there.

Thanks for your posts everyone. I printed a couple bits out and showed them to my parents, and between them, they and the oncologists have compromised that she can come home for some of the week, on the understanding that she gets all her treatments in hospital. Its not ideal but it's a start.

Tomorrow she'll be home at christmas for the first time in like, 4 years, she's really excited and any thoughts of death or whatever are way out of her mind right now, i hope it'll stay that way.

I hate that theres nothing i can really tell her but i guess thats part of it all, i guess in a way i'm glad that there was nothing i could really tell her, i'd have felt awful if the answer was obvious.

Thanks again everyone.
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 12:33 pm
Thanks so much for the update Abbie, it sounds like you are handling this really, really well. I'm so sorry that you and your sister and the rest of your family have to deal with something so difficult. I hope your Christmas is a good one.
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Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2009 12:57 pm
That's great news Abbey! Make sure she has some fun on her furlough. She's very fortunate to have a sister like you.

Christmas hugs for both of you --> ((((( AbbieMcKenley & Sister )))))
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 06:43 am
Thanks everyone for being so kind, i'd just like to update you and finsish this post.

At 9pm on boxing day my sister passed away, she was at home with us and had just said goodbye to the entire family, uncles aunnts and cousins. She was in my dad's arms on the sofa and he told her that if she waas ready, she could go now. 5 minutes later she stopped breathing, she wasn't in pain and she looked so happy and beautiful. Thank you all in the advice you gave me, it was appreciated.

Hope you all i had a lovely Christmas, i know we did.

Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 07:17 am
Oh my Abbie.

Our thoughts are with you.

Take care.
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 08:18 am
Hi, Abbie !
Welcome to the forum.

I 'd like to recommend the works of Deepak Chopra, M.D.
(any bookstore, New Age section)
He is very up beat and optimistic about this.
I think your parents will like him.
Thay might even want him to treat your sister.

For your sister 's peace of mind,
I suggest that u be in touch with
the International Association of Near Death Studies

This is not the first time that I 've heard of a situation like this.
In 1993, a friend of mine invited me to a dinner of a group
who have the hobby of studying Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective.
We were seated next to her friend, Mary Francis.
My friend said that she 'd have to leave early because
an old friend of hers was on his deathbed and scared of dying.
I suggested that she go to a bookstore and get any book
about Near Death Experiences, like Life After Life
by a friend of mine, Raymond Moody, M.D.
about what people have said when thay have been
brought back from death, in hospitals. (That happens a lot.)
By "death" we mean no activity of heart, no breathing,
and no electrical activity in the brain for several minutes
or an hour.

When my friend said that, Mary Francis seated next to her,
said that in the 1980s, she was in Florida, having a lot of trouble
giving birth in a hospital. Then she heard her attending obstetrician say:
"we 've lost her." She said that her consciousness,
her mind, floated up so that she was looking down,
seeing frantic efforts to bring her back by the doctor and nurses.
She felt no pain; she felt fine.

She said that her consciousness drifted back, behind the hospital
where she had never been before. She said that she saw her
5 year old boy sitting on some wooden stairs leading down
into the backyard of the hospital, waiting out his mother
who was inside giving birth. She saw a cook come out
of the back door, give the boy a slice of chocolate cake
go into the yard and pull down a banana from a tree
and give it to the boy.

Her thoughts then turned to her daughter, who was in school
several miles away, whereupon she (her consciousness)
arrived in her daughter 's class and saw that thay were
having a written spelling test. She looked down and saw
that her daughter had spelled a word rong.

She then felt distress at being about to lose her family,
whereupon she arrived back in her hospital room
and back in her material body and she woke up.

Her doctor asked what it was like.
(He knew that she had been "dead" because he knew
that she had no activity of her heart, or her lungs
and no electrical activity in her brain.)

She told him what she had experienced.
The cook was called, who confirmed giving the boy
the cake and the banana. Mary Francis' husband then
went to their daughter 's school and asked the teacher
what the class had been doing at whatever time
the chart said that she was in a state of "death".

The teacher confirmed that the class was taking a spelling test
and their daughter came home with the misspelled word
on her test paper.

Another time, I was stuck in traffic with a girl to whom
I was giving a lift. I mentioned that soon I was going to
visit my friend Raymond Moody, M.D. (Life After Life author).
She then told me of her experience that was very similar
to that of Mary Francis, with her own observations and adventures.

People don 't have to DIE to get out of their bodies.
Some people (including me) have had out-of-body-experiences
which are fun; I only wish that thay lasted longer.

Dr. Deepak Chopra has put it this way:
" people think that we are human beings
with occasional spiritual experiences,
but we are actually spiritual beings
with occasional human experiences."

The idea is that u are not your body,
the same as u are not your car
and u are not your shoes.
After your shoes wear out, u don 't stop walking.

People who have been brought back from "death"
in hospitals have very ofen complained that thay
felt fine while their bodies were dead,
and as thay saw the frantic efforts to revive them.
Many of them said something like:
" Y didn 't u leave me alone??? I was OK."

Some people who have been brought back from "death"
have compared being revived to "being put back in jail."
Thay LIKED being out of their bodies
and people who have been killed have no worries at all
about dying again.

Has your sister seen the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze & Demi Moore?
Is it possible for her to see that movie? DVD or videotape?

If u want, I can tell u a lot more on this subject, Abbie.
Just lemme know.

U might wanna contact www.IANDS.org
and explain the situation. I 've attended their annual conventions
of people who have died and been revived and of medical doctors who have investigated this.

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Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 08:42 am
Take care, Abbie. I'm glad your sister had a good ending. It's all any of us can hope for, I suppose.
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  Selected Answer
Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 08:56 am
Here 's your Christmas present, Abbie:
U are free to share it with your sister.
This is taken from the newsletter
of the Intenational Association of Near Death Studies

Near Death Experience of the Month PDF | Print | E-mail

When I was 13 years old, I was in surgery for appendicitis when my appendix ruptured during the surgery. My first memory is that of seeing a silver dome below me, later realizing this was the top of the operating room light. I saw the medical team working on my physical body and sensed their "panic" and sincere concern for me. I knew my body was being taken care of and that left me free to go. Go where?

As soon as I had the thought, a light appeared in the distance above me. I felt a motion pulling forward and just went in the direction of the light. There was a brief period of darkness, but I had no sense of fear. I remember thinking that I should be afraid, but I was pleased that I was not.

As I came to be in the light there was a presence of someone with me. I did not consciously know who this was, but I trusted this presence completely. I remember seeing hundreds of people welcoming me back, like they were glad to see me. I don't remember knowing any of them, and yet somehow I knew them all. I was told that I must go to meet someone who was waiting for me. As I was in the presence of this one I was to meet, the light became so bright that I thought that this light should hurt my eyes and yet it did not. From my perspective at the time, this being was the Father I had been taught about in heaven. He held out his arms, and I went to him so naturally and was held by him.

I remember feeling small and completely in awe of the beauty of this pure love I was being surrounded by. We had much conversation without saying any words. One of my greatest memories is that of all knowledge being available. If I had a question in my thought, I immediately had the answer. If I thought, "what's over there?" I found myself "over there." This was great fun! I was home, and I wanted to stay! The Father told me I did not have to go back, but I would have to make a choice. There was no question in my mind that I wanted to stay. He said he understood, but he asked me to spend some time in the garden and really think about why I chose to enter into this life in the first place. Oh, the garden! Thankfully, a place I have not forgotten.

I found myself seemingly physically alone, and at the same time, knowing I was not exactly alone in this most beautiful place. There was a large tree shading the most incredibly green grass, surrounded by flowers of every color, size, and shape that ever existed. I heard a humming sound like a tone of some kind. When I looked, I became aware of the individual sound each flower made, like each flower was very much alive and had its own personality, indicated by the tone that it made. All flowers together made a sound of perfection and harmony. I asked the Father in thought, "what is in the soil that would create such beautiful flowers?" He answered, and I felt him smiling, "unconditional love." Every living thing will find its own perfection with unconditional love.

I told him that I did want to stay, but felt I needed to somehow let my parents know not to be sad or angry if I did not come back. I felt if I could just explain to them where I was, they wouldn't mind so much. The next thing I remember, I was back at the hospital and saw my mom walking next to a bed I was lying on. I remember calling her name, and being right in front of her face calling to her, and she could not hear me. I then woke up in the recovery room, pulling at the oxygen mask that made me feel like I was suffocating.

Experience entered into the IANDS Archives April 4, 2002

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Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 11:01 am
Peace be with you Abbie.

and know that you made her happy.

you're a good egg.
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Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 11:39 am
Oh Abbie,
you're such a brave girl and wise beyond your years. I am glad your sister
was home with loved ones surrounding her and passed on peacefully.
I wish you and your family all the best and lots of strength to cope with
the tremendous loss you're feeling.

Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 11:47 am
Abbie, thank you for letting us know.

Come back to a2k to talk any time.
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Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 11:54 am
You have been a loving friend and sibling to your sister. We are proud of you on how you made the last days of your sister's life as comfortable as possible.

You have a generous and caring soul. You and your family have my deepest condolences on your loss.

You're welcomed to come back to a2k if you still need warmth and support.
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Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 12:20 pm
Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry. Your post brought me to tears.

Yes it does sound like she went in a good way, though.

How are you doing, Abbie?
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Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 01:29 pm
Abbie, I don 't know whether u are still reading this thread,
but I wish to offer my condolences for the passing of your sister.

When my own mother died, many years ago,
I was comforted by a spiritual lady, most of whose family
was gifted with ESP and who assured me that loss of her meat suit
is not the end of the person herself.

When I posted in reply to you earlier in this thread,
I did not know that your sister had already passed on.

I hope that www.IANDS.org will offer u comfort
and assurance that your sister is happy and in Good Hands.

Reply Sun 27 Dec, 2009 02:26 pm

OmSigDAVID, i did read your posts earlier and i was happy to know that perhaps death wasn't the end. I know Lilia's looking over us.
Heaven just gained it's best angel but i really do hate that she had to go so soon.

At first i couldn't believe the whole world hadn't just ended. We all feel pretty numb at the moment, Lilia was a really special kid and it hurts that we and the world are going to miss out on that. On the other hand, she never gave into cancer, it may have taken her life but she never once stopped fighting and living, we're all so proud of her and she passed after one of the happiest days of her life. Untill we're all together again theres always going to be a big hole where she's left and none of us will ever forget her.


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