Dealing with the death of a loved one

I talked to my mom over the weekend and she told me she doesn't think my aunt (her oldest sister, there's six of them and mom is #3) is going to make it for much longer. She's a diabetic and her kidneys are failing. She's basically refused dialysis because of the distance and she doesn't want to move closer to treatment. :(

This aunt is one of my favorites. She's 1600 miles away. I haven't seen her in over eight years, just phone calls. She is childless and treated my three sisters and I, as well as all our cousins, like her own. This is when I hate being so far away. I've been through this with the death of my dad, my grandmother and my uncle, this aunt's husband, but it doesn't get any easier. I find I grieve weirdly because I'm not actually there to see or experience them being gone etc. so I dread when her time comes because I know that grief will come in unexpected waves, especially when I have flashbacks or memories. It still happens to me for my dad and grandmother and they've been gone since 2006 and 2007, respectively.

How do you prepare yourself for the loss of a loved one?

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8Theresa GouldChicago, Illinois
    11/11/13
    I'm sorry your going through this, I also lost my Aunt this summer. She had been battling cancer off and on for over 10 years, so we shouldn't have been surprised by the stroke caused by returned cancer that put her in the hospital where she passed about a week later. We had known that could happen for years now, but she's been so successful at fighting we still weren't prepared when that happened. I'm not sure there really is a way to prepare yourself. Being prepared won't lessen the hurt of losing someone you love. I think all you can do is surround yourself with loved ones for support, think of the wonderful time you have together, reminisce. Try and speak with her if you can as much as you can, maybe attempt to plan a trip to see her if it is at all possible. Hopefully she will change her mind about treatment and you can have her longer. Many thoughts and prayers
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    11/12/13
    8Theresa Gould
    Sorry to hear you lost your aunt, Leah. You too, Meg, and you too, Celeste in regards to your grandparents.

    I appreciate everyone's prayers. I know it will be hard for everyone at home. I hope she lasts through Christmas at least.
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      11/11/13
      Oh Theresa.. I am so so sorry.. she will be in my prayers.

      I went through something similar.. my sweet cousin who we knew was going to pass soon from cancer months ago.. it was very hard.. brought back so many memories and then ones of those we have already lost as well.. I say, hold tight to the good times, remember the great times with her.. pray about those and pray for her peace..
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        11/11/13
        I am so sorry that you have to go through this :( I don't think you can ever prepare to lose a loved one. When will you see her again? I tried to prepare for the day that my my nana and papa would not be here one day but i never prepared for the day that it would actually happen and I still can't truly believe that I won't see them again.
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          11/12/13
          8Theresa Gould
          I've talked about going home, but feel guilty if I go home alone when everyone wants to see all ten of us. I also cannot justify the cost of airfare when my husband is unemployed, though my husband would never prevent me from going. Another part of me wants to remember her as she was, not like she is as her memory has been going too. :( It's tough.
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            11/13/13
            Hi, Theresa, Personally, I think that grieving is one of the most difficult emotions to experience. I wonder if the wanting to "prepare" might be an attempt for us to make the grieving easier. (You are not the only one who has wanted to do this, believe me.) My suggestion would be NOT to prepare but to be open to going through the grieving process however it shows up for you and you experience it. Yes it will hurt. But there is a difference between pain and suffering. If you truly grieve your loss it will be healing for you. I know that this may sound like just words, but I know that it is true. Let it come, whether it is weird or whatever. It is just real. You will be all right. P.S. my father-in-law just passed away this morning. He had a great life. I am sad, my husband is sadder, my son is also grieving. At ten, I think that he is experiencing his immortality for the first time and also that of mine and my husband's. We are all just lvoing each other more than ever!!!
            1
            11/14/13
            8Theresa Gould
            Sorry to hear about your father-in law, Gail.
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            About Theresa Gould
            Current: Chicago, Illinois
            Birth: August 10
            On Moms.com since: Aug 5, 2013
            ***Baby Team Leader Moms.com*** I have been married for over 20 years. My husband and I have eight children ages 18 down to 4 years old. We use to live in Chicago but now live in Canada. I own www.FaithandFamilyReviews.com.