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I feel I may be starting to grieve before deaths have happened. I have 2 brothers. One has a serious chronic medical condition and probably will not survive more than 2 years, certainly not imminent death. The other brother just told me they expect him to live less than a year, at best. And my mother is quite elderly, although in good health. I’m starting to grieve over losing all 3, but they are still here. I keep telling myself to stop but it sneaks up on me. Is this just the natural response to expectation of upcoming deaths?  I mean there’s no reason to expect them to die sooner. Maybe this is how people process?  Most deaths I’ve experienced have been unexpected so this waiting is new to me. Any experiences or thoughts?

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2 minutes ago, sugarsugar said:

 Any experiences or thoughts?

I am so sorry to hear what you are facing......When my mother (at age 80), was diagnosed with brain cancer, doctors told us she might live 6 months-1 year at the most.

She had the same kind of cancer that Senator John McCain had before he passed away.

They did remove one of her tumors, but the other one was way to deep to reach.....She also had radiation treatments......I can tell you it was devastating to watch this intelligent woman who was very independent, waste away gradually until she could no longer feed herself, and had to wear adult diapers...

Eventually, the large tumor that they removed from her frontal lobe grew back, and then she was totally bedridden, and unable to speak......The only positive thing doctors told us was that this type of cancer was painless.....Still it was hard to watch her waste away........She died 6 months after diagnosis......One night she went to sleep and just didn't wake up.

I had a similar experience with my father's death.....He also had cancer, and a very painful type cancer.....For the last 2 weeks of his life he was on high doses of morphine.......He went through chemo, and died about a year after diagnosis.....He was only 67.

Yes, I had to watch both of my parents die a slow death from cancer......It is something I would not wish on my worst enemy.........The grief I endured while they were dying became almost unbearable at times.......They were both very good parents who gave me a wonderful childhood..........I still miss them so much.

It is totally normal to have grief before someone actually dies...It prepares you, in a way, for when they actually pass away, but it is still never easy........I hope you have someone you can talk to about this.

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My brother has always been the strong, healthy one, but now has an aggressive and resistant cancer which has metastasized to bone as well. I have seen people deteriorate from cancers and it’s been terrible. We’ve never been close but have no real conflicts either. My other brother is more slowly deteriorating from long term chronic disease and now kidney failure. At least mentally they are intact. I’m sorry your experience was so difficult. But otoh, my father died without warning and I had no time to prepare, so maybe this time to prepare will I ultimately be helpful. I do have friends I can talk to, no one professional but friends. Thanks for your reply. 

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I think it makes sense to begin grieving people who you are thinking you're going to lose before long. I agree with CRH, I think it's part of emotionally preparing yourself for the loss, with the added component of dread. My mother, who is 82, has fairly advanced dementia, and I've been grieving her for a few years, though largely that's because she's not the same person she was. But also, maybe I think it will hurt less if I do it in stages. It would be nice to be a completely zen person who lives in the moment and is always able to enjoy the people in our lives while we have them and not worry about their going away, but I don't think most of us are wired like that. I'm sorry about your brothers. These things are hard, so of course you're feeling a lot of feelings about them. 

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