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That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

Old Jun 2nd 2013, 5:19 am
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Default That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

I got that dreaded email on Friday evening My mam is in hospital, had a stroke which seems to have brought on a heart attack
For the next 24 hours.... it was do I go or don't I? What a predicament to be in, I feel so helpless. I want to be there to hold & cuddle my mam. Yet I have come to the decision not to go. So to add to the helpless feeling I now feel guilty!
My mam is 91 years old & I was lucky to have had the opportunity 2 years ago to say my goodbyes as she has had some ill health & becoming frail. She was also diagnosed with dementia that year.

They say she is stable However, when my daughter went to visit her, she said that she looked awful & quite vacant. She didn't know her or the grandchildren.

Do you go or don't you???? It is so expensive to visit UK from NZ, we've had 4 visits in 7 years & still paying for the last one. What if I booked a flight & she passed away before I got there? Would I be more upset if I got there & she doesn't know me? I've just started a new job & still in training? All these if's & what's ??? It is an awful situation to be in, which you push aside when you emigrate.
It goes in the basket named " We'll think about it when it happens"
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Old Jun 2nd 2013, 6:03 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

sorry to hear about your mum and your dilemma.
It comes down to your own personal feelings on the matter and no one can advise you on what is right for you.
Least your daughter is there to keep you up dated. What are her feelings on the matter, is she old enough to cope if your mum passes, do you have siblings that can also keep you updated.
When she does pass what are your intentions, go back or not? may seem a bit harsh but it is something that everyone who has family somewhere other than the country they are living in has to deal with.
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Old Jun 2nd 2013, 6:47 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

It's an awful situation to be in but as Mrs F says only one that you know the answer to in your heart.

All I can say is that at such times, I believe you should follow your heart and not your head. If it's telling you to go then go but if you are comfortable with the fact that you said your good-byes when last there and it appears quite certain that she wouldn't recognise you anyway, then why put yourself through the trauma of seeing her in her current situation.

Perhaps it would be better to remember her the way she was. How would your family feel about you staying away? Though I'm a firm believer in doing what is right for you & not what others say you must.

Thinking of you at this very difficult time.
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Old Jun 2nd 2013, 7:14 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

Aww Boopy, what a horrible dilemna. I know exactly how you are feeling as I am going through something similar with a family member. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
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Old Jun 2nd 2013, 7:21 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

I went through it although in reverse, i.e. my mum in NZ, me in UK. She had a serious heart attack in her early 60's and nearly died. Sadly she wasn't able to appreciate the Westpac helicopter trip from Waiheke at the time.

I couldn't decide either. I rang her in hospital frequently. Fortunately she recovered, but she didn't have a lot of support around her at the time. Her recovery took over a year, and I definitely would not have been to stay that long.

I guess my thoughts would be, 1. Will she know you are there? 2. Are there other family members to care for and visit her?

I'm thinking, how would you feel in the same situation? Would you want your daughter there? Of course you are not the same person as your mother (or your daughter) so maybe this isn't a valid way of approaching it.

That's probably not very helpful, but maybe it give some points for consideration.

Mum pulled through and is in good health now - and I have moved back to NZ. At the back of my mind was what I would do when that final moment came for both my mum and dad (they are divorced). It was one consideration in my move back home to NZ.
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Old Jun 2nd 2013, 9:54 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

I really feel for you. We have always talked about what would happen if we found ourselves in this situation.

We were lucky (not really the right word but can't think of a better one at this time). My MIL became ill and passed away quite unexpectedly while we were there visiting in April. At least it did mean that we had some quality time with her and hubby could stay for the funeral.

I find myself in a constant worry about my Mum now though.

I can't imagine how I would feel if I were in your position. I hope you can make the decision that is right for you.
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Old Jun 2nd 2013, 9:55 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

My dads view is that we have had 42 joyous years together, so if I'm not there when the end comes does it really matter?

A bit harsh I know but I get what he is saying, he won't know any different and I won't love him any less

If you need a chat just text ))
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Old Jun 2nd 2013, 10:28 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

Thank you for all your kind messages I suppose I am lucky in the sense that before we moved to NZ, my mam had told me never to waste my money on a trip for a funeral, but if something happened to her & I could see her, to go. If I'm honest to myself, she hasn't really known for the last 2 - 3 months that it was me when I ring her.
I have a brother who will be there to sort out the end stuff. However he hasn't spoken to me for 3 years It was the home who emailed me to inform me of my mam.
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Old Jun 3rd 2013, 12:09 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

When we were making the decision to come to NZ, I also worried about my parents. What if something happened and I couldn't get back etc? My very best friend pointed out that it could also happen if we stayed. She's right, an accident, a heart attack, anything could happen and I couldn't guarantee that I would be there at their passing. I think wherever you are, if you can't be with them at the end, for whatever reason, you will feel guilty. So, do what you feel is the best decision for you.
Big hugs.
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Old Jun 3rd 2013, 12:46 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

Sorry to hear your news. Hugs all around.
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Old Jun 3rd 2013, 1:42 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

Boopy ... my thoughts are with you.

Look, I had a similar situation a year ago. I said goodbye over 6 years ago & gradually over time, she wasn't really with it when I phoned. In fact it was hard work. Anyway a time came as to whether I go back or stay.

I've stayed. We said our goodbyes before & she will always remain as I saw her then. I've since disappeared into the ether as far as she's concerned.

What I did do though is record a message & video via the net & a good friend took it to her. If she recognised me or my voice, it wasn't evident but I like to think at least deep deep inside she might have.

I hope this is of help.
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Old Jun 3rd 2013, 2:20 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

Dear Boopy, so sorry for your troubles.
If you've made your final decision then this is what you will be living with for the next few years. As a nurse, I'm sure you've read all the blurb about death and dying and I don't know whether it might be useful to re-read that stuff again now to help you come to terms with what's actually happening.

Vikkichic's suggestion seems like a sensible one which obviously helped her, but only you know your family and how they would react and whether you'd be comfortable with that.
Mental energy could be spent on thinking of good memories of your mam and praying for a quick, painless and peaceful death as being 91 she has far exceeded her life expectancy. Who knows how this universe of ours works and the power of thought, prayer and positive thinking sent from 12 thousand miles away (a bit of hippy stuff thrown in there) but anything's got to be worth a try, eh?
Blessings, hugs, good wishes and anything else that might help, coming your way, remember to still look after yourself though.
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Old Jun 3rd 2013, 3:12 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

Thank you so much, all your replies have made a difference to me. They make me feel very supported & I do appreciate it. x x
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Old Jun 3rd 2013, 9:37 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

Oh so sorry to hear about your dilemma.
{{{{BIG HGUGS}}}}

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Old Jun 4th 2013, 10:44 am
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Default Re: That helpless feeling at 12,500 miles away :(

My condolences, it must be very difficult for you but you certainly shouldn't feel guilty - you obviously care very deeply and that is what counts.
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