Family and friends

If a member of your family or a friend, or someone else you know is living with cancer, this group is the place to share your feelings and get support.

My terminally ill dad's last Valentine's gift to my mum idea please

Surrey girl
Posted by

It's good that you're starting to prepare yourself for when you dad is no longer with you.  My mum was really "with it" and aware of everything that was going on, right up until the end.  We chatted at length about what it might be like at the end, and we both thought that she would slip into a coma at the end and pass away, but that didn't happen.  She wasn't even "drugged up" as she had so little pain.  She didn't want to be aware of the sensation of dying, but as I'd quickly popped out of the room, I'll never know. 

It won't hit home that he'll be leaving you, as however prepared you think you are, when it actually happens, you realise you're not and you just want more time with him and a chance to make more memories.  All the opportunities to make memories stop suddenly and all you have are the memories that you already made.  Therefore, enjoy this special time with your dad.  I used to tell my mum I was going to miss her so much, and she'd say the same to me, but I said I'd have to carry on living without her.  I used sit with her and cry and tell her I wouldn't cope.  Strangely, my mother never cried over any of her diagnoses and she never said "why me?" I was the one who cried.  Sometimes it's harder for the family who are left behind than the person who is leaving.

The grieving process is different for everyone, but I wish I had been warned how much guilt I would feel over the smallest little negative thing that happened in our lives.  Even things I did wrong in my childhood make me feel guilty.  You can't turn the clock back to apologise for anything, so it sits very heavily.

I hope your dad has a degree of coherent awareness, despite his confusion and the effects of his brain tumours.  He'll be aware of touch, voices and the presence of his loved ones. 

I hope you're making progress with the gift you're preparing for your mum.  Did you decide on a cushion made out of one of your dad's favourite shirts/jumpers? 

xx

Angelminx
Posted by

Hello,

It's the simplest of things that u desperately miss when u lose someone to this shitty cruel diease. When I lost mum it was the simple things that his hardest, her silk scarves with her scent on are still sealed in Ziploc freezers bags and when I need a fix I open one and sniff! Her hair .. I took 5 locks of and sealed them in a laminator with photos of her with each of her daghters and granddaughters and put them in lockers for each of us. 

Last Valentine's gift ideas...

How about a collection of photos of places they first met, courted married kids etc a journey of their life and  love over the years on a memory card for a digital photo frame set to the music they loved and danced to and a recording of him simply saying life may end but my love for u never will ...

No matter what it is she will aways treasure it that I promise u 

daloni
Posted by

Hi 

When my mother was dying I gave her a final birthday present - a small tartan blanket to put on her hospice bed and her knee when she could sit. I have it still and think of her every time I see it - as it’s on the back of my sofa that means every day. She died 21 years ago. 

Xxx

Surrey girl
Posted by

Gosh, that reminds me of my mum's fluffy blanket. I had bought a lovely cosy fluffy blanket from Wilko and I used to wrap it around my mum's shoulders or put it on her bed to add extra warmth. I had wrapped it around her and tucked it cosily under her chin before she passed away, so I now have it on my bed. Sometimes I stroke it or hug it.

xx

Belle3
Posted by

Hi all sorry i've been MIA, its been a bit hectic the past few days. 

Here's what I've managed to get from my dad to my lovely mum :) 

  • A framed record that has lyrics swirling round from Etsy from the year they met and 'their' song 
  •  a small heart plaque 'love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, Endures all things. Love never ends'  
  • keyring 'my heart will follow wherever you may go  
  • but most special of all as I had to write the card I recorded him dictating it all to me so now have recording of him calling my mum the 'love of my life' and 'all my love, (name) and shouting kiss kiss and another kiss' 

I've found some amazing ideas on this post, some of which I will definitely use but will be more appropriate after my dad unfortunately passes e.g. the shirt made into teddy/ cushion and many others. 


Thank you all so so much for making me feel welcome and not alone in this horrible, terrible time!!!

lesj
Posted by

I noticed in a craft shop which may have been hobbycraft but certainly could get on line a kit to make a plaster cast of a hand/foot. Probably meant for a baby but it might be something you could do. Or maybe a memory box with memrntos of things they enjoyed together.  Craft fairs are a good source of ideas if you have one locally and often people can work really quickly if asked. Just a few thoughts. Good luck and very best wishes. Lesley

Surrey girl
Posted by

Hi Bellewhite

I'm so pleased you've managed to get some beautiful gifts together.  You obviously managed to catch your dad at a good time when your mum wasn't around and when you had everything set up for the dictation and recording.  You must be delighted with everything you managed to find.  I love it all and it really made my day when I read your post.  The plaque and keyring were great finds, and the framed record with songs and lyrics from the year they met was a great idea.

Thank goodness you persevered and didn't just give up on the recording, thinking your dad would always be too tired or confused to make the recording.  I love the words he used and the "kiss, kiss and another kiss".  You must have been over the moon to have recorded such a beautiful message from your dad.  I know from experience that any voice recording is so special, and this one will sustain and hold you both up.  You will always know that you did your best for your mum on your dad's behalf, ensuring that she had memorable Valentine's gifts from your dad, and you enabled your dad to dictate a beautiful message for his partner and tell her how much he loved her.  That will always be so special for your mum, as when our loved ones pass away, we cling onto the special things like declarations of love.

You're right that it is a horrible, terrible time, but you are being amazing by being there for both your parents.  Enjoy making special memories and most of all, enjoy Valentine's Day!

Do stay in touch on this forum, as there is so much support to be found.

Claire xx

Belle3
Posted by

Thank you so much, your beautiful words had me crying (in a lovely way). I feel like I really am doing the best job I can and I am actually proud of myself thanks to your lovely comments (and others on this post). Thank you so much, looking forward to my mum receiving her gifts :) :) 

Thank you!!!

prettyfedup
Posted by

What about a locket with his photo in?

Bridport22
Posted by

I was thinking along the same lines but rather than lock if hair have a photo of them together and a photo of you and any siblings so that she has her whole family close to her heart. 

Update. Received letter from consultant telling me 'No recurrence' which is fantastic news as now 18 months since colorectal op. Prognosis was that it could return within 2 years so delighted  I am 18 months down the road and feel for and well. To celebrate have booked a holiday for next month. Just in case next test isn't so positive. 

Surrey girl
Posted by

Fantastic to hear that you have no recurrence after 18 months.  Let's hope you have recovered completely and that it won't ever return.  What a good idea to have a holiday to celebrate!  Keep positive and upbeat and continue booking those holidays as it's the best thing you can do yourself to keep it at bay.  Lots of happy endorphins!

Claire xx

Surrey girl
Posted by

Thinking of you!  I hope it all goes well and that your dad is having a good day today.  Let us know how it goes...

Be proud of yourself - you deserve it!

Claire xx