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Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

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Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Old 11-01-14, 03:16 PM
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Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

My dad is dying. he's losing a battle with cancer and is just about ready for hospice. He sleeps about 45 minutes out of every hour and is constantly battling pain.

Last Thursday was my parents 60th wedding anniversary. My mother wants to have a big party to celebrate. i know she doesn't have anything to look forward to so this is a bright spot. But how do you have a party when one of the honorees doesn't want to be there? On one hand I see it as selfish of her and tortuous to him. Then i look at it that she is losing the only partner she has ever known. They met when they were 17 and are now 81. She is alone with him 24 hours a day through all this and needs something normal to look forward to. But so far my wife, my sister, myself and my brother in law all think its a bad idea. I will ask dad if necessary but don't want to look like I'm ganging up on mom.

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Old 11-01-14, 03:22 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

That's a tough situation. Sorry to hear about it.

I think a small celebration with friends/family would be appropriate.
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Old 11-01-14, 03:22 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Have the anniversary party for your mom. From the sound of it the next big event is going to be a wake/funeral, why not give her a good memory to go into that time with?
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Old 11-01-14, 03:30 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

I agree that it doesn't sound like a very good idea but even thinking that I think you should proceed with the party. I would make sure to let everyone know that your dad will probably be absent for much of it and to respect his privacy while he's in the back room sleeping.

I think a party is probably the best thing for your mom right now and also think this will probably be the last time many of your father's friends and family will have a chance to see him alive. Maybe it would be a great time for everyone to say their goodbyes.
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Old 11-01-14, 03:41 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

My deepest condolences. I agree with the replies so far. 60 years together is worthy of a celebration, even if it is - or maybe because it is - the final anniversary. Maybe it would even cheer up your dad transitorily. The pall of death is oppressive and depressive. A party would be a distraction for everyone's grief. Best wishes on getting through this wrenching circumstance, Jim.
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Old 11-01-14, 04:06 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Jim, I'm not sure from your original post whether your dad has made it clear that he doesn't want this. You mention one party not wanting to be there, but I don't know if that's an assumption you made, or if that's what he told you. If it's an assumption, you definitely need to ask him, and then discuss that with your mother.

Regardless, it's a tough situation and I wish the best to all involved.
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Old 11-01-14, 04:35 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

If it were me dying, I would insist you have a party. In fact, I would rise from my deathbed and kick your ass if you didn't.
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Old 11-01-14, 04:37 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
That's a tough situation. Sorry to hear about it.

I think a small celebration with friends/family would be appropriate.
Agreed. A big party would be awkward. A smaller party pays respect to the anniversary and doesn't put a lot of people into an uncomfortable situation, including your father.
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Old 11-01-14, 05:07 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

On the bright side, at least this isn't appropriate yet:

Spoiler:
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Old 11-01-14, 05:26 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Originally Posted by nemein View Post
Have the anniversary party for your mom. From the sound of it the next big event is going to be a wake/funeral, why not give her a good memory to go into that time with?
+1

The party is for your mother.
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Old 11-01-14, 05:37 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Yes, unless you dad has clearly expressed his desire for no party I would still have it. It will no doubt be bittersweet for everyone there...but it will mean a lot to your mom.

More importantly, sorry to hear about your dad. Having experienced this with my own dad I know how difficult it is.
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Old 11-01-14, 06:18 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Add me to the guest list ... er, the list of those who say this is a good idea but your dad needs to be on board. Like GoldenJCJ said, make sure everybody is aware of the expectations though. Let your dad know that everybody understands his limitations.

Make sure this is not just a party, but a real celebration of their 60+ years together.

I'm going to go shed a tear now ...
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Old 11-01-14, 07:46 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Well that is a tough one, I truly am sorry that you've got to be experiencing this pain right now... In this situation, I would have actually have low-key party for immediate family right now to celebrate his 60th anniversary. And when the end comes, then have a larger celebration of his life and their lives together... I think this would make the best of both situations.
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Old 11-01-14, 08:18 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Can you have the party somewhere other than the house? Then your mom can go to that, and you (and perhaps other members of the family that don't want to have it) can stay behind to be with your dad.
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Old 11-01-14, 08:20 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Party for all. Celebrate and don't think about it too much.
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Old 11-01-14, 09:52 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Hire strippers and promise your dad he gets the first lapdance.
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Old 11-01-14, 10:47 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?







Party on!
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Old 11-01-14, 10:49 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Tough stuff, tough call. Who is the party for? Is your mom willing to admit who it's for? Are you able to have an honest discussion about expectations beforehand, and boundaries on what you're willing to contribute? The "What's behind that?" question still seems to be a mystery.

Really, if it won't put your dad out too much, maybe go for it. I was just at a funeral today for someone young whom passed away out of the blue, shocked everyone. And celebration / saying goodbye can go hand in hand. In fact, when I read your post, I immediately thought of this excerpt from that official "tell all" book about SNL when Bill Murray talks about the last time he saw Gilda Radner alive:

“Gilda got married and went away. None of us saw her anymore. There was one good thing: Laraine had a party one night, a great party at her house. And I ended up being the disk jockey. She just had forty-fives, and not that many, so you really had to work the music end of it. There was a collection of like the funniest people in the world at this party. Somehow Sam Kinison sticks in my brain. The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever.

So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way—over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. And that went on for more than an hour—maybe an hour and a half—just carrying her around and saying, “She’s leaving! This could be it! Now come on, this could be the last time we see her. Gilda’s leaving, and remember that she was very sick—hello?”

We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know.

And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there.

It was just one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her.”
What a wonderful story.
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Old 11-02-14, 11:18 AM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Thanks for the help so far. At this point we are going to just do immediate family; my family, my sister's family, my aunt and uncle who are her sister and brother. I think we have her talked out of anything bigger with every friend who's still alive. We'll just bring in some food from a local Italian restaurant and keep it short, maybe 2 hours.
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Old 11-02-14, 11:38 AM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

^ Sounds like a good idea.
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Old 11-02-14, 12:03 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Sounds awesome.

I'm glad that all us kids were able to visit Dad while he was still mentally coherent. A month later I was the only one there for his funeral, but I think the other visit was more important.
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Old 11-02-14, 12:20 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
I agree that it doesn't sound like a very good idea but even thinking that I think you should proceed with the party. I would make sure to let everyone know that your dad will probably be absent for much of it and to respect his privacy while he's in the back room sleeping.

I think a party is probably the best thing for your mom right now and also think this will probably be the last time many of your father's friends and family will have a chance to see him alive. Maybe it would be a great time for everyone to say their goodbyes.
Read all the responses and I agree with this one the most. And I also wouldn't limit it to a small party. Send out as many invitations as you originally attended with the information that your dad will probably not be available for most of the party due to his illness. See who still wants to attend and then plan from there.

Have your dad's friends and relatives been visiting him as he has been getting progressively worse or has he been steadfast in requesting time away from people? In that case, the smaller party seems more appropriate.
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Old 11-02-14, 04:07 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Originally Posted by Franchot View Post
Read all the responses and I agree with this one the most. And I also wouldn't limit it to a small party. Send out as many invitations as you originally attended with the information that your dad will probably not be available for most of the party due to his illness. See who still wants to attend and then plan from there.

Have your dad's friends and relatives been visiting him as he has been getting progressively worse or has he been steadfast in requesting time away from people? In that case, the smaller party seems more appropriate.
This has come on so quickly it wasn't an issue. In April he was still working part-time and was 190 lbs. He was diagnosed with one small growth on his lung which was removed in June, supposedly getting a clean bill of health. He kept feeling as though he wasn't getting better from the surgery, so last month he had a petscan which revealed cancer all through his body. He is down to 140 lbs losing 12 lbs in the last 10 days.

The only thing worse than losing your parent is watching them die a slow painful death. Went over there today and he was really good, then had a bout of pain that doubled him over. He loves people to visit but doesn't like them around when he's in pain. I guess it will be a party until he has an episode then everyone will have to leave.
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Old 11-02-14, 04:53 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Originally Posted by JimRochester View Post
This has come on so quickly it wasn't an issue. In April he was still working part-time and was 190 lbs. He was diagnosed with one small growth on his lung which was removed in June, supposedly getting a clean bill of health. He kept feeling as though he wasn't getting better from the surgery, so last month he had a petscan which revealed cancer all through his body. He is down to 140 lbs losing 12 lbs in the last 10 days.

The only thing worse than losing your parent is watching them die a slow painful death. Went over there today and he was really good, then had a bout of pain that doubled him over. He loves people to visit but doesn't like them around when he's in pain. I guess it will be a party until he has an episode then everyone will have to leave.
Hang in there man. My ex-MIL died from pancreatic cancer. Just no fun all around.
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Old 11-02-14, 04:59 PM
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Re: Do you still have the party when someone is dying?

Sorry your family has to go through this. The current plan sounds like a good option.
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