Terminal Illness

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Jeff Weaver, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Hi folks

    No it isn't me, as much as perhaps some of you might wish.

    I have a member of my congregation who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer this week. She isn't coping well with it at all. I have had other folks in the same boat in the past who have dealt with it much better than this lady is. She is taking the news as hard as anyone I have ever known. At any rate, she has about a year with radiation, less without according to the docs. She just had a granddaughter born less than a month ago that she hasn't seen yet. Her son lives on the west coast, and they are coming in a couple of weeks.

    Any way, any of you folks have any words of wisdom for a fellow trying to give this dear lady some comfort?

    I went to visit last night and she asked me to hold her services, and gave me instructions, so she is dealing with it to some extent.

    Perhaps my view is clouded by my grandmother's passing. I was with her, she had been incoherent for weeks, and was begging for me to come home, (I was in Germany at the time). I got there, she knew me, first person she had recognized for a couple of weeks, opened her eyes, and told me how pleasant it was to die, closed her eyes and passed on a few minutes later.

    Jeff.
     
  2. Brett

    Brett
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    Never having had any experience with a situation such as this, I can really offer no advice, but I just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for both you and the lady.
     
  3. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Listening is always a real plus!

    Don't use the 24 dollar phrases like you know how she feels - you don't know how she feels and she won't be dumb enough to believe it.

    I've noticed believers handle death in many different ways. Some welcome it with open arms and others fight it tooth and nail.

    Cancer often changes personalities/moods etc. so don't put too much stock in how she is handling it.
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Hi Jeff,

    Our individuality shows more in death than it does in life, and eac situation is so different. The mystery behind death is always an awesome experience, believer or not.

    Some people love to reminisce, and listening will bring this little pleasure out. I always held the hand of the person on their death bed. Human warmth seems to mean so much then.

    This was the greatest thing I could do in Korea when a soldier was dying on the ground. Just holding their hand, and assuring them I would write home for them.

    Little personal things.

    All the very best, Jeff. I know you will handle it well. You have the compassion it takes, I know that. God bless, mate, and may He give you added wisdom each day.

    Prayers are with you.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Thanks for all the input. Just about what I thought it would be.

    Exsentric -- actually I might know how she feels. I was once given a 50/50 chance of making it for the next 48 hours, so I sorta do know how she feels. Problem is when I was given the diagnosis I felt so bad I thougth death would be a relief. But I recovered.
     
  6. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Update. She has had radiation, etc., and is feeling better, and attitude has brightened up some. Still not the rosiest of people, but who would be under the circumstances. Prayers for this dear one would be appreciated.
     
  7. GODzThunder

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    when people are down there is not much to do outside of letting them really know that you care for them. Let them know that they have a friend in you hoping and praying for them.
     
  8. dianetavegia

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    Well that 'one year' is man's word and not a direct communication from God so with daily discoveries and miracles still occurring today, that lady might at least live long enough for her granddaughter to remember who she was.

    Yes! Praying for this lady and for you to know what to say and how to say it each time you speak to her.

    Diane
     

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