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we all will do it eventually
I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 2:23PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It isn't anyone I'm close to. It's a spouse's uncle who I've met on only a couple occasions. But what do I say in a situation such as this? I'm usually one to try to inject humor into awkward situations, but that's probably not an option in this instance. Also, I don't think he would get "Is your prognosis update?" So any ideas?

I guess I could ask if there's anything he'd like us to go get for him, but I don't wanna come out and ask what he'd like his last meal to be or anything like that. What does one "do" in these situations?
LVD
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 2:30PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Speaking as someone who also has an instinct to inject humor in awkward situations, I would advise you to just sit there and nod your head. Don't say anything. If you're like me, there will pop into your head dozens of funny things that you could say to break the tension, but don't say anything. Just follow your wife's lead and say "we're thinking of you", "we love you", or "is now a good time to call in the Obamacare death panel?"
jo ho
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 2:32PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
A funny joke never killed anyone.


good luck
Mr. Obvious
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 2:37PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Don't say a whole lot, listen sympatheticlly, express condoloences.

If you knew him better I'd tell you to bring up some happier memories.

I would guess there will be other people in the room? You can also talk w/ them and follow their lead.
Knot in My Trunk
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 2:43PM - in reply to jo ho Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
OP used an "update" joke in his post. A "funny" joke is probably not an option. The easy answer is to think about what you would want to hear if you were in his/her situation. If they are religious the answer is easy. If not, I have no idea what they would want to hear.
The Stache
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 2:56PM - in reply to Knot in My Trunk Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Honestly, if I'm laying on my death bed concious and alert at a ripe old age, and I've lived a good life (which so far I have to categorize it as such), then shit, bring on the jokes man. Nothing worse than a room full of somber uncomfortable people. I want someone to tell a great joke, I'll laugh my ass off, fart, and die right there. That's how I want to go out. And I'm not even kidding.
Colby
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 3:01PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Share the gospel with them so they can be ready for eternity.
radiostar
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 3:04PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
When my father was on his deathbed, he really seemed to enjoy telling stories from his life. Part of it was passing on information, part of it was reflecting.

Don't know whether or not this would be an option for you, but, if you get the proper cues, ask him about something meaningful/enjoyable to him.
we all will do it eventually
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 3:04PM - in reply to Knot in My Trunk Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Exactly. See, that's why I'm on here beforehand as a dry run. My filter is so suspect, an update joke actually came out. And I laughed at the Obamacare Death Panel joke. What is wrong with me? If that Death Panel line pops into my head tonight I am screwedola. I just know I'll start chuckling to myself, unless the mood is seriously somber, which it probably will be.

I just worry that their may not be a lead to follow. What if my wife expects me to carry the situation? Where does this situation fit on Flagpole's manhood scale? What do I have to do in order to walk out of there as a real man?
Shes a rebel
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 3:11PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
always look on the bright side
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 3:21PM - in reply to Shes a rebel Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well, if it were me on my deathbed, I think this would cheer me up a bit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ
aquafina
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 3:34PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
buy one of those big ass flashlights at Lowe's that take like 9 batteries, and go to his beside and turn it on and tell him to "go to the light..." then say," "ahhhh just jerkin' yer chain"
just another guy
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 3:40PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Tell him to get his ass up and out of the goddamn deathbed!!! Nothing good comes from laying in a deathbed, move him to a room down the hall.
haha, YO (super serial)
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 3:43PM - in reply to just another guy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Basically make sure his last words are memorable. No one wants to go out saying "Nurse, I just pissed myself"
hi there
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 4:02PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
introduce yourself as Jack Kevorkian. he'll get the message.
jo ho
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 4:13PM - in reply to always look on the bright side Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

always look on the bright side wrote:

Well, if it were me on my deathbed, I think this would cheer me up a bit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ



That was a good 15 minutes of video watching.
try to be serious
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 4:22PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

we all will do it eventually wrote:

Exactly. See, that's why I'm on here beforehand as a dry run. My filter is so suspect, an update joke actually came out. And I laughed at the Obamacare Death Panel joke. What is wrong with me? If that Death Panel line pops into my head tonight I am screwedola. I just know I'll start chuckling to myself, unless the mood is seriously somber, which it probably will be.


Sorry, I got a chuckle at this post too. In all seriousness, like others have said, just go with the flow--maybe you can talk to him about your running?
Carnivore 69
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 4:43PM - in reply to we all will do it eventually Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Bring him something he likes, maybe a Wendy's double cheeseburger and a Frosty.

My wife's favorite uncle died at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston about two years ago. The extended family all traveled to Houston two weeks before that to try and donate white blood cells for him. He had been sick for awhile, but it wasn't obvious that he was going to die. I talked to him a lot over four days, mostly about all the stuff he was going to do when he got out of the hospital and got his ass back to his home in Orlando. So I tried to give him positive messages.

The last day I was there (my wife stayed a day or so longer), I came in his room and told him we were going on a field trip. I had discovered a nice restaurant in the complex the day before and had made a reservation for six for lunch. I found a wheelchair, put him in it, and rolled him half a mile out of the leukemia ward and through the sunshine to the restaurant, with family members walking alongside. We had a great lunch and a great time with lots of laughs, then returned 90 minutes later.

Two weeks later he was gone, and the following Saturday was his funeral in Orlando. There, I found out that my little field trip idea had produced:
- the last time he walked
- the last time he was outside
- the last time his whole family was around him at once
- the last time he ate real food
- the last time he wore regular clothes

So little ideas like that can have a bigger impact than you think. Be creative and give him something (like an experience) that he may not get again.
SMJO
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 7:56PM - in reply to Carnivore 69 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Around the first of the year I visited a guy who had "days to live". He's still here. You may want to consider that a deathbed can be longer than just a few days.
Expect a repeat visit and don't feel pressure to say good-bye or cover everything at once.
People close to death like to reflect on their life. Listen to them and encourage them.
Pana23-423
RE: I will be visiting someone on their deathbed this evening - what to say/do? 4/22/2010 8:46PM - in reply to Colby Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Colby wrote:

Share the gospel with them so they can be ready for eternity.


I second this. Please ask him if he'd like to become a Christian. Ask him if he would like to go to a place where there is no pain or suffering. If so, you could call a pastor in to talk to him.

You could read him I Corinthians, or Psalm 73:23, or John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I'll pray for him
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