END OF LIFE SUPPORT
Mummy’s Star are here to help you, your partner and your family
Here at Mummy’s Star we are here to help you, your partner and your family as you try to navigate one of the most difficult times. At some stage in time from a secondary diagnosis being given, a conversation will switch to one about End of Life.
What do we mean by 'End of Life'?
Terminal? Poor prognosis? Palliative care? Dying?
Some of these things can mean different things to different people and it can be confusing. Some people may have ‘palliative care’ for several months, others receive a ‘poor prognosis’ and live for months and ‘terminally ill’ patients may have many years to live.
End of Life refers to the last weeks and days of a person’s life. Unfortunately, none of us can predict the exact moment when we die, but end of life support and planning can help you and your loved ones prepare as much as possible.
To be given this news that your partner is going to die is beyond words, but to be given that news when you have had or were planning to have a baby is even more devastating.
How you approach this can range from ignoring it completely and not wanting to talk about it or face it right through to saying goodbye, planning together, making memory boxes and helping your partner writing letters for the years to come, so your child can get a real sense of who mum is.
As with all the information here it is up to you and nobody else can decide what is right or wrong for you and your family. Perhaps talk to someone close to you, your partner, or your health care provider or a therapist to help you work out how you want to say goodbye and what you want to leave behind.
We are here to help you talk through this, offer some information and share things that have worked for others in a similar position.
Loss of your partner
There is simply no preparation for the feeling of your partner no longer physically being present and this can bring a wave of emotions.
You may revert to being a very practical position and grief does not impact for months, even years. For others it is immediate and it can be difficult to see beyond the presence of loss.
An emotion here that is often not spoken about in this scenario, is a relief that your partner is no longer suffering in pain. None of us want to be without our loved but neither do we wish them to suffer so to feel a sense of relief is very understandable and should not be mistaken for not caring.
Our CEO Pete who set the charity up, following the loss of his wife, is here to offer understanding, guidance and links to support groups when you need it firstname.lastname@example.org
Explaining death to children
This can feel like an incredibly daunting task for many and in some cases even more so than coming to terms with the death of a partner yourself.
There are thankfully far more resources now than ever available to assist you with your children.
Always remember though that advice is just that. Advice! You know your family and your children better than anyone and will know what they will react to in the most constructive and understandable way.
There is much white noise out there about the right and wrong way to explain death to children but ultimately you know what messages your children will relate to the best.
Some children have an uncanny, simple understanding that death/dying means an ending, others will see death in a faith-based context of heaven and being at peace, while others will may find it easier with metaphors. Our take on this is that whatever way you choose, try to keep focused on memories and time spent together.
While memories can bring as many tears as they can smiles, ultimately, they ensure your partner; their mummy is in their thoughts and can be openly talked about.
Step gently, follow your own instinct, but if in doubt try to reach out.