Dealing with Death

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gillumhouse

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My kids lost an aunt yesterday who was special to several of them. My cop daughter was particularly affeccted because they were, among other things, like-minded politically and e-mailed each other often. She e-mailed me about her feelings this morning. (She is particulaely close to DH and she needs to start now to prepare for his demise - this is how I am trying to accomplish that.)
I told her it was time to take out her "Life Quilt" from time to time to look at the squares that are her memories and the frayed and faded ones that are her losses so she can remember the joy those squares brought to her life. That she is the center square and that her "quilt" is hers alone - no other is like it. That it is time to start saying each goodbye as if it will be the last one - so there is nothing left unsaid and there will be no regrets. She replied that she liked the life quilt idea.
We all need to take our "Life Quilts" out from the storage closets of our minds to refresh ourselves and remember how we have affected and been affected by others. (The ka-thump you heard was me falling off my soapbox.)
 

Morticia

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Something else I've heard recently is to ask someone to take photos of the interior of her house so those memories stay alive as well.
 

EmptyNest

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I agree however NOTHING really prepares you for when it actually happens.
My mother and I have talked about this and she has told me certain things she hopes no one will do at her funeral...and I certainly agreed with her but gosh when the time comes....I just know I will be a basket case...as much as I think about this and try to prepare. She is 95 and I know she won't be here forever..but it is HARD.
 

Copperhead

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K, what a wonderful way to present this. No it will never be enough to prepare but I think it does help in some ways. A loss of someone close will be felt for life, there is no changing that. But the plus is realizing just how much that person is carried on within you. Sometimes I do/say something and it dawns on me 'that was just like Gram' and I will smile at the memory.
K - sorry for the loss of your loved one.
 

gillumhouse

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K, what a wonderful way to present this. No it will never be enough to prepare but I think it does help in some ways. A loss of someone close will be felt for life, there is no changing that. But the plus is realizing just how much that person is carried on within you. Sometimes I do/say something and it dawns on me 'that was just like Gram' and I will smile at the memory.
K - sorry for the loss of your loved one..
Thanks. She was a lovely lady - the wife of their birth Mother's brother (I am their other Mother). He & she were among the few of that family that ever treated me nicely.
CL - my Daddy & I spent 10 years saying every goodbye as if it were the last. He was in my house at the end - as was my b-i-l - and in both cases, they were wonderful in dealing with the inevitable and I could be happy for both of them that the struggle was over. In both cases, the feeling of relief for them trumped the grief.
 

EmptyNest

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K, what a wonderful way to present this. No it will never be enough to prepare but I think it does help in some ways. A loss of someone close will be felt for life, there is no changing that. But the plus is realizing just how much that person is carried on within you. Sometimes I do/say something and it dawns on me 'that was just like Gram' and I will smile at the memory.
K - sorry for the loss of your loved one..
Thanks. She was a lovely lady - the wife of their birth Mother's brother (I am their other Mother). He & she were among the few of that family that ever treated me nicely.
CL - my Daddy & I spent 10 years saying every goodbye as if it were the last. He was in my house at the end - as was my b-i-l - and in both cases, they were wonderful in dealing with the inevitable and I could be happy for both of them that the struggle was over. In both cases, the feeling of relief for them trumped the grief.
.
I am sorry for your loss. Yes in cases where there is long term illness and struggle...oftentimes, the relief does trump the grief I agree. In my personal family history, unfortunately most of the deaths were unexpected even if some were of advanced ages..so that made it particularly hard.
With my mom's....she has lived a really long and pretty good life with some struggles like all of us. But I know she has told me numerous times "she is ready to go."when the time comes...so that will give me some consolation when it does happen. Even though it will be hard at the time.
 

Proud Texan

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Kathleen,
You know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I'll never forget your kindness when I lost my mother last year.
P.T.
 

JBloggs

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I just saw this quote: You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. ~ Jim Rohn
 

gillumhouse

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Thank you ALL for your thoughts. They are appreciated.
 

greyswan

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You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!
 

birdwatcher

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Oh K--prayers are with you and you know I feel about goodyes and I love you's the same way.
 

Ethical_Innkeeper

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Hi, I've been searching high and low for various advice on how fellow innkeepers handle emergencies and this topic popped up. Perhaps those with personal experience can offer some advice.
My wife's father is a week to maybe a few weeks from dying and we're confronted with the busiest three months of the year starting today. Our families live several states away as does her father. We've already closed down three times since January to go help care for him since her 51 year old brother and then primary caregiver of the dad died of a sudden heart attack from the strain of it all.
Tough year 'round here........ puts kind of a sour spin on business picking back up since 2008.
Have looked into innsitters, but prefer to try and handle the first few days of her being gone with myself and a few neighbors who have helped out during the past year's worth of medical emergencies requiring her leaving.
We wouldn't try to move out any existing guests until or unless their stay overlapped when the services and funeral would be as I'd need to leave for that. The tentative plan is to have her be there hopefully in time to say goodbye and stay at least 1.5 weeks and have me get there for the services, spend a few days helping however I can and then get back here to open things back again with the aid of the neighbors.
Our area has many great B&Bs and we've made our 8-10 most trusted colleagues aware of the situation and most have offered various levels of support and help including accepting guests if any there are any vacancies.
Any thoughts on how anyone has handled the most stressfull part of this which we're finding is the unknowing of anything resembling a concrete date or window of dates to start making all these arrangements?
Also, how did anyone going through something like this keep their composure and stay "up" in front of the guests as things started getting really bad? We're struggling staying focused, not that most guests would blame us if were off our game a little, all things considered.
Thanks, EI
 

seashanty

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my dad was dying while i was innkeeping. i trained my most trusted chambermaid to do check-ins. then she learned the basic breakfasts. she filled in for me when i left to see him and again when i went to a wedding. she was thrilled to become my assistant innkeeper and i was lucky to have her. i did NOT close and she did a great job. i contacted all my guests personally to tell them i had to be away from the inn, that i was sorry i could not be there for their stay. and told them who would be standing in for me and to please be patient with this lovely girl. some took it upon themselves to leave me little report cards, as though i had asked them to do so. it was actually kind of sweet.
as for grieving while innkeeping, that is hard. my husband died about a year before i opened, and each time guests would ask if i was alone or if i was married, etc., (normal questions i did not consider nosy) i cried. sometimes just a bit. sometimes i just got a little wet eyed. sometimes i cried quite a lot. i would compose myself the best i could and i told them what was wrong. ALL those guests reached out to me and most returned for another stay. for me, smiles (and tears) come quickly. i could not hide my sadness. i know some people are very stoic, but i am not one of those people. i did not stay 'up' and ... mercifully ... my guests accepted this. it is my nature to talk and i told them the truth. my guests were great.
as for my dad, he passed in my off season and he was almost 90 ... so, although sad, i knew it was coming. and i did not have to be 'on' while in new mourning.
i wish you all the best.
 

YellowSocks

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Hi, I've been searching high and low for various advice on how fellow innkeepers handle emergencies and this topic popped up. Perhaps those with personal experience can offer some advice.
My wife's father is a week to maybe a few weeks from dying and we're confronted with the busiest three months of the year starting today. Our families live several states away as does her father. We've already closed down three times since January to go help care for him since her 51 year old brother and then primary caregiver of the dad died of a sudden heart attack from the strain of it all.
Tough year 'round here........ puts kind of a sour spin on business picking back up since 2008.
Have looked into innsitters, but prefer to try and handle the first few days of her being gone with myself and a few neighbors who have helped out during the past year's worth of medical emergencies requiring her leaving.
We wouldn't try to move out any existing guests until or unless their stay overlapped when the services and funeral would be as I'd need to leave for that. The tentative plan is to have her be there hopefully in time to say goodbye and stay at least 1.5 weeks and have me get there for the services, spend a few days helping however I can and then get back here to open things back again with the aid of the neighbors.
Our area has many great B&Bs and we've made our 8-10 most trusted colleagues aware of the situation and most have offered various levels of support and help including accepting guests if any there are any vacancies.
Any thoughts on how anyone has handled the most stressfull part of this which we're finding is the unknowing of anything resembling a concrete date or window of dates to start making all these arrangements?
Also, how did anyone going through something like this keep their composure and stay "up" in front of the guests as things started getting really bad? We're struggling staying focused, not that most guests would blame us if were off our game a little, all things considered.
Thanks, EI.
Ethical_Innkeeper said:
Our area has many great B&Bs and we've made our 8-10 most trusted colleagues aware of the situation and most have offered various levels of support and help including accepting guests if any there are any vacancies.
Any thoughts on how anyone has handled the most stressfull part of this which we're finding is the unknowing of anything resembling a concrete date or window of dates to start making all these arrangements?
Also, how did anyone going through something like this keep their composure and stay "up" in front of the guests as things started getting really bad? We're struggling staying focused, not that most guests would blame us if were off our game a little, all things considered.
For starters, ((hugs)). And I'm not sure how much I can advise as every situation is different.
IMO, take any help that is offered to you. Let them help you, and sometime down the road you can pay them back or pay it forward. You'd want to do the same for them, if the places were reversed, so let them do what they can.
I don't think the concrete day is the most stressful part, although it doesn't help. People have an odd way of living on and on, or dying suddenly (at least in my life), so you just never know what's next. It's when it actually happens and you're not there... that will suck.
We tend to avoid religion on this forum, but since your login is Ethical_Innkeeper I hope you'll forgive some "religious" input. Basically, it's just that there is Grace and God is generous with it. My husband left me a couple of months ago... fortunately it was not while we actually had guests in the house. And the first guests who came after his departure were about as perfect as if God had hand selected them to ease me into single innkeeping.
I fretted about telling or not telling my guests, but it has not been as hard as I thought it would be. Some guests never know anything about it... they come, they eat, I'm upbeat, and all's well. Some guests are repeats from last year (who eventually notice his absence) and some of them (not all) do get told (a little of) what happened, but they have been absolutely fabulous and supportive... have had really wonderful advice for me, are praying for me, all kinds of cool things.
Some guests I fear are not receiving as good a treatment as they would have in the past as I am tired and tend to disappear after check ins... but while *I* know that my performance is not as good as it was last year, I find that my performance is still more than adequate... the guests are still happy. One reason for that is because I have one more year under my belt than I did last year... I'm not on autopilot, but I'm not as green and it helps.
So, all that to say just do your best, LET people help you, and trust God because He IS gracious! It will be hard, and parts of it will suck, but don't add any more worry to your load than you absolutely have to.
Hugs!
=)
Kk.
 

gillumhouse

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Hi, I've been searching high and low for various advice on how fellow innkeepers handle emergencies and this topic popped up. Perhaps those with personal experience can offer some advice.
My wife's father is a week to maybe a few weeks from dying and we're confronted with the busiest three months of the year starting today. Our families live several states away as does her father. We've already closed down three times since January to go help care for him since her 51 year old brother and then primary caregiver of the dad died of a sudden heart attack from the strain of it all.
Tough year 'round here........ puts kind of a sour spin on business picking back up since 2008.
Have looked into innsitters, but prefer to try and handle the first few days of her being gone with myself and a few neighbors who have helped out during the past year's worth of medical emergencies requiring her leaving.
We wouldn't try to move out any existing guests until or unless their stay overlapped when the services and funeral would be as I'd need to leave for that. The tentative plan is to have her be there hopefully in time to say goodbye and stay at least 1.5 weeks and have me get there for the services, spend a few days helping however I can and then get back here to open things back again with the aid of the neighbors.
Our area has many great B&Bs and we've made our 8-10 most trusted colleagues aware of the situation and most have offered various levels of support and help including accepting guests if any there are any vacancies.
Any thoughts on how anyone has handled the most stressfull part of this which we're finding is the unknowing of anything resembling a concrete date or window of dates to start making all these arrangements?
Also, how did anyone going through something like this keep their composure and stay "up" in front of the guests as things started getting really bad? We're struggling staying focused, not that most guests would blame us if were off our game a little, all things considered.
Thanks, EI.
I also believe there is a reason for everything and everything has a reason. Perhaps the reason I posted this today was because you needed to talk to us and this is what you had to talk about.
In this particular instance, Bonnie was the wife of the brother of DH's first wife. Aunt to 5 of my children and a lovely lady. My Daddy died 3 weeks after I opened and since I was new (and it was pre-Internet bookings), had my first guests but was not booked again until after he had died in the room I am now sitting in and the funeral was over. Although when my brother-in-law died (same room) my business was much, much better, GOD made gaps in my bookings the weeks I needed gaps. Being a realist and knowing the difficulty they were each going through, I felt gratitude and relief for them, not grief. We had peace with them starting their next adventure.
So do not be surprised if you suddenly have nothing on the books. And definitely graciously accept any and all help offered by other innkeepers - to do less would be insulting those who offer. And do not be afraid to actually ask - there will be some who want to help but have no clue HOW to help.
When my husband had a 6-way bypass, many (non-innkeepers) offered help but I had no clue what of have them do - it would take longer to show them than to just do it - except one lady who told me she would be over on Saturday to mow my grass. I had not even noticed it was up to my ankles and beyond - but she did (and yes, I DID have full-house several times during that episode).
Make contingency plans as a safety net and then just have faith and trust that all will work out as it is supposed to. My sympathies to your wife as she goes through this trying time.
 

Pollyanna

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Hi, I've been searching high and low for various advice on how fellow innkeepers handle emergencies and this topic popped up. Perhaps those with personal experience can offer some advice.
My wife's father is a week to maybe a few weeks from dying and we're confronted with the busiest three months of the year starting today. Our families live several states away as does her father. We've already closed down three times since January to go help care for him since her 51 year old brother and then primary caregiver of the dad died of a sudden heart attack from the strain of it all.
Tough year 'round here........ puts kind of a sour spin on business picking back up since 2008.
Have looked into innsitters, but prefer to try and handle the first few days of her being gone with myself and a few neighbors who have helped out during the past year's worth of medical emergencies requiring her leaving.
We wouldn't try to move out any existing guests until or unless their stay overlapped when the services and funeral would be as I'd need to leave for that. The tentative plan is to have her be there hopefully in time to say goodbye and stay at least 1.5 weeks and have me get there for the services, spend a few days helping however I can and then get back here to open things back again with the aid of the neighbors.
Our area has many great B&Bs and we've made our 8-10 most trusted colleagues aware of the situation and most have offered various levels of support and help including accepting guests if any there are any vacancies.
Any thoughts on how anyone has handled the most stressfull part of this which we're finding is the unknowing of anything resembling a concrete date or window of dates to start making all these arrangements?
Also, how did anyone going through something like this keep their composure and stay "up" in front of the guests as things started getting really bad? We're struggling staying focused, not that most guests would blame us if were off our game a little, all things considered.
Thanks, EI.
Ethical_Innkeeper said:
Our area has many great B&Bs and we've made our 8-10 most trusted colleagues aware of the situation and most have offered various levels of support and help including accepting guests if any there are any vacancies.
Any thoughts on how anyone has handled the most stressfull part of this which we're finding is the unknowing of anything resembling a concrete date or window of dates to start making all these arrangements?
Also, how did anyone going through something like this keep their composure and stay "up" in front of the guests as things started getting really bad? We're struggling staying focused, not that most guests would blame us if were off our game a little, all things considered.
For starters, ((hugs)). And I'm not sure how much I can advise as every situation is different.
IMO, take any help that is offered to you. Let them help you, and sometime down the road you can pay them back or pay it forward. You'd want to do the same for them, if the places were reversed, so let them do what they can.
I don't think the concrete day is the most stressful part, although it doesn't help. People have an odd way of living on and on, or dying suddenly (at least in my life), so you just never know what's next. It's when it actually happens and you're not there... that will suck.
We tend to avoid religion on this forum, but since your login is Ethical_Innkeeper I hope you'll forgive some "religious" input. Basically, it's just that there is Grace and God is generous with it. My husband left me a couple of months ago... fortunately it was not while we actually had guests in the house. And the first guests who came after his departure were about as perfect as if God had hand selected them to ease me into single innkeeping.
I fretted about telling or not telling my guests, but it has not been as hard as I thought it would be. Some guests never know anything about it... they come, they eat, I'm upbeat, and all's well. Some guests are repeats from last year (who eventually notice his absence) and some of them (not all) do get told (a little of) what happened, but they have been absolutely fabulous and supportive... have had really wonderful advice for me, are praying for me, all kinds of cool things.
Some guests I fear are not receiving as good a treatment as they would have in the past as I am tired and tend to disappear after check ins... but while *I* know that my performance is not as good as it was last year, I find that my performance is still more than adequate... the guests are still happy. One reason for that is because I have one more year under my belt than I did last year... I'm not on autopilot, but I'm not as green and it helps.
So, all that to say just do your best, LET people help you, and trust God because He IS gracious! It will be hard, and parts of it will suck, but don't add any more worry to your load than you absolutely have to.
Hugs!
=)
Kk.
.
Oh, I am so sorry! I wondered why we didn't meet your husband on our recent visit. The boys seemed very happy and you were so competent. Now I really wish we'd had more than one night and not so busy with the graduation, so we could have had time to talk.
Just know this. You did a great job alone on a busy weekend and you are fully capable of carrying on. You're a lovely woman and I'm just so sorry that you are facing such a trial. I will be one who is praying for you.
 

greyswan

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My mother is almost 90, so we must start making a contingiceny plan as well for the inevitable. So far, she's in fair health and has a great caregiver, my sister.
We had an medical emergency this past winter.. I had outpt surgery and DH was going to take care of me and our guests... 2 days after my surgery, he fell and broke his collar bone, so much for that plan (did he do that on purpose!!??!) We blocked the rest of the rooms still open for the following month and we found a couple people to help with the cleaning & laundry. We managed to make it thru that time.
I agree with the previous posts that devine intervention does seem to help out in times of need. It's amazing how creative we can become during a crisis.
 
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