Going through the hospice experience.

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I found this site about a month ago after Poppy fell the day before Thanksgiving, and then whole downhill slide began, ending with him entering hospice. I found all of your support and knowledge to be so helpful, you can't even imagine.
So here I am now after hospice. Poppy lasted two weeks, and died on the 24th. I visited every day, and cried every time I was there for what he was going through. It was gut-wrenching to see him waste away, stripped of all his dignity, so frail and helpless. The last couple of days, I don't think he knew who I was. He had bedsores that never healed, and I was there a few days before he died when they were changing his bandages. I will never forget how much pain he was in. He lay there whimpering the whole time, asking them to stop, and the aides would say "I'm sorry" to him because they knew they were having to hurt him. He had stopped eating and drinking, so by the last days I couldn't understand him because his mouth was so dry he couldn't pronounce words. He was so weak and frail.
I'm sorry if this is too much information, but these are my last memories of him and it hurts so much. The other members of the family saw him on a "good" day and have those as last memories to cherish, while I am haunted by those last few days. And so what good did it do if he didn't even recognize me? I have so much grief right now. I know it will get better in time, and I am trying to replace these images with the thought that he's not suffering any longer, but it's not always successful.
I didn't know hospice would be so awful. My mom is still alive, but God forbid, I don't know if I can ever go through this again. If anyone has any advice or thoughts, or even just one of those little hugs, I could sure use some.

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Windy. thank you so much for responding. It's really helpful to read your words of understanding and encouragement. I know you know how I feel and it's comforting to know it will get better. You're right, it's very recent so it's really intense right now. I'm sorry you had to go through it too. Bless your dad, and bless you for caring for your mom.
The people at the facility grew to know and care about my poppy in those two weeks. One in particular started out calling him, rather formally and respectfully, Mr. Smith. And by the last day, she had bonded with poppy and would tell him "Arnie! Arn! Come on, you've got to cough. One more time, Arn!" And he listened to her. I was a little envious because he responded so well to her and didn't really remember who I was, but I am very glad and grateful that he had someone who cared about him on that level in his final days.
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cheryl, my sincere condolences on the passing of your dad. ((Hugs))

My dad died in hospice on December 17th four years ago. He also only lasted two weeks to the day at the hospice house. It was horrible to watch him waste away from brain cancer. I was thankful for the support hospice gave us, especially the three months they helped us care for him while he was still able to be at home. Then a major seizure caused his placement at the hospice house.

I honestly don't have any idea of how we all would've coped without their support physically, mentally and spiritually.

Your grief and the awful end of life memories are so fresh now. I know what you're going through. I was unable to sleep peacefully for a few months because every time I would close my eyes, I could "see" him in that painful state. I'd cry myself to sleep. You're in a really hard place right now. Just give yourself time to grieve, take it really easy on yourself when you have time to do so. It took a year before I didn't cry every single day. Thoughts came flooding in out of the blue - like standing in line at Target when a song came on that reminded me of him. Just allow yourself to feel the 'tough stuff' and not try to replace it with other thoughts. Grief is a process with different timelines for everyone.

Dying is never a pleasant thing to witness. It's like torture, I know. It's trite to say that in time it WILL get better, but it is TRUE. I still think of my dad every single day. Good memories have replaced the tears for the most part. I just miss him so darn much! It doesn't help that he was mom's caregiver for years and she has been my responsibility since he became ill. She's in AL and is sometimes a real bear but I keep on keeping on....It is my way of honoring my sweet dad.

More ((Hugs)) to you. I feel myself tearing up knowing how awful you feel right now. :(
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