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I want to share the last night with my Mother while here.
The day before she left us she wanted to get out of bed and get dressed. She wanted to stand, so my son helped her up and she stayed in his arms for like 10 minutes. Meanwhile we kept asking her if she wanted to sit in a different chair; she said "no". We asked if she needed to go to the bathroom, she again said "no". We asked if she wanted to lay down and I'll never forget that stern look she gave us, a look like "what are you crazy, that's all I do." After however many minutes she was in my son's arms, she then said she wanted to sit. So she sat and I sat next to her, my son on the other side. She wanted to change, when I asked to what she said it didn't matter. She kept saying that we had to go, we have to go. In hindsight, now I know what she meant. I showed her a different pajama top and she said that was fine. So she was now changed. She said she was tired, so we laid her down. She wasn't eating or drinking, she had thrush (horrible sores in and around her mouth and under her tongue). We had a 24-hr nurse in the home then. In the middle of the night, she was in pain and breathing really bad. It seemed that she was choking and making rattling sounds. In the book that Hospice gave me, it said that these are called "rattling of death" (yes, terrible name) and that it normally bothers the caregivers more so than the patient. I showed this to the nurse and my brother, they didn't want to believe it. I guess I was just providing a fact, I'm not sure if I believed it either. I don't quite remember. Anyway, we called Hospice and asked what can be done about it, so they prescribed something and my brother went and picked it up. It was a patch. We placed it on the outside of her neck as instructed, the rattling stopped. Once we felt she was breathing okay, we went back to bed. The nurse had to leave at 8am, but the other one was running late so when I got up the night nurse was still there. She told me she was breathing okay and that she had giving her a sponge bath and changed her top. She seemed peaceful, so I went back to bed for just a bit and when the new nurse came around 10 or so I was up again. She looked at my Mom's breathing and she said "I don't like this, I don't like this at all". I had heard this before as many nurses said that because they didn't really knew Mom's background with COPD so her breathing was always irregular. Although, now that I think about it, her breathing was really shallow and very slow. I had given her a kiss and a "good morning" as I always did. But when I sat next to her I guess I just knew that something was not right. The nurse was right, her breathing was not right at all. She took slow breaths and I can see her neck pulsating ever so slowly. I left the room and woke up my son, I told him "Richard, I think it's time and you should go say your goodbye." He was up really quick and went into the room. I'm not sure if I stayed behind for some reason or I was just sitting thinking, I don't know but he went into her room and came back just as fast and told me with his look that she was gone. I don't know why I didn't stay there, I don't know why I didn't held her hand I don't understand why I left the room. I asked this of myself over and over again and I think she should have felt the warmth of my hand when she left so she knew she wasn't alone. I feel guilty about this. I questioned myself about what I did all the time. I don't know if God does have a plan and he felt it would have been too much for me to see her take her last breath. I don't know.


Please keep the signs of your loved one in mind, if she says and feels anxious because they feel they have someplace to go. It is a sign! And don't forget to always tell them you love them and thank them for what they've done for you. Ask, if you can if there's anyone in particular they want to see. Try and make it happen, even if it's a phone call. My mother wanted to see her sister one last time, we had a call via Skype. So they actually did see each other. God bless you all caregivers and be strong and patient.

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BJ1Okla, thank you for sharing your story. 59 is indeed way too young to go. Today, my Mom has been gone for exactly 2 months. I miss her terribly and still question how did this happen? I thought I was ready to let her go, but I guess I wasn't and I am, at least, today feeling my loneliness. But enough about that, I am happy that you are at peace, I will too soon will be.
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My Husband, the love of my life, died in 2008. He came home from the hospital the first week of February, with Hospice home care. He never, in all our married life, forgot my birthday or Valentine's day, which were close together. He sent my son to buy a special gift for me on Valentine's day. Dying with liver cancer, his condition went downhill fast. Three days before he died, he indicated he wanted me to open the drapes by his bed. I did. Watching his face change from pain to clear happiness was amazing. I asked him ..."what do you see outside?" and in a very clear voice, he said .."My mother." His mother had been gone for 20 years and her death had deeply hurt him. After 'seeing his mother' -- he died very peaceful 24 hours later. The Hospice worker told me she had seen that so often -- the person dying would actually say they were seeing a loved one already passed. I loved him very much. He was only 59 when he died. I am at peace about his death because I know he's 'with his mother' and she was a wonderful woman.
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thanks gropup;
It's too late for me to attend caregiving classes as my Mom has already passed. I stay on this site because it's important for me to vent and give my personal experience comments and thoughts to those that are going through what I went through or will be. God bless you all
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Thank you for sharing and God Bless you, Prayers for you and your family. -marty
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Has anyone heard of the new book out about women who have lost their husbands and through their bereavement process get together periodically to cook and do all kinds of girl things?

I can't remember the title, but I'm thinking if we find it we could each probably read it and get some good ideas on how to start a new kind of bereavement group that might lead to something special, different, better ... in the long run.
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thank you so much for sharing! I know that had to be difficult to do.
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I understand so well. I have very good friends, too, but when I start talking about the emtional issues dealing with my sister, I get turned off. People don't want to listen and I have no one to vent to, except friends. So I do understand what you are saying totally. Hang in there and vent thru this site, and/or attend a care giving class in your area. They helped me a lot. You can only do your best. Let it go after that. Peace to you, my friend.
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Crystal1224; thank you for your words. Perhaps we shall visit someday, my son lives in the Tampa Bay area. Crying with someone without feeling bad about crying is a good thing. Sometimes when I speak to my friends, I feel like I should not cry and be strong so I don't get their pity or worse yet totally ignore my feelings. I find that sometimes when I start talking about Mom people either shy away from it, change the subject or simply tell me to move on that my Mom would like that and although I agree with that; I also think that I need support and I just don't get it from any of my friends. My oldest sister who lives in Chicago is always checking up on me and I envy her because her friends put a little get together to speak about my Mother and to support her. I didn't get that from any of my friends. I shouldn't say that I don't have good friends, just different that my sister and I think I would have liked to have had what she did.
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Hispa girl bare your heart girl it is okay. I too have a son like yourself that is taking this really hard and I know what you must be feeling. My Dad - I taped him the other day and these past few days we have spent the whole time together. I would not change it for the world right now even though it is hard on my heart I know nothing will cure my pain at the moment only the peace the good Lord gives us. I am in the Tampa Bay area. I so wish you lived close to so you could visit. We cry together it is good to cry it out. Just know like my father said it is not good to grieve too long..why he told me that I do not know but he told me that years ago when he was well. I will try to get on here tomorrow and write more and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. What a wonderful daughter you are. Love to you. xoxo
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Crystal, I hope your Dad is still with you. Like so many of you said, I had my Mother for 85 years and the last 5 with her were my best years. I was lucky, but I wanted her to stay around longer. I miss her. I have no one to talk to, complain to or just have fun with. I'm lonely and I'm feeling sorry for myself. I cannot seem to move on with my life. I fight hard to stay around because I have a son that's my life. He's away in college but we try to stay in touch as much as possible. If it weren't for him, who know I may just have followed Mom. Selfish I know, but you tell me how do you go on. I'm sorry Crystal I did not mean for this to go this way, I just wanted to tell you that you are doing the right thing. If you can not only write what he says, but buy yourself a video camera or a recorder so when you miss him in the future all you have to do is turn it on. I regret not being able to do this and I miss her voice so much. So please record him, hug him, say I love you to him every chance you get, say you thank him for giving you life. I will keep you and Chester, your Dad in my prayers. What part of florida do you live? I live in Hollywood.
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One more thought about people dylng just after we leave their side: I think my mom's spirit may have left her body while I was there, or maybe just after
I left the room . But it took another hour for the mechanical body systems to stop.
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Your story really hit home with me. My Mom passed away a week ago yesterday early in the morning as I was driving the 30 miles that I drove daily for a month, overseeing her hospital-to-rehab-to-hospital-to-hospice care. About a week before Mom died, my sister and I came to visit and she grabbed our hands and said, "I am dying". When I asked her why she was saying that, she said that a hospital administrator and a nurse had come to her (we concluded in a dream) to tell her there was nothing else they could do. My sister and I were courageous enough, despite our tears and sobs, to tell her that if that was indeed the case, that it was ok to go, that we would all be allright. She slept a lot that day and then the next day she was really sad, as were we. The following day she was approved for hospice by her doctor and we spent the day getting people on the phone for her so she could say goodbye. It's amazing how, in moments like this, we can all rise above our long held grievances and just focus on the love we felt for each other. One of my other sisters who we haven't seen since before 9/11 even made herself available to talk to my Mom. I told my Mom that I would spend the rest of my life trying to be the wonderful person that she was. I asked her if she was scared and she said that she wasn't. We talked about "seeing" those who left us, especially her daughter and my sister, who died in a car accident at the age of 17. She smiled when she thought about the prospect of seeing her again. While we were not with my Mom at the moment of her passing, we were there for almost all of the moments of her final days, especially the ones that mattered...the "I love you's" and the goodbyes...although my Mom wouldn't say goodbye....she said "good night".

So don't for a moment feel bad about not being there when your Mom left, you were there for her when she was there.
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I feel for you- went thru the same thing with my mother's older sister, for whom I was the primary caregiver (she had no children).... very very difficult, those last hours. And now 12 years later, I'm dealing with Mom, same thing... she's 91 and still fine physically, but the dementia is so hard to manage... and I know how it's going to progress and ultimately end, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it. I hope my two son's never have to go thru this with me....
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Crystal1224, I just went threw this a month ago on the 7th of Jan with my mom. No , I din't want her to go but I knew in my heart that was the best for her. to be at peace, to be free, no more pain, no more medications or feeling bad because someone had to bath her, feed her, do everyting for her. She didn't like it but didn't want to go either. One night I slept curled up around her feet at tne foot of the bed because she was so afraid and she kept peeking to see if I was still there.She asked me if I would go with her when she went . I told her that when the Lord wanted her to go not to hold back because it is a beautiful world where she was going. I have been there and wxplained what I had seen, but I had to come back because it wasn't my time. She seemed to accept that at the time. But the day before she went I was standing at the foot of her bed while the nurse was giving her a bath and mom knew me. She mouthed the words"I LOVE YOU". That is the last words that she actually told me. The next morning she was in pain when we would reposition her. At 6:30 I knew time was short so we called the hospice nurse and she was here by 6:45. I was with mom to the end it was very quiet and still and I had a window open so her spirit could go free. That is what she said she wanted to go home and be free. God Bless You and You will survive. It will be hard for a while as we all know. You don't want to feel guilty but I understand becasue I'm going threw that now, and everyone says that I did all I could and more.
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I forgot to say this. Sunday Dad was talking about so many things in his life and I took the tape recorder out and asked him if it was okay and I taped his talking. He talked about Love...I tried to listen to it later on that evening and closed it up and put it in safe keeping. Our talks this last few days have been talks I will never ever forget.
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Thank you so much all the love and hugs. I am still keeping vigil watch. Yesterday morning I got a scare and my heart was beating so fast as I kneeled over the bed and prayed. My Mother tells me not to fear and so does Dad but it is hard not too. I have to take deep breaths as I am scared and sad, emotional and all kinds of feelings of anxiety in my chest really bad. I have to pray more and walk around the garden this morning. Blessings of love I send to you all. Keep those prayers coming I so (we) so appreciate that. xox
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Not sure if this helps anyone and wondering if it helps me....

I know that I had my Mom for so much longer than many others had their parents around. So, now that she is gone, I say I am lucky. Lucky she lived as long as she did. Lucky that I was able to spend so much time with her.

Then when I'm sad or stumped, confused about what to do and how to live my remaining life, I think about what she would tell me. I think about how she lived her life and I try to be healthy and happy... because that is what she taught me ... even tho it's very hard sometimes.
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I'll be praying for you and your dad....you are a wonderful daughter...you gave him beautiful a gift by caring for him. I know your heart aches...I pray you feel comforted by your faith. You're dad understands what's happening...and as hard as it is he is ready to be received. What a wonderful feeling he is going to be in the arms of Jesus soon. I pray for peace for you both. (( hugs ))
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Crystal - when you posted the other day my heart went out to you and your Dad. It really touched my inner being as it is the same situation that I went through with my lovely Dad 6 months ago. Please be assured that I am praying for you and your Dad Chester. God Bless.
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I am here tonight for some reason to reach out to all of you, My father gave me a scare today and I have been spending more time in the room with him and he has been sharing with me so much. Today he reached his arms up and said this - Jesus I am ready come and get me and thank you for everything. Lord my heart about fell out. He cried and talked so much about my son and how he wanted to see him grow up and how he wanted to live to see his birthday and longer. Oh if I could only tell you all the pain in my chest and heart now. I am scared but all knowing that Lord if you take him Home take him in your Peace while he is asleep so I do not have to see him suffer. I am beside myself and telling myself I can handle this but really I am not handling it too good. I had to make those phone calls about arrangements and all because I do not want to deal with all of that when the time comes I want to sit in that room and look out the window and listen to Dad tell me everything he has been telling me. It helps that I have written down so many things he has said so I can compile them for strength to speak when the time comes. I have never been through this before and I will do whatever it takes to hold up the best I can. Please send your prayers to us here in Florida - my father's name is Chester. I thank you so much. A Veteran's Daughter and Caretaker forever and ever.
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You did just great. You really did. I said goodbye to my mom almost 3 months ago. I too wonder why I didn't "know" that it was the end....none of the nurses "told" me - which I really believe is that our mothers were with us and knew we were with them, but chose their time to go when it was Their time, and when it would be less burdonsome for us to witness their leavetaking. My mother was already on the other side when her body finally gave out - she was already being greeted by loved ones - as I think was your mother. So your mother was not missing you at the time of her leavetaking. She left with the strength of your love helping her to go, and the strength of her love was leaving before you had to witness that leavetaking. All is well. Know that your mother left at the right time. And know that your were with her when she totally needed you. Blessings to you.
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Thank you so much Sue and all who have commented. I am in a state of total sadness and I hope the Lord holds me up and the rest of this family when it is time. I can not sleep, eat or concentrate on anything anymore. Seems like I am moving in autopilot and total exhaustion now. I am at loss for words anymore.
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Crystal 1224 - I felt so sad reading your comment but when the time does come I hope you get the strength (as I did) to sort everything out. I reported earlier what happened when my Dad passed away. The worst thing is knowing that it is going to happen but not knowing when. You've been a loving daughter and always been there for your Dad but for the last 2 years it sounds like you have 'worn yourself out'. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless
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My heart goes out to you, Crystal 1224. You are doing what needs to be done for your father and what will give your heart peace after he is gone. Try to give him the positive, although it doesn't seem like there is any right now, I'm sure. You can tell yourself and him how blessed you are that you wake up and have another day together. He is coherent and he knows who you are, and he appreciates your efforts and loves you dearly. Each day together is a blessing. If you and he can try to concentrate on the here and now and not what will happen in the future, it might make it more bearable. Maybe bring him a little treat? Flowers one time, his favorite food or dessert another? My mom loved that. Even if she only took one little bite, it gave her pleasure to have pizza, shrimp, soda, etc. Just a little surprise every day, not swamping them with stuff. Even a funny story. Anything that takes your minds off the inevitable and gives you quality time together now. Hang in there. This is a great sounding board for you. Keep using it. I sent you a hug.
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hipsairl I want to Thank You for opening your Heart. I feel something in my heart when my Mom is in some sort of distress. I truly think your instincts and bond with your Mother is what told you to get up and wake your son for a reason, you taught your son that caring for another persons life is what is most important. I think your Mom was holding on because she wanted to stay with you and your son, but she also knew that she had to go to the next journey, and she felt heartache in your presence because she didn't want to leave you. Telling you to go was probably her way of telling you to move on with your life.... I'll be OK , Please don't worry anymore, about my life, I'll be fine. She communicated with your soul when she knew she was leaving and your Son was with you to comfort you, I see that as a blessing from her and her last request in life as we know it. You should not feel guilty at all. I am get the feeling that she struggled with letting go, for your sake. She felt the warmth of your heart and soul at the time of her passing, when you woke your son, you answered her last prayer.

In hopes you'll chuckle....
I'll end this by sharing with you a quote directly from my Mother to Me...
"Go home worry about your own problems!!!!"

My translation of this quote ..."I know you love me, now it's time to take care of yourself, when will you listen to me and stop bugging ME, haven't I taught you anything?...someday YOU WILL understand and appreciate THESE words!"

God Bless
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Hisa I read all the comments and what made me come in this site tonight I feel there was a reason and to read what others have said here. I am scared. Sad. Emotional. All in one. I fear I will not be able to handle it seeing my father as I told the priest who came to our home to give him a healing blessing the other day that I am so totally worn out that I do not know if I could handle it. I don't know what to do. My son who is like a son to him and him a father - I see the fear on his face too. The Priest told me that sometimes they do not want the family around and that is what I have read in most of these comments. I pray for a peaceful and happy departure for my father but even as I type this I am full of anxiety inside and my heart is hurting so much. I have not had much sleep and have found myself crying alot. I have taken care of my father for two years now and with no respite and it has had its moments but I would not change these days now for anything. It has been the hardest thing to watch your parent decline and a long process. I told him that Dad when you can not stand and fight any longer I will stand for you and fight for you. The hardest thing for me is he told me just the other day in tears that he did not want to leave my son or us. He wants to live. Lord this is hard to write for me. There is nothing I can do and he has been through so much. Some days he said he is tired and wants to go but that one time he told me with tears in his eyes he did not want to leave us. With all the chemo and all the surgeries I have to say I am a proud Veterans Daughter and Caretaker and I pray the Lord to give me the strength when the time comes along with the rest of my family. I know this might sound selfish also as we all want him around and being his daughter for 56 years has meant so much to me. He is my best friend and the best father a daughter could ever have. Lord help me deal with this as I feel like I have already been grieving for the past two years watching and tending to him. This is not easy folks. Hardest thing I have ever had to watch and do. I know I have been told someday I will be thankful for what I have done for my father but trust me you all there seems to be things I don't think I am doing right or wish I could do better with and this is one of them - Saying Goodbye. Oh boy I am so choked up now and thanks for all the comments and Hispagirl I think your Mother is waiting on the other side for my Daddy too. Knowing he does not have long has me stressed to the max and each morning I open the door and see the sun on his beautiful face and see him breathing I thank God for another day. Tears and Hugs to all you beautiful people here. xoxo
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Hispagirl as I read this my heart just stops. I have had a bad week and on total exhaustion as my father is doing bad now. I thought of all you said and I do not know if I can handle it. I am already distraught with the thoughts of him leaving and so is he. Oh Lord you give me strength when I thought I had none left. Your Mom knows you were there honey and God Bless you for taking care of her. I was thinking of you and all the other caretakers lately and I have not had time to come in the site as everyday is something new. I hold my Fathers hands and tell him all the time how much I love him and how brave he is. He is sad because he said he does not want to leave us. Oh that broke my heart so much I cried myself to sleep what little sleep I am getting now. Hugs to you!
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Redhead, I'm so sorry for your loss and the fact you didn't have the opportunity to bond with your Mother. All I can possibly say to make you feel better is that the fact that she had a blank look and no emotion had nothing to do with you but because she was ready to go. Everyone here and everything that I've read tells me that when someone is ready to go, they send us away to spare us the pain of seeing them take their last breath. I think the fact that your Mom wanted you to go so you could not miss your train was a sign that she was ready to go and seeing you was probably the last wish she had. I believe seeing you gave her peace and knowing that she wanted to see you means that she did love you even if she made mistakes. Remember the good times with her and remember that the last person she was (you) was probably the person that meant the most to her. A hug for you from me, I understand your loss. We only have one Mother and no matter who she was, she gave us birth.
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I had a very sad last visit with my mom. She and her second husband moved far away from me after I let them both stay with me. He, and old man of 60's, put his hands on my legs to touch me further. I pulled away. My mother who was in the house did not see this, but I immediately told her that he could not stay there. She said nothing but said they were moving to her home town. She was at that time being treated with radiation for cancer. At that time he quit his job to go on Medicare, she was then cut off from his medical care insurance at his job and I found out that the hospital in her hometown would not treat her because her husband no longer had insurance. The day I last saw her dying in the hospital - she just looked at me with a blank look - no emotion, didn't even hold my hand or kiss me. Her last remark to me was "you better go before you miss your train."
I was totally numb and just walked out, knowing I would never see her again - nor until her funeral. She abandoned me and my father and married this second husband. She never loved me or care for me and we never bonded in life. All I remember was how sad her life was. Any comments?
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emmurr, touching story. I remember feeling the same way with every little hope and every little smile. When she had strength I felt she would get better. I'm glad that you found love again. I myself haven't been able to let anyone in my life, first because I took care of my son and then took care of my Mother. I never really had time.
I remember Mom asking me to ask God to let her go and I told her I wouldn't do that that I would ask God to make her better or to stop her suffering, I didn't actually meant to take her. But He does work in mysterious ways. As each day goes by I miss her more and more. Some days I feel at peace, others I am not sure how I feel. I do have to say Thanks to everyone who's commenting and writing regarding my departing of her room while she took her last breath, because it has made me realize that she wanted this way. She/we had already said our goodbyes and everything we had say to one another, and she had seen everyone she wanted so this makes me feel at peace. Thank you, thank you all.
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