My mom died today.

Started by

Hello all. Some of you may remember not too long ago I asked for (and received) help because my mom was becoming agitated after eating. Well, the hospice team had actually cut back on visiting because they didn't think she was close to the end and thought the family dr had jumped the gun referring her. The visited a week ago and said she was doing great, good color etc... Mom was drinking lots and eating well. She even requested salmon for dinner yesterday and she had periods where her speech was quite understandable.

Then today. She slept all morning (not unusual), has some noisy breathing (not ususual), I sat her up and she coughed up some mucus (not unusual) and her breathing became quiet again. I prepared dinner and she ate most of it and drank a glass of milk. I changed her and noticed her legs and thighs were mottled (not usual but I was thinking we still had months and it didn't raise the alarm in my head). I went to clean the dishes and when I came back she looked a little strange. I couldn't wake her and her pulse was so weak. Her mouth opened, she leaned back and she was gone. It was peaceful and quick. I'm in the kitchen right now typing this as the undertaker removes her body. I'm all over emotionally and feel very guilty that I missed something and then angry that hospice missed this and then so achingly sad that she was dying and I never knew. I could have told her just how much she meant to me had I known. And it's probably laughable but I get worried that I brought on death by feeding her. Maybe the blood rushing to digest diverted it from her weakening heart and it gave out.

Anyway, thank you all for helping. I felt so alone when I came here and your replies and messages kept me going.

33 Comments

My deepest sympathy. You did not affect the timing of her death. The mottling you saw tells you the blood vessels were breaking down and leaking. I saw the same on my daughter two days before she died. We do the best we can and the rest is up to God. Bless you for being there for her.
I am so very sorry for you. Take comfort in the knowledge she went when she was supposed to, and you were with her. She did not suffer and you are in no way at fault. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.
So sorry for your loss.
I'm so sorry for your loss. It does sound like your mother was very well cared for in her final days and was able to enjoy her meals. No doubt you have much to be proud of regarding her care. I'm sure it meant so much to your mother. I hope you may find peace in knowing this.
Thank you all. Peace seems so far away right now. My mind is going crazy.
I have family on planes right now and our dear neighbor came over to be here when the priest gave her the last rites.
Mom's brother suggested an autopsy because he thinks knowing exactly what happened would help us heal. I agree in theory but I worked so hard to keep her at home, out of hospital and away from medical assessments that I couldn't do it now either even though I'm tormented myself by the unknown.

I've kept it together and a brace face on for mom for so so long that when my neighbor Christine embraced me today I didn't cry- I wailed- it was so animal tic and came up from my feet. It was a total release of energy that I'd never experienced before. I have so much emotion buried and it's going to take a long time to bring it out and work through it.
Dear BD, I'm so sorry for your loss. Be comforted by your good memories of your mom.
(((((((hugs)))))) I am so sorry. Don't worry - her time has come. She went quickly and easily which is a blessing. I know you will miss her dreadfully. Look after you - the next while will be challenging.
God bless you and your family
It sounds like you gave your mom the best care and she had a good last day
Follow your heart on the autopsy decision

Do not second guess any of your decisions - you did everything right

BPSP, So sorry for your loss.
That one hurts and I think that I am feeling some of your pain, by your description, made all the more difficult by your expressed guilt. You did not miss anything, it appears your Mom had rallied just before dying. If this could have been predicted, then Hospice nurses would have noticed. You did nothing wrong. You were hopeful when she got better, for that brief time? Feeding her did not kill her, if I could die peacefully, without hospice, and without a lot of pain or pain medication, soon after my daughter brought me a meal-that would be so much better than the alternatives.
Caring for her needs was the best you could have done for her. It is not your fault that she was a tricky patient, and passed while your back was turned. You can say goodbye to her in a little prayer. I know you are so very sad, because you said so.
Please be kind to yourself, stop wondering why a frail elderly woman passed away
when it was time to go, and go peacefully, she did that well! You will miss her.
Honor her with your life well lived, and please don't spend too much time at all on any guilt.
God Bless you and your family during this time of grief.
Oh dear, as unprepared as you were it sounds as though she had a sudden, peaceful end, the kind I pray for with my own mom. ((hugs))

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support