Bhenson Asked April 2012

Anyone have experience with being the second person on a living will and the first person hasn't seen mom in 7 years?

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Nursing home will not listen to me because I am second on the living will. My brother is first. He has not seen mom in 7 years and since her fall, has not visited (2 months). Mom changed everything but the living will and that was by mistake..she forgot. She lived with me for the past 2 years. She is dying but slowly because my brother refuses to take away the feeding tube. She has NO idea who I am or anyone else for that matter. Cannot speak in complete sentences either. Has lost 13 pounds and always told me not to let her live like this. I am only second on the Living Will and have been told my opinion doesn't matter. Aside from hiring a lawyer (no money), is there any other recourse? Can I petition the family court or something? Please help if you can

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Bhenson Apr 2012
You are both very kind always and I could NEVER have gotten through this without yourselves and those with you. The guilt will subside as I know I talked to her and said everything I needed to before she fell. It's somewhat devasting to have no parents anymore. I went to put a nightgown of hers that I washed back in her drawer. He drawer smelled so much like her and her perfume that I broke down. Funny what triggers the hysterical crying spells. I know it's early in the process so hoping I will manage in the near future. I was better for her then living with severe dementia and feeding tube. I would never ever put one in again for someone I loved who didn't have an excellant chance of recovery.

Hugs to all and if I can be of help to anyone, I am here.
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jeannegibbs Apr 2012
I understand it is very common to feel guilt or regret when a loved one dies, even when there have been no caregiving issues involved. We tend to wish we had done more or done something differently or not done something. Just accept the feelings of regret or guilt along with all the other feelings that are overwhelming you now. The relationship you had with your mother was very, very special, and you will have that the rest of your life.

My sympathy is with you as you transition into a life without your mother's physical presence.
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Barb: Think about all the times you were there for her, even when it was driving you nuts. From time to time I see people on this site that talk about taking care of their parents like it was just an honor and a walk in a blessed park. God bless them, but that has not been my experience. And I don't think it is the experience of most folks who try to stretch themselves in every direction in order to take care of a parent.

You both loved each other and you both felt that love. How could anyone want more than that, during their life or at the end of it? I'm going to share something with you that just happened for me in the last couple of days. Yesterday, I said a prayer to my mom, who has passed, and asked her to help me. I asked her to visit my dad, living with us, and try to guide him home to her. I said, "Mom if you have any pull with God, could you ask him to take Dad to heaven."

It felt good to talk to my mom this way. To talk to her, not just for forgiveness and explanation, which she doesn't need because she is all seeing now, but for intervention. It makes me feel like she is whole and real and a heavenly presence and interceder.

Barb, you have been through so much and you have loved your mom through it all. You are like us all, just wanting to do your best but walking in human form. God bless you for your love, kindness and the suffering you have felt for your mom.

My heartfelt love to you, Cattails.
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Bhenson Apr 2012
Thank you everyone. My mom passed away Friday so I'm dealing with the funeral and with already missing her. It's much harder than I thought it would be and the guilt about wishing I had a few spare moments sometimes, is hard. In the end, I know I left nothing on the table and told her how much I loved her many times.
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Barb: Sending love your way. Cattails.
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Bhenson Apr 2012
Jeanne, I see you on here alot and respect you greatly. I DO realize that it's working as it should but..he's not following her wishes at all. You are dead on saying that my statements are just opinions....that's how they see them. Just wondering if he's NOT following her wishes in the LW, is there an option here. Probably not, but I am the one watching her in pain and wasting away with no dignity. You're right, I think it's harder on me. Thanks
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jeannegibbs Apr 2012
This is working as it is supposed to. When writing our health care directive or living will we name the person we want making medical decisions for us when we can no longer make them ourselves. We should name someone we can trust to make the same decisions we would make -- someone who knows us well and either agrees with our outlooks or can put aside his own outlook to respect ours. And then we often name an alternate, to act in case the original choice is incapacitated or can't/won't take the responsibility when the time comes.

This system would be totally meaningless and chaotic if our choices of persons to act for us were disregarded as soon as we could no longer act on our own behalf. It is very, very unfortunate that your mother didn't change the living will. My heart goes out to you. Her slow death is very painful for you to watch, I am sure.

But the hostpitals, nursing homes, etc. etc. have to respect the legal document. They have no choice. Some people would want the kind of care your mother is getting now. Your brother says that your mother would and you say she wouldn't. Brother's decisions have the power of law behind them. Your statements are just opinions.

Again, I am very, very sorry for the position this puts you in. If it is any consolation, it is probably harder on you than on your mother, who seems to be spared from awareness of what is happening to her.
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3pinkroses Apr 2012
This is heartbreaking - so sorry you are going through this. Call Elder Services in your town and maybe they can help. Sometimes they have lawyers available for free advice. If not, many lawyers will give consultations at no charge - for about an hour or so. Hope you can find some guidance. Blessings and hugs.
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