My mother is receiving hospice care. I can't stop crying as I watch her go through this. What should I do?

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
26

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
After a grueling and exhausting day, I had finally settled in for some down time when I got the text to "come now". I ran over. Sometime between 8:00 and 10:00 pm, mom died.
It is 3:11 AM as I type this. I won't be able to rest my mind until I get this out. A very nice hospice nurse came. I asked her to "make sure" she was gone. She assured me she was. I still was in a state of disbelief although I knew the nurse was right. I was about 90% sure... but still had that little bit of doubt. It was only after a few hours of feeling her body cool down that I believed it. In that time, I said what I felt I had to tell her (they say hearing is the last to go) - I kissed her, held her hand, hugged her, then rinse and repeat a few more times while we waited for 2 very professional looking and kind young men wearing ties at 12:30 AM and driving nice black SUVs to come for her. One handed me a rose. He also gave me a bear hug which I accepted with my whole heart and gave back the same.
I'm glad it happened late at night because my mom was always a private person, and she wouldn't have liked the commotion outside during the day.
It's very surreal. For the past 6-1/2 years, mom became my partner in crime, my responsibility, and finally, like my child. Dementia is a bitch and don't let anyone ever tell you differently. When she was diagnosed in 2011, it was like being told she had arthritis. Doctor was matter-of-fact, and she and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and figured it was old age forgetfulness. I couldn't have known the road we would travel, the crucial decisions I would have to make on her behalf which were pretty constant, the time consumption, the patience I'd have to have, or the wear and toll it would take on me back then. So to say I'm a little relieved it's over is not a lie. And to tell you all that I will remember her at her prime is not a lie either. The woman dying in that bed was nothing but a shell. MY mother will always be dressed to the nines, with perfectly coiffed hair, elegant earrings, and Shaklee Cola Frost lipstick. She will always have her wedding ring (which she lost a few years back) shining on her finger. She will always have bracelets on her wrists and costume jewelry matching her beige (her favorite color to wear when I was a teenager) outfits. Her jewelry 'wardrobe' was pastels as she became older and the disease began to take hold. Pastels - blue, aqua, pink, purple. She is the woman who wears a Christmas apron and flies like Tinkerbell around the kitchen on Christmas Eve - her food would put a 5-star restaurant to shame. She will forever and eternally be cooking something from scratch, and laughing so hard at her own silly jokes that it's contagious. She may even snort and then laugh harder at that as tears fill her eyes. She could be comedic. She will always have that naive innocence and pleasant warm nature. (Think the innocence and purity of Edith Bunker, no lie) - oh, and she had a major thing for flowers. Real, silk, didn't matter... I joked her house in FL looked like a Greek funeral home. This was a woman who EMBRACED caring for her husband and daughter. Embraced it. I have family video of mom and one of their dogs running on the beach. I have video of her sharing her first Christmas with dad in 1941... and one of her swimming like a mermaid in a Miami hotel pool with her sisters wearing a swim cap and so many other moving pictures of this woman living a life most of us would envy. This is a woman that remained faithful through the decades - 67 years married. The way marriage is supposed to be. All that made my mother that woman began to die a few years ago. Her spark, humor, wit, abilities... all fell away. As hard as it was on me, I know it was harder on her. This past couple of years we dealt with a broken hip, broken pelvis, and a few weeks ago; bad fall on a tile floor. A person can only rally back and recover so many times. Mom's body was tired and worn.
So where is she now? On my shoulder? With the stars above? Having a family reunion? Is she everywhere? Nowhere? See, ENERGY CANNOT DIE - it just transfers - and this eloquent lady had an abundance of it. I guess this is where faith really comes in. You see, I asked dad last night to please take her in time for Valentine's Day.
He answered. And you know what? I knew he would. The man has had my back my whole life. I knew he would come through. Since i have not slept tonight I am going to come on later tomorrow. I am okay. I fell apart already, then I was okay. The coming days will be a repeat of that, I'm sure. I would like to extend a special thank you to Holly. Holly cared for mom as though she were her own mother. Holly kept the ship from sinking, and cared for my mother intimately without blinking an eye.
Thank you all for being such a wonderful support system. My father told me something I have carried with me. He was a very intelligent man. He used to tell me, "Paula, in the end, all that matters is love."
As always, my father was right. And you have all shown me and mom great love.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Wishing you strength, Nikki. Hugs.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Nikki, so sorry to read about your Mom and how soon her journey will go into the final chapter.

I am an only child, also, and my Mom was 98 when she passed.   After my Mom passed, my Dad wanted me to get their house ready to sell, as he wanted to move to Senior Living.   So that kept me soooo busy I couldn't think about my Mom not being here.

But I know the feeling when my Dad, also in his 90's, had to eventually move from IL into Assisted Living.   His passing caught us all by surprised.   I was Daddy's Girl, and he had taught me about taking care of things if ever I was on my own.   That was the best gift ever.

Ah yes, the "what ifs", I think we all go through that.   I know I did.   But we need to realize that we were thrown into a situation where we didn't have any training. So we did the best we could with the knowledge we had.   My folks had passed last year, they both had a wonderful long life.   I am still exhausted.   I am 70, so I feel 90.   I need a nap.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

xinabess - yes it's different for only children, isn't it? Easier in some ways because nobody is fighting us but in another way it's a lot scarier. Our family was small to start with. Dad, mom, and me. Dad died in 2009. Mom and me... now mommy going. "Mommy" because she is my mommy inside my heart and at my primal core... I never called her 'mother'. I called her ma, mom... but that primal child in me is screaming mommy is dying... the thing about moms is that nobody on planet Earth can love you the way your mom loves you. You can be the ugliest fool in the world and your mom thinks you're beautiful. You can do something awful and mom will rally to your side and defense. It's a mom thing. When I had a problem I went to my parents. Now I guess I am supposed to, finally, grow up at age 50. I still feel 30 but my body feels like 70 today.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Oh, Nikki, I am so moved by your post. I am also an only child and I am very close to my mother. She is 84 and recovering from stroke. She is in pretty good shape considering, but still it is heartbreaking to see her lose so much vitality and independence. I am terrified of being where you are, which will, of course, happen. My thoughts are with you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My mom is on hospice and is home with a live-in caregiver 24/7. I live across the street and I have been really struggling to see her dying - she doesn't have long. She is almost 94 years old with advanced dementia. She is on liquid morphine and hasn't eaten in almost 2 days. No drink either. Hospice says it's natural but I'm falling apart. I went to see her today and looked in on her as she was sleeping (on morphine) - she looked dead already... her color is terrible, her eyes are vacant, we are losing her. I am an only child. I am losing her. It's unbearable for me. I am 50 years old and I feel like I am 15 again losing my mother as a kid.  I will soon be an 'orphan'.  Nobody will love me like her and dad did ever again.  Nobody.  Every old argument surfaces in my memory. Every twinge of guilt sparks inside my head. The 'what if's' and the regrets... the times when she wanted to be with me ALL the time and I resented it... I didn't understand the disease when she was in the mild/moderate stages. I didn't realize that this was terminal. I know so much more now. I do forgive myself, but I stopped her appetite stimulant pill when hospice came on board because to what end am I keeping her sitting in a chair all day confused, on psych meds, with no quality of life? This is not the way she would want to live. I know that much. I pray to God that by letting nature take it's course I am not making a mistake. She has a DNR in place. Side note: she also has old compressed fractures in her vertebrae that have flared up. Caregiver cannot move her an inch which calls for morphine under tongue now every 2 hours to keep mom out of it. She's not going to rally back from this. The hospice nurse said days to a week now. I feel like I am in a horror movie... I am not ready for this one bit. I am rambling now, sorry - I need to get cremation in order and prepay that, I need to call the priest for mom... I need to realize... it's getting real.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Is there a difference between Palliative care and hospice?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

if your mom is still around you should spend as much time with her as possible . tell her you love her as much as you can . give people their flowers when they are alive because they wont need them when they have gone on to the next life.
I love you Mom don't have to just be on mothers day or her birthday you should say it everyday and night because you never know when you will see them again. and if you mom is in the hospital go visit them no matter how far the hospital is.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It is never easy watching your love one suffer, but what has help me is to remember that there last moment is depenentt on your comfort and love and your inner strenght to keep them going, and there reason is not for them to keep on going but for the love ones they know they would leave behind.... so if they see you strong then they know they will be ok..... even if all things seem bad at that moment
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I know, its so difficult- im mourning my moms death and she is still alive---
so many tears-cry- yes u should- crying helps-its a way the body can release some of the pain and hurt u r feeling- i send u huggggggggggggggggss
and love- k
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions