My last 24 hours with Mom...

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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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