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Please help me! I have been my mother's caregiver for many years. We have never had the best relationship, but I loved her. I always took care of her and put her above my own family. Things got a little rough, and I sent her to a nursing home for a few days so I could recharge. As her caregiver, I felt that I truly needed this time as my patience was running thin and she needed a break from me as well. She was completely coherent when she was transferred and thought we were going on a trip. She died on the third day. I am living with so much guilt and can not get over this. She died all alone, in a strange place and probably suffered. I was always there for her... never leaving her side. However, I let her down in the end. How will I ever get over this.... Just needed to vent... anonymously. I haven't been able to share this with any of my friends as I am too ashamed. I let my mother down.

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Lizzy, I'm so sorry you lost your mom and the pain you're going through now. Let me hold your hand.

How could you have known she'd pass away in your absence? You couldn't. Would you have taken a respite from your caregiving duties had you known? Of course not!

You took good care of your mom all these years. Care-giving is stressful. We all need a break sometimes; we're only human. Your mom's death was not your fault. You didn't let her down. How fortunate your mom was to have such a devoted daughter!

We don't know she suffered, any more than we know she felt alone when she passed. Maybe; maybe not. Death and the circumstances surrounding death are unpredictable. Even the doctors get it wrong sometimes.

No blame. No guilt. You are a wonderful daughter!
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Lizzywizzy,
At a time when your Mom was coherent, she released you to go on a trip.
Think of it that way. If you hang onto this guilt, reworking it around in your mind, this will make you very ill.
The pressures must have been intense for you and her both as she was nearing the end.
Think of her as making you go, to get on with your life.

So very sorry for your loss.

Join others on here who have been through this, get support! Just hang out with us for awhile if you can.
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You did not let your mother down and try your best not to think that. You did what was best for yours and her mental health. It was just her time and try to accept that.
When my mother was dying and in her hospital bed, I just went down the hall to the bathroom and into a waiting room to make a phone call. My wife came in and told me mom was gone. I wasn't out of her room 5 minutes and she went. It just happens when it happens. I have no guilt over not being with her but was saddened at the time as I did want to be with her when she passed....but it was not to be. Don't be so hard on yourself as there is nothing to do about it. Be positive for tomorrow and look forward to the future.
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Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I really don't have anyone to talk to about it and most of my friends just haven't experienced losing a parent. My faith tells me that I had no control over this and the advise you all have given me is exactly what I would give to someone else. But for some reason, I just can't seem to practice what I would preach in this situation.
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I am so sorry for your loss. I do want you to think of this- your mom was obviously front and center in your life. The excellent care you gave her is what kept her here for so long, longer than perhaps she'd ever imagined. She finally joined her family above. No one can get an extra day than they have already been alotted. It was hertime and she loved you.
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Lizzy, you are not in any way to blame. You did the responsible thing taking a break so you would be strong enough to continue providing this care. You did not kill your Mom. As others have said it is very common for someone to die the minute they are alone.
Rest your mind about Mom suffering. If her breathing was so bad she died of respiratory failure it would have been almost instantantanous. It is also possible that dead was caused by a pulmonary embolism. (blood clot in the lung., again very fast and no suffering. The canular may also have just fallen off when she died and her head fell sideways. No one was there but even if they had been there would be little they could have done. If you believe you are never alone. I believe there are angels or already passed loved ones who come down to guide you to heaven.
The main will ease in time hard as it is now but the thing to remember is that you did not cause this but your feelings are natural and normal. Blessings.
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Daughter1930's story could be mine--g-ma was in a nursing home so mom could take a little break--and she passed all "alone" in this strange place. BUT, as we were told over and over, had she been "home" she probably would have hung on much longer, in pain, slowly dying and feeling like she needed to Be there for all of us. MANY people wait until they are alone, to pass. I think they need the privacy, but whatever--it is not uncommon.

The love you have for your mom is not on bit diminished by the fact you weren't right there when she passed. Love goes on forever. You did her great service while she was alive.

I am sorry for your loss.
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I am sorry for you Lizzy.
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Oh Lizzy, how awful. What a terrible, terrible thing.

I don't think anything anyone can say is going to convince you that you cannot be blamed for what happened. Doesn't make any difference how reasonable it was for you to need time off; how correct you were to think that there ought to have been benefits for both you and your mother from some time out; how careful you were to choose the right level of care.

In the event, you turned your back and look what happened. You must be in pieces about it.

So I suppose I would just like to sit next to you and join in wishing it hadn't turned out like that for your mother. If we can't persuade you it wasn't your fault, does it help to know that almost every one of us has memories of things we wish we'd done differently?
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I think looking to assign blame is a natural part of grief, but please don't allow yourself to get bogged down in feelings of guilt. She is gone now and her suffering is over, I'm certain she was grateful for your loving care and wouldn't want you to dwell on the circumstances of her final moments. Accidents like this can happen at home just as easily as it does in a care facility, this WASN'T YOUR FAULT.
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My mother always told me the story of placing her mother in a nursing home after years of having her living in our home (I was a baby/toddler so no memory of this time) Grandmothers post stroke care and dementia had gotten so difficult and my mother was beyond exhausted. After only a few days at the nursing home grandmother died. No one saw it coming. My mother had unbearable guilt, could only feel if she’d kept her at our home longer things would have been better. Much later a nurse with many years of experience in geriatric and hospice nursing told my mom how incredibly common it is for people to die when in a different setting and when no one is around, that it’s like the body can relax without the pressure to be okay for others. I can’t prove this is what happened with your mom, but please know it’s common and in any case your mom is pain free and at peace now. Blessings to you as you walk through this
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Lizzy - So sorry for your pain.

You said your mother took of her cannula. I think she did that on purpose. I think she wanted to go. And she chose to go when you were not around. You couldn't have prevented that unless you were with her 24/7 awake and watching her and you know that's not possible.

Guilt is what you feel when you did something wrong. But what did you do wrong? You think you should have been there to stop her from doing what she wanted? She had her own will and control over her life and death. Why do you feel you have control over her?

Your mother is at peace now. Time for you to make peace with yourself, too.
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Lizzy, please accept my condolences for the loss of your beloved mother. She was lucky to have such a loving daughter. Don't assume that she suffered. It seems to have been her time to pass away. So sorry for the guilt you are feeling, but there is truly no reason for you to feel guilty. Stay strong!
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My stepmother spent 8 nights in hospice until she died. One of her biological kids stayed with her every night....until the night she died. That was the first night I was able to be the one to stay with her overnight.

To this day, I swear she chose that night to die because it was me there, and not one of her own biological children. I think it would have been harder on one of them, or maybe harder for her.  But she knew very well I would still have my own mother when she was gone.
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lizzy- I understand your guilt as I dealt with it when my Dad died. Lizzy there is nothing that you could have done to prevent her death that day and time. It was her time, it just so happened the way it did. But listen even if you had stopped all your plans and she was at home that was her time to go and she would have went anyway.
God took her when he was ready.
Please dear lizzy, I understand the difficulty and that you will feel this for a while. But please listen to me, there is nothing you could have done to prevent it.
We all need a break as our patience wears down. That does not make us bad people. You have been a wonderful daughter caring for your Mom all these years. You did good. You have done nothing wrong, you are not in control of your Mothers passing, it was her time to go.
Time and God heals.And although you feel awful and really there is nothing anyone can say to make it better, it will be ok lizzy. You loved your Mom and that is clear, don't punish yourself with unnecessary guilt.Your Mom new you loved her. Please hang in there and lean on the Lord for he will get you through this.
Will be praying for you lizzy. It will be ok.
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You did not let your Mother down. It's not like you had any idea that she would die when she did and you said yourself she needed a break from you too. Maybe, she would have died that day anyway. Maybe she needed to be away from you to die.

I sat beside my Mom at the hospital for seven days straight. Then four hours after I left she died when I was not there. I think this happens often. Maybe death needs to be a private thing for some people.

So stop feeling guilty. You did nothing wrong. Be good to yourself now and get some rest.
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she had respiratory failure. she took off her canula and died because no one checked on her. I feel like my decision in needing a break as selfish as it was, killed her...
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Oh lizzy
You must feel so burdened but it is not your fault - all those years of providing care are not diminished by her final hours -

hopefully the nursing home was able to give you some input on how the end came as I would think they would have called you if they saw something unusual beforehand 

You were mom's hero, and I hope you can rest in the days ahead
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