Are there "stages" of accepting that you're dying?

Asked by

Like stages of grief....?
I'm sure some never accept it. What I'm seeing is like Mom is on an emotional roller coaster.


She's wanting to live to, see her grandkids grow up. Then, to see them just one more time. Lately it's, "I just can't take this anymore." Sometimes it's, "I just want to be normal again." The hardest to hear is the, "I just want to go to sleep and never wake up."


This struggle is real. She's looked in my eyes and said, "I'm really dying right?" Other times I get, "I don't want to die."


The beautiful ones are when she's holding my hand and she catches me crying, she'll perk right up and sternly say, "No no I'll bounce back, don't cry, it WILL be ok." (Hey all, meet my Mom!) Yeah, totally Mom mode there.


Just wondering if she'll come to accept she's dying. I guess no one really knows since everyone is different.


I'm so mad, I want to put my head through a wall! I want to curse, scream, cry, throw sh*t, throw up and howl.....yeah I actually want to howl!!!


(Speaking of an emotional roller coaster)

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Top Answer
I think the stages of grief fit very well: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And I know that many never get to the acceptance stage, or even past the denial.
"I need God right now so much, but I just can't feel Him anymore." Not being able to feel God's presence is normal in your circumstances. Just because you can't feel God's presence does not mean that he is not there. Remember that faith and feelings don't always match together. Be still and trust.
Dee,
Thank you. I know now it sound stupid, but I always thought when a person finished one stage they'd be done with it and move to the next. Not jumping back and forth through them. Sounds so ridiculous because I know emotions are crazy.

The spiritual councilor will be here Friday. I doubt Mom will want to talk to him, but I NEED to. I need God right now so much, but I just can't feel Him anymore.

Worried,
Me and Mom have always been amazingly connected.... to a fault. What she felt, I felt and vice versa. So I totally get what you went through.

This poor soul doesn't even call for me anymore. When she wakes up, she just lays there. She doesn't eat, doesn't drink and she only pee's once, every 24 hrs. 

This, by far, is the hardest thing I've ever done. 
Thank you ladies for taking the time to help me.
HUGGZ 🤗 to you both💕🌹
This is me right now! I feel so bad because I sometimes will talk stern to my Mom because I wish she would, "snap out of it!" But she can't, its not her fault, and we have to work with what we got!
I will pray for us both!
Pepsee,
I think that those who are dying also grieve and go through the various stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. A person can jump from one stage to another stage depending on their current emotions. Sometimes as a person “prepares for death”, they attempt to finish a life’s work, set things right with family and friends, make peace with the inevitable, participate in religious or family rituals, and thus achieve a deep sense of peace with the help of family, friends, and sometimes clergy.
I am sorry to hear about your Mom. I hope that Hospice is helpful to her and to you. {{Hugs}}
Hi Val,
Big HUGGZ 🤗 Back!
Yep, that's just what she's going through.

What a horrible feeling to be so helpless.
Talk it out, cry it out, scream it out. That's all I can do, so I don't fall in to a dark depressed hole myself.

I'm always here if you need me.💖🌹
Oh Pepsee! I’m so sorry! It does sound like your mom is grieving. When MIL was on hospice, it absolutely felt like a rollercoaster to me! There is no other way to describe it. And wow even though I wasn’t the one dying, I felt the same emotions you describe your mom having. Sometimes I just couldn’t believe it. Sometimes I overcome with sadness. Sometimes when she seemed to be doing well, eating a lot and her breathing was stable, I felt hope, I thought maybe she wasn’t as bad off as the dr said and she’d make it to the end of the year after all. And then there were times, before she got reallt bad, where I felt desperation, that there must be something we can do to keep her alive longer. I have no idea what she felt, she was a stoic woman and she never let on what she was feeling, at least not to us kids. I sensed she was angry. But she kept her grief private.
Pepsee, I do feel helpless at times, however we also have a small farm, so I take my frustrations out on the fencing and chores along with physical labor.

Thank you.
My mother, who died May 25th, never admitted she was dying and got upset if I tried to talk to her about it. She bounced back from so many dire illnesses and close calls that I started to think she was immortal!

Things took a big turn for the worse in the last 2 weeks of her life, and I think she knew, even if she wouldn't admit it. She did the classic end-of-life things, including calling out fot her mother in the middle of the night, talking about seeing a white light, and wanting to go to church to "pray for us all." She was a lapsed Catholic, so this was a surprise in a way.
Hi Onlychild82,
I totally get it. My Mom went downhill so fast it was crazy. At some points I thought she was faking it. Well some of it. But now she's on hospice, no faking at all. Be patient, I know it's tough.

BIG CYBER HUGGZ 2U🤗

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

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