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My mom's been on morphine + other drugs and hasn't ate or drank anything in almost 9 days. Why won't this end? It's becoming hell for me. Me and my sister have been watching over her in 12hr shifts and every one gets harder and harder. I find now I'm past the point of sadness and am angry now. Angry she won't pass on, angry my mom has to suffer like this, angry me and my sister are being put through this hell for SO LONG. Even the nurses here seem bothered by it. At this point I'm here more for my sister than my mom. I don't think she will let mom die alone and I can't leave her here to do it by herself.. I just don't feel like this is right anymore and it now just disturbing. I don't think my mom would want us here watching her die like this.. I just want to move on..

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This is a very emotional ordeal. It is so ingrained in us to not die alone or let loved ones die alone. Families endure days if not weeks of death watch. It's exhausting physically and emotionally.

But in many cases of the elderly slipping away our loved one is not aware of their surroundings. Yes I know, some senses may be working, hearing touch and so on, and there may be the short rally, but usually there's no recognition.

It's very hard to predict the exact moment of death and be there. People practically kill themselves trying to accomplish it.

I think we should redefine "Dying Alone". If you have spent time, talked, held hands, provided comfort for your lived one during the final days they did not die alone, even if you weren't there at the exact moment. There is no shame, no dereliction of duty here.
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You say that you do not think mom would want this. You may very well be right. There are many stories on this site and others where a family stand vigil, then just cannot any longer, then they leave and the dying will finally pass. Some just do not want family or others present and wait to pass until they are alone. I am sure hospice has stories they could tell you as well.

Sorry you have been going through this. I lost my mom in June.
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I lost my mom in May. The hospice nurse told me she thought mom would die on a particular day and she did (sometime late in the evening). I say "sometime" because I sat at her bedside hour after hour. I played music, I talked to her, I explained why her son wasn't there, told her it was OK to go, told her Dad was waiting for her...I did everything I knew to do to let her go gracefully. But she didn't go. And so I sat. Hour after hour. Finally, at about 10:30 PM, I went and laid down on the couch. When I went in again, at 11:35 PM, she was gone. So I wasn't at her bedside at the moment she passed, but I was there for the whole 15 years she needed help. And I was there the day she passed. And I am at peace. I hope you and your sister can find peace as well, whether you're there at the exact moment your mom passes or not.
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I too was with my mother on the day she passed. I apoke to her, repositioned her, anything I thought would make her comfortable.
The bed next to her was empty and the staff let me use it (she was in a NH). I laid down & fell asleep to the sound of her labored, shallow breathing. 
At 3am I abruptly woke up as I didn't hear her breathing, went to her and she was gone. It must have happened just a minute after as my mom was still warm to the touch. I sat with her for awhile, called my brother and told him to come, and we spent some time alone together, the 3 of us. 
I felt guilty for years as I missed her last breath, until I came to this site and found that many loved ones do pass when the family takes a break. I honestly feel now that my mother wanted to spare me the memory of seeing her pass. Now I am actually grateful for it. 
Who knows...maybe that's your mom too.
Do whatever you feel in your heart, but I no longer feel that we actually need to be physically present at the moment of death. In a way, I feel like I was actually obeying my mom one last time in allowing her to chose what she thought was best for me to live with after she was gone.
What you are going through is so emotionally and physically exhausting. I wish the best for you and your family during this very difficult time.
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Timothy, my sil and I were with my mom who was on hospice. After three days, my sil looked Heaven- ward and said " Pop ( my dad) why is this taking so long? Come and get your bride".

I thought about what might relax mom, she seemed to be hanging on desperately. I played Opera music that she loved; sil found Big Band music, we you tubed Broadway musicals and American Songbook. I don't know if it helped mom, but it sure helped Us!

I would seek medical advice from hospice and I would takes frequent breaks. It doesn't matter if you're there at the last breath. You've been there for the journey to the door.

Let your sister read some of these responses if they resonate with you. Thinking of you at this sad time.
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I think 12hrs is a long time to sit vigual. I don't believe they die alone. A loved one comes for them. If their faith is strong the know where they are going. Like said, tell her it's 0K to go. They do seem to go when u turn ur back.
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Timothy100, there are some patients who rather die alone so it could be possible that your Mom is waiting for you and your sister to leave the room for awhile.

My late Dad waited for me to leave the room for a few hours before he passed. He did have his long time caregiver there, but it isn't the same as one's own grown child. So Dad did me a favor, I didn't need to witness his last breath.
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Timothy,

Nine days on morphine without any food or water is an exceedingly long time and not the norm. Four or five days is pretty typical in this situation.

I can understand why you are beside yourself. If it doesn't feel right and you are disturbed by it take a step back. You're allowed to do that as is your sister. I used to work in hospice and if I saw my patient's families going through what you are going through I would strongly advise them to get away for a day or two and let whatever happens happen. Do some things around the house. Catch up with friends. Take a nap. Have a glass of wine.

You have a phone. Someone can call you if necessary. Do what you have to do to take care of yourself. And if you can't walk totally away because you want to be there for your sister then maybe discuss shorter times at the bedside. Twelve hours is long, long time.
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Blannie and Shane, excellent real life stories of the point I was trying make earlier. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Dear Timothy,

I'm so sorry, I know its an extremely difficult time for you and your sister. No one wants to see their parents suffer. It is horrendous. I sometimes think even the doctors and nurses don't know what is happening. Maybe try talking to the doctor again to review your mom's condition. Sending my thoughts and prayers.
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