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Does anyone have experience with a loved one crying, more like sobbing often near the end of life? My mother is near death and barely talking anymore. The other day though she managed to get out "about the future" when I asked her if she was worried about anything......because she cries a lot when people try to comfort her. I'm trying to reassure her that I love her etc. I've read scripture to her and the chaplain has visited her more than once but she always gets emotional. Also, it's like a "dry" cry, hardly any tears which is normal now, but it's tearing me apart. She's really pitiful. Some of you may remember she was really difficult with her dementia and we had no relationship left. However, during the last couple of weeks we've had a couple of sweet conversations and she's actually told me she loves me too. She's too weak to fight now plus Hospice has her medicated some to keep her more comfortable. She's always been a worrier and I suppose it's natural to be a little apprehensive about passing over although I know she's a Christian and ready.

Whatever you do, and whoever tells you to take a break, if it's at that stage, do not leave, just stay.. It will only last a bit longer. My relative told me to go home, take a break, and all the while, I heard my mother talking to me... Finally I went to my car after watering the lemon trees she gave me 25 years ago, only to see my cell phone blowing up... MOM'S going, come quick the nurse is here, hurry... get her now she's going. I got to her in 1 minute. It's usually a 3 minute drive.. 1 minute. walked in the door and they called her time. They said she waited... I hope they are telling me the truth.
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Reply to MAYDAY
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If your mother is a practising Christian, then I agree that reminding her of God's loving forgiveness may do a good deal to soothe her.

It is fine for your mother to express her emotions, including regret and perhaps worry about those she will be leaving behind, but it is not fine for her to be afraid. Wishing her, and you, comfort.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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At the end of her life, after a traumatic fall in the NH, mom looked like she was in terrible, terrible pain. I couldn't tell if it was psychic or physical. She had been checked out in the ER and was on pain meds. The look of agony on her face was unbearable. Nothing we said to her helped. She the sacrament of healing (for the bajillioninth time) but nothing was making that look of terror and agony go away. Mom was nonverbal by this point and could not tell us what was wrong. Throughout her dementia, she appeared to feel guilty about something (unpaid taxes in 1936?) but we could never make any sense of what it was.

I asked for a hospice evaluation. Morphine brought her some calm and peace. We played her favorite music at the end; it mostly made us (my SIL and I) feel better.

I only promised my mom one thing, ever: that I would give her a death without pain. I think you need to think about medication as a solution to this insoluble problem.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Thank you all for the helpful responses, thoughts and prayers. Have discussed morphine with Hospice but they know I want to hold off on that for now as she doesn't appear to be in pain. Also have played music for her, held her hand, just touching her often to reassure her I'm there as much as I can be. Also have told her I'll be fine, that she is safe, acknowledged we both need to forgive some things. The Hospice chaplain did come see her yesterday. He cited the scripture about love casts out fear and told me the best thing I can do is let her know she's loved. It helped me so much and I can only hope my mother heard enough to help her. She hasn't really cried today, but is less responsive and no longer taking fluids other than moistening her mouth. She even is beginning to resist that some. I'm thankful that we were able to reconnect and show love to one another again.
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Reply to Theras
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jan135 Feb 22, 2020
I'm sorry you’re going through this.
The hospice could be offering morphine to help her relax and pass peacefully. My dad was becoming very distressed, we chose to give my dad morphine when nearing the end of life. From what I had read the brain can lack oxygen from the patient not being able to take deep enough breaths.
There was no recovering for him. I do not regret doing this 15 years later
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As you reassure her that you love her please tell her that you and the rest of the family will be alright.
Also give her "permission" to pass peacefully, that you will miss her but it is selfish for you to want her to remain as she is.
Thank her for what she has taught you throughout life and especially the last few years.
Hold her hand and tell her that she is safe, that you love her.

By the way morphine is not just for pain but it can help relax muscles that are constricted and it can help breathing as the major muscles relax it can help the lungs expand a bit making breathing easier. (try clenching and tightening muscles and see how deep of a breath you can take) so a little morphine might help.

(((hugs)))
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Reply to Grandma1954
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It’s difficult to discern about her cognitive status with dementia involved. But reason is probably is not going to work. Sometimes, especially since we cannot understand what might be underneath the crying, the best thing we can be is to be a calm presence which means that we empty ourselves from our own anxiety etc to be the calm presence of the Divine. Gently touching their hand, between crying episodes, can help them release their anxiety. If appropriate to gently lay your other hand on their heart if they accept this. Sometimes gently hold the bottom of their feet can help a person feel more grounded. This will have to be discerned on sight.

The main focus is on you being able to become still, to have someone assist you in emptying your self to be the source of peace on which another can draw.
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Reply to GAMtns
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She may be crying about herself, or it may be worry for other people. For Catholics, Extreme Unction at this stage could help her to forgive herself for anything she regrets. Could you talk to her Chaplain about something like this? Tell her that everyone she cares about will be fine, and that you will do your best to look after them. Give her your forgiveness for any wrongs she has done you. I am so glad that you have finally found each other again. It’s very emotional for all involved, perhaps you just cry with her.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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MargaretMcKen Feb 20, 2020
No, extreme unction is to reassure her of God's forgiveness. Your Chaplain should know, even if he isn't Catholic.
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Are we ever prepared? I don’t know. When my dad died I thought that I would be ready. I wanted his suffering to end but the selfish part of us doesn’t want to lose our loved one. It’s hard. We grieve.

It sounds like you are accepting. It sounds like she is ready. I suppose most everyone is somewhat apprehensive. Don’t you? Even if they are believers. Even if they are tired of suffering. No matter what because it’s natural to have fear of the unknown.

I wish you and your mother peace during this difficult time. We are here offering our support.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I'm so sorry for you. I just lost my dad in August. Hospice was a blessing. As soon as he stopped eating they kept him on some level of morphine most of the time. I think that the morphine doesn't just ease physical pain but also relaxes the mind to ease the fears your loved one might be experiencing. I hope with each step the process will get easier for her to go to God.
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Reply to Deb1962
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My Papa cries, then says he worries about leaving us alone. Even though we are both in our mid 60’s and have been taking care of him for the last 5 years. He thinks we will be totally lost without his fountain of knowledge.

His fountain of knowledge has dimmed behind the dementia, and of course we will miss it, and him - but this is a huge source of worry for him, no matter how much we reassure him.
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Invisible Feb 22, 2020
Of course, dementia messes up time and he may not be aware of age. Despite both of us having white hair, my father was shocked to hear I was in my 60s and more shocked to hear he wasn't. Denied he was in his 90s until the end and I was actually glad he didn't feel that old. It is hard for men to give up the patriarchal role so keep him on that pedestal if you can but reassure him that you have learned a lot from him and will pass it on. God bless.
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