Hi, I'm new here. My mother, 78, had a stroke two months ago and was lucky she survived and took her only 2 weeks to feel better and walk and eat all on her own, normal but weaker. After that, doctors said she has some aneurism bubbles in her brain and high blood pressure so we kept her on the prescribed medication.
Last sunday she collapsed and had a massive bleed in her brain. In 10 minutes she was taken to ER and put on life support. After they did her scans, two different doctors told me she has no chance to ever be normal again and will die without life support whenever taken off of it and most likely even on life support. They told me she will progress to brain dead very soon.
Every day the last three days, every nurse and both doctors of different shifts at the ICU told me bluntly there is zero chance of her ever being able to walk or feed herself, knowing anyone or responding to anything ever again with such massive bleed in all half of right brain.
My sisters were very scared to make the decision even-though they knew the reality, and I was afraid they would have waited maybe too long so I went in there alone today and asked the doctor one more time and he said I think it is the right decision reassuring me she is progressing to brain dead but not totally there yet. I told him to take out the breathing tube and I decided to stay in the room and hold my mother. I told them to give her morphine and she died within 45 minutes after the life support was removed. It was the most terrifying, heartbreaking thing to see her trying to gasp for air watching her body fight so hard to stay alive but she eventually died with me holding her hand and her head.
I'm not sure if I did the right thing. I can't sleep, I can't eat, but I did what I would wish anyone would do for me in that situation.
I told 2 of my sisters about my decision afterwards because they are stronger, but the other two sisters I told them she died while on life support.
It's something I'm gonna have to live with for the rest of my life. I truly, deeply love my mother. All my siblings are married with kids and I'm her only son and and have no kids nor am I married. She was my closest person on earth and I was her closest person on earth to her.
I don't know, I hope she is resting in peace. I cried and I prayed till she died and watched her body turn cold. I wished she would have died in one second but instead was the longest most terrifying 45 minutes I will ever live, but in my heart if I ever come to a closure that I made the right choice it will be all worth it.
I hope God and my mother will see that I had the best of intention for the person I loved the most on this earth and most likely I will never love another human being this much.

Hello Luke,
As a Mom of three grown sons, I want to speak to you as if you were one of my precious boys.
Dearest son, please push all the guilt from your mind. I am so proud of your tremendous courage in doing the only thing you could for me, as painful as it was for you. Yes son, you did the right thing, thank you for staying with me until the end. I am in a beautiful place now. Please go on with your life with joy, remembering only the wonderful times we shared son. Our life on earth is very short, we will have eternity in Heaven together.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to StrugglingSue
swanalaka Oct 25, 2020
What a beautiful, thoughtful thing to say to Luke. Thank you for such loving kindness to someone who is a stranger to us both.
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I’m terribly sorry for your painful and profound loss.

You are incredibly brave! Many people vanish at the end of their loved ones’ life, and you were right there, flying into the eye of the hurricane. It is impossible to come out unscathed.

You will survive and your scars will make you stronger.

There is no question that you did the right thing. (1) you followed the unanimous consensus of multiple medical providers and (2) when faced with the worst of times, you never left your mother’s side.

Many of us who have physically been present when a loved one died have experienced extreme emotional devastation from the experience and also relive recurring “daymares.”

Over time, the pain you feel may gradually be replaced with comfort and gratitude because you were able to be with her, loving her completely, through your presence. You had a most incredible and very rare relationship and accordingly, some people in your life might not understand or ever be able to reconcile the depth of your grief (possibly even your own siblings).

Your mom was graced with extra “borrowed” time after her stroke and you were able to witness her recovery. The example she provided you and that extra time together are both miracles.

You were also very kind and thoughtful to protect your sisters from the emotionally painful course of events; even without knowing what happened they probably feel very guilty that they weren’t there for your mom and for you.

I understand that you feel utterly alone, but you are absolutely not alone. Many of the people on this forum have felt your pain and lived through devastating events.

Your sharing your story provides comfort to others.

I felt the same love for my mother and she also died in my arms. I have at times, felt very alone following her death. When I used to talk about her it was clear to me that many people simply could not understand.

Over time, I promise, this will feel better. You are so incredibly lucky to have had a mother like her. That is rare.

I take comfort in realizing my love for my mom will never die. The love is still there, and strong - maybe even stronger than it was before, if that is even possible.

Getting to this place took time.

I have volunteered my time and resources in significant ways that were inspired by her. I make a silent “dedication” to her every time I do something right. She is very much with me every day, every moment. I eat her favorite foods and stop what I’m doing to honor a sunset - just like she did - but now, in her memory.

Do something every day for her -for you- and you will feel better. She loved you immensely. She would be very grateful that you were there for her and she would want you to have a happy life.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter

I have read every answer here more than once and i wish you all God’s blessings and happy lives with all your families and loved ones. Sincerely.
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Reply to Luke1975

Great big warm hug!

You are an awesome son. It took love beyond measure to step up and give her the peace that she would have never had living in her broken body.

May God give you strength and peace for doing the right thing for your mom, may HE give you grieving mercies during this difficult time.

My grandmother had a series of strokes that killed a large portion of her brain. She didn't die but, she existed for approximately 12 years as a body. It was truly the saddest situation I can imagine and I believe to this day that there are things worse than death, this being one.

You can rest knowing that you did the very best thing for her.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Luke, I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a mom is unique, when you’re close, it’s just a special kind of hurt. My mother had several small strokes that she recovered from quickly and well. These were strokes caused by clots. Then came a much different thing, a stroke that was from a bleed, the consequences were devastating. Though she got immediate care, she lost every ability, and I mean every. She couldn’t sit up, roll over, lost speaking, couldn’t read, couldn’t eat, couldn’t go to the bathroom, couldn’t even scratch an itch. She was trapped in a body that would do nothing for her. The difference between my mother and yours is that mine was never on life support and our family had a team of doctors heavily encouraging us that she’d recover. No recovery ever came, despite many attempts at therapies, and trying all we could think of. She spent the next four years in the most miserable life I’ve ever witnessed in a nursing home, unable to do even the simplest thing. I’ll never know how she survived it. She was mentally intact but physically completely gone. You were presented a bit of a different set of circumstances, but I believe you received solid advice and acted in your mother’s best interests to spare her a life that would be no life at all. It would have been, at most, a life of pain and endless indignities. Your mother was blessed to have you looking out for her. Though that 45 minutes was terrifying for you, your mother, her essence, her personality and spirit were already gone, her body was just catching up, and that’s so hard to watch. Please know it’s never a bad idea to get some grief counseling as you walk through this, and know that your mom would be proud of you
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Reply to Daughterof1930

I spent my life as an RN. I guarantee you that you did the right thing. For your mother to have had to suffer on in a vegetative state would have been hideously cruel. You are grieving and questioning this and part of that questioning comes of not having been entirely honest with the siblings. Whatever they would have said, or will say, you did the right thing for your Mother. I am so sorry for your loss. You were guided by good medical advice, you did what you had to do. The sad thing about ever placing heroic measures on someone is that in cases such as this someone has to make the decision to withdraw them. They were all that was keeping your mother alive, and that wasn't really life. IMHO you did this exactly right. Sometimes we spend time questioning ourselves because it seems that there is some way we don't have to move into the grief and loss. I hope you will soon come to a point where you can celebrate the life and love you all shared.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Luke.....just checking on you today. I hope you have been able to get some rest and get some food in you. Please know all of us on this forum really care about each other and you are thought of daily. Prayers and love coming your way! 💕. Liz
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Reply to cherokeegrrl54
Luke1975 Oct 24, 2020
Liz, thank you. All you kind strangers have been the most massive help for my emotional fragile state with your answers.
Today I went by the window of the ICU room where my mother took her last breath and near by me was a nurse on her break working on the same ICU pavilion and i talked to her about it and showed her the scan and the massive bleed on my mothers brain. I told her the name of the doctor whom i talked to many times and the other doctor from ER and she agreed they’re both the best, she also told me based on the scan photos i showed her the blood rupture is so massive and simply there was no chance for her based on what she has seen. But i took the doctors indirect strong advice because they were really blunt with me.
I thank you and everyone here forever for giving me some comfort at the most confusing darkest moment & place i ever been. I never seen anyone die, and seeing my most dearest human on earth die in front of me while holding her was not easy.
My mom has been staying with one of my sisters mostly who has the best house in CA and took care of her the best with medical needs doctor appointments etc.
I been sleeping on my mother’s bed at my sisters these days and surprisingly i slept good last night. I felt guilty for not bursting into tears every 10 minutes like i have been, as if her soul wants me to relax a little somehow?!
I deal with depression and darkness very well on my own, Im used to it, since i live alone for many years, by choice, but i never once failed to make my mom happy and laugh all the time whenever i showed up and we spend time together or whenever she would come at my place.
I think i am gonna be fine, at this point i worry more about my sisters. As of me, i promised my mother i will join her sooner or later, and i already told my sisters i want to be buried next to my mother or even on top of her if theres no spot next to her grave. I have decided to bury my mom in Europe in my home country, next to her first born son who died at 7 years of age and she never truly moved on from that, i believe. So i made her a promise before her last breath that i will join her too, sooner or later.
when i came here and wrote the initial post i was sincerely thinking about killing myself. Just not to leave her alone. That is because i deeply love my mom, because she was an angel. I have never ever ever heard my mom talk bad things about anyone ever, ever. She was always the the calm, the peace maker, the outmost forgiving. Thats what caused her all these brain complications i believe.
Anyway, thank you personally, “stranger”, and everyone in here who helped me immensely through the darkest moment.
I will be fine. Thank you.
(I don't mean to annoy you all and repeat myself so much but i have read every post many times, and everyone has touched me deeply)
Prayers for strength for you in this time. But you did the best thing for her. No more suffering. She would have made the same decision for you based on all the info. Just remember she loved you and you her.
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Reply to Buffytwmo49

You absolutely did the right thing. I had a similar situation when my father was very ill and had a crisis while in the hospital, He was on life support, feeding tube, etc. The doctor said many of the same things the doctors told you and I agreed to cease life support. I've never forgotten what the doctor said after I'd made the decision: "Your father would thank you if he could." The doctor was right. Please think about that.

I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you peace and sttrength.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to HDee48
Luke1975 Oct 28, 2020
The doctor said exact same thing to me minutes before taking her off life support while he was there in the room with me by my mother. He took another look at her condition before he walked out of the room then looked at me nodding his head in approval and said: I think you doing the right thing.
Based on his body language and demeanor he was glad/proud of me that i took his advise. Days prior while talking to him he has seen me in tears hoping i can get better answers from him and he would bluntly tell me: sorry, i wish i have better news for you.

Im so sorry for your loss HDee and what you went through but your words and everyone’s words in this thread have helped me tremendously.
I have avoided talking much with friends and relatives paying their condolences to me (which I'm thankful) because as you said, i feel utterly alone. They simply assume she just passed and i’ve spared the details with everyone who shakes my hand so thank you and everyone in here from the bottom of my heart.
Im the type of person That spends days and nights torturing myself if i feel like i have hurt someones feelings by saying to much or acting insensitive towards them so you can imagine how i been torturing my soul Reflecting what if I made the most horrific mistake a man can possibly ever make? Anyway,
Thank you and God bless you.
Your did the right thing. Your mother was "gone" long before you withdrew the life support. There was nothing left but a shell.

As others have noted, the actual "process" of death can be quite unsettling to witness - and not at all like in the movies.

I am so glad that you were there for her during her last moments on earth. This was the best final gift you could have given her.
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Reply to dragonflower

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