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Hey, good morning guys, Happy Thursday to you all. My moms pretty ill. She will probably leave me soon. I go to the hospital everyday to be with her until I have to rush home to get my daughter off the bus. I've realized going to see her everyday knowing she won't be with me long is taking an emotional and mental toll on me. Sometimes I think if I skip a day that day is the day she will take her last breath and I won't be there. I love her so much. She can't talk but I know she knows I'm there. My question is has anyone felt guilt for not visiting a loved one? Yesterday my daughter had her moving up ceremony go from 7th grade to 8th grade. This was the first moving up ceremony my mom wasn't by my side. I was alone. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to do more or say more to her. The last two years her dementia drained me as it progressed but I look back now and say I would gladly deal with the dementia rather than dealing with her being on a vent and feeding tube to stay alive. I miss our long talks before dementia came into our lives. I'm her only child and I feel as if it is my duty to go there everyday but I'm mentally breaking.

Guilt is a beast that should be fought with every weapon you have when you’re going through an end of life journey with someone.
The question to ask yourself is this—-would my mom want me to be by her bedside or with her granddaughter?
Tell the nurses at your mom’s hospital when you won’t be coming for a visit. They are trained to know when the end is near (barring a catastrophic death like heart attack) and they should call you if she is failing.
Live your life as best you can while it’s in slow motion (it feels like slow motion, doesn’t it?).
Rest assured that if your mom dies while you are not there, that you’ve done nothing but the best by her that you could.
I wish you peace in your journey.
Helpful Answer (44)
Reply to Ceecee65
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CeeCee made some good comments.
Please do NOT let guilt take over your life. I LOVE CeeCee's question: "The question to ask yourself is this—-would my mom want me to be by her bedside or with her granddaughter?"
If you and your Mom were always present at a particular event, then go to the event. Let the nurses know that you are not coming at your usual time and where you will be in case your Mom's condition gets worse.

Not all patients or people who are sick want their loved ones around when they die because they want to spare their family the experience of death and dying. I have had patients who were very ill and waited until the family left for lunch or to go home and then the patient died once the family was gone from the room.

As CeeCee said, be "assured that if your mom dies while you are not there, that you’ve done nothing but the best by her that you could."

May God bless you and your Mother as you walk this final path together. God is your comfort and your strength.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Please don't feel guilty - only God knows when your mom will breathe her last. Please also know that many people die without anyone by their side - if seems as if some choose when they are alone to pass away. Several people on this site mentioned that their loved one had around the clock company but that one moment when they were alone - they died.

I mention this because despite all of your diligence - your mom might die without you there and I hope you won't guilt yourself - bad daughter. It is how you have treated your mom your whole life and especially now, at the end, that matters. And she knows you love her and she appreciates you. Bless you.
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Reply to Kimber166
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Aww Devasteted, my heart goes out to you!

I know exactly what you mean about how close you two were. I'm the only girl with three brothers. I also wound up with three sons, no daughter's! So Mom was it. Yeah friends come and go, but Mom was my constant friend, advisor, confidante and rock my whole life.

I really feel for you. I agree with the advise above, so no need to repeat it. Consider yourself blessed, some don't have Mom's like ours. 💕
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Reply to Pepsee
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Oh, I felt sooooooooooo guilty for soooooooooo long!!!!!! Visited every day and flagellated self if I missed a day.

But then I realized....

that five minutes after I left, my mom didn't even remember that I had been there.

Conversely, and this is HUGE, at any given moment she could not remember whether I had been there five minutes before!

Truth is, she is fine with or without me. She enjoys my company but does not miss me when I am not there.

Some consolation.
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Reply to Salisbury
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All these deep-felt, compassionate and experienced replies have my crying. I'm in a similar situation except I live over 150 miles away from Dad. What I can share is that my sister and I were with Mom as she died 10 years ago. I was sleeping right next to her (exhausted as the vigil went on a long long time). She took her last breath and I was utterly passed out and didn't hear it, though the oxygen machine kept loudly pumping. My sister heard it while she was sleeping because it was broadcast to a baby monitor by sister's ear and she was attuned to attending babies' breathings whereas I am childless. Hospice was phenomenal, but they aren't there 24/7.

The state of dissociation both of us lived with for weeks of dying (god help those with months or year of dying) have stayed with us as an unresolvable trauma. My father is on Hospice, and that isn't real either. Mom had said to me once that she wasn't sure how she felt about us being there for her death. After my experiences, I'm pretty sure I don't want to be there for Dad's death. I feel cruel and heartless, but 15-plus years of vigils have burned me out. You are still able to hold on to a very beautiful and active loving ability to be there to care, for all. If it should happen you lose that motivation, even for a day or so, we've got to support each other and say that guilt can be a beacon for future actions, but it can also be a malicious ghost that will destroy your joy in life for years to come.
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Reply to 50sChild
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So sorry you’re walking this path. I was so very close to my mom and can feel your pain. When we knew the end was near with my mom it was still a bit over two weeks before she passed. She was completely non responsive during this time. I had young children at home and couldn’t realistically be there everyday, plus it was just gut wrenching to watch. In the end my mom died alone as it was just too hard to predict the exact time. I’m okay with it. My mom would have wanted me doing my job, being with my kids, and remembering better times with her. I think that’s what all our moms who love us want, for us to be doing our best. Blessings to you as you walk through this, hope you can put away the guilt and concentrate on the happy memories
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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I’m so sorry you are going through this. With your mom having dementia was it her wishes to be placed on a vent and feeding tube in her advanced directive ? If it was then there's nothing to be done. But the vent is breathing for her and the nutrition are keeping her alive. You don’t say why she’s in the hospital but sounds likes she’s nearing the end so I don’t understand the artificial means to keep her alive. Do you have hospice involved...I hope so. If not please do as they can help you through her dying process and especially should you at some point need to make a decision to take her off artificial means of life. What would your mother want is the question and do not feel guilt...you’ve done nothing wrong. Your mom knows you’re a good daughter and that you loved her.
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Reply to Harpcat
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I do every single day. I had to place my husband into a nursing home and he passed away within one month and 5 days. I had no choice. I am dealing with the emotion every single day. I miss him so very much!!!
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Reply to Thumbillina
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I completely understand where you're coming from on this. I visited my mother every day in the nursing home when she was there for the last year of her life, and yes, there were a couple of days where I couldn't make it - I was sick and didn't want to pass on the illness or had to be out of town. I tried to make sure one of my siblings stopped to see her on those days, but that didn't always happen. Then there was Mom's memory - there was more than one time that she glared at me as I came in to visit her, as I usually did, in the evening, and when I asked what she'd been doing that day, she spat out, "Waiting for YOU to get here!!" Oh Mom....ok.....thanks for the guilt trip. (She was the queen of the guilt trip...)  She had forgotten that I had been there the night before, and apparently thought I wasn't coming.

Don't feel guilty. You are doing your best, and just keep reminding yourself - nothing you can do is going to change the situation at hand. You can't control or change what's happening - be there when you can, but give yourself a break too.
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Reply to AnonymousMember
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