I am currently watching my 93 year old mother slowly slip closer to dying. She wants to die. She hasn't eaten for 3 weeks, but has taken some liquids with pills. Her speech is basically not understandable and she often exhibits mental anguish and restlessness. Pain level is under control. However, today she seemed improved, even asking for oatmeal (only taking 2 or 3 bites). When the aides told me how good her morning was, my initial reaction was "oh no, her death will take longer" and I felt instant guilt for that thought. I don't want her to linger in the condition she is in. Am I a bad person for these feelings?

I felt the same way when nurses told me mom got o u t of bed to have lunch in the dining room a couple of days ago...
Good days come and go.
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Reply to peggy40

Oh Kathy... You are not a bad person at all... You're feeling that way out of love, not malice, because your goal is for your Mom to have peace as she wishes for herself. I truly understand how you feel, and know the conflict you feel because you're also fighting your own instincts. My Mom was badly hurt and had surgery the doctors thought she wouldn't survive... I was so elated when she got through with flying colors, but in the 2 1/2 years that followed, "our" trip through Hell, I had times I wished she'd died instead - just gone out in that surgery - instead of lingering in misery... I know that "instant guilt" feeling... I still believe that would have been kinder all around...
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Reply to ImageIMP

Dear Kathy, this is on my mind too, for my Grandmother. It's so hard to see them linger in a state that's no kind of life. I'm sorry for what you're going through but I understand your feelings. I think they come from a place of love. All the best to you and your Mom.
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Reply to Hazelthebunny

Is your Mom on Hospice They can help you a lot with this as well as your feelings.
What you are experiencing is normal and completely understandable.
Have you talked to your mom about dying? Have you told her that when she dies you will be alright, that the family will be alright? Have you "given her permission" to go. Tell her that you love her, you will miss her. tell her to say "Hi to"...who ever you want her to pass a message on to.
give her a hug and a kiss..tell her that you love her.
Do not be surprised if your mom dies not die when you are there, often someone will even wait until you have gone to the bathroom, or gone out to get a drink. I was told by the nurse from Hospice that death can be a very private thing and often a person will wait until there is no one there, or at least when loved ones are gone, there may be a volunteer from Hospice, or a caregiver or no one at all.
And again no you are not bad, you are not selfish, you are a loving daughter that would prefer to remember Mom as she was not as she is.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Grandma1954

Been there, done that twice already. It's exhausting, depressing and nobody but someone who has been "there" can imagine feeling that sick-to-the-stomach feeling that your LO is going to linger ---who KNOWS how long. And you know their QOL is zero, you can't move forward with life or plans or anything. (Sounds selfish, but that's what happens!)

I am glad for you that your mom is comfortable, safe and pain free. Many don't get that option.

Just for a comment--we were summoned to death watch #10+ for my FIL and darned if he didn't rally, sit up and eat a cup of soup. I cried, I really did. It was so exhausting.

He died 12 hours later. We were all there. The eating was just--well, what a lot of people do. It really had no nutrition or sustenance. I think he thought he could cheat death, he certainly tried hard enough.

{{Hugs to you in the difficult time}}
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Midkid58
Kathy4177 Feb 21, 2019
Thank you so much for mentioning the inability to get on with our own life. Yes, I feel very selfish for wanting to be able to do something like get my dishwasher scheduled for repair, or schedule a lunch with a friend. I don't feel I can do any of that in case "the call" comes and I have to go be with her. I hesitate to go out of state to visit my little grandson for fear that will be the weekend she goes.

This is such a roller coaster ride. One day I would swear she won't last another day, then the next day when I go see her, prepared to see her in further decline, the staff tells me she is alert. I am prepared for her death, in fact I think I have already grieved. Now I think her death will be a relief for me. I know it will be for her.
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I need you to go to the library and get a book by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast; it's called "Can't we Talk about Something More Pleasant?".

It's about her journey with her elderly demented parents; it will make you laugh and cry at the same time and assure you that yes, at some point, we ALL have felt this way.

As my mom was dying on hospice, my dear, dear SIL, who had fought the idea of hospice until the very end said "What's taking so long?". We laughed and cried then too.

((((hugs))))) to you, dear person.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Your feelings are certainly understandable. I hope you and your mother will find peace soon. Is she on Hospice? I know that the social worker with Hospice has helped me a great deal in processing grief for my LO and her end stage dementia. These and other feelings are very normal and expected. Do you have any family members to help support you?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Sunnygirl1

Watching someone we care about slip away inch by inch over the days, weeks and years is one of the most heartbreaking parts of life, hoping for an end is normal.
Be alert for a rally in the days before she transitions to end of life, my mother had a couple of amazing days before she began to slip away.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to cwillie

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