Does anyone know or can help me understand more about the dying process?

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Dad had heart attack a week ago and has gone downhill fast.Had family members here for 3 days and they kept waking Dad up each time he mumbled or shifted in bed. When he would "grab" at the air they would hold his hand and even if he went to make more "gestures" they didn't let go. They haven't seen him in 17 months. He sleeps with eyes open now and every time they walked in the house they said "good morning!" when he was actually asleep and woke him up. This went on for 3 days and today Dad has been sleeping a long time. He finally went to sleep last night around 730pm and it is now 130pm the next day. He wakes & tries to get out of bed to go to bathroom though he wears adult "diapers" and is in a hospital bed in living room. I can change him and give him more morphine (liquid as he can't swallow pills due to sleepiness) and he goes right back to sleep. His breathing is very shallow and his heart is making a swishing sound, no thumping. I feel sorry for him just lying there and wonder if this is his "time" to take care of his unfinished business. I am going to call Hospice to make sure I am doing what I can for him but I am also checking to see if anyone else has any information that may be helpful.

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My Dad had a stroke two weeks ago. We were supposed to have lunch. I went into the locked house and could tell that he hadn't been up yet. I immediately knew something was wrong. I looked in his bedroom and he wasn't in bed. As I was leaving his room to search for him, I heard a moan. He had fallen out of the other side of his bed. He had a stroke. After a 5 day hospital stay, I brought him to my home to die. He could hear everything that was said. He could squeeze my hand or nod his head until the last two days. I couldn't feed him because he aspirated. He couldn't take water so all I could do is wet his lips. I felt helpless. I felt guilty because my Father was starving to death and dying of thirst. The Hospice Nurse said I was doing just fine, but it doesn't make me feel any better. He died, and was buried exactly two weeks to the day of having the stroke. On the last day he reached upward several times. I didn't know what that meant. His eyes were closed all of the time by then, so I assume he had an inner eye that could see something that I couldn't. When the Hospice Nurse came to pronounce him, I told her about my Father reaching upwards. She told me I was so lucky to witness a miracle. She said she feels he was reaching for an angel or a loved one that was there for him. She said she had witnessed many end of life miracles. It was a true blessing to have my Father spend his last days with me. I got to tell him things that I had never told him before. I know he heard me.
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I haven't been spending much time here on AC. As I was scrolling down the list of Questions and the poster's name, I was surprised that you posted this. So, I clicked on it and realized how so close to the end your father was. DH, I'm so glad that you and your father shared such closeness. And that you were there with him all the way to the end, helping and comforting him. {{HUGS}}
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Thank you for sharing the most intimate details of your life with such grace and love. I know we all hope for such a beautiful ending in our hearts amd to have the strength and courage you have shown. Hopefully you have had the time to rest and the support or space you need to go through the loss of your father yourself. Were still here to listen as its all still the journey of what we are or will be going through one day. Blessings Dadshelper.
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DadsHelper, I just read your post, it was so emotional reading your words. I let go of so many tears, hearing the love in your words for your dear Father. I have just brought my Dad to the state I live in 5 weeks ago..he is doing well. Assisting others in the memory care, pushing a gentleman in a wheel chair, getting a chair for an elderly lady..it's been so surreal seeing my Dad in this place, he's so sweet and more peaceful. It's the first time my Mom & Dad have been apart for 61 yrs as their anniversary will be Oct. 10th. I will be moving Dad next Monday to an Assisted Living Facility very close in our hometown as they have a room available. I have learned so much reading everyone's postings here..especially yours. Each night I'm exhausted still raising kids, but I'm drawn to this site. It's been good knowing I'm not alone. You are an outstanding example of a devoted daughter. Thank you for allowing us to share in this moment, your Dad is smiling upon you.
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To all of you: I am so happy that I was able to help others with their dealings with loved ones and so very glad that the information I shared was helpful. I myself spent endless hours looking up information, asking questions and trying to do the best I could to help Dad. I appreciate all the helpful answers I was given by all of the members on this site and send love and prayers to all and praying for peace for all.
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I was wondering how you and your dad were doing. Thank you for sharing and providing the update. Your story is so touching. You are truly a brave and devoted daughter. You have my deepest condolences. I've learned so much from your posts.
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dad'shelper. You are a wonderful person as must have been your father to raise such a caring and understanding daughter.The pain of grieving is very fresh right now but so is the relief thay dad has been released from the prison his earthly body had become. Take time to rest and let others take care of the practical things that need to be done. Make sure his wishes are followed and be at peace with your own feelings. Blessings
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My sincerest condolences to you. You have shown great love and care for your dad. I hope I will be able to do what you did in his last hours with my dad, as he is in hospice now, and declining. You sound so brave. Thank you for your inspirational posts. I know your dad's spirit is very grateful for having you take such good care of him until it was time to leave this world. :) (((((Hugs)))))
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It is with a sad heart that I let you all know that my Father passed away Thursday night. It was just him and I and believe me, I am so very thankful for that! The family had left last Friday as they had jobs to get to and other family members showed up on Tuesday to say their goodbyes. It was hard for my other sister and her daughter and grandson, as it was for my daughter and son to see my dad in the shape he was in. I was used to it and was prepared for whatever was to come. I understood their not wanting to stay but was thankful they took the time to at least spend a day with Dad. His heart had stopped pumping and was just vibrating. I made sure he had his meds to keep the pain, if any, away and comforted him with words of thankfulness and love. I am so missing him but and so elated that we had that private moment where I was able to help send him off with joy in his heart!
When his time finally came, he had been bathed and hair washed and he looked so much better! I sat for several hours with him making sure he was comfortable and pain free. I made sure he knew I was there and that if he was afraid, I was there to comfort him and ease his fears. I spoke to him as if he understood, which I believe he did as I always let him know what was going on around him at all times. He was used to my voice and felt at ease when I spoke to him addressing the changing of his pants, the meds I was giving him and the activity going on in the house. I was so thankful and proud that it was him and I in those last hours as I felt that I could only gain the peace he and I needed by having those private moments together. When he passed, I held him like he was my newborn son and kept a tight grip on his hand letting him know that he would be okay and that I would be too. It was the most awesome experience I have had in a very long time. I am proud to be his daughter and words cannot express the joy I feel knowing that I helped him move on to his new adventure with ease and love in his heart. I will never forget those last hours with him nor will I ever forget how he always had my back and only wanted the best for me. He is my hero and forever will be. I miss him so much and these past 24 hours have been the hardest yet the most bittersweet that I have experienced ever! RIP Dear Dad...I shall never forget those great time we shared regardless of how stressed I became, you still kept your cool and kept me grounded. I send out loving thoughts to all of you still dealing with issues with parents, children or loved ones and hope and pray you find the solace I found in helping Dad transition from this world to the next. Peace and Love to all of you!!
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My father shed a single tear while I was with him one afternoon - and he was gone the next morning. Someone told me the single tear was 'a sign' that the end was near. I only wished I'd stayed with him through the night. So sorry for your pain & loss.
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