My dad, who is 90, had surgery for small bowel obstruction almost 3 wks ago. He had many post op problems and his bowel incision is leaking. This was what the Dr was afraid might happen. He has not been oriented much since then and there is no way his frail body can withstand another surgery with general anesthesia to fix it. In the ICU they had to restrain him and he was never comfortable. We decided to get him a bed in hospice. I know he wouldn't want any more surgery. And now he is comfortable and allowed 2 visitors. He is sleeping most of the time. I talk to him sometimes and I feel like he knows I'm here. But how do you just sit and wait for someone to die?? This is tearing my heart out. I feel like I should be here all the time but I have to rest too. It's just hard for me. I was a healthcare worker for 40 yrs and I always wish I could do more. But for now, I'm going to sit with him and read my book. Thank you for listening.

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My my dad passed away yesterday while peacefully sleeping in hospice. I had spent most of the previous day in his room. I told him I loved him and that I was there . He looked comfortable. My heart is broken now and I feel numb , but I know he isn't suffering. And thinking that hopefully he is with my mom now makes me feel better. He missed her so much, she died 15 years before.
I appreciate all the thoughts prayers and comments from everyone on here. This is very hard to go through but I know I'm not the first nor will I be the last. We meet with the funeral home tomorrow to discuss arrangements. I'm not sure what is allowed with covid here. But we will figure it out.
My heart goes out to you all. ❤
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SueNWPa Nov 2020
I'm so sorry for your loss Annlat. To lose a loved one, especially a beloved parent is a deep heartache. I recently experienced the same. We honor them by keeping them in our hearts and living the life they would want us to live.
A poem that has helped me to keep doing what needs to be done.
Hope it helps you also:
You can shed tears that he is gone
or you can smile because he has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he’s gone
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what he’d want:
open your eyes,
and go on.
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I'm sorry for what you're going through.

I, too, sat vigil for my daddy. I watched cartoons with him, whether he was lucid or not, sang to him, fed him popsicles and administered the morphine & Valium. Talked to him when he was awake, or not.

Just a trying time--but to me, it was beautiful and sweet. I knew his body was just preparing to let his spirit go. I'm lucky in that he loved me so much, and the last few weeks were peaceful and painless for him.

There's no 'right way' to do hospice. Let dad be your guide and God bless you with some sweet moments along the path.
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I am so sorry for this grief. I am so glad your father has so much love. The fact he has had a good long life doesn't make the loss of him easier. I was in health care all my career also; I have always seen death as our last great adventure, the unknown, the mystery. I don't fear it at all, but I DO fear suffering, and I am so glad your Dad isn't suffering. I am thankful he is medicated. Please take good care of yourself as you can, try to think good memories of your Dad to help him from you on this next journey. So thankful you can be with your Dad; I couldn't be with my much loved bro last May, and could only have hospice worker hold phone to him, and have him squeeze his hand to know he could hear my words; He was in that dream state, and otherwise not able to respond. I know a little of what you are feeling. After my bro's passing I was surprised to feel some actual relief, that I no longer had to suffer for him, no longer had to see him suffer, no longer had to fear for him; that he was at peace. I hope that will come in some small manner for you as well.
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Invisible Nov 2020
Lost my father last year and have several times been grateful he didn't have to go through 2020.
How do you do it? You just do because there is no other choice. When my brother died of cancer he was never awake any time I visited him over the last month or so of his life in a residential hospice, I remembered him asking me to hold his hand once because he was scared, so that's what I did. I've learned a lot since then and I wish I had said and done more - in retrospect I'm not even sure he knew I was there because I didn't try to wake him or talk to him. Just do what feels natural, and don't feel embarrassed to say or do whatever is in your heart.
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It is hard. I sat with my Granny for 5 days while she was in ICU dying. After day 2 she was no longer conscious. I did go home at night, but I did book time off work.

After a couple days my uncles and a couple cousins arrived from out of town and we relieved each other.

When there was more than one family member there, we told stories and reminisced. Granny may or may not have been able to heard us. Before when I was on my own with her, I talked to her a bit, but she was tired and did not want to talk. I read a book and did counted cross stitch.

In the end she died on her birthday during the night when no one else was there. I think she may have waited to be alone.
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It’s never easy. It’s a mixed bag of emotions. We don’t want them to leave us. We don’t want them to suffer. So sorry that you are struggling with this.

Somehow we make it through. Sometimes they are afraid and want someone at their side. Others who are independent die after a person leaves the room.

Don’t wear yourself out. Get rest when you need it.
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The OP's Dad has died Nov 6th with her able to be with him at his side, and to see him through in comfort with Hospice. Her update is further down on the thread.
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Heather10 Nov 2020
Thank you, Alvadeer, for this update.
I'm so glad you placed him under hospice care. You say he is comfortable and allowed to have visitors. Wonderful. "How do you just sit and wait for someone to die?". Don't know. But for those of us who have experienced the death of a LO, you do what you think will give both you and your dad comfort. You're already doing that. Holding hands (touch is very important), talking to him (he hears you) then take a break and read your book. Peace will come to both him and you when you realize he will die and that you've done your best.
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I spend time with people who are dying if they want company. I have done this for many years. Often old friends and family don't visit any more. Maybe it is too painful or they live far away. Maybe they fear death. When I was 38 I died during surgery due to massive blood loss. It was so beautiful where I went. The hospital folks took good care of me and in a few hours and many blood transfusions I came back to life. So I have no fear of death. You are doing the most beautiful thing a person can do. Keep him company, share your love with him, talk to him about the good times you had, how much he means to you. He can hear you and feel your love although he may not be conscious. You may have to tell him it is okay to leave you. That you will be alright and one day you will meet again in the afterlife. Some people need to hear that from someone so close to them. Then be glad that he is free of pain and his suffering is over. I always say that when you love someone they never leave you.
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It's very, very hard. I did it with my dad, too.

The good thing is that people don't usually die with no warning. Their breathing changes, and the hospice nurses will notice. You can get your rest and have them call you if they notice his breathing changing.

I was taking a much-needed nap when my dad's breathing changed. The nurse had been sitting with him, went to the restroom, and when she came back, she noticed the change. She told my brother, who woke me up, and my dad passed about 45 minutes later with all of us by his side.
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