She can't walk at all but she knows me. I feel so sorry for her, she has never been more pitiful. I lay my head on her chest and kiss her face several times a day and give her a few drops to drink. I never thought watching mom die would be so hard. What can I do to help her? What if she wants to tell me something and can't? Any thoughts?

I’m sorry you’re going through this with your mom. I did it with my dad and it was incredibly hard. When the dying process is advanced it very much becomes like a journey a person is on alone. Our kind hospice nurse gently told me the day before my dad died, when he wasn’t responding to us anymore, that “in many ways he’s already gone, his body just hasn’t caught up” It seemed very true, he was mostly gone. Another nurse suggested I use ice chips made from his favorite drink to give him a bit of flavor along with hydration, this worked very well. He took them off a spoon like a baby bird. You’re very correct when saying how pitiful they look, but don’t try to read too much into her wanting to talk, her journey is now solo. I’m sure she feels your love and I wish you both peace
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Reply to Daughterof1930
MJ1929 Mar 15, 2021
This is spot-on -- Her journey is indeed solo at this point.

I hope OP's hospice company gave her a booklet explaining the dying process. Some are a little sappy, but they are very helpful. I even told the company that's helping my own mother right now that their book is a tad hokey -- too much "she's sailing off into the sunset" stuff -- and they said they'd look into getting one that's a little more realistic and factual. The one we received with my dad was infinitely better.
At this point, you're doing what you can. It's very difficult to see your LO dying and know that you can't do much to help. She is no longer able to verbalize any thoughts but you can. Hearing is supposedly the last sense to fail, so talk to her, tell her you love her, reminisce. More than likely she can also feel your touch so continue to hold her hand, and give her a kiss. Sadly, there's not much more to do, but she'll know you're there with her.
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Reply to sjplegacy

Really the only thing you can do at this point, is make sure she's comfortable, and tell her how much you love her and whatever else you might feel the need to say, before she's gone, as hearing is the last sense to go. It is hard watching someone we love die, that's for sure. I wouldn't worry about if your mom might have something yet to say, as she is well aware of the good care you are giving her in her final days, and she I'm sure is just grateful for all you've done for her so far. Your mom is very blessed to have you with her as she transitions from this life to the next. God bless you.
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Reply to funkygrandma59

My heart goes out to you. When my MIL was dying, I would play her favorite hymns on my iPad, rub her hands and feet with lotion, held her hand, swab the inside of her mouth with water, put chapstick on her lips, brushed her hair, told her how much I loved her and reassured her over and over that we would take good care of her husband, she was worried about him because he already had dementia.

For some reason, her children wouldn’t talk to her or touch her. I think they were too much in shock to see her this way. So sad.
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Reply to Lilfarmer67

Oh, I am so sorry, Sheryl. You have the terrible, but sacred, task of escorting your mother on her final journey.

What you're doing so far is good. As others below have stated, make her comfortable. Perhaps play soft music or let it be quiet. Place photos of her loved ones around her so she can see them. If she has a favorite "things" (like a stuffed animal or other objects), let her hold them. Tell her your favorite lessons she taught you and the impact of them on your life or the times she made you proud of her. If she has a favorite prayer, say it for her. Read to her a chapter from her favorite book or a passage from your favorite book if that passage reminds you of her.

Please, if you change anything you're doing, please go easy on yourself. Try to get some rest (I know, that's NOT easy). Let family / friends know so they can say their farewells--being very careful so it's not hard on or noisy for your mother.

Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MountainMoose

My father used to say this: we come into this world alone & we go out of this world alone. And he was right. You can't really do anything to help your mother at this point in her journey, and THAT is the hardest thing to absorb. It was for me, too, when my father was with hospice at the end of his life at 91 years old. I was fortunate in that he was in a semi-comatose state the last week of his life, for the most part, so he wasn't trying to say something to me he couldn't. He wasn't struggling with pain, as hospice kept him comfortable. It was just awful feeling so HELPLESS, though, and to know there was nothing I could do FOR him. Nothing left to 'fix' or to make better for him anymore. That's a very hard concept to wrap one's head around, especially when we've been doing for our folks for years.

What I feel in my heart is that my father's soul left his body quite some time before he struggled with his last breath. His body's death was something that was very difficult to witness, but his soul's eternal life is something nobody COULD witness. Just something we have to have blind faith in, you know? As hard as the body struggles to pass, the soul is free and joyous & in no more pain or suffering. Dancing again with no restrictions whatsoever. THAT is the message to hold onto now, when your heart is aching and you so want to 'do' something but can't. Hold her hand, kiss her cheek, and let her know you're there. Even if her body cannot respond, her SOUL can.............and knows you're there and is smiling down on you, thanking you for your love & affection.

Sending you a virtual hug and a prayer for a peaceful transition for your dear mother.
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Reply to lealonnie1

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