Follow
Share

My mom (87) is dying/not dying...its a long rollercoaster and I am the only family member here for her. I have an out of town brother. I'm exhausted and burned out from the up and down of her almost near death and somehow bouncing back only to have a few more weeks of her being okay until perhaps the next almost near death. I feel like the girl who cried wolf anytime she gets bad then bounces back. Her hospice caregivers also keep thinking at those times she's near death. My mom asked me today if everything was okay because I didn't call her last night. (i call at the very least two times a day and stop over almost every day. Anyway, how do I answer..."no mom, i'm not okay. Im exhausted and emotionally drained from all this." seems somewhat unfair of me to feel that way when she is the one suffering and lingering.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
God bless you today go to a church we all at some point in life need spiritual help we are not alone God will be there all the time to help us go through difficult times, Jesus Christ the son of God gave His life for us yet being sinners He died so we can have life and enjoy it to the fullest, I encourage you to go to a church, pray and read the bible its a life changing experience, blessings
Helpful Answer (19)
Report

Well, you and I both know you can’t say THAT to your mom. Answer the question she asked. She asked if, because you didn’t visit her that night, if everything is ok. You can tell her that you just got so busy and it was getting late and you weren’t sure if she was asleep. Assure her that everything is fine with you. Tell her what you were doing, if you can. Then start talking about a mutual acquaintance. Diversion...

You can speak with her Hospice care team about how to handle this. When my mom was in Hospice, the care team was there for me as well as her. I could talk to them any time. I got invitations to grief support groups after she passed and still get communications from the agency after almost a year.

Hugs and some peace, too. Keep us updated.
Helpful Answer (26)
Report

My heart goes out to you. So difficult, but if it were me I would bite my tongue and try to lie. And yes then change the subject. And I would vent to someone else whenever possible. When I was in that situation I talked to family, friends, anyone who would listen. If hospice is involved, they have free counselors that you may be able to call and talk to. And keep writing on here. People here know what you're going through and will listen and support you. The roller coaster situation is one of the most painful to deal with in my opinion. My sympathies.
Helpful Answer (19)
Report

I am at the start of the hospice journey with my mother.Please talk to the hospice nurses, they also care for the family and help you with counseling or just be a shoulder to lean on. I just got off the phone with my mom who is currently in hospital getting radiation for pain treatment and will then be discharge back to her AL and be on hospice.She was tearful, afraid,scared. I had been trying to read on the internet on how to talk to my dying mother and there are so many websites with great suggestions,especially on what are normal feelings for the person ,yourself,that is having to witness the long goodby. You need someone you can talk to about how you are feeling,in taking care of your emotional needs you will be better able to handle your mom's emotional needs at this time with a meltdown. So in listening to my usually stoic mother cry,verbalizing her fear,i just allowed her to talk, say what she needed to,she also wanted to know if I was okay and of coarse I lied and said I was fine and she didn't need to worry about me as she had raised me to be strong and independent and was a very good parent( I can't believe lightening didn't strike me) as our relationship for the most part had never been close but that was then and this is now.Please if possible get a therapist for yourself, contact your hospice and tell them you need help,it would be the right thing to do for yourself and your mom. Really, just type into your computer, "How do I talk to my dying mother".,lots of info out there because you are not alone. Keep us updated on how you are doing.
Helpful Answer (22)
Report

Yes, the roller coaster is so difficult for those of us who survive it. My mom was up and down for several years. When I brought in hospice, she lived a week longer. But she'd been going downhill for four months at that time. With mom in that last week, one time I'd go over and she'd be semi-comatose on the bed, then the next time, she'd be up watching TV. It just about made me crazy. The emotional up and down was mentally and physically exhausting and that was just for a week. So I can so empathize with how mentally and physically draining it is.

As others have said, please lean on the hospice people. And any friends who will listen. One friend who came and sat with me on mom's last day is now going through something similar with her mom, so I can be there for her. Please keep coming back here and let us know how you're doing. We get what you're going through.
Helpful Answer (16)
Report

If she is in fact in a terminal state and vacillating back and forth as her body perhaps fights back, ask yourself what you can do or say to her that would be most comforting at this challenging time. I don't think I would ever tell her she's dying; it might be too much to handle.

Just reassure her that you love her and will take care of, comfort and support her. That's probably all she needs to know.

That's what a wise person suggested to me when I didn't know how to handle my sister's last months. She asked me what I would want to tell her if in fact she was dying. So from then on, I just comforted her and told her how much she meant to me, although at one point when she was struggling, I did assure her that it was all right to just let go. She was a fighter and I felt that perhaps some affirmation of release might help her accept the inevitable, especially as her suffering accelerated toward the end.
Helpful Answer (23)
Report

It is so hard to deal with THAT question. I've been through the very same thing. My father passed Oct. 3rd this year. He would constantly ask me if he was ok, & was everything else ok. ( affairs in order, was my mother being taken care of, grandchildren ok, etc... )
I was CONSTANTLY reassuring him. ( the sad thing about my situation was, toward the end , he couldn't remember 5 minutes,after you would tell him )
And like you, I got sooo tired & burned out. Bit I just kept right on reassuring & since he has passed I am SO thankful that I was there for him & did what I did.
All I can tell you is, it won't last forever, hang in there, but also take some time for yourself.
If it's near the end, be there for them but also take care of yourself.
Will pray for you to have strength & endurance to get through this. It's hard! But God is good & He will give you the strength to carry on.
Helpful Answer (22)
Report

Victorious66
why do you assume she is a christian?
Helpful Answer (13)
Report

Who says you have to be a Christian to go to church? I agree that it helps, but it's not compulsory.
Helpful Answer (11)
Report

I would tell her everything will be okay, Christian or not. Because it will be.
Helpful Answer (11)
Report

Shedampo You do not realise it yet but the time You spend with Your Dear Mom now Caring and comforting Her through this awful cancer and creating beautiful memories which will be Sacred to You when Your Mom is finally gone. Give Your Mom lots of TLC and
keep reminding Your Mom of how much You love Her.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I just lost my dad. His passing was quite fast but I alone had to face those same questions. I was caregiver to my mom at the time dad got sick. I was beyond exhausted and couldn't give him what he needed during his illness. I answered those types of questions by saying I would not leave him, I loved him, or just saying "I am here for you". At his death I was there for him. He did not know he was dying until the end. I didn't have to tell him, he told me. It's something I haven't even had time to process because after his death I continued to care for mom until this week when she went to Assisted Living. Is there anyway you can get extra help besides hospice? A church? A senior center? Anyone to help with anything? Paid or volunteer, it helps to have help. Hospice often isn't enough.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Sometimes you just have to be a little liar. You tell her you are okay. So is your brother. You say what fits in with faith of her choice. We used John 3:16. You don't let her feel alone. Tell her it is okay to let go when the time comes. Sometimes just the simple"We will all be alright" Mom is enough. Let any sleeping dogs lie (don't bring up anything yucky to discuss ), and tell her again You love her and everybody is waiting to see her in Heaven or the place of your faith. And once again brightly, everything will be alright! Grace and Peace.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Lie, lie, and lie. Tell her everything is OK. You never know, she may be indirectly asking your permission to go. I feel for you and what you are going through. With my MIL there were 3 or 4 different times I would think... 'this is it'.... and I would walk in to her room and it was as if she had a baseball 'rally' cap on her head cocked to the side! She would be on the death's door, and boom.... she was up wanting an ice cream sundae and a deck of playing cards. We never told her she was dying, but I feel pretty sure she suspected it. Be strong as you can be and hang in there. You will never regret it. When MIL finally passed? I was actually at peace because I knew that I had done ALL I could do for her. There was no 'what ifs' surrounding her care and passing. Do not be afraid to give the morphine when the time comes; she will need it. It sounds to me like you are a very loving child. She is fortunate to have you, but I also suspect she knows this as well.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

When my LO had hospice care, the social worker was there for me. Take advantage of the hospice staff that's in place for the family.

You can avoid unloading on her without lying. A squeeze of the hand, a kiss on the forehead, read to her. I found the book Creating Moments of Joy to be quite helpful.

Peace be with you!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I think your Mom needs to know "IF" you're okay with her dying. I think she is trying to open the door to a bigger question. Many parents, especially Moms, need to know that they were a good mother before their leaving. I would take this time to tell your Mom how much you love her, and that whenever death comes, "either to you or her", (since we never know when any of us will die first) that you will always be together. I know this helped both myself and my Mom, she needed to hear what a good mother she was, and how much I loved her. It also gave her permission, that it was okay to leave. And she did.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I agree with 1caringwife. Your mom is close to dying. She probably wants to make sure that everyone is okay before she dies. My partner's mom asked me this a lot. I would caress her head and let her know that everyone and everything was okay and everyone would be taken care of. I'd let her know that she didn't need to worry.

Sure, it's emotionally draining to watch someone close to you who is slowly dying, especially if they are in pain and not cooperating with their daily care. But I've also been the one in the bed who was very ill and in a lot of pain. I'd rather be well. I'd rather be among the living.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The best advice I got was from my dad’s oncologist who told me “be fresh when you see him.” In other words don’t let myself get haggard. I took that advice to heart, got my needed rest, wore soft beautiful colors and clothing, repaired my makeup from crying, when I visited my dad. I believe it gave him one less burden to bear - whether I was ok. And hospice social workers were wonderful.

The church people actually did the most damage by visiting his room and telling him he was going to die there. It was pitiful the distress my father was in. It still haunts me to this day. Limit or ban preachers from the room. Hospice has chaplains that know how to comfort the dying person.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Shedampo, I know what you’re going through. The dying imitations are so real. I also described myself as the girl who cried wolf. So many times it seemed like the real thing and I would inform my siblings. Like Blannie said, semi-comatose. A few weeks before my Mom died she had one of these devastating prolonged episodes. I was just lying alongside her in bed with tears streaming. Crying for her and crying for me. Not because she was going to die but because she was probably going to rebound yet again and have to die another day. Prayers for you. You are a wonderful daughter and will never regret the time you spend being there for her.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I would always tell her everything is OK. My mom's nurses told us about so many cases where loved ones would keep hanging on if they think something is unresolved. I don't know your situation, but there will come a day where she will not bounce back. Trust me on this, the last thing you ever want your mom thinking is that she is a being a burden to you. Appreciate every single moment you have and consider the bounce backs as blessings !!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Tell you have a slight sinus headache and have already taken something for it. You're just waiting for it to kick in.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Twillie...I don't know what to think about the advice from the oncologist, but I have to suspect that the majority of those caring for someone else have a zillion details and pressures on their plate to have a professional who should know and see and sense this...then add to the burden by focusing on appearances! Even if for the dying patient's benefit, I find this unconscionable.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My husband has been under care if hispice for over a year now and yes, it has been a roller coaster ride the entire time. On his "deathbed" one day and up walking and eating the next. Sometimes I ask God what I did to deserve this but I know He is not a punishing God. Just tell her that, yes, everything is ok (because it is) and how much you love her and want to be there for her, whatever form it takes. Listen to her and take your cues from her. Some days my husband talks about "going" and others he talks about "staying." I just try to go with the flow. Yes, it is incredibly hard but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

not sure what you mean by the last, but with dad, we did tell him that his grandson would be okay; now it took a while and some wildly unexpected things happened that I'm not sure if he thought that was the okay or not but it seems to be now; just wish it could have been before
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yes, appease, appease, appease!

And read Roz Chast's thoughtful, insightful, and hilarious book: Can't We Talk about Something more Pleasant?"
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It depends on what the source of the question is. As I learn more and more, why I'd say things like: "Yeah I'm oKAY!! Are you Okay?" or "Why sure; Are you doing alright?" At times I might add or say "i AM; are you worried you're not feeling well? You need me to check ye for breathing or a fever? Get your beauty sleep." -- If I'm with them. If over the phone, it's different
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If the parent is real old and is a dad i.e, I'd probably just say 'Yeah Thank you'
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I tell the truth.

When my dad was put on Dialysis, I did research and sat him down and explained what would happen when the time came and he wanted to quit.

I believe in the truth. Not with malice, the truth dished out with love. Gently. With Questions. Pop did Dialysis for almost 3 years but decided he'd had enough after turning 88. True to my word, I helped him with his decision.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Or I'd lean over and give them a hug or kiss i.e
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Tell her everything is ok, then grab her, hug her, hold on to her as tight as you can.

I sometimes go to the NH and just put my head on my mother's shoulder. She's mom. That's enough for me.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter