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I have never feared death, and we have our affairs in good order. Yet this past year, I have become fearful about finding him dead. I did find my sister dead in her home from suicide. Do others have such aging fears?

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My mom was propping her sister’s pillow up behind her in the hospital. Just that quick, she fell back into my mom’s arms and was dead. She was only in her 40’s. She left two kids. My uncle had died previously with cancer. We took in my cousins. Just make us realize, right, how we never know when we will leave this world.

I think about it with mom off and on. I don’t think about when my own time is coming very often. We the caregiver get so preoccupied with others that we often forget about ourselves, right?
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I do, about my husband. He naps during the day, and he is SO quiet I can’t see him breathe. He hangs his head down when he sleeps so I can’t see his face.
That must have been rough on you, finding your sister like that. I can’t even imagine.
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Reply to DizzyBritches
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I am terrified of finding my mom dead. I don’t even know if I could watch her die. I get horribly depressed over it and overwhelmed with anxiety about it.

I was with my brother seconds before he died in an end of life hospice facility. I did not see him breathe his last breath. Maybe he knew I was afraid.

My cousins have told me about the ‘death rattle’ and hearing their mom have that as she was dying in their home from cancer. Their dad died in a NH and one daughter was with him.

Do you think people choose when they die? I think they know when it will happen. Most people who have been sick for a long time might have a sense of when it’s happening.

I don’t know how to feel about any of it anymore. I can’t stand seeing her struggle. I can’t stand seeing her wince in pain. I can’t stand seeing how tired she is. All of it is so emotionally and physically exhausting to me.

I can’t even get another dog because I can’t bear to see another dog die. I love dogs! I have been with my dogs until the very end and the vet had to give me the whole box of tissue and he was so concerned he called me at home the next day to check on me. Can you imagine what I would do if a human, especially my mom, died in my presence? Geeeeez!

I try to go numb so I won’t feel anything anymore. I don’t even remember life before mom came to live with us in 2005.

I suppose I will feel conflicting emotions when she does die. Part of me will grieve and part of me will be relieved (if I don’t die first!). I think I have already started the grieving process long ago.

She hasn’t been my mom in forever. I haven’t been her daughter in forever. I’m her caregiver and she’s a patient. No offense to nurses but I never, ever desired to be a nurse.

I envy the people who sincerely feel this is a ‘privilege.’ I am certainly not one of them. I catch myself seeing myself as a prisoner, a prisoner in my own home.

Sorry for depressing everyone. I’m not looking for pity. Empathy, yes. Compassion, yes, but not pity.

Anyway...if I could pick how mom would go. I guess dying peacefully in her sleep would be a blessing. She’s tired! She’s ready. She would love to see my dad again and he has waited a long time for her. He died in 2002!

I know some people have no qualms about others dying at home. I can’t help it. I am afraid. I don’t want to be.

I was told at my caregiver group that meets in my neighborhood that it’s a beautiful thing to be with a loved one at the end. Well, maybe it is. I understand that they feel that way and I am pleased they found comfort and peace from that experience. I sat in the meeting feeling like an idiot because I couldn’t imagine how that feels, especially in my home.

Death would be different in a facility or hospital where I would be able to walk away or not remember that room as the room where mom died.

Geeeeez, am I going crazy or what? I’ll shut up now. Again, sorry that I truly don’t have a grip on this at all. You’d think I would after all this time of being with mom in my home. I love her dearly and this is hard, just excruciatingly hard for me.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Totally normal...
Do others have such aging fears?-- Everyone has fears of similar nature. You're totally normal.

Today, I just developed a fear of someone watching me sleep;
my dog was just watching me as I was napping, fear was substantiated.
I always watch my pets when they're sleeping; watching them sleep lets me know when it's best to schmoosh my face into their fur.
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Reply to Screennamed
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I don’t fear death but sometimes I watch my husband closely to see if he is still breathing.
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Reply to Donnab4122
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Thank you all for such helpful, comforting thoughts. It is hard to explain how reassuring that was. It makes me feel more grounded. Do any of you have recommended reading?
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Reply to Jrlaw3n2
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Even when my husband was much younger, I was afraid of losing him. There is no guarantee that tomorrow will come. With kidney disease, one needs to stay hydrated.
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Reply to Angelika1947
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DizzyBritches Aug 14, 2019
I felt the same way about my husband when we were both much younger, Angelika!
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This is not unusual behavior at all. I’m constantly watching my husband for twitches and movement while he’s asleep. I have also been known to watch my dog and my grandsons!

What you're doing is perfectly normal.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Oh yes.. when my 88 YO mom is napping, sitting up on the couch, both hubs and I have admitted to watching her to see if she is breathing! We hate to wake her up if she napping to see if she is still with us.
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Reply to pamzimmrrt
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Yes, absolutely. I recall with my Aunt that her breathing in her last years became so gentle and she slept so much due to her kidney disease, that when I was with her it seemed to me she took a breath every minute or so. I would anxiously watch her chest. I think the best thing to do is accept that this is a normal feeling, and then to try to take your mind away to a zen of crossword puzzle, sudoku, listen to a podcast or something. Just ease your mind gently away when it insists on going back here over and over. You won't be able to do it completely but you will be able to do it somewhat. Remember, he could just find you suddenly gone. I mean, stranger things have happened. Wishing you good luck. Glad you are there for him.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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