She lives in Florida, and my husband wants to remember his mother they way he knows her to be not as she is during the process; no hair, sick, etc.

How do I help my husband during this time? I have no parents makes it difficult to relate.

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Hi Sgvickstrom,
StandingAlone and Sooozie both gave great advice. Your husband will find seeing his mother very difficult but he'll find living with the fact that he didn't go to see her harder in the end.

You can't make him do this, but you can tell him that you'll be with him all the way. Does he have a good friend or a religious leader who could talk with him and help him understand this?

It's not unusual for people to avoid seeing their loved ones so diminished. However, some of that dread may be a subconscious feeling that when the elder is gone, they are next in line - the new oldest generation. This can be difficult on its own.

Do try to convince your husband that he will, in the end, be far better off having done this difficult thing. Of course, he should understand that his mother would love to have her son there in her time of need, as well. Even if she is so close to death as to be only semiconscious, she'll know on some level that he was there. Go with him if that makes it easier.

Lastly, if he simply won't go don't blame yourself for not being able to convince him. Be ready to comfort him after his mother is gone when he blames himself for not doing enough when she was alive. It's bound to happen.

Warm wishes,
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We recieved a call from the nursing home that my husbands mother was dying. I woke my husband up and I said we need to go to say goodbye and let her know we are there. He said he did not want to go, so I said I would go, because I didn't think she should be alone. By the time I got dressed, he had gotten ready and said he would drive me there, but wouldn't go in. So we went and I was walking in, he came up behind me. He said he would go but not in the room. I went into the room and sat beside her and let her know that we were there and she was loved. Then my husband came into the room and saw her and could not speak, so I told her that he was there. I didn't make him go, but I guess he found the courage. He cried all the way home and was so glad that he was there for her.
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When my Mom was dying it was crushing to see her, but she didn't know what she looked like. She was going through the greatest challenge of her life and forever after I am comforted by the fact that I was there to help her, to hold her hand, tell her that I love her and comfort her. Some day, we lose the chance to tell our parents we love them, to thank them and to ask them any questions we may have.

My father told me that when he lost his Mom. I didn't know what he was talking about and I could not relate to the possibility of never speaking to my parents again. It's worth considering what it will be like when she is gone. There is no going back after that, no second chance. This is the time when he can tell her he loves her and help her during this great challenge.

Someone said recently, that although they could not recognize their mother at first, later when they looked in the mirror, they saw her again. Look beyond the cosmetic hair and ill health. Look at the person inside. Someday she will be gone and he will lose the chance to speak to her in this life.

The only things I ever regretted were the things I did not do when I had the chance.
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My mom had alz. I didn't want to see her that way either. I didn't want to face every single day having to watch that monstrous disease consume her. I didn't want to see her becoming weaker, more and more frail, more and more lost. I didn't want to be a witness to this slow death. But I did. I had to.

I understand where your hubs is coming from. I get it. It's hard looking at your aging, sick and dying parent...because in a sense, you're looking at your own mortality, your own possible future and it HURTS to see a loved one become frail, old and sick. He needs to get beyond that and just realize that that's his mom...always has been, always will be. He needs closure and if he misses it, he'll have a lifetime to regret it.

What Sooozi said, too.
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A @ A,
i done the same. avoided my dads end of life, helped my mom thru hers and found the fortitude to happily advocate for my aunt now. i think we all have shortcomings. learning from them and adjusting seperates the wise from the blame shifters.
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I faced this problem last year; my husband's mom had heart surgery, wouldn't do rehab, probably had some unacknoldged dementia and decided to stop eating so that she would die. Her mother had done the same thing when she was diagnosed with cancer. My husband's brother's supported Mom in her self-starvation route, got her palliative care; my husband, who always tried to help and reason with his mother (and she would respond by telling him she was going to call APS on him for Elder Abuse and write him out of her will) was angry, hurt and didn't want to see her, for all of the above reasons. As it got close to the end, I told him that he HAD to see her, it only had to be a short visit, that I would go with him and take him out to dinner and a stiff drink afterwards. I'm glad I forced the issue.
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be careful generalizing LEP . we all have our strong and weak areas. a man might hold back in emotional issues but he'd be the first to calm an emotional crisis or family dispute. im generalizing now too but to make a point. keep an open mind, thats probably the point..
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Isn't it ironic that men are the "weaker sex" when it comes to this issue? I hope you can convince him and tell him you cannot do this alone. She is HIS MOTHER, and no matter how painful it is for him, he needs to be there to let her know he care about her and loves her.
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Great method, Care! I also want to share an experience I had with my parents many years ago. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer; she wanted to be treated at a local hospital, my dad and EVERYONE else thought she should go to Sloan Kettering, a mere 1/2 hour away. Mom didn't want to be "a bother". My dad kept saying to her, Don't you want to go to Sloan? Let's go to Sloan, making it easy for her to say "no". We turned it around somewhat and said "mom, your're a smart person, smart people go to Sloan". It worked! So if you've been saying, "don't you want to go see your mom?" turn it into a positive statement the way Care suggests.
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thumbs up at care1975,
leading by example..
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