She has battled and fought so hard for 15 months after diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic cancer.

Marshall - I am curious if during your clinical death, you had any out of body experience. You sound at peace with the dying transition. That is a blessing that some people have. Most of us are afraid of death.
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Reply to polarbear
Cover99 Sep 25, 2021
There are a few Youtube videos that talk about Death as well; even ones that discuss what happens to the body after death (if not in cold).
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I sent this to another question but thought it might apply here too. Understanding how the body processes death is not the same as how the mind and spirit do but it is scary if we do not understand this.

Here's what I wrote:
You have received many helpful answers here and I just want to add one about the pain that is so difficult to watch and understand.

The body, mind and spirit can be quite distinct. Some 20 years ago a fire truck struck my car and I was in ICU, CCU for several weeks then another 3 months of hospitalization then 3 months outpatient rehab. During the first few weeks I was clinically dead twice and during those weeks I learned later that I was thrashing, pulling out tubes, falling from the bed so they had to put me in restraints, bed rails, motion alerts etc.

Well I remember well the moment before my car was hit and then what went on from a month after in the hospitals but my mind remembers absolutely nothing else. I have NO remembrance of any of the family reported pain that they observed with horror.

Fast forward to almost two years ago when my wife died of pancreatic cancer. She was in hospice and I watched daily as she made the transition from this world to the other side. The first few days I was concerned that the hospice staff were not doing enough to keep her alive, that they were not giving her her medicines to help her process her meals but after 2 days, I realized that she was not in hospice to get treatments, she was there to process her final days. I watched as her body processed the dying process and watched the peaceful moments when I realized that her mind was processing her life, a life filled with love and many happy moments as she made the transition.

Whenever she was necessarily moved by the hospice staff I saw the reaction of the body to this and how it shifted back to peaceful moments when left alone (though gentle touches did not disturb the peace) and because I had actually been blessed with my own event, I understood when the hospice assured me that she was not mentally in the pain we seemed to otherwise observe.

So the loving care you gave is what the dying mind processes as they make the transition. They also go through a spiritual transition but that is another topic not related here.

Each of us deals with grief differently. I was actually fortunate in being able to observe the dying process and getting to understand it. That helped me to reflect on the quote: 'Weep not that I am gone; rejoice that I was there'

May peace be on you also.
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Reply to MarshallW

I was a hospice RN for 20 years. While the "death rattle" causes no distress to the patient it is unsettling to hear. Ask your hospice nurse for scope patches. They are small topical patches, placed behind an ear. This medication dries up secretions in the patient eliminating the "death rattle".
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Reply to Insurnurse
Riverdale Sep 24, 2021
Thank you so much for posting that valuable information.
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The sounds you describe in your response are "death rattle"
What it actually is is phlegm that builds up at the back of the throat that is not easily cleared. It is possible to relieve some of it if you turn mom on her side that will allow some of the phlegm to drain.
You may also notice what is called Cheyne Stokes breathing.
This is a Cycle of breathing pattern.
the breath will deepen then Speed up then get shallower and shallower, it may stop then start again. Or Breathing may stop altogether.
You may also notice the skin color changing typically feet, legs, hands. The skin will take on a Mottled look.
There are specially trained Volunteers that Hospice has that will sit Vigil with you and be with you until mom dies. If you feel that you need someone trained to be with you please call Hospice and ask if they have Vigil Volunteers. They will typically take turns each Volunteer doing a shift from 2 to 4 hours long. They will be with you as long as you wish.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Herdaughter54- is your mom on hospice? Did her doctor tell you how much longer she will live? Ask the doctor to check if she is having trouble breathing, if so, the doc can prescribe some med to ease the difficulty.

As for death rattles, yes they are real. My uncle was on hospice for about two weeks. He did make some unusual rattling noises the last few days but not too loud.

Being alone with a dying person is frightening enough, but adding in the scary sounds of death rattles, that would send me running away. Too terrifying for me to be that close to Death, alone.

I think when my mom passes away, either my aunt or someone else will have to dress her in her burial clothing because I can't touch a dead body. I would have nightmares for months after that.

Do ask relatives and friends and hospice volunteers to take turns to come and stay with you. You should not be alone during this time. Also, if it helps, stay in touch with us on this forum.

Edit to add that I read your reply and you said your mom is on hospice for 6 months. I pray that your mom will pass peacefully.
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Reply to polarbear
Cover99 Sep 18, 2021
If you have not hurt her in life why be afraid of her in death.
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Yes it is real, and usually comes as one is close to leaving this world for the next. My husband had it for about a week(perhaps a little longer) prior to his death, if my memory serves me correctly.
I would call your hospice nurse and tell her that someone needs to come be with you through this, if it upsetting to you.
Also remember that hearing is the last sense to go, so make sure you're still talking to your mom and saying whatever needs to be said.
As hard as it is to watch someone you love so die, it is also an honor to be with them and assist them from this life to the next. Hang in there. You're doing a great job!
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Reply to funkygrandma59

I am so sorry that you have to watch your mom go through this.

If what you're hearing are death rattles, they aren't hurting her, but they are upsetting for you to hear.

Is there a close friend or family member you trust enough to be able to call to ask them to come and sit with you so you're not so very alone in this? If not, hospice might be able to send a volunteer to sit with you; they couldn't when my mom was passing because of covid, but that was almost a year ago, and I don't know of things have changed because of the vaccine. It's very hard to watch someone you love transition, especially if you're by yourself. Just having someone to talk to makes it a little easier...

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Reply to notgoodenough

Yes it is but in my experience with my father it was at the very end and didn't last long once all machines keeping him alive were removed as it was clear all his organs were compromised beyond hope for living.

Perhaps you are hearing snoring or there is difficulty with breathing. So sorry you are living with this. I understand the incredible sadness involved.
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Reply to Riverdale
Herdaughter54 Sep 18, 2021
So very sorry about your father! My
momma has been on hospice in my home for almost 6
months now. These past 2 weeks it’s like everything is now happening at once. Today hospice started her on haldol for anxiety. Tonight her breathing is awful- could be snoring but I’ve never heard her snore like this if it’s snoring. It’s wet and cracking and very loud at times a s her entire body jumps. I’m alone with her and I’m just so scared
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