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My mom went into hospice almost two weeks ago. She's been kind of with it off and on. I've had breaking points that I now feel guilty about (changing a diaper when you've never done so, and having no one show me how was frustrating). In one day she went from kind of talking to almost catatonic and her one toe is purple which lets me know the end is looming. She was my best friend my entire life. I tried to help as best I could the last two weeks but I snapped at her when I was exhausted. I have no family help. I'm sole caregiver 24/7. I think I did everything possible but that question still looms if I asked the right questions and did the right things to keep her alive. She isn't prepared to die. Last week she kept thanking me for saving her life. She said a few days ago she thought she was going to die and was so happy she didn't. What do I do with that now that she is so close? I go from task mode to feeling helpless in one swoop. I know it's selfish but she isn't ready and I'm not ready. How do I prepare myself for when it happens? I don't want to see it happen because from what I read and heard its very hard to watch. The hospice people are short staffed and only take her vitals and leave. Anyone with experience with watching a loved one die? Desperate for help and guidance. I need support and help.

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My Dad just died in his bed, calling the shots, all the way. It is so overwhelming, and calm at the same time. I wish i could be there to help you. Know you are loved, and appreciated. It's a beautiful thing, a release from pain and suffering. Hospice was wonderful, i can't say enough for them. The only advice I can offer, is let it be. I send you strength and love through these pages.
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One suggestion -- ask your hospice (or even other hospices) if they have volunteers who will sit with her while you get breaks. They will call you if any change happens. But you need breaks for your own health and sanity. Our hospice did not have volunteers, but I was able to put the word out at work and at church, and got a couple of good-hearted folks bringing their good energy in, so I could get some needed respite. I also paid an STNA-in-training who lived nearby, so I could have someone "on call" when I needed help at that moment. I feel a lot of empathy for you! My mom died three days ago. For you, in the time that's left, in moments she's "with it" maybe your mom would like to choose a few pieces of jewelry or gifts to give to relatives, or to great-grandbabies on their future birthdays. You could use FIMO dough and put her thumbprint on pendants (or buy the silver ones.) Your touch conveys a lot of love. Bless you both.
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Jillie, I'm so sorry to learn that you and your mother are facing such an emotionally difficult situation.

Just as an aside, the hospice people should be able to confirm whether or not the time is approaching; they know the signs.

Singingway just lost her mother and posted about her end-of-life vigil as well. She offers insights that I think would help anyone in that situation, and the posts and suggestions are equally helpful. Perhaps they could be of comfort to you.

Her post is :"Any suggestions for this end-of-life vigil? ", at
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/suggestions-for-this-end-of-life-vigil-183008.htm

I do hope you find the comfort and courage you seek. But remember that your mother is comforted merely by your presence.

We were with my sister when she died of cancer. It was difficult to believe when she was hospitalized that last time that it was actually getting close to the end; we all kept believing that more chemo would help. But frank conversations with the doctors assured us that her body was too compromised for any hope of fighting any more. By that time she was unable to speak or walk, and the pain of knowing how much she had fought was becoming very difficult. It was then that I wanted it to be over for her and end her suffering.

We decided to stay with her constantly, and we did. We each held one of her hands for several hours until it happened.

Her passing was quiet, very peaceful as she had been administered morphine. I won't deny that it was emotionally painful, but I was glad we were there and that she didn't die alone. To me, having family there with her was very important, and I hope she somehow felt the comfort of our presence.

I hope my story can help you through your challenging time.
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My Mom recently died as well. She was also my best friend. I surprised myself with how strong I was. But I think the reason I was is cause I wanted to be strong for her.
I wanted her to know it was okay to leave and I knew I could fall apart later when I was alone. She had been living in a broken, painful body for so long and knowing she would be free from that also gave me courage.

I also know that if you believe in God and ask him he will give you strength you didn't even know you had. I believe God was by my side and my Mom's side during her last days.

I pray that God will give you strength and courage.
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It is so painful to see your best friend - your mom die. My mom recently passed away. I also had hospice help but did have to insist that I needed more help toward the end of her life. I too, did not want to be there when my mom died but I was there. I wanted her to have someone that loved her be there with her.
Years ago, I was in my twenties when my MIL died. We were with her as she was dying. I completely fell apart. I was hysterical when I called my mom. She did chastise me a little saying, this is not about you right now - it is about her.
It was terrible to be there with my mom before she died - but I know that she knew I was there and that I loved her and would stay with her no matter what
she was going through. I also have regrets after 6 years of solo caregiving but
I do know that no matter the words - your mother knows you love her and that you will be with her. It is painful and it has been the most difficult thing I have gone through but I don't regret being there with her when she died. I wish that the process of dying would have been easier for her - but that was not the case.
I was not able to make it easier for her - but I could hold her hand and hug her and tell her how much she is loved. I wish you the strength, the courage and the love for your mom to prevail. You are in my prayers.
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I agree with both. The only thing I'd add is that for heaven's sake don't start already on beating yourself up for not having an angelic temper when you're under crazy, crazy stress. You're there, aren't you? You're holding your mother's hand and being strong for her. That is the best and most loving thing that anyone can do. Grit your teeth and hold on. Tell your mother everything is going to be all right - one way or another that statement will be true, and she needs to be reassured. We're thinking of you, wishing you strength and peace.
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There is nothing that will make this easier. Hopefully you have friends as you don't have family. May sound odd, but make sure you have some 'tv dinners' at home as cooking may not be possible. It will be a wound; it will scab over but never truly heal. Once in a while the scab comes off. Someone told me, when my moms end comes, to call the visiting nurse service: they are of tremendous help in post situation. Take care, and may the lord be with you. I am so sorry.
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Jillie, I don't know if there is anything that can make it easier for each person. What helped me when my father was dying was realizing that it was out of my hands. I found much comfort in putting it all in God's hands and just doing things I could do to make it better. We may not be ready for our loved one to die, but we do need to accept it and realize that it is not our fault. We can't fix it, but we can turn it over and try to find peace for ourselves and our loved one. I hope you are able to find some peace in your mother's final days.
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