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It was the worst thing ever to witness I keep thinking of the last moments of her gasping I can't get it out of my mind. I had a baby monitor so I can hear her, she was in hospice care in my house. She had been coughing for days my sister and I would give her tea and water and whatever else she needed. So this night she was coughing at around 2am cough here and there so I thought well maybe it will stop so finally I get my lazy butt out of bed to get her some tea and she is soaked in sweat and sort of slumped over to the right so I fixed her up in bed better and asked her if she felt ok because she was not looking very good, let me add here she had auto-immune problems so she had strange skin coloring she said that she needed to throw up gave her a tub and ran and got my sister by the time I came back in she was breathing strangely and that's when I knew called hospice and ran and got my husband and all three of us watched her struggle for air. I just keep thinking if I was there with her sooner or if I stayed in her room all night or if I made a bed on the floor. I had been in the hospital with her for 13 days by her side and 13 days at my house totally exhausted but still I feel I failed her. I just can't get a grip here. It's been a week now since she passed.

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The sounds will eventually go away. My father had a heart attack at home when i was 20 and he made some horrible sounds before he passed. Every time I would close my eyes I'd hear them again. But eventually they did fade. Probably within a few weeks I didn't hear the sounds anymore.
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I was there when my mom passed away. I was alone with my grandma (who I care for as she has severe dementia) and my grandmother's caregiver. My dad was at work. I could hear her gasping that morning and just knew despite respite saying days, I knew it would be only a few hours. I can still hear that sound when I think about it. I can remember counting the minutes between breaths. I can remember holding her hand and talking to her. I can still hear that last breath as it came in with that gasping sound and went out never to have another one taken. I can still hear the morphine pump as it pumped into my mom even after death which is why I threw it across the room and told the tech who picked it up that if it was broken then I didn't want to hear about it as I was not explained properly how it was to be turned off.

I remember wondering if I had done right, if everything I did was ok. I was alone during most of her week long hospice and was winging it. She was alert for the first part so she was able to be with me and help me but then they introduced morphine. She and I together both approved it. We knew she was dying and she was ready. After that point, she wasn't really alert and was struggling sometimes and I was told when she was upset and would pull at things that she was probably in pain so I should tap the button to give her relief. My dad came in later that night and did it just by holding her and talking to her. That is the night she passed away but her body stayed longer. I still wonder after a year if I did ok. I assume I did but no one told me I did.

Losing someone is so hard and don't let anyone tell you differently. You go through a mix of emotions. Some relief, some sadness, some anger, some bitterness and some heartbreaking that you feel as though you won't even stop crying. You let yourself feel those things. Focus on the good things. Focus on memories you have. When you feel yourself having negative thoughts, remember a Christmas or a party or a shopping trip or something together. Pick a happy memory and write it down if you have to. In fact write any good memory down. Then when you feel yourself going back to that day, pick up a memory and read it and remember it. I go through old picture books with my niece and nephew to help. There are tons of happy memories of my mom and the family together doing things. It reminds me of the happy times and the times my mom was wonderful instead of focusing on the end where she was so sick but I have to say, even when she was so sick she was still there for me until the time she passed away.

I'm so sorry for your loss and hope you can find some peace in her passing and allow yourself to feel sadness but also happiness.
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Kimme,
I am so sorry for your loss. It doesn't sound like Hospice would not have gotten there in time to make her more comfortable. We all hope our loved ones are comfortable and pass peacefully. Sometimes in spite of our best efforts it just doesn't work out that way. My StepDad was at home with Hospice appeared to be sleeping and just stopped breathing. I was at peace with that. 5 months prior to that My Dad/Best Friend passed away in ICU following back to back to back Cardiac Arrests. When the third one hit I was taken behind the curtain. I told them to stop! The hardest thing I have EVER had to do or go through. The events of that afternoon haunted me for some time. I agree with what was said above. Time will help. When you feel the bad thoughts creeping in choose to think of better times with your loved one that will make you smile. If the Hospice you used has a bereavement counseler take advantage of those services. (((Hugs)))
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Kimmie - hugs to you.

While it seems fresh in your mind right now, you *will* eventually be able to put it aside in favor of better memories. I thought I'd never forget how Mom looked in the ER after she collapsed and died at the nursing home - two huge lumps on her forehead where she hit the floor when she fell, bruises all over her face, and so, so pale. Then all the emergency procedures that were done while we were sitting there watching them - I won't even go into them, but they weren't pleasant. Something no one should have to see done to their parent or child. I console myself with the fact that I'm certain Mom was already gone by the time all of this was being done - I think she was gone before she even hit the floor in the nursing home, to be honest - but it was very hard for the first few months to reconcile that thought with what I saw in the ER.

Mom has been gone for 8 months now. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her, but it's different now. I remember things she said, or little jokes she told me, or how she loved certain foods or certain things, or her love of water and lakes and lighthouses. Very rarely do I spend time thinking of how she looked when she passed. I thought I'd never be able to get those images out of my mind. Don't get me wrong, I do remember them, but those images have faded to the background in favor of better memories and how she would want me to do things now.

Your mom would not want you to linger over those last moments - she would want you to remember her as she was in life, and in better times.
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Kimmie,
I'm so sorry you lost your dear Mother.
Take good care,
Lu
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Kimmie, I also was present for my dad and my aunts final breath, and cared for both of them with hospice as they were dying. I completely understand how that image remains in your head, and how "if only" regrets can dominate your thoughts. It has only been a week for you, so please give yourself permission to grieve and also to realize what you are feeling is completely normal. Perhaps if we could view death a bit more like birth it would be helpful, she has passed on to another level spiritually. A possible suggestion; if you have a picture of your mom that portrays her healthy and happy, keep that with you for awhile. When you are feeling haunted by her dying image, look at the happy picture right away. Memorize that picture so that you can replace your upsetting image with the one that is happy. This is the way she would want you to remember her. If you can reinforce this transition of painful moment to peaceful moment again and again, it will help imprint a more positive memory. I have found it very helpful to close my eyes and bring that beautiful picture forward in my mind. Now, when I think of my dad, I clearly see that happy smiling face. It takes time of course. I also found comfort by talking about better times and good memories of my dad. You are not alone in this struggle, and I hope you find these suggestions helpful.
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I was there when my dad took his last breaths there was.nothi g any of us could have done I asked all the drs prior to him passing(organ donation etc) be glad you could be there for her to see loving familiar faces when she went. Being there at the beginning and the end of someone's life is in my opinion one of the most sacred moments you can share mourn all you need I still( 10yrs later) can hear him taking his last it hurts still but be glad you could be there to say goodbye. It will get better I promise a grief counselor may help too.hugs and prayers!
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Hugs, Kimmie. I don't know, but perhaps some kind of meditation technique might help? I've yet to get the hang of it myself, but it's about sitting quietly and observing your thoughts and memories and learning to accept them and then let them go.

A week is nothing. If you're still struggling past the time that you think is proportionate or manageable, maybe plan to find a therapist, counsellor or meditation teacher who can help you gain more control over your feelings. I don't think you can expect them to go, but it's about not letting them take you over.

That sound is terrible and unmistakable. The kind of experience you've only heard about, but instantly recognise for what it is when you witness it for real and then will never forget. I remember I felt a sort of disbelief, then complete helplessness.

You were there with her. There isn't anything more or better that you could have done. Hugs again.
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It's like I know all I did for her but wonder could I have done more. It's only been a week I don't know what I expect. I just want the sounds and the picture in my mind to go away.
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I didn't hear my father take his last breath but I was in my car. I was angry and hurt that I wasn't because I had been with him everyday for almost a yr. He had a fall should of been a simple hospital stay but things just got out of hand and it escalated from there. During this time we actually lost him 3 times. So when he did pass this December and I wasn't with him I like you wondered what else I could of done. Truth is nothing you and your family did everything right so remember that last breath was freedom to a new life. No more pain and suffering for her or you. I know hearing that last breath was tough I was my grandmothers care giver I was there with her too. But I knew that I did all I could and that they were loved and I was there. Most people have no one and so try to remember the beauty of your mom cuz she remembers you being there. I will not lie I still struggle loosing my dad he was my best friend and we were vary close but I also know all the pain and struggle he went through and was the most kind gentle man through it all. Your mom was blessed to have you there take peace in knowing she knew and she's free.
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