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Everyone speaks of the the day that someone close to them died in a general overview. Their memories of that person and their sense of loss but I’ve always been interested in the details. When the dust settled did you sit and stare at the wall, sleep for 20 hours, go for a drive, play with the dog or go out to eat with friends? What got you through the rest of the day? What got you out of bed the next?

My father passed away in January after being placed on hospice care 2 months prior in our home. The hospice never sent a priest out to give him the anointing of the sick like they told my dad they would. I never saw a social worker and we saw a nurse occasionally unless I called for something. They did come clean him every other day though. 

My dad had a mini stroke in November and after was on Home health care for physical therapy, a nurse and occupational therapy. They were all able to get him up walking talking he seemed fine. The doctor came in a week later and said that since he refuses the hospital she wanted to put him on in home hospice care and we could leave it at any time. Since my brother had such a great Experience with the hospice he had before he passed many years prior we thought it would be a good idea. My dad refused the hospital and usually the paramedics wouldn’t take him because he could answer all of their cognitive questions even when he had a mini stroke. 

My dad passed January 14,2018 and he woke up that morning feeling sick and vomiting. I called the 24 hr emergency line 6 times between 7:45 am and 2:34 pm when he passed and a nurse never showed up. We were told over the phone only to give him Ativan and morphine which he refused saying he wasn’t in any pain he wasn’t taking that. They never told us why we should give him that nor that he was actively dying and I was never given the signs of end of life. 

My fathers passing was very traumatic. He was sitting up and went unconscious but still had a pulse. As soon as he went unconscious brown fluid poured out of his mouth and nose continuously. My mother, my 16 year old daughter and I were all yelling his name and freaking out. I finally sat next to him grabbed his hand and said daddy with tears pouring down my face. At this point the fluid stopped as did his heartbeat and his head laid over on my shoulder. The nurse arrived 5 minutes after he passed. Hospice failed my dad and they failed our family. They weren’t there when we needed them most. If I would have only known he was dying I would have laid with him and comforted him, right before all this happened I was upstairs making him his favorite banana pudding thinking it would make him feel better. One of my brothers and one of my sisters asked me to have them wait to take dad to the mortuary until they got there. He passed in my home as he lived with me and I took care of him. I sat in the basement with my fathers body after he passed for over an hour waiting for my siblings to get there. It was so hard but I couldn’t leave him. 

I still attend grief counseling but my grief will never get better better because I am so angry about that day and the events that took place. No matter how much I try that anger won’t leave. I miss him so much. He was my best friend and my protector. Life will never be the same without him in it. I don’t know how to go on.
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Reply to Novallentjsmom
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My sweet mom died on July 15,2018 after a long 5 year bout of Alzehemiers and UTI’s and pneumonia she was 81....and many other health problems ,,she went to the hospital..the hospital i work at im a RN and she always went there becaus my sister who died 5 years ago was also a RN and we worked at the same hospital.she came to my hospital when she was sick so I could watch her and work . Well she came in with the usual UTI an was alert and talking all was going well , the next day after her admit she said “ The only way I’m leaving here is in a box I said what do you mean ? She said I’m going to die and I don’t t want to....I said Mom that’s silly ..well that night she developed a high temp and fast respirations .. she was put on bipap ..and lots of iv antibiotics ...well after 2 days we had to stop the bipap ..it was just to much ..I made her hospice....I was lucky because the Dr who has been her dr all 5 years stayed and was her hospice doctor ..he is the medical director of the hospital so he let her stay at my hospital..rather than move her to another facility..he said to me “ she is like my mother and I will treat her the same she will stay here “ she had a private room on my sister’s unit where she worked ..so it was rough and bittersweet ...I stayed with Mom for 30 hours never left her side ..my niece and nephew came and a few other famil members ..we had her blessed by a priest and she was given morphine and Ativan every hour with a morphine drip ..she was at peace ..I went home one night and came back at 0430 and her breathing was coarse so I stayed ..I think she needed time to figure out in her mind that she was going to pass away and that time alone she decided ,,but hospice was amazing..she died that afternoon at 1720 on July 15,2018 ..my friend pronounced her that works in SICU ....and my niece and I started and told her we loved her and we will miss her but no more pain ...we really never left her side , someone was always there out of my niece , nephew and I ... all through our stay with her we played her fav songs. Prayed , told her we loved her , she loved The Divine Chaplet of Mercy song by Sister Faustina..from EWTN with the 3 singers ...and my niece and nephew who are Jewsh read the kiddish in Hebrew and barbara Streisand the mourners prayer ..and we played ove the rainbow the one with the man singing and ukulele ..we reminisced and kissed her held her hands told her we loved her over and over , ,she had a tear in her eye and it made me cry ..it went down her face ,, but she passed away peacefully and we loved her ..my life is shattered I loved her so much ...best mom ever ,,I was so lucky to have her , now she is with my sister Lynn who passed away suddenly 5 years ago of a heart attack. God Bless you all who have lost a loved one ..it’s so painful ,,I stilll cry for her and go in her empty room and miss her ,,,I can’t seem to do anything with her clothes or anything yet. Love to you all and sorry it’s so long
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Reply to ohmeowzer
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I have another experience which was an unexpected death. My uncle, my moms twin brother, had a massive heart attack. She had flown down to visit us for a few days and the day she went home, she was walking down my hall with her suitcase while I held the front door open because it was time to go the airport, when my dad called her & said my uncle had a heart attack & he was on the way to meet my uncles wife at the hospital. My uncle had been driving somewhere when he had the heart attack and his car rolled into a parked car. A police officer went to his house & notified his wife. I remember my mom being panicked and asking my dad if he was still going to pick her up at the airport. The airport is a 50 minute drive from here. My brother and cousin went to the hospital & The whole way there, my brother kept calling with updates. Being a retired nurse, my mom knew that it wasn’t good when my brother said that a nurse came out and asked my cousin if he wanted them to keep working on my uncle. I told mom she should call my uncles 2 daughters/her nieces that still lived here at the time. She called one who said she could call her sister. She called my aunt/her sister but she wasn’t home so she asked my uncle to tell her to call her when she got home. Left my mom at the airport and drove home in tears. I was shocked. My uncle had no known heart issues. He was an avid golfer, he might have headed out to play when he had the heart attack. Anyway, spoke to my mom that night and she said that afterworkojg on him for almost an hour, they did get my uncles heart beating again. We didn’t know how long it had been from the time he had the heart attack to when he was found. She she said that as soon as she walked in the room, she knew he was gone. He was hooked up to machines. He didn’t look like himself. His daughters drove up that night & his other son flew in from back east the next day. Over the next 3 days, they performed a lot of tests and made his body very cold, it was some sort of attempt to bring him back. Then they warmed him up again and checked his brain function and there was nothing. His liver was donated to a cousin with a bad liver. And then the plug was pulled. His wife, children and my parents were there & said goodbye. I wasn’t there yet so I don’t know what happened the rest of the day or the next few days other than funeral arrangements. I think the heart attack happened on Monday afternoon. I flew out the following Sunday night and the funeral was the following day. We were all pretty shocked, nobody expected this at all.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Mom died almost exactly a year ago; she had been declining at her NH, very slowly, but a fall in the bathroom, with an aide present precipitated a very steep decline. We called in Hospice on Wednesday afternoon; by Friday mid-day, it was clear that she would die sometime in the following 24 hours. My SIL and I started playing mom's favorite music (opera, American Songbook, musicals) and her breathing slowed. She died quite peacefully at about 2.30 PM. SIL and I cried, hugged and then enthusiastically "high fived" each other (at the time, it seemed like an accomplishment that we'd gotten her to the end of her journey--hard to explain). My brother came back from his errand; he called the FH.

I made a couple of phone calls-first to my daughter who was scheduled to fly to Europe later that day and to my other kids and my husband; and a cousin who notified the rest of the family.

We immediately emptied mom's closet, decided which things to donate/discard. Kept a few sentimental things for the kids. Brother disconnected mom's TV. We loaded the one piece of furniture into the car; FH came.

We went out to dinner and then for ice cream.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Riverdale Aug 21, 2018
As usual your reply was so organized. I can only hope for a similar situation. This site and people like you are so helpful. However sometimes I find myself having anxiety attacks reading about other situations. I feel for them and wonder if I will face those problems in the future. I am on medication, receive therapy but just can't always stop worrying about the future and how it will be with my mother.
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Oh goodness I just had this very conversation yesterday as Its the season & flurry of back to school / end of summer activity as when she died. That day I was in “mom chauffeur” mode & in the waiting room of the ophthalmologist as our son was 1st pt of the day & getting his eyes dilated when the NH SW called to tell me abt 8:30AM that mom died. I said something like thank goodness she’s moved to her beyond. I was ready for that eventuality and did meditation / mantra and was able to be prepared & clear for rest of that day. Next stop was pedi cardiologist and in that waiting room I got other NH & FH calls. Mom had a preneed but FH guy (like 3 calls) tried to do all sorts of add ons..... yeah sure not happening. NH calls were more logistics abt furniture, personal stuff. Lots of eyerolls from others in the waiting room.... At lunch with hubs, I told him & son that mom had died and we ordered a carrot cake (her fave) and left it untouched in her honor. Took a Foto of it and sent email off with a message of her death to a handful of family & friends. Next day was dealing with last minutia of back to school, laundry, running my biz, being a wife and mom, just as it is today. I try not to dwell in the past, pretty unsentimental; meditation/ mantra sets my day.

No drama in her death, her eventuality.

My mom was NH hospice for year & 1/2 & had been living in the NH when she fell and onto hospice. 18mo hospice with a few lucid rally’s then TIAs. Last 4 mos was like watching self-mummification. Her petite body got smaller & smaller, weighed like 58 lbs at death. Last few mos she was in the 1920’s / 1930s as she thought I was her Aunt Meche, who lived with them off & on in the late 20’s and died before the war. I assume this was her period of life she was the happiest.

Haven’t had carrot cake since that day.
But now that Gremlin has brought this memory up, I’ll do a carrot cake and take over to one of the Day of the Dead altars in Oct in her honor.
So thanks for your ?, Grem!
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Reply to igloo572
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Gremlin,

Worried gave you a very detailed and similar experience to mine.

Some loved ones death are harder to deal with than others. Unexpected deaths are harder for me to deal with. For me those are the ones that are a big blur. Those are the ones that have hit me like a ton of bricks about 6 months later.

Loved Ones deaths are always hard. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to feel anything other than what you may feel at any given time.

Yes, there are a lot of details to be taken care of. If you are the one that these responsibilities fall to that will take up most of your time. Possibly for months following the death. I was just numb, like a robot, doing my job. Months later when the last I was dotted and t crossed that’s when I normally felt all of the emotions.
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Reply to lizzywho61
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I did do a lot of staring at the wall. We well knew it was coming but it was shocking anyway. I did loads of crying in the shower. Mostly what got me through was being with my family and going to a mental place of just powering through it. It’s amazing how much of that time is a blur now
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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My MIL recently passed. She’s the first loved one that I went through this with. (Have lost other family members but wasn’t part of it or involved). Anyway my husband got the call around 7:30am on a Friday morning. She passed at home, on hospice. The kids had 3.5 days of school left and that morning, we had planned to attend our sons kindergartner performance & family picnic. My husband went to MILs. I took the kids to school & went to MILs. She was in the living room in the hospital bed covered up. I got there at the same time as the nurse who was sent to pronounce her. We both walked in, my husband and SIL were sitting on the edge of the bed. The nurse checked her pulse & listened for a heartbeat and then typed some stuff on her laptop, gave her condolences and left. And then we all just sat. And waited. MILs partner was in another room making phone calls, talking very loudly. He called the mortuary, one of his sons & MILs former coworker that visited her while she was sick. MILs SIL arrived at around 9:15am. She came in, walked over to her, pulled the sheet back, kissed her and sobbed loudly. My SIL moved over to her and they both hugged MIL & cried. MILs brother arrived shortly after. My husband & I left around 10am for our sons kinder performance. It was so hard to stand and watch the show and then the video the teachers had compiled full of pictures they took of the kids all year. Because MIL should have been there. When my daughter completed kindergarten, my MIL came to her end of year performance. So that was really difficult. We left when it was over skipped the picnic and went back to MILs house. My BIL arrived around 11am. mostly we all sat around the room, stunned. Grieving. MILs brother led us in a prayer at one point. We looked through an photo album that MILs partner was giving to her SIL trying to figure out who the people in the pictures were. When the mortuary arrived at noon, there were more loud sobs & one last hug. I didn’t hug her. I was going to hug her when I got there but when the time came, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to see her face & have it be my last memory. I was also afraid she was already cold and stiff. So the guys from the mortuary came in with a stretcher and MIL was transferred from the bed to the stretcher & wheeled to the mortuary van in the garage. They left & we looked through the albums a little more. We left around 1pm. I called my mom to give her the sad news. Picked up the kids at school at 2:40. It was a normal afternoon. We took the kids to the park around 5pm and that’s where we told them their grandma had passed away. Went home & it was a regular night for all of us, we all stayed home with our own families. The next day, my husband & siblings met with the mortuary to set the date for the service & they went to the cemetery to see her plot & get headstone info. They went to a florist to order flowers for the casket. Sunday afternoon, we BBQ’d and BIL and SIL and their families came over & we went through 2 trunks of photos and mementos she had kept, distributing things, reliving memories, learning things about her we didn’t know-no one knew how sentimental she was. She kept everything-every card and picture we had ever given her. We all thought she threw them away! Even love notes from her ex husband! We picked out pictures for the slide show. Her services were set for Wednesday & Thursday and we spent the days leading up to them preparing for the services. It was very surreal, planning an event in the midst of tragedy!! Somehow we got through it though. I don’t think we ever just sat around doing nothing, we had a lot to do before the funeral so.....we cried and mourned while working on her services. We all have young children and there was a funeral to plan so we didn’t have a choice. We had to get out of bed and continue on with life even though I think we all wanted to lay in bed and cry that first day without her.
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