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Squelchie 02-21-2007 02:27 PM

Question about when someone actually dies....
My Mom is currently under the care of hospice and it's only a matter of time before she passes on.

This is my very first experience with the death of someone that I really love. I've never watched someone actually take their last breath before.

Has anyone ever seen someone NOT go peacefully?? From what I've read on this board and in the books that I've one ever reports someone dying fighting it or anything less than peaceful.

I'm very torn as to if I want to actually be there when my Mom takes her last breath. I'm pretty sure that's very selfish of me since she was there for my first breath. It's just that I'm scared to death and I don't know what to expect.

Could someone please help??


TANKG!RL 02-21-2007 02:57 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
[I][B][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"][SIZE="4"]Dear Squelchie,

First I would like to say that I am sorry for what you're going through. It's very hard to lose people you love so dearly. Although I haven't witnessed anyones last breathe I have had a few close family members pass. My mother and father were their for my grandpa when he took his last breathe. He suffered from Lung cancer, so unfortunetly it wasn't a painless death. My mom said that when he finally let go, everything just felt calm and quiet, kind of a sigh of releaf came over her she said. She told me when she watched him suffer for so long and finally watched it all go away it was peaceful. She said it's a hard thing to explain to someone but the feeling of knowing they aren't suffering or struggling to stay alive anymore, can be very peaceful.
I was torn apart when my grandpa passed. I had spent everyday with him up until I was 17(that was the year he passed, 9/19/01). It was very hard and is still very hard for me to get over him not being there anymore. It's hard to go through High School graduation and then for him to not be there or for him to not be there for my wedding.
I was a Paulbarrer (sp ?) for his funeral and at the burial there was a 21 gun salute (my father and his 2 brothers we're part of this all ex-military). My father saved both of us girls (my sis and I) a bullet shell that he had shot off. I keep it with me everyday and it helps me get through the tough times. I feel like part of him will always be with me.
If you have something from your mother have it turned into a necklace. bracelet or a keychain for memories and good luck. It has helped me out big time during crisises.
The other thing that helps me is to remember that they are watching out for you.

I wish you Good Luck [/SIZE]:)[/FONT][/COLOR][/B][/I]

Seraph 02-22-2007 11:08 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
I am sorry to hear about your mother. Hospices are wonderful for easing the way both for patients and family. My younger brother died last year in a hospice (he was 45) and the staff and the surroundings made it a peaceful and serene time for all of us. The care and pain management made all the difference, and my brother just passed peacefully between one breath and the next during a period of sleep. The nurses bathed him and made up his bed and then we were able to sit with him for as long as we needed, to say our last goodbyes. I know at the end he was free of pain and worry, even if it was only the drugs he was on. Have courage, and cherish every possible moment you can have with your mother.

robinbird 02-23-2007 02:12 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
I am also sorry about your mom.

I was there when my mom passed last September and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I have many regrets over the last six months of her life and thankfully that isn't one of them. To me I couldn't abandon her when she needed me most, even if she didn't really know I was there. She was my best friend and I just couldn't leave her when the time came. It is a personal choice and you will do what is best for you.

The death experience is different for everyone but most of the time it is peaceful, especially when it is expected and hospice is helping. I know it's terrifying but you will know when the time comes what to do. You will surprise yourself at how strong you can be, I know I did.

We are here for you.


campmom 02-23-2007 10:31 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....

My mom had cancer and was staying in my home under the care of Hospice. She died three weeks ago on 1/30/07. She was surrounded by her family as she took her final breath. I had always dreaded the moment when she would actually leave me but there was such a peace in the room at the moment she passed. She had suffered so much. The hardest part has been after the funeral. We miss her soooo much!! It is still hard to believe that she is gone. I do not regret being with her when she died. She has always been there for me. I had been with her every step of the way during her cancer and I was not about to desert her when she died. I bathed her after she died, which meant a lot to me. We stayed with her for a couple of hours and had prayer and time to just take in what had happened. It was an experience I will never forget. I love her so much and I am glad was there for her at the end. You will be too. I am so sorry you are going through this. I have lost two babies, which was hard and losing my mom has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. She was my mom, friend, and confidant. I will miss her forever.


ozzybug 02-24-2007 02:18 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
I want to join everyone else in telling you how sorry I am that your mom is ill. I know this is such a hard time for you and that you are struggling with a choice that is hard for anyone to make. As the others have said, being with a loved one when they pass away is a personal choice that only you can make. I too know that when the time comes, you will know in your heart where you need to be- whether it's by her side, or somewhere close by.

I'm sure that her passing will be peaceful since she is receiving care from hospice, so when the time comes, it will be peaceful for her. If you are able to be with her, then know that even if she is not fully conscious, she will feel your presence. She will know that she has loved ones with her.

I also want you to know that when it is time for her to go, it's ok to let her know it's ok to let go. You can speak softly to her, hold her hand and let her know it's ok. My cousin died of cancer, and during her last moments, she told my aunt that she felt guilty for wanting to go. She told her that she felt like she was being greedy for not wanting to suffer any more. My aunt told her that she wasn't being selfish at all, and that it was totally fine for her to want to be at peace. She told her it's ok to let go. Very shortly after that, my cousin became very peaceful and then she smiled and passed away.

Just know that you have to do what you know in your heart is right. I'm sending thoughts of comfort and peace your way. Take care and know that even when your mom passes, she will always be with you.

sally12 02-26-2007 08:27 AM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
Hi so sorry about your mum being sick i think everybody else is right it is a personal decision and one only you can make if you will be with her. My mum died in her room one morning on her own she was in bed and got a anurism in the heart it was not nice to see my mum that way but i will allways be glad i went in to see her before they took her away my sisters did not want me to go in as it was very hard to see "me being the baby of the family" they trying to look out for me but i will allways be glad that i went in for i know now a year later that i would be asking the questions What did she look like etc. as i do always wonder what was she thinking in those last few minutes . I hope this is of some help to you and am very sorry about your mum. Sorry i am not very good at talking about it but if i had the option to be with my mum when she did pass away i would have liked to have been with her.

Isobella 02-26-2007 06:13 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][/FONT]
I'm very sorry to hear about your mother's illness - it must be a very hard time for you. I was with my father when her died and it was totally peaceful and in no way frightening or upsetting. We knew it was getting near the end when his breathing changed. Eventually he just took a couple of breaths that were slower than before, then no more ... and that was it. I had never seen anyone die before and was really quite surprised that it was so undramatic and natural, but overwhelmingly relieved that it was so simple and peaceful. With all the drugs that are available now it is very likely that your mother's death will be peaceful, not painful or frightening. It is of course your decision, but for me I'm so glad I was there when my dad died.

Darlene-CA 02-26-2007 09:57 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
Hi, I'm also very sorry about your Mom. I lost my Mom 3 weeks ago after an 8 day roller coaster of a hospital stay. At this point I don't even know what really happened, but regarding the actual death process, I will tell you that I never in a million years would have expected to be able to handle being there. However, the day my Mom died, she had fallen into an unaware state. Maybe the morphine?? not sure, but I knew deep inside the time was near and I whispered to her gently that I wasn't going to leave her. My brother and I just sat with her and listened to her breathing. It just gradually began to slow down until it just stopped. It was very, very peaceful, amazingly peaceful. She had suffered tremendously her last 8 days. This has been the absolute worst nightmare. I live it over and over again, all 8 days, all day, every day. I miss her so much, it actually gets worse every day. Anyway, I feel for you, when the time comes you will just know what to do. Just follow your heart. I am so very happy I was with my Mom, I know she felt us there, and I would also always wonder..........take care......

B143C 02-27-2007 10:42 AM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
My grandfather passed away about ten years ago. The day before he passed away, the only people in the room were my mom and aunt. My mom and aunt both swear it was the closest she'd ever felt to God, almost tranquil and happy at the same time. My grandpa had been very sick for a long time. He was so happy that day. He was singing I'll fly Away . . .his favorite song, and talking about Heaven. He had been telling us for weeks that he was ready to go home, he had even been seeing his mom and telling us how beautiful the angels were. The day he died, he just went to sleep, my uncle came in and told him " It's ok, daddy. Go on home." and then he shut his eyes and just went to sleep.

Be strong yet not afraid to cry - God tells us that blessed are those who grieve for they will be comforted. I think I speak for all of us here, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

kerplunk7 03-01-2007 12:38 AM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
When my dad died from Lung cancer, it was...pretty horrifying, to be completely honest with you. I was only 14, getting ready for school, when the Hospice lady came in to tell me and my mom that "it was time." I was there when it wasnt exactly "peaceful", he didn't just close his eyes and go to sleep...he was pretty out of it (no doubt from all the drugs) and his eyes were closed, but he experienced, what i think of as, gasping for air...It was so...sorry. Its really hard for me to even think about it.

Be not afraid of what lies ahead; walk forward with your head held high.

Squelchie 03-01-2007 12:59 AM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
First of all, thank you all for sharing your stories and thoughts with me. Also, thank you for all of the support and encouragement.

Just to update everyone - my Mom did pass away Feb. 22, 2007 at 10:25 pm. When my Dad and Aunt called and told me that they thought I should get on the road (they live 2 hours away) to be with Mom possibly for the last time....NOTHING could have stopped me from being there. All the fear that I had vanished and all of my concern was directed towards my Mom.

When I arrived at the hospice facility where she was staying...I walked into her room and instantly could tell that this was going to be it. Her breathing was short and it seemed like she was really trying to breathe because I could see her shoulders and chest work hard for every breath.

I read somewhere that when a person is dying that their hearing is the last thing to go. So, I went over to my Mom....told her that I was there and that I loved her, etc. She whimpered a little bit so I know that she was aware that I was there.

Finally after several hours of the "hard breathing"; her breathing started to slow down as if she were finally relaxed. Each breath became further and further apart and then she peacefully took one last breath and then she was gone.

I am SO glad that I was there to witness her death. It has brought tremendous peace to me. I'm very sad that she's "gone" but she'll always be a part of me and live in my heart. I also know that I will see her again one day and that's the greatest hope of all.


ozzybug 03-01-2007 03:15 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
I am so glad you were able to speak with your mom before she passed away, and am glad you were able to be with her when her time came. I know she could feel the love of her family all around her, and that was probably very comforting for her during her last hours.

Please know that I'm sending thoughts for strenght, comfort & peace your way. Take care and know that your mom will always remain with you in spirit, heart and memory. Those we love the most never truly leave us.

sally12 03-05-2007 04:20 AM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
So sorry about your mum my heart breaks for you, glad you were with her in the end stay strong and look after yourself.

Squelchie 03-05-2007 06:29 PM

Re: Question about when someone actually dies....
Sally -

Thank you for your kind words and sympathy. Some days are better than others but I know that I will get through this. Take care!


So sorry about your mum my heart breaks for you, glad you were with her in the end stay strong and look after yourself.[/QUOTE]

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