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Not so normal stages of dying?

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Old 06-23-2009, 07:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2009
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boyceptc HB User
Not so normal stages of dying?

I am new to this forum and hope someone can help.

My dad passed away a little over a year ago. He was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in 2005 and fought hard for 2 1/2 years. when it was obvious he would not rebound a last time, we took him home from the hospital on hospice. Up until that point he was eating like a horse. Almost too much. He was unable to walk and stopped talking about 3 months before. But he was coherent and being fed by one of us seemed to make him happy.

I think he lasted so long because he didn't stop eating like most cancer patients. When he stopped eating those last few days, i knew the end was near.

I could tell he knew we were in the room. I know he was happy to be at home. We had him set up in a hospital bed in the family room. occasionally he would open his eyes and look at us.

On day 4 of this the 'breath of death' started. It was awful to listen to. As the evening went on it got louder and he seemed to get more agitated.

About 10:30pm I knew something was different so I called my mother into the room and told her it was time to let him go and she needed to tell him it was ok now. My sister, mom, my husband and myself surrounded him and prayed and talked to him. He started to thrash his head back and forth like a struggle was happening. It was so hard to watch. THe breathing noises became even louder. Suddenly I saw a tear come out of his eye and stream down his face. Then his eyes opened and he looked over my shoulder. He had beautiful light blue eyes, but the looked clouded over. He mouthed the word "Bob" a few times. Then the breathing noises stopped and we watched him take his last few breaths silently.

It was then that I watched his face go from bright red to pale. His heart had stopped and the blood drained from his head.

It was all so surreal. I still have not recovered from it.

I was expecting him to start to have more shallow breathing and start to turn bluish as his temperature went down. Then he would go peacefully.

THe opposite happened. His temperature was 103 when he died. He steadily went up all day. He fought it every minute he could.

I haven't heard much about others experiencing similar situations and that bothers me. I wish I could say he died peacefully, but I cannot. what I saw was not peaceful nor easy for him.

Can anyone out there help?

Oh, the word "Bob" he mouthed a few times......... His brother Bob passed away 2 years before and my dad was there with him and they were very close. i can only hope uncle Bob came to welcome him home.

Blessings to all.

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Old 06-23-2009, 11:28 AM   #2
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Re: Not so normal stages of dying?

Hi there, my mom passed in 2005 from small cell lung cancer and the same type of thing was going on. With the death rattle and we were standing by her bad-she was not thrashing however. She did lift her head a bit and appeared to be looking over and away from us. I told her it was time mom, you are so tired and you are so strong & I will love you always-she was sqeezing my hand she was holding and then went as peacefully as one can at the end. I felt her leave her body. There really isn't a normal way of dying it would depend on what organs were shutting down first and if he was unconcious or coherant. It is a natural human thing to hang on to life and not want to let go however there is something who has much more power than any of us do no matter how bad bad we want to stay. This is just my theory. It is easy to say try not to rehash the picture of your dad's last breathes, but I did this with my mom-I just couldn't allow the image to go away. It has been almost 4 years and every once in a while I still get that vision and I hate it. Sometimes for reason's we have no answer's for we just can't help ourselves. To me what you are doing is natural but other's can snap out of it like right now. I have done that before too, but not with my mom, we were too close-it was hard-it is still hard. Take care

Last edited by ebrena; 06-23-2009 at 11:31 AM. Reason: added missed word

Old 06-23-2009, 12:03 PM   #3
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caringsister54 HB Usercaringsister54 HB Usercaringsister54 HB Usercaringsister54 HB Usercaringsister54 HB User
Re: Not so normal stages of dying?

My husband died in my living room in April of 2005.

He had just been released from the hospital after suffering a minor heart attack. He was there for 11 days. He was in the throes of progressive kidney failure and had high blood pressure and diabetes.

We got home from the hospital. We stopped to pick up sandwiches and we ate lunch. he got up and slowly, very slowly, climbed up the stairs to the bathroom which I think preceipitated another heart attack.

he came down and was on the phone, getting and making calls. he received a call from my son and was on the phone with him when in the middle of a sentence, he sat backward in his recliner, arms fell to the sides, phone fell to the floor and he went to heaven. Running over, I looked into his face and realized he was gone -- that quickly.

Just like the Ever-Ready bunny whose batteries were pulled out. It was that quick. he didn't clutch his chest, he didn't heave in breathing. Nothing, just a peaceful fall backward into his chair and he was gone.

I still cry over this loss

Old 09-16-2009, 08:28 PM   #4
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pauliebud HB User
Re: Not so normal stages of dying?

I"ll be praying for you. You know he's in a better place. What a way to go. at least he heard his kids voice before he went home. God will give you guys the strength and grace to get through this. just lean on him. ask him.
I'm close to my end. i definitely would love to leave this world hearing his voice. Take care of each other through this. I'm sure thats what he would want. I want my family to remember me, every now and then, and just smile and laugh about all our memories.

Old 10-20-2009, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: Not so normal stages of dying?

we lost our stepfather walter in 2004 at age 79. he had CA of the lung due to exposure to asbestos while serving in the merchant marine services. it spred thru his whole body to the brain. he died after he suffered a seizure and fell form his front porch to the concrete sidewalk. my mom let him lay on a vent for a week,prayed, then let him go. it was sad,very sad, but far worse if she had let the greedy bastards at that hospital collect one more red cent from his estate.

Old 10-21-2009, 07:12 AM   #6
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Re: Not so normal stages of dying?

Originally Posted by pauliebud View Post
I'm close to my end. i definitely would love to leave this world hearing his voice. Take care of each other through this. I'm sure thats what he would want. I want my family to remember me, every now and then, and just smile and laugh about all our memories.
If your statement "I'm clsoe to my end" means what I think it means, I can only say that the book 90 Minutes in Heaven helped me know what heaven was like and it also validated what signs and statements my dad sent me from there.

I am a believer that when you are in heaven you still have some ability to come to those that love you when they call on you. You are not their guardian angel as they've been assigned one at their birth but you can provide that guardian with input every now and then.

BUT the one thing I wish I had was a hand-written letter from my Mikey telling him how he felt about meeting me, marrying me, having a life with me and his feelings about our children and what he wants them to remember and know.

I long, crave, cry-over, prayed over, etc the desire to find such a card or letter! but alas it wasn't to be. I cried because I recently found music CD's e burned for other guys and tried my best to get them into the hands of the people they were meant for but he didn't do a CD for me! I was hurt.

But I did get a letter from his co-worker a short-time after his death and in it he wrote about a time when Mikey was complaining about having to do something for me and when they said "well, why do it" he wrote that Mikey looked up at the ceiling a long time, then turned and looked them all in the eyes and said "because I love her". Oh God, I read that letter over and over and over. I crave so much to know and hear that because in his illness -- his frustrations -- all were sometimes directed at me. the anger about why it was happening to him, etc. Were all on me, at me.

He only now knows of the many times I got out of bed and went down to my basement and stuffed a towel in my mouth while standing in an area where the sound wouldn't travel upstairs and cry my heart out. Silently shouting to God about what he wanted me to pray for. Silently alternating between asking for a cure for Mikey and other times asking for his pain to end.

So dear friend. Take moments to write and leave little cards or notes where they'll find them afterwards. It will be stuff they will treasure forever.

Write to me and let me know how you are doing. I tried to send you a private message but for some reason you don't have the ability to get anyting.
Diane (aka CaringSister54)

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