It’s been a long 8 year road with cancer for her and we’re at the end now. She’s been in hospice for about 6 weeks. This morning I got a call from the caregiver saying I should come right away, and then the hospice nurse came and said it will just be a matter of hours now so I sat in a chair by her bed and watched her breathe for 9 or 10 hours.
I finally decided maybe she wanted some privacy so I came home to sit and stare at the internet for a while and wait for another call or for morning when I’ll go back and sit with her again, whichever comes first.
This is the most awful thing, how do people get through this?
I just went through this with my dad though it was a much shorter time with me. It was a difficult experience. Not only did I have to deal with Dad being in the hospital but I also had to care for my disabled stepmom. Fortunately, I had a couple family members that came to town to help out however they could. Dad was released from the hospital to come home in a hospice situation where he could at least be with my stepmom. He lasted two and a half weeks until he passed away. Now, my stepmom is in a nursing home and the house is a lot emptier than it once was.
You’ll get through it – one day at a time. It was the only way I could do it. It’s cliched but true. I hope you make it through.
We were lucky - or not depending on your viewpoint. When Muvver (my MIL) was at that point we were there as she passed. In fact my wife asked the hospice lady if this was it and she said probably not – there is often a false stop in patients like her. My wife replied that she didn’t think so and she ended up being right.
Like the other poster said, you get through it like you have the past 8 years; one day at a time. At first you have a lot of anger and grief and lots of other emotions to numb some of the pain and with luck as it wears away other things come along to help you along. Friends you never knew you had and resources you never considered. But you survive and move along because in the end that’s the best memory or tribute you can offer the person you lost. To remember what they taught you and pass it on to others. And share the memory of a life lived.
My prayers and best wishes to you.
I am so sorry. No matter how long you know something is going to happen, it’s still a shock when it actually does. I’ve “helped” three members of my family die and having been in a weeks long coma myself at one time, and remembering some of the conversations that went on around me, I was able to talk to my stepfather as he was slipping away. Just in case he could hear me I explained to him what was going on in case he was bewildered, and talked about the past…people, situations that had seemed important and some things that were just silly…I just touched him—hands, arms, face, rubbed his feet—and talked. Not constantly of course. But I kept a reasonable connection going. I don’t know if he heard or felt me but after he died I felt peace. I had done what I could and there was no unfinished business between us. Maybe some form of that could make you feel better, too.
Hugs in your time of need.
It’s been nearly a year and a half since Pops passed due to complications with COPD. At the end, he was in a coma in the hospital for five days. The passage of time makes it seem a little unreal now, but back then, all I wanted was for him to pass soon so his suffering would end.
All I can say is you do get through it. If not one day at a time, then one hour or even one minute at a time. But you do get through it.
Don’t be reluctant to accept support from those who offer it. You don’t have to go through this alone. Friends, family, hospital staff and others can help out in different ways. My family isn’t religious, but I contacted the hospital chaplain and had her come in a few times. I don’t know about my siblings who were there, but to me, she was a comfort.
And if you need to, don’t be afraid to cry when the urge strikes. It may be now or a week or a month from now but a good cry over the loss of a loved one never hurt anyone and it will probably help clear out some emotional cobwebs as well.
You’ll be in my thoughts. I wish both you and your Mom peace.
moejoe, I’m so sorry about your mom. I went through the same thing with my grandmother. I don’t have much advice, though. I got through it because there wasn’t any other choice. I also went through it with my SO’s mom.
It’s such a weird feeling of limbo. Being on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I didn’t want to lose them, but I also wanted it to be over for everyone’s sakes. I felt so guilty wishing them dead.
Such a difficult situation.
I’m sorry to hear your news. I too have experience with this and know how difficult it can be. I kept telling myself, “She’ll go when she’s ready, when the moment is right for her. Maybe she’s still working stuff out.” Ten excruciatingly long weeks of being told, this won’t go on for long! And when the end came, I swear, I could hear my own words ringing in my ears. “It must have been the right moment!”
Sending condolences, wishing you peace.
To me the only comfort is the realization that everybody goes through it. Neither you nor Mom are being singled out here. We’re not all going at once, so yes, you’re being singled out today. Or whichever day it eventually is. But we all get to play both your role and hers.
Where you both are just now sucks, and sucks massively. And you’ll hurt a bunch for a long time. But oddly enough, no matter how bad it feels, you keep eating, sleeping, and breathing. Those things just don’t quit happening. So neither do you.
You’ll make it out the other end, trust me. You can’t not. Not fun, but just another part of the game.
It is awful and I’m sorry you have to go through this. We (me, my brothers, my mother) went through this last fall with my father. He came home under hospice care in mid/late August and he died October 7. All of us were there when he went. The hardest part was the waiting, and knowing what was coming, and hoping that he wasn’t hurting.
When it happened, of course it was expected, and yet it was still very sudden. Knowing it was coming didn’t make it hurt any less, but knowing that we made it as comfortable for him as possible eased that, at least some.
Thanks so much everyone. She passed away Saturday morning and I’m glad I was with her when she left. This part is hard but also so much easier than what we’ve been dealing with for the last 6 weeks.
I know it’s just posts on a message board, but the things you all said here really did help.
I’m sorry you’re going through all this. But thanks for coming back to share your news with us.
As trite as it sounds, from here on out it only gets better. It sure won’t feel that way for a month or so, but trust us. Better times are ahead.
Good wishes and god luck.
Good wishes from here as well. And as I usually say, I celebrate a life well lived that crossed my path.
moejoe, I will remember your family in prayer tonight. May the memory of your mother be blessed.