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Caring for a Dying Parent In Their Last Days – a Personal Story

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This is a personal story about caring for a dying parent. The death of a parent is inevitable, but we don’t talk about it. So let’s do that. Let’s talk about it.

My name is Sher Bailey and I’m going to share with you what it feels like to care for a dying parent at the end of their life. This will be a painful post to write, and it may be painful for you to read.  But it’s an important conversation to have with yourself before it happens. If you’ve already lost a parent, I encourage you to read on and share your personal experiences if you’d like.

Caring for a Dying Parent In Their Last Days - a Personal Story

Caring for a Dying Parent In Their Last Days

There is no guidebook here. There are no rules a dying parent has to abide by, and none for you either. Death is a very personal experience between the dying and their loved ones. This is my personal experience. I hope you can take something from it that will help when you walk this path.

Before I begin, I want you to know the last thing my mother said to me as she was moving from consciousness to unconsciousness. “I wish I’d been happier.”

Without question, those 5 words are some of the most painful, life-changing things anyone has ever said to me. I hope you’ll remember them, as I do, and take whatever action you need to take in your own life so that they won’t be your last.

Their death process is your experience, too.

Your parent is dying, but as you walk with them you’ll realize it’s almost as much about you as about them. Your parents brought you into this life and so as they leave it, you will undergo a change that gets to the very core of who you are. Be attentive. Listen to their stories. Commit their words to heart.

There will be things your parent says or does during this time that will come out of nowhere and break your heart. It could be a sweet story they remember, or it could be something completely honest and raw, like my Mother’s words. The filters we all try to have as we walk through life don’t matter to the dying. If you’re afraid you’ll forget, write them down.

You become the parent, and they the child.

I took care of her, changed her, bathed her, fed her. I stroked her forehead and calmed her anxiety. I gave her medicine and held bottles of water while she sipped.

The circle of life is never more evident as when you become the one your dying parent looks to for comfort. When they are afraid, you are there to comfort them. You’ll say a lot of things you’re not sure about, but you do the best you can. You can’t get this wrong if your choices come from a place of love.

You’ll find yourself watching them as they sleep.

Mother slept while I sat at her bedside. She liked knowing I was there, I could tell by the look in her eyes. Honestly, I was afraid to move for fear she’d wake up. It was as though I was back at my daughter’s crib in that respect.

Watching her chest move up and down was comforting to me. I wouldn’t have been anywhere else.

Their confusion will be hard.

There were strong meds which caused her confusion, but it was more than that. Mother’s mind was elsewhere. Sometimes she knew where she was, and others she didn’t. I went wherever her mind went. If she was in a garden, I went with her there. If she was talking to my brother who hadn’t yet arrived, I confirmed to her that he was in fact in the house. I never tried to correct her.

Your dying parent will move back and forth between this world and the next.

Dying is work, and Mother had a lot of work to do. I would see and hear her talking to people not meant for my eyes. And then she’d be present with me again, but only for brief interactions.

Sometimes she’d look in a particular part of the room and explain what was there. “There is a pretty lady with lights all around her, ” she told me. “There are lights everywhere!” she said as she waved her arms around to show me how many there were.

It becomes plain to see that a body is only a vessel.

As her body weakened and stopped functioning normally, I had to come to terms with what that looks like. When you sit with your parent as they are preparing for their journey, there are almost imperceivable little changes that happen to their physical body. And then suddenly, you see what’s happened in its entirety and it takes your breath a little.

You may have relationship issues to deal with.

Our dynamic was not good. I was a great disappointment to her, and it was easy for her to tell me so. I remember the last time she sat in her wheelchair. I put my head on her lap and sobbed harder than I’ve ever cried or seen anyone cry.

My sobs were guttural and uncontrollable, and she put her hand on my head to pat it as best she could. In the midst of my anguish, I cried out to her again and again, “I’m so sorry, Mother. I’m so sorry I was a bad daughter.”

I continue to struggle with this, to be honest. I wish I had a checklist of good things I’d done alongside the “bad” things. Truth is it probably wouldn’t matter. When your heart breaks, you can stitch it up. But, the scar will always be there.

When an estranged parent dies, they get to leave the demons that haunted them on Earth behind. Ours stay with us, always at the ready to come out and force remembering.

When your parent is dying, you realize you are not immortal.

I watched death come for her, settle in her room, and wait quietly until she was ready. It didn’t wrestle her life away from her. Sometimes I hoped my death would be like hers. When it got more challenging, I hoped it wouldn’t.

When a parent dies you can’t help but think of your own death someday. You wonder if this is how it will go for you, and what will happen with your own children if you have any. Will they be there with you? What can you do to make it less traumatic for them?

You’ll search for yourself in your dying parent’s face.

That’s what I did. Her nose was my nose. Her smile, crooked on one side so that lipstick never looked quite right, was my smile. Her small hands were my hands, although hers were painfully gnarled by arthritis and were adorned by a single ring she wore on her thumb.

I remembered being in church as a little girl, Mother holding my little fingers in hers as our Southern Baptist preacher railed against the devil from his pulpit. Her nails were always long and manicured and I loved running my fingers across them. I dreamed of the day I’d have long, red nails, too.

The exhaustion will be merciless.

My family and the hospice team were adamant that I eat and sleep, and they told me that as often as they could get the words out. That seemed impossibly ridiculous to me. How could I sleep? What if she looked over at the chair beside her bed and I wasn’t there? Even worse, what if she passed away while I was in bed?

I would tell you not to do what I did, but you will. People will want you to rest, and you should listen to them. But, you won’t. I finally made my husband promise he would sit by her bed, watching her chest rising and falling, so I could take a 3-hour nap. He was under strict instruction to wake me if the slightest thing changed. You should try and do the same.

Be still.

You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to. Your dying parent will feel your spirit beside them and know they are in a safe space and well-loved.

I spent time letting my eyes settle on everything about her. Her face, her smile, the way her hair looked. I knew it would be my last looks, my last chance to see her in life.

Afterward.

I did my best. That’s all I can say. You’ll do your best.

Remember, you were present. You were filled with love. You were patient. Still, it won’t feel like enough.

There is no shortcut to get through this pain. If you can get to a therapist, I encourage you to do it. Lean on your loved ones as much as possible. Accept help.

After two years I can still hear the way she said my name. I worry I won’t be able to hear it forever.

This is the obituary I wrote about my mother after she died. She’d want me to share it. Mother loved being the center of attention. 🙂 I hope you’ll tell me about your mom or dad. I really want to read about your journey.

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ABOUT JILL

I am a mom of 3 awesome boys that love to get crafty with me in the kitchen. Our blog is full of all sorts creative food ideas for the Holidays, Party Ideas, Free Printables, Featured DIY Ideas, Recipes, & Kids Craft Ideas! Read more...

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Thank you for this as I watched my mom go just one week ago tonight. I already lost my dad and a step dad, 2 brothers and many extended relatives. 

A year and a half ago, my father passed away after a week on life support from an accidental overdose. Being an adult, he and I had grown apart, living in different cities busy with work and family. My brother and I had no idea he experimented with substances, so when we got the call about what had happened, we were stunned, shattered, and heartbroken. Making that dreaded decision was easy simply because the doctors did everything they good, but there was no way he’d come back to us. I’ve recently taken on dealing with the aftermath, and it has shattered me all over again, tears in my eyes as I write this, because we never got to hear those last words and revelations. I often wonder if that would have made it harder. I’ll never know, but in all honesty, I don’t want to know.

I kept an online (facebook) gratitude journal everyday for 2.5 years, starting shortly after my dads first stroke. It was about the little things. He partially recovered, then suffered two more strokes, plus seizures. Time spent in his room at rehab, in the hospital, in the nursing home, in memory care, and eventually in hospice was some of the most spiritual time of my life. We were deeply connected, still sharing inside jokes and having gut-wrenching conversations. I dreamed of him 6 mo later, he was happy, mouthed “I’m ok” from a distance, and disappeared before I could reach him. He still visits at 11:11, 2:22, 4:44 and in shimmery light at night. My mom is still living.

I could barely get thru this. I lost my dad less than 2 years ago & sat in his room as he waited to go…so much I wish I had done. My mom is struggling & I can’t bare the thought of loosing her too.

This! I lost my mom in February. In total I cared for her for 17 yrs. Raw emotions. I would not trade one minute of this. Thank you for writing this. Many blessings to you.

I lost my Mom 33 years ago and I too can still hear her call my name. It’s is during those sad moments were your mom becomes your best friend. Her last word was Nene (boy)  to my son and with that nickname my son is still called. She knew when I was pregnant it was a boy and always said “i don’t want God to take me till my first grandson arrives and sure enough y two months later after the birth of  first son she passed on to those glamours gates to heaven. 

Well written story. I was with my mom for her final 3 days once she was in a coma like state. I did not leave the room at all- I felt like she didn’t want me to see her die and feel that pain (as if it avoidable). So I just drank her Ensures and slept on the floor. On the 4th day I stepped out of her room into the hallway to take a call and within minutes they pulled me back inside to say she’s going. While she was “asleep “ I spoke to her telling her it’s ok to go and tears would roll down her face. It was a very powerful emotional experience.

I felt exactly the same way – my Mom didn’t want me to see her die. I KNEW she wanted me to leave but I couldn’t. For the last 5 years I’ve felt like the only person on the planet to have this experience.  Closing her eyes was the worst part. Thx for sharing and I’m sorry for your loss. 

Wow! My sister’s and I feel the same way, she didn’t want us in there when she passed. Yet,I didn’t want her to be alone. There’s truly an emptiness that I feel now that she’s crossed over to the other side. They say you learn to live with it. I still can’t begin to imagine what this life will now be like without her. This still does not feel real to me just that I haven’t talk to her in exactly one month today.

My Mom passed 32 years ago and I still miss her.  Some wounds never heal but you do learn to live with it.  She would  want you to live and be happy.  Give yourself all the time you need.  It took me a full year to laugh again after Mom died.  I hope you have family members who you can lean on when you need a hug or a shoulder to cry on.  Keeping busy helps.  Take care 

At the end, I learned, there are still so many things left to say. We had a month to prepare and I thought I had said it all and asked everything I wanted to know. Now I know that no matter how much time I had, it would have never been enough. Watching your parent die changes you. It makes you want to do even more….

Thank you for your tender and true words. I felt it was a honor to have walked alongside both my parents on their death journey. My mother had breast cancer we suspected had gone to her brain, but she didn’t want to know or fight anymore, “I am done,” she said and my heart sank. She was in. Hospice House and between my dad, my aunt and uncle, we took shifts sitting with her. She lingered unconscious for 3 weeks until her body finally gave up. My aunt and I were both there and all I can say is that wasn’t my mom lying in that bed, just a body, her spirit had left long before that. It has been 13 years since then and I still remember and grieve all over again from time to time. My Dad had Parkinson’s that was diagnosed 2 years before my mom passed and his situation was much, much harder for me. Again, between my 2 uncles, great neighbors,and I we were able to keep him in his home for a year after my mom passed;however, it soon became obvious he needed more and more help. I put him in assisted living, without my sibling’s approval but with the support of his doctor, my uncle’s and friends support. I can’t say enough about how important it is to have a support system, whether or not it is your family or not. My dad declined slowly in both mind and body, list his abilities to converse, feed himself and walk, etc. I remember a day when I was visiting and I saw his eyes trying to say something to me and then a tear ran down his cheek. I felt so useless and struggled to find the strength to visit him, but I did and eventually, 4 years after my mom passed, my dad passed with only him and me in the room. It was hard but I prayed and prayed God would end his suffering and knew he was bound for a much better place. I remember sitting with him that afternoon, waiting and twice I sensed a presence in the room with us and as hard as it was, I was overcomed with peace. Again, it was a honor to me to have been there with them in this journey and while it truly was hard, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I found out just who I was, found my strength, and my confidence in my own life and death.

I can’t believe I haven’t heard her voice in 5 years. It was 5 years the 12th of December- my Daddy went home the 22nd in 1988. I stayed by her side for 12 days. Her last words “who will take care of my kids?”.  I left to go home to shower. Stopped to grab a tree for Christmas. Pulled in the garage- rolled the tree off the top of the car and my husband opened the door. I knew what he was going to say. She was gone.  She waited for me to leave. Oh God how I miss her! Life is not the same. I too, am changed. I will never be the same. I feel orphaned and I have regrets. I feel lucky to have had her.  She was a good mother, wife, human being. I am forever in her debt. I hope to see her again with my Daddy dancing on the stars. 
Thanks for this essay. I needed a good cry.  Good for the soul. Blessings.

Caring for my parents was a real eye opener in many ways. There are moments I would love to forget and some I hope I never forget. My Mom was in a facility and I was there a few times a week because they to go daily was impossible. The one weekend I did not go was Labor Day – we had been invited to a few picnics so I said yes and decided to go with my husband and children – some days I wish I hadn’t gone . On Labor Day evening we received the call that Mom was going to the hospital with an infection- long story short my Mom passed due to a c- diff infection a few days later. I do that what if’s all the time , had I gone maybe I would have noticed the wrong and could have gotten her to the hospital sooner.  Now I had to care for my Dad who was not in the best of shape . I am not the only child but somehow I felt as if I was – death and politics really  are eye opening adventures. I am one of 4 children 2 lived out of state  and a younger sibling who was in denial that he needed any care. My dad beat leukemia twice and now it was back along with a million other issues .  He had arthritis everywhere and you could hear his bones rubbing together with every move – changes were made to his house so he could stay there , finally had gotten him 24 hr care and he lived at home until the day he passed. I was able to be there with him and many family members . 
I am thankful for the time I had with both my parents and feel somewhat selfish because I wanted more. I also do the what if and I should’ve done more , maybe if I had quit my job and cared for them myself they would both still be here. What I did learn is to treasure every moment and really they don’t want anything but the company of there family. So be sure to visit more tell them you love them , hold their hands just be there fully there . Today we live in a busy word and we all need to savor the moments and make memories and flat out just be kind to everyone! It’s free. 

Yvonne

This was me to a tee with my mom. She passed away on Monday July 15th 2019. I was there when she took her last and final breath. People say I look like her, and I see it to. She would state at the ceiling and smile,I know she saw her mom and dad and brother and her beloved dog.
Your story hit so close to home.
Thank you for sharing it. This was our life back in July. My mom passed from stage 4lung and bone cancer. It was so aggressive. Thank you again

My father just passed away, I can relate. Thank you for writing truths. Death is hard and to sit and watch it happen is hard. Like you said it comes in,  settles in and waits. This is so true. I thought I was the only one who noticed this. 

Your journey was also my journey. I’ve lost both of my parents and all of my step parents. I’ve had the honor of taking care of them (except my father) until their last breath. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve had to go through in my life but I’m grateful that I could do it with them all. I miss them deeply but I feel them around me constantly. You wrote this article so perfectly! Thank you.

Thank you for this. I’m sure it popped up into my feed because I typed the words “hospice house” into Google a bunch of times today. My mom was just admitted to a local hospice house tonight and this article is what I have been living since February. I have been doing my best to care for her, but I wish I was more patient. You seem like you were more patient. I feel badly thinking I sometimes showed my anxiety over her care, but I also have a seven-year-old and almost two-year-old and have just been running on empty a bit. I am not naturally a medically inclined person, never wanted to be a nurse or LNA and was surprised at how much I stepped up, learned her meds, navigated appointments and medical equipment, rose to each new challenge, but I sometimes wish I did it with less irritability at the stress of my life. My mom has a spit-fire, blunt personality and she always called me out on everything, but I think she knows how much I love her and how hard this is for all of us. I am going to try to continue with the rest of her journey with more patience and grace. I hope for you peace and healing. Thanks!

I care for am elderly lady in her home..96 next week. I see the signs of the end and I’m not ready & have anxiety so you touched me with your comment. I too will try to practice patience

I cannot fathom any of what anyone on here has gone through. I lost both my parents over 20 years ago, within 2 yrs of each other. My daddy died in my arms from a heart aneurysm, then little over 2 years later my mommy died in a car wreck, both went quickly. My heart breaks over and over reading all the comments.

My mom was by far my best friend! She was always the one that stood next to me 110%. Every single decision I made in life was applauded by her. She was always there for me, no matter what. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, she was given 2-6 months. She was 68. Life seemed to blast by so quick since that day at the doctors office. She was put in the hospital after becoming dizzy at radiation. Pretty much that room would become her last view. She was sent home with hospice a month later & had her “wish” to be back at home. I sat with her until she had her last breath – her hand in mine. All the talk about the heavy meds & them not really understanding where they are are true! It took a deep toll on us all. There were not many words spoken the last few days, but I DO know she still knew I was there. My biggest regret & what I am struggling with now is that I told her it was all “ok”, but really this whole blur in my life WASN’T ok! It wasn’t right, didn’t make sense & will never be understood. I went through counseling & think it helped a bit, but life will forever be heartbreaking. 

So sorry for your loss.

Very sorry for your loss. This sounds very similar to my mom. They were too young. Im sure she knew you loved her and vise versa. May you find peace of heart.

I lost my Dad January 3, 2019. He had Alzheimer and in the last weeks before he died he had Pneumonia but on the death certificate I think it says he died of brain disease. I had been takking care of him for about 6 years from the time we buried my Mom. No body knows the hell I went through!!! After the caregiver left i would always go in to check on him and give him a kiss good night and I always wanted him to know i loved him!! He was always the one man I could count on to be there for me no matter what I needed!! Now the tales were reversed and i was trying to be there for him but your right no matter what you do when they are it is never enough!!! Every time I get sad or start to cry I stop because the most beautiful picture comes into my vision of my mom and dad sometimes holding hands or sometimes arms around each other but in every picture they are always smiling almost giddy like. So then I am not sad anymore because I am so happy for my parents that they are together again!! I did the best I could taking care of my Dad and making sure he was cared for when I was at work, exercising or out with friends but people still feel like they have the right to judge me criticize how I cared for him.

I just read your story and honey don’t ever worry or think about what other people think or say. People that criticize usually don’t have a clue about what u have been through. U did your best and that is far more than they probably will do when it’s their turn to take care of some one. God bless u child.

I watched my mom and mother-in-law die and as hard and devestating that it was, I also felt it was an honor and privilege to be with them as they left life on earth. There was so much Grace in the room, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Thanks for sharing your story.

Yes. Exactly this with both parents.♥️

I traveled that path 3 years ago. Yet not a day goes by that I don’t have to catch myself in little things. I have to remember not to call her between 9-10 in the morning. I did that for decades. It’s a hard habbit to break. I was lucky that my siblings each took turns staying with Moma. She had a stroke. She hit her head. She was never alone 24-7 no matter where she was. ICU- ER- rehab- and finally the nursing home. We bounced back and from rehab to the hospital 5 times. Finally she just gave up. She had not been able to speak or walk or do much of anything. She was not happy. I could see it in her eyes. She did not want to be a burden. She was ready to go. She decided that she had had enough. When the therapist came to work with her, she shook her head – no. She took her left hand and swiped her finger across her neck. That was it – no more. The therapist tried to work with her but my mom slapped her hands away. Stubborn all the way. MoMA was in the hospital to rehab to nursing home a total of 13 weeks. It’s hard watching your mom just fade away. The last week she didn’t wake up once. Yet the day before she died, she was having an animated conversation with someone. Don’t get me wrong, she couldn’t speak. Heck she wasn’t even conscious. But there she was with her left hand in the air and shaking her pointed finger at someone. Then she would tire and her arm would fall back on the bed. Next minute there she would start up again. Occasionally she would shrug her shoulders and tilt her head. This went on for hours. Finally at 430 am on October 21st MoMA took her last breathe. We all figured she had finally negotiated her terms of departure. She always got her way.

Your Moma sounds kinda like mine. She was more able than yours, but had a ton of health issues over many years. She rallied and did better than the docs expected several times. But eventually she kinda wore out of rallies. The end was her decision. There wasn’t anything more to do, and her wishes had been communicated to me and her healthcare people many times. She was kept comfortable the last few days. One of the last things she said to me was “why does it take so long?” – she was done with it. She did have some aware moments in the last few days, and had some good laughs, even if she wasn’t especially communicative. I wasn’t with her when she passed, I don’t think she wanted anybody to be. But I did spend as much time with her as I could. And I want to call her ALL THE TIME, just like I always used to. At least once a day, sometimes more than once. For something, for nothing. Soon it will be the first anniversary of her passing… it’s dang tough.

I love this. Just two weeks ago we sat with our dad during a week of hospice. He had stage 4 Large B-cell Lymphoma. Only two treatments of chemo and he was so weakened they couldn’t continue with anymore. Days went by that my mom sat and slept by his side and in the hospital every time he weakened worse. I was so sure he would get better. Nope. The drs finally told us the cancer had gotten worse and they was nothing else they could do but hospice. My daddy wanted to be home to die. He was a very private person. So is my mom. They gave him two weeks. Just two. He came home on hospice on Sunday, we all sat with him days and nights, taking turns. We notified all his families and friends. They came to see him or called and spoke with him when he could still talk. As the days went by, more and more morphine was given for his pain. Of course we questioned why so much. By the fourth day, I was so sick of seeing my daddy just sleep, not respond to my momma, and cringe with pain when moved to different positions or cleaned and changed. I prayed hard to God for his suffering to end. I no longer could stand to see him getting liquid morphine when he couldn’t even open his eyes or swallow water. Friday we all, 3 of us children, and all the 5 grandkids, took turns sitting with him and saying some final words. We each told him we would take care of momma and it was ok to go when he was ready. Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever have to do that. Nothing could break your heart more than sitting with your parent while they die. I kissed him several times on the head as he was taking his last breaths. I will carry those moments always. What hurts me most is the words he lightly spoke while still in the hospital…. “It would really tickle me to get over this mess and get better,  but it doesn’t look like I’m going to.” He wanted so much to get better. That broke my heart worse than anything, knowing how much he wanted to get better, and there was nothing I could do to make that happen. 

I am so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for sharing. My time of watching my Dad die was short. We only had 32 days from when he was diagnosed with Leukemia to the day he died. That last week was the toughest week, (dealing with someone in a fever state is a strange experience!) and I have many moments that I wish I could do over,be atringer or say just one more thing. The one moment, though, that I don’t regret at all was looking him in the eye, after he told a room full of doctors and family that he was ready to die, and letting him know that as much as I wasn’t ready to let him go, it was his decision and I would honor his choice. It’s been 5 years and I still feel the same way…and miss him every single day.

I lost my mom on January 25thof this year to lung cancer which spread to her lymph nodes and then to her brain. 12 plus lessons were found. I was her cheerleader, her translator of sorts when she wasn’t focusing or couldn’t understand or remember the medical lingo going on. My dad was there too, but more because he had to be or else I would flip on him. We took turns every time she went to the hospital. My husband was amazing with caring for the kids and my best friend helped with the kids as well.
I tried to give her hope when she went into the hospital even though I knew she would never get out. I worked with seniors in a nursing home, I knew what was going to happen. As it got worse, we all knew it was happening. A blood clot formed and it became a double edge sword for drs. When the oxygen wasn’t enough, her wishes were filled that no further treatment would be given. I payed in her bed beside her and slept there.. I couldn’t leave, I wouldn’t leave… I did just as you did.. I stared at her face I put her hand on my face and I said “ my mushy mommy, I love you so much!” ( it’s a thing I called her because her skin was always so soft) I noticed her breathing differently, I have seen it before in the nursing home. I told my dad it’s happening and tried to get in touch with my brother. He didn’t answer and I stopped calling so I can have my last few moments with her. I just said what an amazing mom she was, how much I will always love and miss her. That I will take care of my dad and brother and not to worry. That I love her so much over and over and over again, and I just cried and cried… I saw her face turn from pink to
White. She took her last breath and I was too busy crying to see it. I just looked up and the nurse checked and it was done. I cried saying my mushy mommy I love you so much, my mushy mommy!!! My brother came not realizing it was too late, he panicked when..why…no.. I shouldn’t have left.. but he had to. He had to rest, he has Tourette’s and his body was a mess. After a bit I told the nurse, if she doesn’t kick us out we won’t leave. That I would never be able to leave if she doesn’t say we have to. She gave us more time then came in and said it was time to go. 
I knew in my heart she wouldn’t make it to my 40 th birthday, so I celebrated turning 39 so she could be there. Some people made fun of me, others understood. But I  so happy that I did what I knew in my heart. 

Oh this broke my heart. I am sorry for your loss.

I took care of my dad and mom – dad died in 2013 with cancer, mom died last year April, 2018, from congested heart failure.  I loved the time I spent with them both.  I still think of it as my most important role in life.  They needed me, and I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. 

I retired in 2016, and within days I realized mom needed me more than I had thought.  She was with me every minute from then on.  We laughed, cried, wished aloud things we wished we had done differently.  We exercised together, I watched as she read her Bible and as she prayed (at times, these prayers lasted an hour).  

During the last few days of her life, she slept a lot, waking sometimes so alert we wondered if she was rallying.  The day before she died was my birthday….she woke up and sang ‘Happy Birthday’.

We watched her as her breaths became more further apart.  I held her hand almost every minute during her last 24 hours.  

I am grateful for this time I had with them both.  We were able to share how much we meant to each other.

I am so thankful for this time….it was a gift that I’ll never forget.

My mom died five years ago, my sister and I were with her when she died.  She was ready – I was not.  I was the youngest in the family , I always felt cheated that I didn’t have her as long as my siblings, but the last several years of her life , I was her caregiver so I had more of her.  I was afraid, I’d never seen anyone die before.  I’d list my dad , my brother and my son before my mon died, so I knew the pain , but I had never been with someone when they actually died.  
I can so associate with this article, it brought back so many feeling I had being with mom when she died. 
There is a saying , and I apologize because I don’t know who said it, but I repeat it often “ My Mother taught me everything, except how to live without her.”

My mom is currently in hospice and this blog was very encouraging! Thank you for being so open and sharing your experience. Know you aren’t alone in this as your blog also helped me realize the same ❤️

There is no greater honor then to take care of your parents in the final days of their lives
God totally blessed me with 9 years of caring for them till they passed.Still at times i felt i could have done more, but truly did all that i could.
Will miss you always ❤

Beautifully said! I lost my dad last March, and everything you mentioned, is exactly what I faced, and I too, respected my fathers moments when he was with me and not with me in mind. When you express that your mom saw a woman with lots of beautiful lights, it makes me recall the time when my dad told me he was walking around his room, and then “bam,” he felt a jolt and was right back in bed. I’m pretty sure he had an outer body experience, but then he told me he saw his mom, and I knew in that moment, he would be taken from us soon. They see their angels who will come for them, and in their story of who they see, is a beautiful moment, because it conforms to everything we believe is waiting for us when we leave this earth. I wish you peace, in those moments of missing your mom. It is unfortunate, but we do in fact belong to a “club” now. A club I would rather have waited to belong to, for at least another 20 years, but, God had other plans! Thank you for sharing your story. 

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