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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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I sat with my dad as he was passing, I had to work, but my mom day with him and I would go see him after work and sit till I had to go home to bed, everyday for a week. I remember the first few days I thought he was ok, he was still making jokes, but no longer eating. My son gave him some tea on his sponge, he said this taste like horse pee, and we all started laughing. He loved it. The laughter. That was my dad, loved to make everyone laugh. But the last day, he was shaking and fever and eyes wide open and mouth wide open. I know he was almost gone, but as I put the cold rag on his head, and looked into his eyes and said test daddy, it’s ok to close your eyes, I saw him try to close his eyes. I went home and cried, praying to god please take him don’t let him suffer. The next morning he passed before I was awake. It is the worst thing I have ever been through. But I am at peace knowing he us home and not hurting anymore. 

My mom fought a two year battle with breast cancer. I sat with my mom in the hospital for 2 weeks before she passed. I stayed with her 13-15 hours each day. She called me her rock. She relied on me for strength. On her last earthly day, our family was gathered to talk to the doctors to make decisions on the next step. While we were gathered outside her doorway, she looked right at me and said “I love you!” Before this, many of her words were unclear. I believe this was her way of telling me to make the decision to let her go to Heaven. And I find peace because of this! Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. She has been gone for 18 months.

I just lost my father who died in his bed after being cared for for two years.  This sums up everything I feel and went through.  Beautifully said.

Your message is spot on. I lost both my parents this year, my dad in May and my mom in September. We were with them at home when they passed and my family & hospice were invaluable. I had time with my dad before he died and we were able to say how much we loved each other. Like you & your mom, my relationship with my mom was complicated although she was my best friend. I too wish I had been a better daughter. We each had private time with her during that last week but she didn’t talk much, just reached out and hugged & kissed us. I feel like I barely had time to grieve my dad because she could not be alone so we immediately shifted into caretaker mode. I’m retired and I may have too much time to think but I wonder if she knew how much she meant to me. I did tell her she was my hero but I’m not sure she understood what I was trying to say. For the rest of my life I will wonder if I did enough or if I did it right. God bless you for sharing your story and letting us know we’re not alone.

My mum passed away on May 8th this year (2019). She had dementia and went downhill very quickly after major issues with bowel and bladder infections and incontinence. Two weeks earlier, she had said my name clearly. It was hard to sit all through the final night with her in hospital and watch as her body convulsed, her eyes became as big as saucers and knowing i could do nothing but ask to have her pain medication increased. Mum and i had never really been close until i was in my late 40’s (i have just turned 56). She was a very difficult woman, cruel at times and very outspoken. Dad passed away 6 years ago and my world fell apart as we were very close. Mum and Dad often argued with Dad backing down to keep the peace. He was a gentle, loyal and honourable man with a huge heart. He had to be. You see, Mum was an alcoholic. She became a very nasty person after drinking and it broke his heart. I remember him saying to me on many an occasion, ‘if only she didn’t drink, everything would be ok’. Mum left Australia when she was 18 and ventured to NZ on holiday, with her mum, not to return with her. She met Dad and at 19 she married him. They had three girls of which i am the oldest. Mum had started to get Dementia just before he passed away and never really knew that he had passed away. She couldn’t remember going to the funeral either and from that moment on, she progressively got worse. She drank every night, not remembering where she had put the wine bottle, thinking she had only had one or two glasses. She had put it in the recycle bin empty after finishing the entire bottle but had no recollection of doing so till she looked in the bin as a last resort. She couldn’t take care of herself at all with the many bladder infections and hospital was her second home. She had to be in care because she was a large woman and the assistance she needed toward the end was 24/7. In the last 2 weeks, she became semi conscious and would drift in and out, unaware of her surroundings or what was going on. It broke me. This previously strong willed and bitter but strong woman was my mother. Despite my devastating childhood and all my heartbreak, i was watching my Mum die. Her breathing became less and less and was very shallow. Then two very small breaths and she was gone. I was holding her hand when she passed. Mum never had the need for material possessions, jewels or anything expensive. She had the bare essentials but was very financial thanks to Dad and could have almost had anything she wanted. She went without all her life, by choice though, as she hated spending money unless absolutely necessary. Although she had been cruel to Dad and he feared for his life at times, he told me before he passed, ‘i do love her you know’. I nodded and said ‘i know Dad’. We sometimes forget to see the good in people who have not been so good to us. I know i would rather have her and Dad here right now, without all their pain and suffering as it didn’t matter where they lived, it was always ‘home’. I miss them terribly. It’s a pain nobody will understand unless sadly they too have experienced it. Rest in Peace Mum and Dad. I love you dearly xox

Oh, where to start…years before she actually died she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 60. She just “lifed” along after that. We went on a cruise, we had family gatherings, we talked on the phone. My mother had chemo and radiation until the doctors said it wasn’t working and gave her a few months to live. My niece accused my father of inappropriate sexual contact. My brother went berserk And tied our father to a poll in the basement and took my mother from her home with my father to his house and put her in a 3rd floor bedroom. He took their bank accounts and put them in his name. He and his wife both worked full time and left her home alone all day with no one to take care of her. My sister got involved and blamed me for siding with my brother because because after my father was released from being tied up he called me to tell me what my brother had done and I told him he was lucky that it wasn’t our daughters he molested because my husband would have killed him.
My sister went over and got my mother and took her back home. My mother went to the hospital for care a few weeks later. My father went to the hospital and caused a scene about the bank accounts and was forced to leave the hospital that day. My family went to the hospital to spend Christmas Day with my mother. She had given me money to buy gifts for the grandchildren…the last gift she would ever give them. I bought special small holiday candy dishes as mementos for our daughters and a  going home from the hospital outfit for the baby girl our daughter was expecting in February. My sister arrived as we were leaving.  She had balloons and decorations for the room. She was dressed up, wearing sequins and party clothes. I went back the next day and stayed until my mother was released to go home. The doctor told us there was nothing more they could do and not to call 911 if my mother for worse. We took her home. My father was there and she wanted him to take care of her. They had been together since they were teenagers. They had been married over 50 years. We never talked about my nieces accusations and I begged my father to let my brother in the house to see our mother. He agreed and went up stairs and stayed there while my brother was in the house. We rotated days staying with my mother for the next two weeks. I stayed my night alone. Then I stayed with my brother for his turn. My sister then took a turn. We all had full time jobs. I can’t remember how long we did that. A hospice nurse came every day to check on my mother and her crazy., mixed up family. On February 13, 1989 the baby girl our daughter was expecting was a boy! I left long enough to exchange the pink and white outfit for a blue outfit with a teddy bear on it. When I returned the hospice nurse, who usually came once a day, had also returned. She knew the end was near and decided to stop by again. My mother died with my father, my sister, my brother and I in bed with her at noon on Valentines Day. My father immediately went back upstairs. My brother left the room and went out in the back yard. The hospice nurse, my sister and I bathed my mother, changed her gown and bedding. After the nurse left my sister and I sat with my mother for a while before we called the mortuary. They came to pick my mother up. Then we cried. My sister and brother left. I offered to stay with my father. He declined the offer so I went home. We didn’t have a funeral or a wake. My sister had prearranged the cremation. I didn’t see my father, sister, or brother until the day of the cremation. I arranged for some flowers to be placed on her cardboard box casket and wrote the obituary for the newspaper. I didn’t see or speak to my brother or sister for a very long time after that day. I called my father and took him out to lunch or dinner for a few years after that. My sister took over all of my father’s affairs and I rarely saw him after that. I don’t know if my brother ever saw him again. When my father was hospitalized in 2009 my sister didn’t call me until after he died. She told me she didn’t believe in death bed reconciliations.  I never questioned her decision. She took position of all of his accounts, and positions and sold his house.
It helped me to put this in writing.  Mother and I had a very close relationship. My father was very distant. I left home when I was 18 and went away to college. I married and moved out of state. I never lived at home again so my relationship with my family was always distant. 
I still miss my mother after all these years. I talk to her quite often. I feel sad for those last years of her life and all the things she missed. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren…..Now, I’m 78 years old. I’ve been with my husband for over 60 years. I had a career in public school education for over 25 years. We have two daughters, 6 grandchildren and we are expecting our 5th great grand child in March or April.  You are never too old to miss your mother.

Thank you for sharing your story. My mom died of a massive heart attack so I never got to say goodbye and share that closeness with her. Honestly, I’ve thought about the “if” she wouldn’t have died suddenly and suffered through an illness, if I could have handled doing what you have done. I don’t know if I could. My mother in law recently passed away in June and my husband and I were present along with his other siblings. She made it look so peaceful and calm. It was a difficult process to watch but I was trying to be supportive for my husband and his siblings. My heart ached for them and it really brought back the emotions of losing my mom again. I’m so thankful my mother in law didn’t suffer so badly. My husband has been a wreck. When we left her home later that day, he said, “oh my God, what did we just watch?” It was so traumatic for him. I hope folks read your story here and remember when or if they are in this situation to follow your advice.

My dad died this April . We had two weeks from cancer diagnosis to death and only five days in Hospice. I get everything you said and did almost everything the same as you did. I did sleep at night but with my door open to hear my dad and my mom sleep right next to him on the couch.  I was with him when he took his last breath. Thank you for saying they feel yr presence even when they are in that other world. I needed to hear that. 

From August to the middle of October I watched my grandma suffer and fight in the hospital mostly in ICU. At one point from one of the time she coded she had to be intubated. At that point in my life because she wasn’t fully sedated that was the worse thing to ever see someone I love have to go through. She begged us to take it out.
Starting at one hospital in the er she was transfered to a sister hospital after a week because the one we were at had no rooms available on the floor to tend to her medical needs. After a month at this hospital she was transfered back to the first hospital because the doctors thought at some point she was going to need dialysis, which they weren’t equipt to do.
My mom originally made my grandma go to the er because she was very form to the touch. After some test the Drs came back and told my mom that grandma had heart failure fluid built up in her body. Along with that there was fluid in and around her lungs, and on top of that she originally was on antibiotics for some infections in her feet and abdomen area.
Fast forward to the middle of October. So the drs couldn’t get the infections out of her system and with that they werent able to amputate on her one foot (it had gangrene). The drs told us that they had exhausted all of their options and that there was nothing else they could do for her. With there being less than a 1% chance of coming off the table alive if they put her under that no dr was going to touch her with them odds. They gave us our options, nursing home or hospice care at home. We went with her wishes and brought her home.
Between my aunt, my mom and myself we stayed overnight at her house with her and my grandfather to help take care of her. This was a long 2 and 1/2 month exhausting mentally and physically draining process. There was a scare in Halloween where we were told she has 24 to 48 hours. After that it was a count down. To her birthday on November 19 then to Thanksgiving. And then to Christmas.

However 1130 am on December 23 we watched her take her last breath. Going through this fight with her and watching her take her last breath was far worse than seeing her intubated begging us to take it out, or watching as the nurses changed the bandages on her feet where the skin was deterring away from her. The fight at the end to clean her and change her was rough. She was in so much pain even with all the meds they had her on for the pain. We laid her to rest on the 30th. It’s hard to lose a loved one right before Christmas and to bury them just after. Not only for the obvious reason of were all broke from Christmas shopping but now Christmas for my family and I is forever changed.

Your story is so very similar, it’s almost been 2 years. I sung my mother’s three favorite hymns and the last thing I said was, “I wish I had been a better daughter.” then she took her final breath.

Been there, done that, but never been able to put my 
 Experience into words. Thank you for your excellent article on the subject…of dying. I find it especially interesting in that I am the one for whom the bell tolls. I have been there for my parents, there parents, my wife, and my daughter. Currently I am estranged from my son who is the only family remaining whom I could envision attending my internment. Sad, but realistic. Perhaps a reckoning? Thank you!
 

I still feel the pain of losing my Dad in October of 2018.  We lost my mom his wife in 2009.  We were such a close knit family.  They were married for 57 years.  I became my Dads care taker after the death of my Mom.  My Dad and I were always so very close.  We found out he had a brain tumor and 18 days later he was gone.  I was right by his side holding his hand when he passed.  I still struggle each and every day since he has passed.  Losing your last parent is the worst feeling in the world.  It’s also bittersweet knowing that they are together (so we hope).  I am here to tell you that partners do meet up again in heaven.  A few months after my Dad passed I went to bed.  Just as I was getting ready to fall asleep I saw a man coming to my bedside in a tan robe and he reached down and started rubbing my leg.  I couldn’t make out his face.  I was not afraid at all.  I then saw an a angel come towards me also.  She step in front of the man, he put his arms around her…..at that time I saw my Mom and Dad standing there.  I always worried if my Mom would be waiting for my Dad and she was.  I still today grieve the loss of my parents uncontrollably.  There is such a huge part of my life missing.  I’m not afraid to die because I know they both will be there waiting for me.   God bless those who have ever lost loved ones.   ❤️

I lost my mom June 25, 2019. I miss her every day. I had been taking care of my mom for about 3 years. She lived by herself, but needed someone daily the last few months. We just knew for 1 week before she died, she had lung cancer. She had gone to the ER by ambulance because her oxygen level wouldn’t go up, and she couldn’t get her breath. I asked the ER doctor if he would order a CT scan for her chest. She had worried something was wrong with her heart after having shortness of breath when lying down at times since she had a heart attack 4 years before. After doing the CT, they found she had a huge tumor behind her heart. The x-rays wouldn’t show it. I can’t stop seeing her face when she told me she had cancer. She was terrified. She had stopped smoking 30 years ago. As soon as the oncologist talked to us, letting us know there was nothing they could do because of the extent of the cancer, we called hospise. They were awesome. She got home on a Friday and passed the following Tuesday. Because I had been taking care of her, she didn’t want me to leave her. I was so exhausted but afraid she might die when I wasn’t there. We were blessed that her mind was with her until the last few hours before she died. She had her sense of humor and had some good talks with her younger sister. The last day was the hardest. She kept sitting up in the bed saying, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. It broke my heart. I didn’t leave her side as she took breaths farther and farther apart. Then she was gone. I couldn’t cry. I didn’t cry at the funeral. I had cried before she died but couldn’t after. I realized that night, I don’t want my children to watch me die. The empty body that was there after her last breath, it wasn’t her. So much I didn’t say or ask her about! We were so close, but the end happened so quickly. I do know I was there for her, I was patient, and our roles had been reversed for a while. Spending time with her meant everything to both of us. Her NP that came to her home had ordered numerous x-rays of her chest when we had told her about her shortness of breath and raising heart beat. If she had ordered a CT, the tumor could have been found sooner. But, in my heart, it was best she went quickly and didn’t have to be scared or suffer any longer. I’ll always miss her.

I’m so sorry for your loss…..I could feel each moment you described as if it was happening all over again with my mom and I. It’s been almost 4years since my Mom passed. She suffered for over a year with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. I did all I could for her. It was my pleasure to care for her. My step dad died suddenly 4 1/2 months before my mom. Having this happen was very hard on all of us. I’m thankful for every moment I shared with my mom. Thank you for being so honest in all that you shared. I know your mom was blessed to have you by her side. Bless you!

Thank you for publishing this article. I just spent the last 2 years caring for my mother who died this past September. She had ovarian cancer for almost 5 years and I had breast cancer during this time too. We went thru chemo at the same time and it made me so sick. It didn’t faze her tho and she cared for me which is the last time she was able to take care of me, her baby. So we had a unique experience in that aspect and as she became more and more sick I would often think about her caring for me those few months and how she never would again. It made me want to take such good care of her, to thank her for that. Prior to my moving in with her we had lived 250 miles apart for nearly 35 years. She had become a very independent woman after my dad’s death 24 years ago and everyone who met her or knew her loved her. She was a godly woman who I can only pray I’m like in some way. We’ve never been particularly close tho I wished we were. I was closer to my dad and she was closer to my brother. I have regrets about things I didn’t say or do during my life and especially these 2 years but I know she knew I loved her and I know she loved me. I now live in her home with my youngest son and that’s hard. Being surrounded by all her things but without her. I try to clean closets and things but it gets overwhelming. I know I’ll see her again someday but in the meantime I just hope she did feel all the love I have for her. I too would watch her sleep and examine her hands or face for what looked like my own. I tried to find out more about her childhood and if she had any regrets about her life. We never had deep conversations and that didn’t change during these 2 years. I’m sorry for that now and there wre days I was so sorry with her. That’s what really bothers me now. I don’t think I was as kind to her as I should have been or could have been. I wasn’t mean, just indifferent at times. I never fully got the chance to deal with my own cancer and I think I resented her at times. I left my whole life behind to take care of her and I would do it again but there were times I did resent it. I ended up losing everything in my former town and I’m just now coming to terms with that. I didn’t blame her but I did harbor bad feelings about why it was me that had to give up my life and not my brother. But like I said now I do not regret one minute of the time I got to have with her. I see it as a blessing for me and an honor to be here for her last months of life. I had always tried to be as different from her as possible because I didn’t see her as having a very fulfilling life and I didn’t want that. But now I see she was very happy. A very uncomplicated woman who grew up in the depression and was just happy to have anything. She was one of 13 children and had to take on lots of responsibility at a very young age. She had a work ethic you wouldn’t believe and after retiring at 62 went on another job for the next 20 years. She was working a full 40 hours a week when she was diagnosed in 2014 at the age of 81. She could do anything she wanted but she only had a high school education. But if she wanted to do something she did it. She would try anything. She loved to cook and garden, she played the piano and sang,
and she could paint and make anything. I have learned a lot more about her since she died and I hope I always learn things about her. I now know she was a very accomplished woman and I’m so proud to be her daughter. I just wish I’d realized sooner how wonderful and special she was. And I hope my 2 sons think I’m somebody special too and not just mom.

I too watched my dad die. I watched him go from an independent sharp as a tac no filter funny person to a shell. Skin and bones.  Couldn’t remember simple tasks.  Wouldn’t eat. Wouldn’t take his meds.  It was absolutely heartbreaking. I was mad he wouldn’t try treatments. I was mad because I felt he was giving up and I wanted him to fight. I finally accepted his wishes. Never liked those wishes. But accepted them. I sat with him at the hospice his final days. We’d talk about the game shows he loved watching and we’d sit and say nothing at all together. I miss him every day. My heart will never heal 

Your story is beautiful, hard and encouraging.  I am going thru this right now with my mom.  She has Alzheimer’s. I repeat things to her.  I share her memories, live her truth.  I cry when she cries and mourn that I am losing her. I am watching her go away while she is still alive and it is so hard.  I watch her sleep, show her pictures of her grandchildren and great grandchildren and she doesn’t know them.  I cherish the few smiles she gives me and I am excited when she seems to know who I am.  I have plenty of resources and a therapist who are walking thru this journey with me.  It’s weird, it’s the hardest thing to do, but I am honored to be there for her while she is dying.  I will miss her terribly, but what I have right now is to be treasured. 

I’ve been taking care of my mother for 13 years she has a rare muscle disease and it was hard some days but we grew so close I would call her at least 3 times even after I was at her house all day. Last November she was diagnosed with stage 3 small cell lung cancer and every 3 weeks we would go and she would get treatment in hopes she would have good reaction to the keytruda I guess the hardest part was the hope that she’d have more time I use to tell her I couldn’t see a world with her not in it and that she was gonna live forever then she broke her foot and things changed the keytruda was no longer working and it was time for hospice and we we thought we would have 6 months we had 1 and it was the best month we had in 2 years. But everyday my heart is broken. Everyday I wake up thinking it was a bad dream til I see a picture and realize it isn’t I can’t explain the emptiness I feel inside or the emptiness my children feel because they lost their best friend.:..

I lost my dad 6.5 years ago and some days it feels like yesterday. One of the things i regret is having erased a voicemail from him. I thought there would be more time. I love the time we had together as i sat nights at the hospital with him and then later in his home. In his last days i remember him saying he loved me and he would see me the next day. I didn’t want to go home because i knew time was getting close but i needed to go home to take care of few things. I text during the night to check on him and was told he was sleeping peacefully. Dad never woke back up i keep wetting his lips down hoping that would help i wasn’t ready to loose him. Two dads later dad passed i wasnt there with him and i have kicked myself for not being there. My son at the time was in kindergarten and we got back to the house right after he took his last breath he looked at me and said “you should have done CPR and he would have been fine.” I know that couldnt have saved him but there is know way to explain that to a 5 year old. I was a daddies girl and have never faced anything so hard in my life.

I to lost my mom 1 1/12 ago. The memory is raw and I cry still thinking about it. She would scream at night about them coming to get her and she wasn’t ready to go. The stuff she would say about She wished she did more. It got so bad her pain that she had to go to a hospice hospital we couldnt control her meds well at home. I remember promising mom that she could pass at home and when I couldn’t make her comfortable I prayed I was doing the right thing for her. Hospice assured me I was so off to hospice hospital we went. 7 weeks she was home then 7 days in hospice. We stayed the whole time sharing shifts between 4. I never left the whole time. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do but at least for the 7 weeks mom was hone we had a family reunion, did stuff she wanted to do, and played cards and laughed. I miss mom , her everyday phone calls, some of the funniest things she would say. . Someday I pray she will greet me and I won’t be afraid.

SEEN ON