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watched mom die

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I watched my mom die a few days ago. It was after a long battle with Alzheimer's. I dedicated everything I had to taking care of her in her final years. I am a complex mix of emotions right now - I miss her, I am happy that she is out of her torment, I am afraid of the upcoming battle with my sibling. I feel lost with so much time on my hands that used to be devoted to her.

 

Watching her die was so surreal and amazing I can't get it out of my head. I watched the life slowly exit her body, and although I could not see it leaving, I knew it was not in her anymore. That she was no longer in her body. Her face changed, her hands changed in the span of about 5 minutes. It was like everything was happening in slow motion. I have watched many animals die but this was something different. It was slow. Like she was still in the room with me, in some kind of in-between spot between her body and outside of her body. I am not a religious person, but it has really made me think about what was going on.

 

I am curious what other people's experiences have been watching another person die.

post #2 of 7

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I have never watched anyone die, and I can't imagine how gut-wrenching that must feel.

 

Sending you much peace.

post #3 of 7

thank you for posting your description. i'm going to bet that she was slow to leave, lingered there a bit and knew you were with her. alzheimer's puts a person in a confused state, and -- perhaps -- as she passed, she was able to see things clearly again, and didn't want to leave before she had a chance to absorb it, including your presence.

 

you will get through this period of time after her passing. it will take some time. give yourself all kinds of small comforts. a hot bowl of soup at a favorite restaurant -- your favorite. cozy new socks. time with special friends who will let you talk and grieve. the chance to read a good book. long walks in the crisp winter sunshine. 

 

don't even think about your sibling for now. see if you can put off until spring all of the financial stuff or whatever has to be divided or whatever is going on. do you have an attorney to represent your mother's legal affairs? can that person send your sister a letter if she were to start in on it before some months have passed? 

 

congratuations for your accomplishment of taking care of your mother in her last years. it can't have been easy. feel good about yourself that you did all you could for her. the chapter is now closed, but you can "re-read" it for awhile while you process your experience. keep writing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcr View Post

Watching her die was so surreal and amazing I can't get it out of my head. I watched the life slowly exit her body, and although I could not see it leaving, I knew it was not in her anymore. That she was no longer in her body. Her face changed, her hands changed in the span of about 5 minutes. It was like everything was happening in slow motion. I have watched many animals die but this was something different. It was slow. Like she was still in the room with me, in some kind of in-between spot between her body and outside of her body. I am not a religious person, but it has really made me think about what was going on.

post #4 of 7

If you would like, I could put you into contact with my mom.  My grandma passed away at her house because my mom took care of her there.  That was the plan.  She has also described watching my grandpa pass away at the hospital.  She described the same as you.  Just let me know by PM so I catch it and I will do that.  

post #5 of 7

Sorry for your loss.

I have.  There are not really words for the magnitude, depth and deep feelings of loss that never do go away.  But I felt honored that I could be there at that moment for the person who was there for me always.  I try not to replay it and instead focus on how blessed I was to have her in my life for the time I did and that I could be there in the end right by their side.  I also read a lot about grief which I found good and spoke to a grief person for some time after it happened, but I didn't really get much out of that.  Maybe you would though?  Hope this helps some.  

post #6 of 7
I'm very sorry for your loss. Unfortunately I do have an experience to share. I watched my father pass away around 6.5 years ago in a hospital due to stomach cancer. Considering how rapid and aggressive the whole thing was, his final minutes were peaceful. He had started struggling to breathe, he had some morphine for pain and at one point the breaths started being separated by irregular pauses. My mom, my brother and i were around his bed, holding his hands and i remember saying "it's all right dad. We will be okay. We will watch out for each other. It's okay if you need to go. We love you." The pauses grew in length and eventually there just wasn't another breath. It was eerie though. Felt like he was struggling to stay and once we all said that we would be all right, he let go. He had not yet turned 54. For the most part I'm at peace with his passing although I miss him every single day. I wish he had gotten a chance to meet his grandkids. My brother has a 2 year old, I have a 1.5 year old and am expecting my second. Thats the worst of it for me that my kids will never know their Papa. Ok, blowing nose now and off to bed smile.gif. It's true what they say, you will never stop missing them even though life goes on.
post #7 of 7

Hugs.

 

I watched my mom die and I was alone while my brother ran out the door to bring her heart specialist home. She died of a massive heart attack. We didn't know how to do CPR. I tried massaging her heart. All the windows were closed and one slightly open. I went to open that wide open so she could get more air. But I think I felt like she wasn't going to make it. I didn't feel weird. I made myself imagine her soul leaving her body only because I had seen it in movies or read about it. I was q. practical even though I was only 18 then. There wasn't any huge struggle when she stopped breathing. The struggle was when she woke up from her sleep to the ring of the specialist's call, not being able to get up and frothing at the mouth which both my brother and I witnessed. She was trying to say something calling out my brother's name but couldn't. We were in shock and yet I had seen her die so I was more accepting that it happened.

 

On the contrary, I was v. affected by my father's death. I wasn't in the country and got a phone call informing me. Two extremes. Without a doubt the 2nd was v. v. painful. It put my life into complete mayhem. I still suffer from anxiety that began following his death.

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