Am I normal? Is what I am doing okay?

by Andrea
(Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia )

My mum is in her very last stages of life, I love her to the moon and back and with all my everything. I can't bring myself to be there for her passing, I am a strong person and must admit I don't show alot of emotion normally, but I really don't want her to go, we have always had a very close but argumentative relationship and I hate that we can't tit for tat now. My sisters and father are with her, but I can't be. Is that wrong?

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Apr 01, 2013
Go, don't wait
by: Anonymous

Be there if you can. My mom just passed away March 19 , 10 days after I saw her last. I went to see mom after she had a bad stroke, I only stayed four days with her as I have planned at beginning of the year to visit her over Easter long weekend. I wish I can undo everything and stayed 10 more days . Have I stayed, I will be with mom when she passed. While I am grieving for the loss of my mom, I would like to share with you how I felt . Be there with your mom. I wish I can say I love you mom just once more and hold her hand as I knew she would love to hear your voice and hold you hand.. Go , don't wait.

Mar 28, 2013
Be there, if you can
by: Anonymous

Hi Sweetie

You've had many responses to your question. Please know that you are not alone because these people know the pain you're going through. I know, too.

Just briefly, my Mum passed away on 28 September 2012, exactly six months ago today. I regret to say, I could not be with Mum in her final hours. We lived 800km's apart and I had spent the previous weekend with her. I returned home the Monday after that weekend to tie up some business, and I made arrangements to fly back to Mum that coming Saturday: I booked the time off work and I went to see the travel agent. Strangely, even though I had applied for 5 days' absence from work, I decided to book a one-way flight because I instinctively knew that I would no longer have my Mum when I returned. My plan was to stay with her until the very end, to love her and to be by her side for the short time which was left to us. The doctor had said two weeks and I trusted. To my heartfelt regret, Mum's time on earth came to an end at 7:30pm that Friday, just as I was arriving home to pack for the journey the following morning.

I can say with confidence that Mum's spirit was with me at the time of her departure and I will always feel privileged for that, but... I never saw my Mum again. The memory of that moment when I got the call, is, I believe, the most painful thing I will ever experience. I felt betrayed and utterly abandoned. I so much wanted to be there just to hold her hand and perhaps to help her into her upward journey, but, I wasn't there. Mum had left and I could not go with her. I am fifty-three years old and that was the loneliest, saddest, and most devastating moment of my entire life. I felt as though my soul had been torn from me and that it was travelling beside her but I could not keep up with her. She was gone forever. I know that I should not blame myself, but I regret with my whole heart that I did not have the chance to say goodbye. During our visit the previous weekend, I had made peace with the fact that my Mum would leave us... I have not made peace with the fact that I was not there when she did.

I am sorry if my story seems too long. I wanted to tell you briefly of my experience in the hope that it would help you to reconsider.. As I know now, a mother is the most precious attachment we will ever have in our lives and the moment of goodbye is the very last moment you will have with your Mum on this earth. Do not waste it. Be there, if you can.


Mar 26, 2013
It's for you...
by: Anonymous

When your mom does go on without you, you will regret not being there for her. I left my mom's side 4 hours before she died and I can barely stand it. You need to give your mom the love you're going to wish you have given her prior to her passing. But after she dies, you will not be able to make it up to her or yourself. Go be with your mom. She deserves it. And you will feel better about yourself afterward.

Mar 21, 2013
Acceptance and healing
by: Anonymous

Hi Andrea,
I lost my mother on Feb 22nd 2013, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, and a 4 months ilness.
I spent much time with her over the last months, sharing that special time with my siblings.
In the last days we knew that she was slipping away but I was not there for the actual death. I think I arrived minutes after she had gone.
One of the most comforting and healing things was being able to care for her after she had passed.
Along with a Marie Curie nurse I helped to wash her and change her clothes. I stayed with her for a good few hours,curled up on the sofa, dozing and looking at her face from time to time: trying to hang onto the memory of what she looked like.
It is difficult to explain but I felt privileged to be part of that process and I think it has helped me to cope much better than when my father died.Towards the end my mother had lost her power to communicate verbally but she could still hear and I sensed that she was sad, and maybe frightened, about going. Again, it was so important to be there comforting her. Every situation is different. Do what feels right for you. Try not to have any regrets about what happens at the end.

Mar 20, 2013
Dear Andrea
by: Anonymous

Dear Andrea,
by: Pat in Missouri

I just tried to send you a message and lost it all so will try again.
I think you are having difficulty being with your mother, in her last hours, because of your strong bond. You see her as a strong woman who is always there for you. I suspect that your little tit-for-tats include a lot of laughs. Now that you cannot share that, you are beginning to grieve. You asked if you are normal. Nothing about death feels normal to those of us who are left behind. Just be ok with your feelings. Your mother might have a short period of arousal just before her final breath. It is in that moment that you will want to say your final goodbye. If your mother has hospice care, they will explain what is happening to your mother.

My fiance died in 2011, after a serious illness that lasted 10 weeks. It was horrible for me to watch. He was on a ventilator twice, had as many as 12 IV lines, and multiple machines doing everything for his body that he couldn't do. In the few rare moments of alertness he had, he kept telling me he wanted to live so we kept fighting. He finally got well enough to leave the hospital and go to a nursing home for rehab., but 9 days later he died. Efforts to rebuild his strength were just too much for his tired body. He was taken to an ER. When I got there, he was gone. I was devastated, but there was 1 blessing. When they took out all the tubes and the body began to relax and get cold, there was such a wonderful sense of peace on his face a peace like none other I had ever seen. I stayed too long and the nurses finally told me I had to leave. Just before I left, I saw 2 angels come for my Frank. They took him to his Heavenly Home. I was blessed to have seen that. It was very real.

After death, we miss the physical presence, but the spirit is very much alive. You will begin to feel it in the coming weeks. My mother passed in 2009. We used to love to shop together. When I shop now, I often hear her talking to me. Sweet child, there is no reason for you to feel guilty. Death is the most difficult thing any of us will ever face. Look for the angels and be at peace knowing your dear mother will no longer be struggling for every breath. I send you many hugs. Pat

Mar 17, 2013
Am I normal
by: Anonymous

Andrea, I think you are the only one who can answer your own question. We are all different when it comes to the love of a parent. My precious Mother just passed away March 09, 2013. I was her caregiver for the past five years. She had no terminal illness but contracted staph infection in a nursing facility for rehab on her hip that required surgery after breaking her hip. The staph killed her. I loved her with everything I am as a daughter and a person. I am now asking myself if there was more I could have done to keep her alive longer. I did all I could and she was allowed to die at home as she always prayed for. She was put on hospice and lived less than a week on hospice. I was the only one out of five children who cared for her health the last five years she lived. It hurt me every time I had to dose my Mother with Morphine when she went on hospice. The last three to four days she lived she went inside herself and was unresponsive to all things around her. I fully believe she heard everything being said around her even being inside herself. Ever read the booklet "Gone From My Sight". My precious Mother was eighty one years of age and she was tired and ready for God to take her. For the last days of her life I would sit with her and I would literally break down because I was not ready for her to go from me. However on the very last night of her life I put my ear to her heart, I kissed her forehead, I combed her hair with my fingers and said to her that it was alright for her to go to be with the angels and God and my late Dad. I told her I knew she was suffering and it was her time for the suffering to end and a new life to begin. I remember when she was still responding to conversation I said to her I wanted a new body and she replied that she wanted a new body also. I was more than willing to trade her mine for hers and I told her this. I continue to break down on a daily basis because she is gone from me. The day after we buried her I asked for her to please give me a sign that she was with God, the angels and my late Dad and a sign that things were going to be alright for us all. I gave her a music box some twenty years back that had stopped playing. The day after we buried my precious Mother I was lead to that music box and I cranked it up and it played beautifully and is still playing. Another music box she loved started playing again after it was deemed broken also. I was sitting in her living room looking down the hallway and in the hallway light fixture reflection I saw movement in my Mothers bedroom. Miracles do happen. You just have to believe. I burn a lamp in her room all night. I continue to pull and draw her bedroom curtains. I feel blessed to have be there when she passed and I believe I would be unhappy had I not been. Good luck to you Andrea and may God bless you and your entire family. I will pray for you all.

Mar 16, 2013
Am I normal? Is what I am doing okay?
by: Doreen U.K.

Andrea You have made a decision of not to be present when your mother passes away. Try to explore your feelings more and if you have time on your side do it with a grief counsellor as a priority. Do this so you can make sure you make this decision for the right reasons and won't regret this later on. Many people just make a spur of the moment decision based on an element of fear and panic. With questions: "How will I react?" " What if I fall to pieces and make a fool of myself. what will other's think?" etc.
I got to the hospital too late and my mother had died and I missed seeing her and talking with her. and I fell to pieces. I hadn't seen her in a few months. It hurt so bad for a long time. I just saw that lifeless body lying there and I couldn't reach her anymore.
When my husband died 10 months ago from cancer I wouldn't have left his side for one minute. I was afraid to leave the room in case he died when I was away and I panicked that he had gone. I saw him draw his last breath and I went into numbness and I couldn't feel anything for some time. I am feeling it all now. I feel LOST AND EMPTY. But I have no regrets as this was my decision to not leave his presence for one minute.
The Marie Curie nurses sat with my husband all night so I could get some sleep. I regret this as I saw my husband in the morning and he said he was in pain all night. He was not given an injection. he was lucid and alert. He was not given an injection for pain and I had difficulty getting this. I was screaming down the phone for someone to come and give this injection after the night nurse left her shift. My husband clutched me and I was glad I was there. My husband put his arm around my neck and pulled me down to his level. I didn't realise at the time. I said. "Steve what are you doing." I understood later. This was Steve saying good-bye to me. He died later that night. My heart will be broken FOREVER.
Being there at point of death is an individual and personal decision. Make sure your decision is for the right reasons and you won't regret this? You are very normal. There is no right or wrong behaviour at this time. This is the hardest loss you will have to bear in life. Is what you are doing okay? Only if your decision is made with the understanding that you can live with your decision and not regret this later. You will have to live with this. Talk to someone if this helps you make an informed decision based on your feelings and what is around for you emotionally and mentally. I wish you Peace and calm and the support you need to make the decision you will feel happy with and not regret later on.

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