The death of a Family

by Catherine McAteer

At the time of this posting because of circumstances, I am not quite sure if my mother is still among the living or has died on the 25th of January 2012. Here are the details surrounding this nightmare. We were a family of grown sisters (4) some of us married and divorced some of us still married. I moved away from my home state pretty far away and I am the second born to this rather fractured family. My older sister and I are full sisters our father having died when I was 4 many, many years ago, the other two are from my mother's second marriage.

My older sister and I had a falling out a number of years ago and that issue was about my mother. We came back together again 2 and half years ago because of my mother's health and the need to take care of her 24x7 not so much for health issues as much as aging issues (dementia). I was called and asked to fly 3000 miles so that she could be released from the hospital. When I saw her condition I was appalled at her weight loss and state of confusion. My older sister lives nearby for 6 mos of the year. She made her way back via her normal route by car no rush here. We made arrangement to take care of my mother; older sister takes mom into her home for the 6 months she's down here. Everybody else gets to rearrange their life to take care of Mom in mom own home where she so wished to be. Everybody else equals me for the most part, but I did so gladly even though I hate this state in the summer. The following year 2011 we made another arrangement Mom still stayed with the older sister in that sister's home but during the summer she went to the city of her birth where she stayed for 3 months and then returned to her home where I flew in to take care of her during this winter. Better for me, better for mom who really wanted to be home. Did I say how I hated this state in the summer.

After moving myself and 2 dogs, clothes and other equipment and taking care of mom starting in October up to present day. I take my mother to the ER (she walks in) with breathing problems on the 14 of January. We are told she is very sick (we already knew this) by a doctor we don't know. My sister who has the financial power of attorney and is a co-signer on her power of attorney for health with me drinks the kool aid of the smoothing talking doctor and pretty soon )within 30 minutes she is signing a DNR and then on to the care of a hospice took another whole 30 minutes to decide her fate. Its the hospice care which in my opinion practices terminal sedation that causes the battle between my sister and I. I could not sit by while they fast tracked my mother off this planet with a variety of narcotics making her basically comatose. I asked my questions of these so called "angels" with their platitudes about terminal sedation and pretty soon (2 days) my sister is telling me to behave or get out. I contacted various groups in an effort to protect my mother from these ghouls. My sister and I had a physical altercation about this and my mother was moved from her home to my sister home, and that is where things stand right now. I don't trust information coming from my sisters but I am realistic and believe its very possible that my mother is dead and cremated. The Family is also dead as a result as my mom was the glue that held it all together. Thanks for listening, and take a word of warning from this make sure you have an advance directive that protects you from the hospices of the future. They wouldn't even hang a bag of fluids so my mom wouldn't die of thirst they kept referring me to chapter 7 of their hospice book.

Comments for The death of a Family

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Jan 31, 2012
So Very Sorry..
by: Vickie

I read your story and I wish I had something more positive to say. I just read a story here (Angry Caregiver) and I think you have encountered the same misfortune. I can suggest that if you have strong doubts about your mother's death-go to the county (clerk)recorders office. If your mom has passed they would have to have recorded it. Even if it weren't in the newspaper.

I am so very sorry for your pain. It is hard enough to lose your mother and with all this-even more so.

I know there are some great people who have dedicated their life to caring for the terminally ill-but the Reality of this world is that things like this Do happen. We do not value our elders in this world. The medical field views them often as a costly liabilities.

God Bless You and I will keep you in my prayers.

Jan 30, 2012
I hear you
by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry. I was left out of most everything with the death of my father as well, so I feel I share in some of your grief. I hear the hope you had for some sense of "family" was destroyed by recent events.

At some point, someday, hopefully you will be able to forgive her... more for you than her... more for your mother than for you...

But for now, it's certainly okay to be angry, afraid, hurt, confused, frustrated, devastated and more.

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