Dying in your arms

When people write about someone dying they say, “She or he, died in their arms.” I did not get to do this. A nurse was attending to my mom and then she died. We were standing at the wall while the nurse was attending and I did not get to touch or be near my mom when she took her last breath. I certainly did not hold her in my arms. I know if the staff had not moved her to another room, I would be next to her holding her hand … I was cheated of this experience but I was also frightened. Did anyone else experience not getting to hold them? I feel terrible guilt every time I read that a child or spouse held them in their arms. I feel like such a loser.

Hi berit

I’m so sorry to hear about your mom, and that you feel cheated out of being able to hold her in your arms as she died. Please know that you are not a ‘loser’, and have no need to feel guilty- though guilt is a very normal part of grief. It very much sounds like you were doing the only thing you could, which was to let the medical professionals look after your mom.

I don’t know if you’ve considered counselling to help you process this, but if you are UK based we do have free Online Bereavement Counselling which is held via video chat. You can also ask your doctor for a referral, or if UK based you can use the NHS IAPT scheme to search for psychological therapies in your local area: Find an NHS talking therapies services - NHS

Please keep talking about how you are feeling, the community is here for you.

Take care, Rhi
(Online Community team)