I nursed my mum through death

I lost my mum 6 months ago, we were close but throughout her life she played a lot of mind games with us as she wanted us around her all the time, having my own family I couldn’t and wouldn’t run to her every time but my brother was a lot softer towards her so he basically did everything for her, my mum had a lot of medical issues and 2 years ago we were told that she wouldn’t make the weekend, my mum was the most stubborn person I know and defied every doctor at every turn however all the medication over the years took its toll and her kidneys failed, we were told at the hospital that she had 2/3 days so me, my brother and sister made the decision to take mum home as she hated hospitals and she also had a little dog who she loved dearly. We got her home on the Friday afternoon and we had palative care and district nurses coming every day, 2/3 days turned to 12 days and while we had some lovely times and a lot of funny times during those last 12 days the last few days were absolutely awful, between me and my brother we took turns staying with mum through the night and during the day she had a lot of people around her we made sure all her brothers and sisters got to see her aswell, we had night time carers for the last four days which helped but we still felt we had to be there incase it happened, we couldn’t let her go with a stranger. The last day was the worst day of my life, we watched her struggle to breathe for 10 hours and she opened her eyes at one point and while we’re telling her to stop fighting and to let go, i don’t like the fact I was telling my mum to die, shortly before her last breath while I’m stroking her face I felt my thumb was wet which came from a single tear that rolled down her face and that was my undoing as in my head people cry because they’re in pain or sad or don’t like their situation which is absolutely destroying me, my brother was with me through all of this too and he’s tried his hardest to reassure me this is normal and that she wasn’t suffering but everything I saw is telling me different, the only person that can reassure me is now gone. I know I’m always gonna have these thoughts and images and sounds in my head forever but I’m really struggling with it, and I feel that no one can help as I said before the only person that can reassure me isn’t here anymore.

Hi Jomuggo,

I read your post with such sadness, you and your brother have gone through so much but how wonderful that you chose to take your Mum home for her last days. That must have meant so much to her and to have her dog nearby as well.

Those days must have been very hard for you both emotionally as well as physically. Sitting and watching someone you love pass away is the hardest thing ever I think. It is also a privilege to be with them those final days and hours. Many people do not get that and are forever sad they were not with their loved one to see them through.

Your memory of your mum’s final moments is such a sad one but your Mum knew you were there even if there were tears. My Mum was unconcious for her final couple of days so there was no real goodbye, she just slipped very quietly away. One moment she was with us and the next gone, peaceful but so sad.

I lost my Mum 19 months ago and the more awful memories do fade somewhat. I could pull them back but try not to. Like you I had Mum at home where she wanted to be with her loved pets around her. We had nurses and carers coming in but the nights were exhausting sleeping on a blow up bed next to Mum’s hospital bed. I prefer to think of my Mum as she should be remembered, happy, healthy and laughing at life. The happy memories are all that counts Jomuggo.

Take care of yourself

My mum was put on a syringe driver the Friday before she passed on the Tuesday so there was no communication, I’m so glad that we were with her as I know she wouldn’t of wanted to be with strangers and I know we did everything possible to make her last days the best we could but for my own selfish reasons I wish I didn’t witness everything I did, there was no way I could of let my brother do all that on his own, as a result me and my brother are so much closer but I don’t want to talk to him as I don’t want to put any of my bad thoughts in his head even though they’re probably already there.

Hi Jomuggo. You’re right. No one can help but I’s share my feelings. My Sister and I had a similar experience with our Mum at the end. I got married on 8th August 2015 and we lost her just 8 weeks later. Our Mum went to stay with my Sister and we don’t regret it in the slightest. As for punishing yourself for telling your Mum to go: please don’t. You know your Mum was in pain and discomfort but you love her so much that you didn’t want to her to suffer anymore. What child would? Your brother is right: your feelings are normal. When we grief everything is normal. I hope you both find some comfort with my reply. You will eventually look on those last days with happiness; not sadness. But no one can tell you when that is. Take care of yourself.