Sensitive question about Death

Can I ask what your thoughts are on when someone dies. How long after heart stops beating do you think they are aware. I can’t get out of my head I only stayed for a few minute and then had to leave mum as I was hysterical. Dad then stayed with mum for about 15 mins But oh how I wish I had stayed and held her. My one last cuddle with her. But I was so traumatised having watched her and held her whilst she took her last breaths.

My mum wasnt aware of anything from the moment she fell into a coma till her life support was switched off 24 hours later. I’m sure of that.
My mum as I knew her died straight away. She may have not officially died until the next day but there were no signs of life the moment she was transferred to kings college.
I dont think your mum was aware of anything for long. Please dont worry that you didnt sit with her after she died. That would have been for you, not her.
I didnt sit with my mum. It would have been far too traumatic considering she was laughing and joking with me just a few hours earlier.
All you would do is keep remembering holding her dead and it would haunt you. I didnt want to put myself through that. Your mum knew how much you loved her. X

My best guess is by the time a loved one has taken their last breath they are no longer aware of who or what is around them.
You were with your mother as she took her last breaths and I think she would have known you were there with her. Your father stayed with her which was right for him to do but he probably did it to say his goodbye.
We all think." I should have" about things and that’ s not dismissing your fears. If you had stayed would you then worry that your mother’s last memory of you was being hysterical?
Take comfort that you were with her before her death when it really mattered.Sadme

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Oh my gosh. Thank you so much. I can’t tell you what comfort that has given me. I go over and over that.
Cheryl. I also thought today. That the holding them after they have gone is a comfort process for the living. And for me it was not a comfort. Although for some it of course is.

Sadme. You are so right. I would have second guessed myself even if I had stayed

Thank you. Both. :heart::heart::heart:

Cheryl. I also thought of your mum today. When I was thinking about this. And I think when someone’s has had a massive brain bleed like that. They don’t actually hear anything either. They have gone. She just fell into a deep comfortable sleep. And my uncle who had a massive heart attack and stopped breathing for 15 minutes. He miraculously lived to tell the tale, he remembers nothing. Apart from he insists Batman came to see him. (Me thinks that’s the meds!!}. He only remembers going to bed the night before. And even that is hazy.

In my mums post mortem report it states that mums pupils were fixed on arrival at kings college. She was brain dead. I have no doubt that mum knew nothing from the moment she fell asleep.
Everyone who sat by her bed holding her hand didnt help my mum. They helped themselves. And I’m pleased that they have that.
I knew I couldnt do it. I I couldnt sit there and watch her unresponsive. My loud, funny mum that would argue black was white with me.
And if all my regrets, I dont regret that decision jooles.
You musnt either xx

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I agree with you on that Cheryl. Once someone is brain dead that’s it I’m afraid. Mums pupils were fixed about an hour before her last breath. I also think what you said about holding her after. My counsellor said to me. “Why didn’t you stay with her”. I said because it wasn’t my mum it was a dead body”. And she said “there you go then”

It’s of course down to each individual how you perceive that. I went to the chapel of rest for more closure. Dad said he got a lot of comfort from that. I walked in and went “nope that’s a dead person not my mum”. And virtually walked back out again. I gave her a quick kiss placed some items with her and left. Not gaining any closure or comfort.

You wont stop these feelings coming to attack you every now and then joules but they should get less and less.
I find that those thoughts and feelings of guilt are almost gone for me. I’m just left with permanent sadness that she is gone and I cant see it subsiding
I’m just so sad without her x


Our doctor told me, that Stan would have been dead before he touched the floor. I hope that your mind is now put at rest.

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I think this is such a personal belief and there is no right or wrong answer.

My mum was on life support for 2 weeks before she died, they called on the day of her death asking me to go to the hospital - it was 3am and dark, the lights were off obv for the other patients in on the ward. The doctor came and told me that we need to turn the life support off now, but she can still hear and feel you - the minute they turned the lights on for me to say goodbye I knew she was already gone, yes it was her…her face her body but not my mum. They turned it off and I literally closed my eyes held her hand and said goodbye, i stayed in the room under a minute, I walked out and went home. If I’m brutally honest I wish I didn’t, I wish it wasn’t my last memory. The doctor told me they can see/hear/feel you until the moment you walk out the room but I’m sure he was just saying that to try and make me feel better. My sister however stayed at the hospital for around a hour, sitting there, talking etc.

Please don’t feel guilty about what you did or didn’t do, you was there for your mum right up until her very very last moments and that is all that matters :heart::heart:


It such a personal decision. No right or wrong. Whatever is best at the time. I think I just worried that we left mum completely alone and she was still aware if that makes sense. I can’t bear to think of her all alone. Such sad stories here thank you for sharing them.

Jooles, there is no right or wrong way to do things.
People are under terrible emotional strain when a love one is dying. Whether, a person stays or goes is personal choice.

We stayed til her last breath. But left soon after. I still worry that she knew we had left her. I know that sounds silly she hated being alone

When your brain is not getting oxygen it stops sensing the outside world after a few minutes. If you held your breath, you will pass out and not remember it. I was having some blood tests done once, I could feel myself drifting away, I was able to tell the person what was happening, then fell into another world in my own head (passed out and was in some sort of rave party dancing with a bunch of colorful light beams and heavy rock music was playing). They had to get my husband from the waiting room. I woke up to a crowd around me. From that experience, I can say that they can not hear us and are not aware. The doctors maybe want us to feel better at the end. Everyone has to do what feels best for them. Please dont feel guilty.

I agree ell.
My mum was not aware of a thing.
When my partner sleeps I could hold a party in the bedroom and he would be completely unaware.
I think they tell us these things to make us feel better. To be fair, not once did the hospital tell me I should be sitting with my mum because ‘hearing is the last sense to go’
They told me that many relatives choose not to sit by the bedside of their loved one. My mums dedicated ICU nurse told me she couldnt go in if it was her mum.
That made me feel much better and i am ok with my decision. Mum knew me and knew that I would hate seeing her like that.
Cheryl x