1. Jaye Conte

    Jaye Conte Registered User

    Dec 14, 2012
    My mother died on Sunday. I'd been there every day for two weeks and I was going to be going back that Sunday afternoon. Why do so many people ask if I was there when she died? I feel so strange.
  2. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    I don't know. I wasn't with my husband either. We knew he was on end of life, but he really wasn't expected to go so quickly. I had gone home on a Sunday night to get some sleep, and he died very early on the following morning. I had made sure he knew everything was ok, and I'd be fine, and it was ok for him to go whenever he was ready. I would have liked to have been with him, but he could have lived (and was expected to live) several more days. Who knows, maybe my husband and your mum waited until we weren't there? Maybe they wanted to spare us that memory? Thinking of you, and wishing you strength.xx
  3. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    This is my mums experience, her sister was at end of life care, my mum and my niece stayed with my Aunty for days, she died the moment neither of them where there the Sister on the ward said this was often seen..
    don't beat yourself up about this.. it happens

    Take care
  4. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    I missed Mum's final breath by about two minutes...do I regret it....No! most emphatically NO. I had sat with her off and on for 3 years in the CH. I'd fed her, watched her, talked, walked, and every thing else with her too, but I wasn't there when she died. Perhaps these prople who ask " were you there?" are concerned that you feel you should have been there.
    You will feel strange just now, everything is different. Take care of yourself, you need to come first for a while.

    With sympathy for your loss, regards Maureen.x
  5. philamillan

    philamillan Registered User

    Feb 26, 2015
    Many people seem to think that they should be there at the final breath. Not sure why?

    It is so emotionally stressful waiting for someone to die and if you add physical stress as well it becomes overwhelming.

    Just say your goodbyes every time you leave in case it will be the last.

    Condolences to you and the family.
  6. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    My mum passed away at the beginning of April. My sister and I were with her when she passed. I have mixed feelings about it as although I was glad to be there, I still find the memories traumatic, as I hated to see her suffer in her last few hours - her breathing etc. I think that experience will always be with me.

    It is very common for family not to be there when their loved one finally passes, particularly if they were in a care home or hospital. When my cousin lost his dad, he had cared for him at home but he became so ill he went into hospital. He stayed overnight in the hospital because they knew it was the end, but eventually he needed a shower. When he went to a friends to have one, that was when his dad passed. I like to think of it as they sneaked away when we werent looking. Perhaps to save us the pain.
  7. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    My mum was moved from Hospital to a care home by the sea initially for respite. As much as it would have been easier for me to visit if she had been closer, I was happy enough as they looked after her and I really expected her to return to her home. As I work full time evening visits were difficult. The home had a nasty chest infection which spread through the residents and we were asked not to visit. This was the start of my Mums decline. She stopped eating and I was asked to go as she was declining rapidly. I went to find her in bed chatting and seemingly fine. I stopped worrying so much. I went at the weekend and sat with her going through her favourite book of dogs. On the Tuesday I had a call and went and sat with her just watching her drift in and out of sleep. I spoke to her told her it was ok for her to leave and all the things we should say. She said she wanted to sleep and said goodbye. I wanted to go back and had planned to get there at the weekend. I had daily calls with the staff and I think we all thought she would soldier on. She didnt. I have beaten myself up about this but even if I had of been there I would not have stopped the inevitable. I am sure they wait until we are not with them to save us the heartbreak of watching them go.

    Im so sorry for your loss xxx
  8. uselessdaughter

    uselessdaughter Registered User

    Jun 8, 2009
    West Country
    #8 uselessdaughter, Jun 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
    My Mum (no dementia) was always adamant that she didn't want her loved ones to watch her die. As it turned out she had a stroke and while we travelling the 200 miles to get to her and Dad had gone to get himself a drink she passed away. I don't know how much understanding she had, because it was apparently a severe stroke, but she got her wish.

    Condolences for your loss.
  9. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    #9 Saffie, Jun 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
    My feelings are very different I think. To me it is the last thing you can do for someone you love - just be there to hold their hand when they leave us. I realise that this isn't always possible of course and also that some will feel differently.
    Sadly I was unable to be there for my husband and it haunts me still that he would have wanted me there so wouldn't have felt so scared.
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Saffie - I too wanted to be there when mum died and after I was told she had only hours to go I stayed in her room at her care home. She hung on for 3 days (the carers made up a camp bed for me), but eventually I had to go and check my OH was OK. She died withing minutes of me leaving. One of the carers said that this was very common and she thought that mum had been hanging on until I left.

    I felt dreadful abut it too, but things dont always work out as we expect. I have decided that what was important was that I was there for her during her life, not what happened during the last few minutes.
    ((((hugs))))) to all in this situation.
  11. Murper1

    Murper1 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2016
    I don't know why people ask if you were there when your loved one died either. It wouldn't be what I would ask. Although I went to the hospital straight away when they phoned to say I should go in, Mum died as I walked down the corridor towards her. I've no regrets, though I was glad to be able to spend some time with her afterwards as I really felt she had gone and was running and skipping with joy!

    I don't think anyone should feel bad about not being there at the time of death especially if they know they had done what they could to help the PWD during the years of living with dementia. Time to take care of yourself now.
  12. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I am sorry for your loss Jaye. Please look after yourself at this difficult time.

    After many years of nuring, I agree that it often seems as if our loved one has waited until they are alone to 'slip away'. As has been said, the most important thing is the years of love and care we have given, rather than the final few moments.
  13. kingmidas1962

    kingmidas1962 Registered User

    Jun 10, 2012
    South Gloucs
    I'm very sorry for your loss. I was on holiday when my dad died and I never felt as if I should have been there. The care home told my brother that his favourite carer had been on night duty sitting with him when he died and he was very peaceful and 'unworried' and that was good enough for me x

    I remember the feeling of weirdness after dad died. All I can think of is that I looked out of the window and thought how everything looked exactly the same as before and yet nothing would ever be the same again - which doesn't mean nothing will ever be good, of course x
  14. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I have heard of more than one instance when the loved one died when family had finally gone for a rest or a meal.

    One man I knew had his father wave him and his sister out of the room over and over. They finally left and by the time he got home, the call had come in that his father had died, about 10 minutes after he left the nursing home. His father didn't want his children to see him die. I think this happens more than we realize. I feel it can be the last act of love of the dying person.
  15. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    I seemed to have missed everyone!
    Fil died while we were on holiday. Don't think OH felt it too much, although he arranged the funeral before we went away. OH and fil weren't friends btw.
    Mother, had a stroke when she and her sis went to post a letter. I was working away.
    Father, in a care home with dementia and pretty well drugged up. Saw him in am, just going back in afternoon and they phoned. I was only in the area cos they thought his time was short. One of my cousins was with him though.
    OH died at 03:00 after being given hours/days to live the previous day. His dau and I had been with him most of the previous day, but gone to eat and sleep, as he might have lasted a couple more days.
    I didn't see any of them after they died.
  16. Aisling

    Aisling Registered User

    Dec 5, 2015
    I don't know why people ask so many questions. It is painful and hurtful for the recipient. Not easy but try to ignore these questions.

    Aisling xx

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