My mother died yesterday

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Stimpfig, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Stimpfig

    Stimpfig Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    #1 Stimpfig, Jan 12, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
    Dear all

    As some of you know, I had been giving care to my mother across two continents and as I had done in May 2009, I came to India to relieve the private nurse I had engaged in the assisted living facility here on the west coast in India. I had arrived on Dec 2009, had been spending lots of time with her, but had actually started to stand in for the nurse from 10th Jan 2010.

    Mum always had a way of sensing my presence, and as has happened before, she seemed very agitated. Having lost her speech, all that she could do was grunt loudly and agitatedly . What i could gather was her hallucinations had intensified as she would break out into a sweat. All the objects on the ceiling such as lights and fans had become objects of terror. None of the drugs seemed to help. Her mouth was constantly open which also caused the accummulation of phlegm which we would take out by inserting a finger wrapped in a cold kerchief.

    I had a hard time feeding her or getting her to drink something on the 10th though she slept soundly during the night. On the morning of the 11th, she seemed calm as I changed her, gave her a sponge bath, I massaged her back and her feet with oil , and helped her lie on her side when all the phlegm came out by itself. Later, after cleaning her, i gave her tiny spoonfuls of milk which she swallowed but she would not or could not eat much.

    The anxious grunting began again . All the while, that is the whole morning, I stayed by her bedside, hugging her, consoling her, giving her reassurances, cooing into her ear but she seemed more agitated.

    Out of sheer desperation, I sent out a very intense and heartfelt prayer and around 12 noon, she cooled down some and then as I was giving her another round of health drink in tiny spoonfuls, she coughed severely and with all her strength vomitted and even as I wiped it all while still cradling her head and neck in my arms, her neck went limp: I shook her uttering "ama, ama "when she opened her eyes to look at me for a second or so and then she was gone right there in my arms. The nurse on duty at the assisted living facility confirmed that there was no heartbeat, pulse or light reflex in the eye. To be on the safer side, we took her by ambulance to the local doctor who confirmed that my mother had died (between 1245 and 1300 hours Indian time).

    The greatest gift was that she died when I was in India, right there in my arms, as if she had waited all along when I would be "serving" her personally and when I was by her bedside.

    However, I have fleeting doubts about my administering of liquid - maybe I should not have done so, perhaps she would not have aspirated then, may be I was the cause of her aspiration and death... everyone around is telling me not to think this way but I seem not to be able to help it.

    I am going through mixed feelings - on the one hand is the deep grief , on the other is the relief that her pain has ended : additionally I feel I was the cause of aspiration, may be I should have taken her to hospital and got the phlegm suctioned out but I thought I will waitfor a day or so before rushing with this decision which would have been traumatising for my mother: I was battling with the thought of hospice care ... and then I prayed and even said softly and lovingly in her ear - I am ready to say goodbye and that she will be with loved ones and that she shouldn't be afraid ... and then she was gone.

    I wish she would just come back and tell me she is okay now. Just once. That is the way I feel right now.

    It has been a long journey and I owe a lot to this society, for all the hand holding that I got at different stages of the disease since I joined in 2005 and for all the information I could gather from shared experiences which helped me cope up with every new stage in the disease, right upto the end. I know I have taken more than I have given .

    I know I will come back to the site... to work through my own grief...

    Thank you one and all.

    With much love
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hello Sue

    thanks so much for updating us with a very touching and inspiring story.

    I have often wondered how you were getting along.

    It seems to me that, with a very difficult situation, you provided excellent care and support for your mum and please don't go down the 'what if...' route.

    Of course, please use TP for whatever we can do to help ease your current situation.

    best wishes
  3. Helen33

    Helen33 Registered User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Dear Sue,

    First of all I would like to offer my sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. I feel really priviledged to have been able to share part of your story Sue - it is a beautiful and most moving story.

    I think you are probably struggling because you are human and I think it can be part of the human psyche at times. However, you will see from what you have said above that the greatest gift by far outweighs the fleeting doubts and hopefully the doubts will fade with the passing of time.

    Sending love
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Sue

    I`m not your mother but please take it from me. She is OK now.
    You did nothing wrong, you did your best for her at all times and your best is good enough.
    Please accept my deepest sympathy and sincere condolences.
    With love xx
  5. scarletpauline

    scarletpauline Registered User

    Jul 19, 2009
    I believe your mother waited for you to come and help her in her final moments, she is in a happier place now and you mustn't feel guilty. I am sorry though and pass on my condolences, love and hugs Pauline xxx
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Dear Sue

    Condolences on the loss of your mum.

    It's wonderful that you were there with her at the end, and I'm sure your mum appreciated that. Please don't feel eny guilt, your care for your mum was exemplary in the most difficult of circumstances.

    Your mum is OK, and so will you be when you can put these negative feelings behind you and remember the good times. But that will take some time.

    We're always here for you.

  7. sussexsue

    sussexsue Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    West Sussex
    What greater gift could you have given to your mother in her final day, to clean her, give her sustance, cuddle her, to soothe her when she was frightened and give her your unconditional love.

    She died in your arms, she was ready, her pain is over and you, as mother and daughter, shared an amazingly loving moment.

    We all experience "what if" moments when death comes, but in your heart you know it was just her time.

    Take care of yourself.

  8. larivy

    larivy Registered User

    Apr 19, 2009
    sending my condolences so glad you was with her love larivy
  9. Beezed

    Beezed Registered User

    Apr 28, 2009
    So sorry to hear about your mother but glad you were with her at the end. My sincere condolences.


  10. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    So sorry to hear about your mum, Sue.

    Please take comfort in the fact that you were with her, and I'm sure she knew that.

    She is at peace now.

    My condolences to you and your family.

    Love xx
  11. Winnie Kjaer

    Winnie Kjaer Account Closed

    Aug 14, 2009
    Please accept my sincere condolences. I am fairly new here so have not been following your "story" but I can feel by your post that your loved your dear mother deeply and cared for her beautifully. She waited for you, she was ready and her time had come, she is now at peace and I wish you all the strength in the world to get through the forthcoming time. You will find a lot of solence in knowing you were there at the end and did your very best.
  12. Bookworm

    Bookworm Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Co. Derry
    Dear Sue - my best wishes to you today as you begin a new phase of your life and my thoughts are with you in your grief. The timing and manner of your Mum's passing was so perfect - that you were there - that you gave such loving care and that you held her so gently (cradled is such a lovely word) and that she took one last loving look, console yourself with the perfect timing and do not dwell another moment on (as Bruce said) the "what if's" - they are natural but should be dismissed infavour of all the positive memories, from another Sue, xox
  13. Sue Ann

    Sue Ann Registered User

    Sep 26, 2009
    I'm so sorry to read about your mum , but she was so lucky to have you with her and if she could have she would have said so her self I'm sure.
    thinking of you
    Sue Ann
  14. julieann15

    julieann15 Registered User

    Jun 13, 2008
    Dear Sue
    Sorry to read of your mum's passing but what a lovely way to go-cradled in the arms of such a loving caring daughter

    Love Julie xx
  15. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Dear Sue,

    You know you have always done the very best for your dear mum.

    Please accept my condolences at this sad time.

    Mum is at peace now - please look after yourself.
  16. Michele

    Michele Registered User

    Oct 6, 2007
    Dear Sue,

    I am so very sorry to hear about your mother, but very pleased that you were with her.

    Take care of yourself.
  17. sad nell

    sad nell Registered User

    Sue , such sad news but so glad you were able to be there with her, sure this will bring you some comfort in the future. love Pam
  18. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Sue,

    Sending condolences on your Mother's passing.

    May you be granted the strength to get you through the coming days.

    Best wishes
  19. jackie1

    jackie1 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2007
    Sending you my thoughts and prayers.

    I'm sure your mother felt you there and was comforted by it. She is free and at peace now.

  20. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Dear Sue,
    I have often thought of you and wondered how you and your mother were doing. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, my condolences to you and your family.

    You had a very special last day with her. Please cherish that. Do not have doubts - your care was exemplary. I truly don't think it would have made a difference going to the hospital, except to agitate and traumatize your mother. Her last day was with the daughter she loved so much and who loved her so much.

    Take care.

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