Please help me TODAY - Mum/DS's nanny is probably going to die this weekend.

(146 Posts)
StoicButStressed Fri 01-Feb-13 11:53:17

I can't believe I'm actually writing this. Or that need very urgent advice/guidance/experience that might help my three beautiful boys, all of whom love their nanny very much. My mum is about to die.

I had to take my Mama into hospital on August 13th last year as she was in >pain and had >nausea. We got there at about 10am. 2 hours later I was (unfortunately) WITH the radiologist as the grim digital image popped up showing a vast tumour in one lung and white snowspots (I.E. Mets/spread) throughout the other. I knew immediately that she had Lung Cancer, that was almost certainly stage 4, that she was going to die. That was confirmed not long after. She also developed bone cancer and cancer in her head (not brain, but head). She was still very 'alive' initially but went downhill quickly, losing most of her voice due to pressure on vocal cords, and obviously more 'out of it' as Morphine doses rose.

She deteriorated to point where 3 weeks ago had to be moved to a nursing home as Palliative Care at home just could not manage the painsad.

I & DS's could not see her for that first week in home as we had contagious icky bug, then the snow meant we literally could not get there for most of second week. When I first saw her there, was just agonising in how much had worsened. Frail, tiny, barely able to speak, drifting in and out of sleep. Last few days worsened yet more, with (literally) only a couple of minutes at most of lucidity before drifts to sleep/unconsciousness. But I genuinely thought we were still looking at few weeks minimum, or maybe even a couple of months. But today was told is now very opposite.

She is now really struggling to swallow tablets at all (which vital as her pain is so very horrific), so nurses told me this morning that she does now need a syringe driver put in, and that after that it would probably be 'quite quick'.

I asked them to please PLEASE just be very direct & honest with me, which they were and I do not doubt them as these are people with 40 years palliative type care experience each (so please please do not post telling me to hope for more etc, as if it is more that's amazing, but I can't really hope for that and HAVE to focus on realities RIGHT NOW). The 2 huge and SO sudden things are that once the syringe driver is in with the increased level of morphine she needs and the sedative that will also be in it, that they have been very clear she will not speak again - as it is even now, is literally just the odd period of lucidity and talking very quietly in tiny voice, or nod, but after this will be nothing and I don't doubt them. The second is that they believe she will go into a coma and pass this weekend, mid-next week at very latest in their opinion/experience. I honestly thought it would be at least a few more weeks yet so whilst me & DS's do know she is dying, this is very very sudden. And is worse given THEY too couldn't see her for the first 2 weeks of past 3 since in the nursing home.

I have asked them to hold off on the syringe driver until tonight so DS's (11, 18, 21) can see her and her speak to them as that will be the last time they do ever hear their nanny/can talk to her (though do know we can all carry on talking TO her as hearing is apparently very last to go). And - thank god - she has now managed to swallow her ton of meds this morning so they will last until 8pm. But literally - and I can't even believe I'm writing this - tonight is the last time my Mum will ever speak to me.

All I can think of is the boys and what/how to tell them - & also how the f*ck I am going to urgently get DS1 home (no, can already be certain he won't have the money for a train as is student and always runs out of cash and haven't even yet rung him as am absorbing news and trying sort all out very quickly) but he is in college in bloody Brighton and we are on outskirts Surrey/London border - but I have be here to get the other 2 from school soon and obv cannot then leave them, though cannot begin to think about how they will react (ESP 11yr old). And that's what I'm terrified of/need help with please?

So if you have ANY advice or experience etc for me about that, about how I can help them, how to phrase it - ANYTHING AT ALL that will help in this horrific and beyond time-critical situation, please please PLEASE help me as soon as soon as you can possibly can xxxxx

I really can't believe that my Mum is never going to speak to me again after tonight, or that they think my mum is going to die this weekend. Think am in total shock, but if you have ANYTHING that can help me help my boys, please please help me. xxxxxxxxthanks

cheesecheeseplease Fri 01-Feb-13 11:55:46

I have no advice I'm sorry bit sod not want to read and run one very big hug from me xxxxthanks

I am so mum too had lung cancer and we lost her in August 2010.

My DS was 8 when my mum died and he knew that she was very poorly and he knew she was going to die, not that I ever told him that.

The last time he saw her he just said goodbye to her as usual (she was very poorly and bedbound by this point) and he didn't treat her any differently than he did when she was well which I actually thought was quite nice.

When I told him she had died he had a cry and then picked himself up and carried on as are more resilliant then we give them credit for. Just talk about your mum and let them talk about her and let them know it is ok to be upset. Dont dress it up, just be honest and frank about it.

I hope your mum gets the peace she needs, sending you hugs x

suburbophobe Fri 01-Feb-13 12:08:19

I'm sorry I have no advice on how to tell your DCs (but have read good advice on other threads in Bereavement).

But I am here to hold your hand because I am going through the exact same thing sad (I was amazed to see your title).

My DM had a stroke on Tuesday night and is dying. She is having palliative care and is no longer "there".

It's been a long hard road. She's a month away from her 92nd birthday and has had Alzheimers for about the last 7 years.....I understand that they call it "The long goodbye".
My dad died of cancer in 2010.

I also have DS at university and he is coming back today. He was very close to her.

There are more comforting reads in this section, one on the after-life.
I know my mum is going to a better place.

Wishing you much strength.

FayeKorgasm Fri 01-Feb-13 12:11:44

I'm so sorry for you and your family. I'm no expert, but in my limited experience children cope with death with surprising strength. Saying goodbye sounds like a very good idea as I'm sure your DM will be as comfortable as possible and they will be reassured by this.

In the days and weeks that follow, encourage them to talk about how they feel and explain what you feel too. Talk about your DM and how you remember her over the years. I would imagine there might be some anxiety in their minds about your own mortality. I would be reassuring, explaining how you DM is older than you, you are fit and healthy etc.

Take care

PeriPathetic Fri 01-Feb-13 12:38:29

I'm so, so sorry for you and your boys. My best wishes for this evening and the coming days.

Tell the boys with straightforward, honest words. Hug each other lots, and then some more.

Now, practicalities. Contact your eldest. Or contact someone at the college as they may be able to help in this emergency. If he has indeed run out of money, can he borrow some from a friend / college for the journey?
If not, this may help - you can book online for collection at a station BUT you will have to call them first as he obviously won't have the debit/credit card.

I hope he gets back for you and your mum.

melrose Fri 01-Feb-13 13:39:30

I am so sorry for your sadness.

Do you have a friend or realtive who could drive to get DS from uni? Or a friend of his at uni who could drive him home (and you could give money for petrol)?

StoicButStressed Fri 01-Feb-13 13:40:40

Thank you allthanks thanks thanks, and hugs to all who have lost someone before and even bigger hugs to surburbophobesad xxx

Have just told DS1 and miraculously he does have cash (gallows humour but made me smile as was so bloody unlikely that he had spent it all!), so he is leaving college now and going back to his partner and then ringing me with his next steps/plan.

I know about the resilience stuff etc, it's much more though about this very very VERY sudden news - IE this morning they, like me, thought yep, nanny very poorly and we're seeing her this evening but she's not going now. And now suddenly it's that very black and white fact of "boys, after tonight nanny cannot/will never speak to you again" (IF I do tell them that??? ESP 11 yr old? But can't tell 18yr old without telling 11 yr old, and can't NOT tell 18yr old - and think I SHOULD tell 11yr old so he knows and has a proper chance to say goodbye and hear her back - OMG I am now crying and crying and crying.)

And it's the "she is going to die this weekend/mid next week VERY latest" bit, as SO out of blue. Suspect will phrase (esp with bubba) it as "Nanny's nearing the end now, and it really won't be very long". But AGAIN, any more advice much appreciated. Did just ring their Dad (my Ex-H) to tell him (given IS their Dad and clearly they ARE going to be affected even though it's only really youngest who sees him properly now) and he was a complete and utter c*nt (sorry for using the worst word, but only way describe it).

I just can't believe this is happening.

LottieJenkins Fri 01-Feb-13 13:48:41

Sending you love and hugs Stoic Winstons Wish are very good at helping children understand bereavement. They helped me with my ds when his Dad and Grandad died. sad
I hope your eldest ds gets home to you soon. I will remember you all in my prayers............

Lostonthemoors Fri 01-Feb-13 13:50:32

Dearest Stoic, your three boys will be very sad about what is happening to their nanny, but they are lucky enough to have had a most wonderful nanny, the lovely mother you sound to be and they have each other. So glad you have them too.

Please try to forget about your of an ex. What a horrible man sad don't give him head space at the moment.

These were the things that helped me when I was your DS 2's age and my granny was in ICU:

Knowing that she would understand if I told her I loved her and that I was very important to her so I couldn't say/do anything 'wrong' at that moment

Knowing that dying would let her be free of pain

Knowing that she had been made so happy by her son and by having all of us

Someone lives while they are in your heart. She is with me forever and I think of her almost every day.

Love, xxx and strength to you for these days

Lostonthemoors Fri 01-Feb-13 13:55:19

Ps I would be totally honest with them that she is likely to be gone this weekend - that will help then come to terms with it and let them say goodbye properly. I would also explain honestly that it's very unlikely she will speak again after tonight. Then they are prepared for that.


I dont have personal experience but it strikes me that it would probably be best to prepare the younger ones for the possibility of it being the last time they see her, without being definitive. If they KNOW this is the last time they speak to her it may make them clam up under the pressure of getting it 'right'. I think you'd probably get the best response from them by telling them that nanny has got worse and you just dont know how long she has.

I'll think of you all. I hope it goes as well as possible.

BiscuitMillionaire Fri 01-Feb-13 13:57:54

OP, it's a horrible horrible shock to see your own mother looking so frail and vulnerable and close to death. I know, I saw my mother in a similar state two years ago.

I would say, don't worry about telling them she will never speak to them again, just that, as you said, she won't be with you much longer than a few more days, so this is their chance to say goodbye to her.

Don't get too worked up about your sons, you need to take care of yourself. You're the one losing your mother. It's such a deep deep loss, of course you're in shock.

You'll get through this. Just tell her you love her and it's OK for her to let go now.

sending you love and support

melrose Fri 01-Feb-13 14:01:35

I would agree wth Lula, I think you should say she has got worse and that she will slip away in the next few days, tell them that she will probably not be able to speak to them after tonight but can still hear them. I would also reassure them that they do not need to say anything special, as she will know they are there and that they love her. If not they may feel pressurised to "say the right thing" and clam up.

Lots of love nad prayers to you xxx

OhThisIsJustGrape Fri 01-Feb-13 14:10:12

Ok, I was once exactly where you are now - although my DS was only 2 but, and its a big but, I had only just turned 20 myself and my DB was just 13.

So, we were similar ages to your DCs. My mum had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and died just 6wks later. Although we knew for all of those 6wks that she was desperately ill the end came within literally 2 or 3 days, and it was after she'd had a syringe driver put in.

You and your DCs need time with your mum, alone if they're comfortable with that or with maybe just you or a nurse. Encourage them to tell her all the things they would like to say, even if she doesn't respond they will draw comfort from it in days/years to come. It is also vital that you get some time alone with her too, I understand your concern for your children but you need to think of yourself too.

My mums last 24hrs were spent drifting in and out of consciousness, mostly asleep and unable to speak but her eyes would open sometimes when we spoke. I am certain she knew we were there and we actually did a 48hr vigil at the hospital up until she died. Her breathing was very laboured and noisy due to the morphine, you will need to prepare your DCs for this as it was quite distressing.

Her actual passing was peaceful, each breath she took became gradually further and further apart until there were no more. I have to admit I went to pieces, I was exhausted and looking back just so young sad. Will your DCs be there at the end? I'm glad I was but it took me a long time to deal with the memories if I'm honest and my 13yo brother wasn't there thankfully.

I have a lump in my throat typing all that, it happened almost 15yrs ago now but not a day goes past where I don't think of my mum. My heart breaks for you all, knowing what you're going through.

Please, please feel free to pm me today, tomorrow, any time in the coming weeks if you need to talk. I will be thinking of you all.

Becp Fri 01-Feb-13 14:12:19

My mil died at the end of last year, it was expected but nevertheless, heartbreaking to see her get so frail & in so much pain. I took our children to see her shortly before she passed away but I didn't tell them it would be the last time. I thought, as others have said, that would just be too much for them. After I told them as simply as I could that she wouldn't get better. Be prepared for lots of questions that might be difficult to answer, and don't be worried about them seeing you are upset. Take care & I'm thinking of you all x

Ohthisis my heart goes out to you. It was bad enough sitting with my mum during her final hours at 39, cannot imagine how you felt at 20.

My mums last days were the same, she was basically asleep and she just wound down really.....and second the comment about her breathing. Mums breathing was very loud and raspy as well due to fluid on her lungs although the nurse who was there did give her an injection to stop this. I am glad DS was not there though as I think that would have been distressing for him.

OhThisIsJustGrape Fri 01-Feb-13 14:27:57

It was awful but losing your mum is painful whatever age it happens to you. My great aunt died just before Christmas at the grand age of 97 and her 64yo daughter was very upset, I'd have been grateful to have had my mum for half that long but it doesn't make her grief any less than mine was.

OP you will get through this and you'll look back and not know how you did it, but you will. Take comfort from being able to say goodbye to your darling mum and knowing that she will be at peace.

There is nothing more you can do except be there for her, and she will draw comfort from having you there.

We told my mum it was time for her to go, to stop fighting and rest. I like to think she felt secure knowing we were all prepared for the end.

It was awful but losing your mum is painful whatever age it happens to you. My great aunt died just before Christmas at the grand age of 97 and her 64yo daughter was very upset, I'd have been grateful to have had my mum for half that long but it doesn't make her grief any less than mine was

That is so true but it took me a long while to realise this. I felt cheated because my mum died before I was 40. I remember one of the ladies who used to come to my aerobic class cuddled me and told me she knew how I felt as she had just lost her mum. I remember thinking but you are 66 and I am 39 so it's worse for me. Of course, it wasn't and I know that now. I used to get annoyed if anyone got upset because say their nan had died. I would think, it was your nan, worse for me because it was my mum!!

Took me about a year maybe longer to stop being so irrational!

Grief does strange things, sort of turned me into a person I am not so keen on.

Yeah, I told my mum to go to sleep.....and she did.

Hugs to us all xx

DowntonTrout Fri 01-Feb-13 14:50:59

I'm so sorry you are going through this today.

I wanted to urge you to be very honest with your DSs. They are old enough to deal with this, even the youngest. You have time to say everything you want to your dear Mum, and importantly, they do too.

We didn't have a goodbye with my dad. We left the hospice at 6pm with him sitting up in his chair, thinking we may have days or weeks left and he died at 10pm with none of us there.

Our goodbyes were said after he died and I was amazed at DD, 9 at the time. She came in to see him, after I had. This sounds grim, I'm sorry, but he was still warm and soft and she lay down with him and stroked his hair.

I wish so much, and was really angry at the time, that we had had no warning and he died whilst we weren't there. Maybe the not realising made it easier, on him and us, I don't know. Your sons may well be upset and it's normal. It's normal to feel all sorts of things, don't beat yourself up over ANY emotion you feel. And don't hide from them how you feel either. In the future you will all feel better if you have told them the truth, harsh as it seems.

You will need a lot of strength over the coming weeks and I hope that knowing people are thinking of you helps a little bit.

DowntonTrout Fri 01-Feb-13 15:14:14

That should say I wish so much that we had had some warning and that he hadn't died whilst we weren't there.


StoicButStressed Fri 01-Feb-13 20:43:59

sad sad sad

my heart goes out to you . three months ago i was in the same position with my own mum sad its so hard and i wish you strength . my ds is five so diff situation but me brother an sis are all earky to mid twenties. be as honest as you can with your boys and give them the time they need. watchin mum take her last breath will always be the most difficult thing i will ever do but im so grateful we spent the time there wittering away about nothing much and holding her hands even if she did or didnt know.send u lots of strength and am only a pm away if u need a chat.

JoyceDivision Fri 01-Feb-13 21:01:25

StoicButStressed I'm so so so sorry about your mum.

Dh's mum / my MIL passed away suddenly 23 Dec this Christmas just gone. She had a chest infection, DH took her to hospital, packed her weekend bag, dropped it off, said he'd bob up and see her in the morning... an hour after getting home the hospital rang and said he needed to return urgently.

That was a Friday night, she slipped away peacefully on the Sunday morning. It was awful having to tell the dc, ours are 4 and 6. The younger dc just knows Grandma is far away in heaven on a cloud. The elder dc was very upset. I explained Grandma had gone into hospital, she was very poorly and her heart was very poorly. She was starting to be in pain and very tired, so while she ws asleep in hospital, some angels came downn to see her and said they had been watching her, and knew she was in pain and very tired, and did she think it was time to go? Grandma said yes, she would like to go to with the angels to heaven as she was hurting and very tired, and she would be sad to leave everyone behind, but she wanted to be comfortable on a big fluffy cloud and see grandad. We spent a while picking the cloud dcs thought she would be on and giving her a wave.

Your poor dcs will be upset and maybe stuck for what to say, I can't offer much advice, just reassure them its ok to be upset, if they can't think of what to say just hold your mums hand and tell her they love her?

Like other posters have mentioned, We told my own grandma and MIL that if she wanted to go, it was ok to go, and said everybodys name, taht everybody was ok and they would be ok after MIL had gone, so when they were ready, they could go (sounds a bit odd, I'm not expressing it very well, but its along the lines of if someone seems to be 'hanging on' for fear of leaving loved ones behind its to tell them its ok to go?)

I'm so soprry for you, just say what you want your mum to know, it will be of great comfort when your mum passes that you've told her anything you wanted and had chance to say, rather than 'I wish I'd told her...'

My mum died suddenly of a massive brain haemorrhage almost 5 years ago, because of the speed of it she was brain dead almost immediately but I was there when her breathing stopped. I never got a chance to say how much I loved her, or what a fantastic mum she had been and I really wished that I had a few moments to tell her that.

These next few days are going to be with you for a long time and the best use of them is to be there with her telling her how much she means to you and your family.

I just wanted to say Stoic that you also need to make sure that you look after yourself. It was hard to lose my beloved grandmother but it was nothing like as difficult as losing my mum. Take care.

suburbophobe Sat 02-Feb-13 00:19:06

I am taking comfort from reading all these posts and everyone's input.

It makes me feel less alone....


t875 Sat 02-Feb-13 10:59:23

Oh Im so sorry to read this OP. I lost my mum to a massive stroke 8 months ago, we knew she wasn't going to make it after a few days as they said she was brain dead. But was with her for her last breath after a week, was a massively hard time horrendous in fact, and still get hard days now as miss her massively.
with the children, we gave them the choice to go to the hospital and say good bye, we told them that nanny was very ill and was in a deep sleep and the dr's are doing all they can but she might not make it.. sad
they went and saw her they put a teddy with her in the bed and we all told her how much we love her etc, and like you say i believe she heard as the hearing they say is the last to go.
when my mum had passed, they had special things of theres go in with my mum and they done a picture, i also put things in with her, and i love you mum soft toy, and photos.
They were very upset after my mum passed but not too bad, better than i thought they would be, my eldest got frustrated and angry for the first few months and wouldn't talk about her, i didn't push it, and was there for her when she wanted too on the fleeting moments she did, she has come round a bit more talking about her, youngest was a bit more different, she was matter of fact but spoke about her a lot and cried. They both aren't too bad now, we do things in memory of my mum, to keep her spirit alive.

we have a thread here called losing a parent im sorry i cant remember the whole link but please find us there too, it is very supportive and helped me a lot.

Also there is service called winstons wish who are bereavement for children who have lost someone close to them.

Thinking of you and sending (((hugs))) through this very hard time. xx

StoicButStressed Sat 02-Feb-13 12:26:11

Hi all, and thank you all again so so so much for lovely messages - please know they helped me hugely yesterday when i had very little time (& was in deep shock) to make decisions vis DS's, what I said to them, how I presented their options etc. Will post properly later but headlines are firstly that the syringe driver has NOT still yet gone in as she managed swallow meds last night and this morning. We will need to make a decision re it tho as clearly the 'swallowing' bit was the driver of the urgency, but the pain relief element still there. I had been up all night Thurs so last night was first sleep since Weds and slept midnight to 11.30 - was staggered as thought I wouldn't sleep at all even tho body just so beyond exhausted. Have to go soon but wanted post, say TY, and update, as know you care (& cannot tell you how much that means to me as I am very isolated ATM for a variety of reasons, so TY TY TY all).

Headline re DS's were they were just beyond amazing. All came even though was very harrowing, all spoke to her and told her they loved her, all held her hand, and all cuddled each other as each of them wept. I have never ever been so proud of them collectively - they were just incredible.

Again, thank you all so much, am profoundly grateful, and please keep on thinking of us as weekend unfolds.

thanks thanks thanks

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 12:30:52

Have been thinking of you constantly since you posted - we are all here for you. Have been looking out to see if you might post again.

Very pleased to hear your mum was able to take the pain relief orally.

Your DS all sound absolutely lovely and it sounds as though they were really there for their nanny, you and each other last night.

Love and hugs to you.


StoicButStressed Sat 02-Feb-13 14:34:02

Bless you Lost - your username is funnily enough exactly how I feel right now. Lost and no idea of route ahead and not much resource to help me get there (wherever 'there' is). My immediate concerns are that I KNOW I want to be with my Mum at the end - OMG I really STILL cannot believe am writing this, I literally just cannot believe this is happening - but have major concerns/practical issues try and sort. If I camp at nursing home in my mum's room from when they say is likely 48hrs or so, how do I get my 2 youngest 2 DS's to school? Lucky enough to have someone staying with me atm to feed them etc but they can't drive and no-one to ask and can't afford the four journeys in/out to school (too complicated to explain WHY both so isolated AND so skint compared to normal but other posts of mine will fill that in, but headline would be I have had to protect DS's privacy due to horrific stuff c/o Ex-H, and it was that same horrific stuff that made me have to stop my - beyond lucrative which makes fact I can't afford 4x£15 cabs even more fricking horrific right now - career).

Am just lost and scared and alone (not WITH boys) but in adult sense, and just stuck and trying to make the right choices for them but at the same time be able be with my mum - the idea of her being alone when dies is just too horrific to contemplate, and I know if I am NOT there I will regret it for the rest of my life AND feel beyond guilty that she DID die alone.

'she did die alone'...How is my mum so very suddenly dying, I literally just cannot get my head round it and am in an agony that can't find words forsad

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to all of you, esp Suburbphobe - sending you SO much love, and you have been in my thoughts constantythanks

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 02-Feb-13 15:03:56

Stoic: wanted to check in and see how you're doing.

On a practical note, could your 18-yr-old stay at a mate's house, someone who lives closer to school, and travel in and back with them? And could your 11-yr-old miss school for a couple of days?

Take care, hope you're eating and drinking, glad you got some sleep. Make yourself a cup of tea.

Theas18 Sat 02-Feb-13 15:19:25

Gosh sending you huge hugs at this sad sad time.

Walking your path a few steps behind with my dad I fear and it's is really hard.

talk mum you love her and will be with her on her journey. Be honest with the kids-a church friend died recently and my uni daughter was sad she didn't know he was I'll .she wouldn't have come home-he want that close but she would have wanted to know and we didn't think she would).

Gather your chicks, hug them and take them to say goodbye. Personally, especially the adult ones I'd offer them a place in the vigil just being there for their gran. Death isn't to be feared, and it is rarely anything other than a peaceful release in a terminal illness. don't deny the kids there post in that if they would rather be there.

Equally viewing the body before the funeral-let them choose. A last goodbye and realisation that it isn't really the "essence" of the loved one, but a shell that us being cremated/buried might help.

praying for a peaceful death for your mum and a prepared parting for you all.

Theas18 Sat 02-Feb-13 15:22:47

Btw please please don't be fearful about your mum dying alone. I deal with death at work, and, I'm sure some people do choose to take their last breath without family there. It's how it is.

DystopianReality Sat 02-Feb-13 15:29:37

I am so, so sorry, your post made me weep. I lost my beloved father a year ago.

They will make it through,, but will you..? You sound as if you could do with lots of support,, I will be thinking of you.

I was in your position 11 nearly a year ago, same illness, same distressing rapidity of deterioration. My dd wasn't with us (had to go home back to school) and I found a letter to Granny saying she didn't get to say goodbye. It hurt so badly. Well done for getting all your lovely children there, really glad your dMum is managing to swallow the pills for now.

Practicalities - tell your dcs schools what is happeneing, they may have a teacher near you who could drive the children in to school or have other ways of dealing with such scenarios (must happen from time to time). If not, then the children my have to miss a few days of school.

At the moment, concentrate on your dMum and being able to be there. We are all here, happy to talk if you need us. It's a tough thing to do, I hope you have some support afterwards. Are you in contact with MacMillan?

have been thinking of you today, you have done a good thing getting your children there but please take time for you and what you need. I'm three months on from losing mum and I still don't feel back to myself. always here for a chat.x

StoicButStressed Sat 02-Feb-13 16:27:44

I am just leaving to go to the nursing home to say goodbye to my - lovely, amazing, loving - Uncle who flew in on Weds to see Mum (Mum and him from SA, so he came to see her) but is leaving here for airport at 5. Dreading saying goodbye to him, but also aching for him as he knows/we know that when he says goodbye to his sister he will so very literally never, ever see again.sadsadsad

Thank you all again for messages, you can have NO idea how much they mean. Will post later if can after said goodbye to Unc and seen my Mum again. Sending my love to you all re your own losses and the fact you have taken time to try and help/advise/offer support etc to me - very grateful xxx

StoicButStressed Sat 02-Feb-13 16:28:34

PS do any of you who have so kindly said to PM you or chat live anywhere in/around Surrey? xxxx

am north west so nowhere near but happy to pm or email if u need a chat. hope things go as smoothly as possible x

thinking of you.

i am in Essex but please pm me if you ever need an understanding ear xx

t875 Sat 02-Feb-13 17:36:36

oh I so feel for you what you are going through, it really is very hard.
Each time i said good bye to my mum in case when we left she passed away.
we were with her a lot, all day the Thursday, she started deteriating and we could see it, we left like normal on the Thursday evening at 6 we were going to go and grab something to eat and come back, we got a phone call an hour after telling us she had passed away.

Due to my beliefs I don't believe they are on their own when they pass, but I was gutted I hadn't been there, but I think she had other plans for us not to be. We saw her not long after, i truly feel and believe she didnt want anyone there.

Thinking of you and we are here for you, this forum has been a massive support for me. big hugs for the time ahead xx

Theas18 Sat 02-Feb-13 17:46:28

West midlands here, but sending you another hug.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 02-Feb-13 18:15:48

Sorry am up north but sending you comfort and strength. Say everything you wish to, she may not speak but they say hearing still keeps a patient aware beyond when we might think they can't listen. Reassure her she has done so much and you will miss her but you are ready to cope and will look after her loved ones as much as you are able. As Theas18 observed there is often a short window before those closest arrive or just step out of the room for a moment. Often he or she will slip peacefully away.

My DD wrote a note for my DM and kept it under her pillow for weeks after she passed. If you show your DCs grief they will know there is nothing unnatural in mourning someone. Things are bound to be strange and feel disjointed so routine helps to keep everyone grounded. Better to shed a spontaneous tear than guard against showing emotion.

StoicButStressed Sat 02-Feb-13 19:15:59

Missed my Unclesad. Devastated (understatement).

Mum sleeping peacefully when left. She was able speak a tiny bit at moments, though voice is so very small now it can be hard to understand at times. I was just talking to her about lot of stuff, the boys etc, even when I thought she was asleep; and when I said "how amazing is it that DS2 has got into Oxfordsmile " she opened her eyes and said "I'm so proud".

Was just beyond precious. I know I will remember that moment forever.

OhThisIsJustGrape Sat 02-Feb-13 19:28:11

So sorry you missed your uncle

What a lovely, albeit bittersweet moment, with your mum saying how proud she is - its memories like these that you will draw comfort from in time to come.

3 days before my Mum died it was hers an dad's silver wedding anniversary. Dad spent a fortune on an eternity ring for mum, she had always wanted one but dad didn't do jewellery, I think he thought it a waste of money. He would've done anything for her though at that point and gladly bought her the ring. The night she died, about 6hrs beforehand her best friend came to say goodbye. Mum had been pretty much unconscious all day but she heard her friend's voice and lifted her hand to show of her beautiful ring. There wasn't a dry eye in that room. And it's things like that that I try and remember because any other moment is too traumatic to dwell on.

Practicalities wise - it will literally only be a couple of days or so that you will remain a constant at your mums bedside, under the circumstances I don't think it unreasonable for your boys to miss school. You don't want to be rushing around trying to get them to school and then being scared of not being there for your mum - that way lies a potential accident in the car IMO. Let the boys stay home and you can then concentrate on your lovely mum.

I'm nowhere near you unfortunately otherwise I would gladly drop everything and come and hold your hand. Please do pm me if you need to talk or ask any questions.

Will be thinking of you, wishing your mum a peaceful night x

Sending you hugs and hand holdingthanks

Seeing someone so close, suffer so much is unbearable.
I Iost my teenage brother to bone cancer, he was in so much pain i wish i could have taken it awaysad
I hope i never live to see cancer take anyone else like it did him & my nan.

I told my dd when my brother was in the last stages, i can't remember how i told her as i have tried to block out all the bad parts and prefer to remember my bro in happy times before the disease took such a hold.

My thoughts are with you op, make the most of every moment however small that you have with your mum.

Even after he was dosed up on morphine and asleep most of the time, there are still snippets when he spoke or mentioned a funny story and i'll cherish them forever.

I don't know whether your mum is at all well enough for pictures, but if she is make sure you get some pictures.
I took many pictures months before my brothers death, i have them all stored on my pc, so i have plenty of memories of the good times & obviously not so goodsad

Take care opthanks

suburbophobe Sat 02-Feb-13 21:41:10

please please don't be fearful about your mum dying alone. I deal with death at work, and, I'm sure some people do choose to take their last breath without family there. It's how it is.

Thank you Theas for this. It's my feeling too. (Saw it with my dad also).

My sister on the other hand feels as if she is abandoning our mum...(if she is not there at the end).
She's a super-organiser control freak anyway....

Sometimes though, you make them feel as if they have to hang on if you bring a lot of emotion into it. (their passing)....

Better just to let them go and bless them onto their next journey.

"You come in alone and you go out alone".

Whatever happens between that is a blessing and a learning.

Lostonthemoors Sat 02-Feb-13 22:07:25

Crying here about your lovely mum saying how proud she is of your very clever DS.


Stoic offering you a hand to hold and a prayer tonight.

When my MIL died 10 years ago it was extremely sudden and no one had a chance to say goodbye. So although your situation is extremely, extremely painful it is good that you have this period, albeit short, to be with your mum. And lovely that there is so much affection between you all. Not the case with every family.

I'm so glad that your boys had a chance to see her and tell her what they needed to. That is quite something and you are right to be proud of them.

I'm with the posters who say that missing a couple of days of school isn't the end of the world.

So sorry your ex has behaved so atrociously. As someone else said, please don't waste any more energy on him.

I'm not far from you -- in west London (grew up in Sy) but as you know my plate is very full right now. I really hope that you will find people to help you in your very difficult situation. Are there no other family members you could call on? Friends? Neighbours? I'm very bad at asking for help but have had to learn to recently and I've been bowled over by how kind people are. Sometimes you just have to ask.

Big hugs and hang in there.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 03-Feb-13 01:52:14

Prayer for you, remember you're not alone.

t875 Sun 03-Feb-13 09:29:38

Thought and prayers with you stoic sending a hug if needed xxx

Follyfoot Sun 03-Feb-13 09:41:21

Oh Stoic. Thinking of you. No advice really as its such a personal journey but just wanted to say talk to her, hold her hand, say all those things you want to say to her. And encourage others to do the same. When my beloved Dad was at the same stage as your lovely Mum is now, we thought he couldnt hear us or speak any more. A few hours before he died, it became clear that he could hear us still (and actually he suddenly spoke - lucidly - just before he died). He was still there.

This time is very precious for all of you so just do whatever feels right - it will be right.

And how wonderful that your Mum knows of your DS2's amazing achievement, thats lovely.

Soppykiss Sun 03-Feb-13 10:05:21

I went through something similar with my fiance weeks ago, he died of bowel cancer. He died before they increased the morphine, which was a relief as we didn't want to drug him further but didn't want him to be in any further pain.

His family and I all said our individual goodbyes to him, we told him how much we love him and to stop fighting. We wanted him to be at peace.

I struggle with the memories of the past few weeks, and I have tried to block them out. If they begin to haunt you all I can recommend is talking to people about the good times and going through photos/videos etc.

I've started a memory box (I'm also 5 months pregnant) and I'm trying to keep myself busy, all I can suggest is try to do something similar.

Nothing will bring you comfort or take away the pain of losing them but at least they won't be suffering anymore. Look after yourself and your family.


Soppy...god bless you and your little one xx

StoicButStressed Sun 03-Feb-13 11:04:34

A PS up top after writing - just realised this is a frickin essay rather than a postsmile, but am a journo and type like a demon, and also just wanted try properly update all those offering to hold my hand, and respond to specific Q's/thoughts. Sorry so longblush.

Morning lovely peeps. Thank you all again for ALL your posts, not only helped/helping me feel less alone, but also can now see how very genuinely your input DID massively help shape Friday evening into the weirdly 'beautiful', albeit desperately sad, time it was with all DS's and me there saying proper 'goodbyes". I want you to know how much of a difference you all helped make, as don't think DS3 (11) will be going again now, and that Friday WAS how it WAS only as you lot helped me figure out best poss plan in the very short amount of time I had, and whilst I was in utter shock but just DESP to do all the best I could do, ESP for DS's.

Thank you all so much, if I could name you all and hug you each I would [wishing there was an emocion for poignant smile here...]

And the reason such a massive thank you owed is that Friday Eve WAS beautiful, even though so very sad and harrowing, but I want you to know that ALL DS's - inc DS3 who was the one I was most worried about - ALL said last night that they were glad had gone, but just as importantly, are not now 'lost' in it or sadness. ALL of them last night were larking around together, laughing, on PS3smile together, so all ARE as fine as could POSS be yet DID all get that chance together to say goodbye.

Whilst I come round this morning (no am not eating, but yes did manage drink last night - sadly not the water that's probably best for me right now but a shedload of wine) blush - am writing this with coffee in hand to try answer Q's and helpful points etc. Think this (IE, being able write on here) is also kinda cathartic for me as is an outlet where can say it exactly how it is and without being scared may upset someone else, or make them (DS's) worry about me too much. So, to specifics and practicals (& hope I've got names right and sorry if missed peeps but brain a bit wobbly...).

OhThis TY for lovely message. Reason missed Unc was due to text/s and linguistics confusionsad. He obv had very little time left by yest p.m. and was at the home with mum, then went back to mums flat (where staying as very near the home so he could see her as frequently as wanted, but have breaks/clear head etc). He texted would be at home 4.15-5.00 then leaving ASAP for LHR, so I replied saying would see him there, but when got there 4.30 he wasn't there. I figured he'd gone back to flat to get his kit and would be back at home soon, so sent text asking where he was. My phone was on silent as didn't want it disturb Mum. Missed a text from him 4.40 saying was showering/packing/then had to get on road/would see me at home but saw it 4.55. Was uber relieved when saw it. But by 5.10 when not there still, I sent him text asking where he was and that was worried time was so tight re him coming to home/making flight. He sent one back (his SA phone can't make or take calls, hence all the bloody texting, and KNOW if had been able to speak to him then confusion that led to now seeing him wouldn't have arisensad).

Transpired that his 4.40 text (& the previous ones where he'd said 'home) saying 'see you at home' meant 'see you at FLAT' (which maybe 3min by car so could have seen him as he knew I'd just jump in car and shoot down there) - but which I HADN'T done as by 'home' I was meaning the nursing home, not Mum's flat; but he was using 'home' meaning flatsad. He'd assumed I hadn't wanted to leave Mum to shoot to flat to say goodbye, whereas I was at (nursing) home waiting for him there - so that's how we missed each othersad sad sad.

Thea and T875 - I am so so grateful of what you have shared re that moment of passing. And, funnily enough, knowing my Mum, she really IS the kind of Ma who probably may well 'choose' to slip away without anyone seeing. I cannot describe the comfort you have given me, and am more grateful than can describe.thanks

Biscuit - practicalities.... TY for suggestionssmile. DS2 & DS3 are at a private school with very broad intake geographically. The only 2 other families that live where we do and DID have DC's at school have very recently left sch (one as their DS - my DS2's bessiesmile - moved to a 6th form college, and the other as they couldn't afford fees due to current nightmare financial landscape). So def no-one here who can drive them. Sep, I spoke DS3's Head (boys have sep Heads as sch separated into Junior and Senior Sch) on Friday early eve and - unbelievably - HIS mum has just died of brain tumour the previous weeksad, so he had personal (also has an 11yr old) as well as professional experience of this horror, and his VERY clear view was that very very VERY best thing for DS3 if achievable was that he WAS at school in this 'waiting' time, as would be occupied/with his friends/not have massive amounts of time to be brooding or feeling sad or worried 24/7 - either re nanny OR re me.

Praying - as ever, TY so much for taking time to postthanks. Am hoping BB has a lovely day with you all today and continues to eat salmon and dance on tablessmile smile smile. I actually laughed out loud (first time laughed in a few days TBH) at the bit where you wrote re how bad you are at asking for help, as that is like looking in a mirror! Am trying though, and today will ring DS3's best friends parents to see if he can stay with them for the next few days as that will facilitate his normal school routine AND allow me to be at home without worrying about him. Not looking forward to it as I AM pants at asking for help as am usually so self-sufficient - in fact, find it MILES easier offering help than I do either asking for it or accepting itconfused.

Going see my Ma now as coffee has hit and awake now. Someone mentioned taking pictures and ironically before saw that HAD taken a photo of my lovely Mum yesterday. Will put that and one of her in Sept on my profile as I know SHE would want to thank you all for helping me, but also to help you see the suddenness of this - her now compared to just a bit over 4 months agosadsadsad. Please don't look if they will upset any of you, but just does feel sort of right to introduce you to her (I know what I'm trying to say but words aren't right, sorry).

Thank you all again, and please keep us in your prayers. You have been amazing, thank you. xxxxxx

Lostonthemoors Sun 03-Feb-13 13:23:55

Just tried to look at your pictures, Stoic, but for some reason I can't get onto your profile. Probably because I'm on rubbish phone and an a bit IT illiterate.

I'm glad you felt Friday went so very well - you all made that together for your mum and sound like such a close and loving family.

My mother never got to say goodbye to her mum at all or tell her she loved her before she died. Her mother died very suddenly of a brain haemmorage at the village shop. It is my mother's great regret, I think.

We are all here with you and holding your hand virtually as you go through the next few days.


StoicButStressed Sun 03-Feb-13 14:59:56

Soppy - my heart aches for you and your baby. I can find no words other than I am so very sorry for your huge loss, and sending you love xxx

StoicButStressed Sun 03-Feb-13 19:07:55

Am just home and thanking God that all DS's said they didn't want to come today (though 2 of them did want me to bring in little teddy bears of theirs to give to Nanny 'forever', and to 'go with her' once she passes - uploaded pic of them in her arm, was beautiful to see albeit all just so horrific).

She needed her extra PRN Morphine (& the million other tablets that have to go with that), but was just agonising to see. She had 3 little paper cuplets of them, and struggled so so hard to swallow them with water through a straw. Was in pain and gagging and then looked just terrifiedsad - almost the worst thing I've ever witnessed. Am sure syringe driver will now be put in tomorrow, and that will be the beginning of the very end but right now I'm hoping for her to just not be in any pain or struggle anymoresad.

Before I left (& before I'd said goodbye and before she knew I WAS about to have to go), she suddenly - and in a loud clear voice I haven't heard in a long time - said "Give my love to the boys". Everything else I've now read here makes me think that that might be an indication of even sooner. If honest, it made me think she is going to go tonight but who can know?

Have now put the photos up, but please don't look if you think they will upset you. I told her I/boys were getting lot of love and advice and support here, and she said to say 'thank you'smile.

So thank you ALL from my lovely Mamma too. thanks thanks thanks

OhThisIsJustGrape Sun 03-Feb-13 19:38:48

Haven't had a chance to pop in today until now, glad to hear that support from everyone on here has made such a difference to you.

When my nan was dying from cancer they have her a morphine (at least I think that's what it was, was definitely for pain) patch that was stuck onto her forehead, like a nicotine patch. I think she had reached the point where she could no longer swallow the tablets but they didn't want to put the driver in just yet. Might be worth asking about?

My nan died alone, she was in a nursing home receiving palliative care. We knew she was likely to die soon and she had started spending more time asleep. I'd been in to see her in the morning but she was sleeping so I told her I'd be back after lunch. When I went back I found she had died, alone. I was very upset at the time but then I realised that she'd seen how awful it was for us when mum died (her only child) and I've always wondered if nan chose to die when alone. It brings me some comfort.

OhThisIsJustGrape Sun 03-Feb-13 19:40:15

Meant to add that I can't view your profile on my phone but will have a look later on laptop, I'd love to see your special pictures x

OhThisIsJustGrape Sun 03-Feb-13 20:07:56

I think you need to change settings on your profile as I can't click on it x

Lostonthemoors Sun 03-Feb-13 21:59:01

I have just checked back to see if I could see your pictures, but I can't click on the profile either.

Still thinking of you.


StoicButStressed Sun 03-Feb-13 21:59:34

Sorry Lost and OhThisIs - had uploaded photos but HADN'T realised needed to go to 'profile' bit to allow them to be visible. They should be there nowsad.

Lostonthemoors Sun 03-Feb-13 23:29:37

Stoic, I have looked at your photos now - thank you so much for sharing those with us. Your mother looks very young and dynamic in the September photo - really lovely to see her. Although she is so ill it is good to see they are trying to make her as comfy as possible with pillows and blankets. It is really good that the boys' teddies are going to be with her. They sound like very caring sons and grandsons.

Still here, stretching out a hand to hold and thinking of you all the time.


DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Feb-13 08:55:49

How are things today Stoic?

Hi Stoic - how are you doing today? Your photos are lovely - you are right it is nice to 'know' who you are talking about. I'm glad you are getting some support from this thread, how have you organised your dcs for this week?

Take care of yourself, it's mentally and physically exhausting I know. We are thinking of you x

Your mum looks glowing in the first photo bless her, really lovely and vibrant!

How are things today?

Mouseface Mon 04-Feb-13 16:30:58

I'm so very sorry to read this, losing someone so close to your entire family, who plays such a huge roll to you all is devastating Stoic.

I think all of the words have been said already but I saw this linked from another page..... I couldn't not post to you.

I have no magic wand, miracle cure but I wish that I did. For all of you who have lost loved ones.

Take care of you lovely xxxx

andiu Mon 04-Feb-13 16:54:12

I am so sorry for you and for your children. Losing your Mother is so very painful. Your children will be very worried for you as well as upset at their own loss. My own Mother died two years ago and we all miss her still so much. It took a while for the horror of her illness and those final few dreadful months to fade before I could remember her as she was and how she would like me to. I wish you strength and courage. Look after yourself and let your kids help you. They will see you through this.

OhThisIsJustGrape Mon 04-Feb-13 18:13:14

Have just looked at the photos of your beautiful mother Stoic. The bears from your boys are so touching, you should be very proud of them.

Very soon after my mum's terminal diagnosis, a friend said to me that one of the very worst things about watching a loved one die from cancer is that the person at the end looks nothing like the person they were at the start. I didn't really appreciate what this meant until the last couple of weeks of mum's life. Such a wicked, cruel disease.

No one should have to go through this, I have dealt with my grief over the past almost 15yrs but reading about someone else going through the exact same thing brings it all back. Always here if you need a shoulder. Can I also recommend Cruse bereavement charity - I wouldn't have got through it without them and they're just at the end of a phone.

Thinking of you all x

OhThisIsJustGrape Mon 04-Feb-13 19:25:02
suburbophobe Mon 04-Feb-13 23:37:47

Stoic - still thinking of you.

Soppy, thinking of you too. Stay strong.

My DM died Sunday morning. Even tho it was a long time coming I'm still in shock. Tuesday is the funeral...

I'm just thankful that she had a good long life and the love of a good man (my dad) for 70! years. I certainly can't beat that record.

Life is so short, we never know when it will finish (and my mum was a month off her 92nd birthday!), we have to enjoy our time here.


Thinking of all those who have lost dear ones recently.

Lovely to see your mum OP. She's got a beautiful smile. And beautiful to see her with your boys' bears.

Lostonthemoors Tue 05-Feb-13 07:56:38

Just sending you hugs and xxx Stoic in case you are reading. Please don't post until you are ready and in the meantime Ll our thoughts are very much with you.


DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 05-Feb-13 09:20:12

Stoic our thoughts are with you and your boys, nothing to say that can lift heavy hearts at this time but remember we are here for you.

Thinking also of suburbophobe and her DM's funeral today. thanks

Kahlua4me Tue 05-Feb-13 10:27:39

Sending you lots of love today Stoic.

We lost my dear step father a few years ago. He went into hosp on boxing day with pneumonia and died 10 days later.
I found that the main thing that helped the dc was talking about him and them knowing it was okay to cry whenever they needed to. They saw me, dm and db cry frequently but also saw us smiling when remembering things about him. Follow their lead and answer questions as they arise.

Also my dad died when I was 20 and the same then, as I found that being able to talk about him really helped mr.

Wishing you strength and peace.

Kahlua4me Tue 05-Feb-13 10:28:02

Me not mr

StoicButStressed Tue 05-Feb-13 22:23:45

Thank you all againthanks. suberbophobe - am just in shock at reading your news, my heart breaks for you and I can only pray that today was all you wanted to be. Sending MASSIVE hugs & love.

My Mum's syringe driver DID have to go in yesterdaysad. Did log on to post here but got sidetracked by the 'smacking' headline (aka probably in denial and that was easiersad). Been horrific day today. I nearly fell asleep driving yest and exhaustion is now just profound and to very core of me. Then today both DS2 (18) and DS3 (11) were off school as just not very well so was trying juggle taking care of each of each of them/monitor meds and to who/and cook loads diff meals - am truly more exhausted than can describe. Will though try post tomm but off to hit sack (with a sleeping tablet as struggling both to eat and to sleep, but know I HAVE to sleep or no use to anyone).

Hugs to all and Suberbophobe, you are in my heart hon and thinking you and yours lots xxxxx

Lostonthemoors Tue 05-Feb-13 22:56:21

Hugs to you Stoic. It sounds as though you are looking after everyone the very best you can.

Hand holding on offer here whenever you need it.


Theas18 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:58:02

Stoic thinking of you today. Cyber hugs aren't as good as real ones but I hope they help flowers

Suburbophobe sending hugs and prayers for yor family too flowers.

Thinking of you Stoic.

Suburbophobe, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope the funeral was not too gruelling for you.

lemontruffles Tue 05-Feb-13 23:52:02

Another one thinking of you stoic. Hope you are sleeping tonight and wake refreshed. You sound like a wonderful, caring, loving, kind and thoughtful mother and daughter, my heart goes out to you. .

Suburbophobe, have also been thinking of you and hope that you are alright after the funeral today.

3girlies Wed 06-Feb-13 09:26:26

I am so sorry to read this, I was in a similar situation with my daughter 7 mths ago, she deteriorated so quickly, it was over 24 hours, by the time we had the syringe driver she was unconscious - she was talking to me and went in the middle of a sentence. I never had a chance to say much to her either. It was expected but still horrific. She was unconcious and on the syringe driver for about 12-14 hours before she died. In lots of ways, I am glad she did not linger on and suffer, but the pay off is that she left us very suddenly it seemed, I thought we might have a month or so after we had the bad news, we only had 17 days it turned out.
Sending you love and strength at this most terrible of times. XXX

StoicButStressed Wed 06-Feb-13 10:33:44

Jesus, *3girlies, am so so sorry to hear of such an horrific loss. This is hard enough but thought of losing a child (which I nearly did once), is beyond pale. Bless you for taking time to write to me, and please accept my condolences (and sorry for very lame & HOW shit a word is that? Sorry, this kind of sit'n really does bring to life that 'All language is a lie' quote - as there simply are NOT words/language that can convey the horror of it). I am aching for you as I recall my utter terror when was chance one of my DS's may diesad.

All - as ever, TY for messages & support. So know, whilst syringe driver HAS now gone in on Tues. (& Thank God after the horror I witnessed I witnessed on Sunday as she struggled take meds orally with consequences so horrific am not even going describe them here), it has done in but WITHOUT the sedation med - i.e. remains Morphine/anti-emetics/sleeping meds for night etc, but NOT the sedation element which was DIRECTLY the one that enabled them to be so very honest with me on Friday re pretty clear window. In some ways is a a blessing as she is obviusly still here, but in other ways (& even saying this makes me feel bad but it is a truth) it is not good in that she really is just 'existing', plus it leaves my DS's with uncertainty and ongoing (if that makes sense??) daily 'worry'. The irony is that I DO absolutely know what my Mum's view were on stuff like this is (as we had had many a discussion on all sorts, including recent cases where people were desperate for 'it' to be over but prevented by the law - whilst same bloody laws allow a timely and peaceful end for frickin animals??? - and her view was SO very clear re what she would want if 'ever' <sad hollow laugh here> in that sit'n herself).

DS3 (just 11) said last night "but why can't they put the other medicine in that would help her 'slip away' peacefully and now?". Answered as best could then went upstairs and just wept and wept and wept.

Leaving shortly see Mamma now, but still have 2 DS's ill at home, AND the now near imposs task of trying make proper plans for them for 'end', given what 'knew' - however shocking/sudden/horrifc it was - on Friday now no longer the case even though syringe driver in. All they can say is it's now "day by day"; "could be today/couple of days but could be few weeks".

Genuinely do not know how much more can take of this - is all just horrific beyond words.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 06-Feb-13 10:42:10

<Hand squeeze> it is dreadful and I can only send you strength, somehow you will endure and there is nothing wrong in wishing peace for your mum; of course you don't want her gone but no-one wants another to suffer. Sorry too your boys aren't well.

StoicButStressed Fri 08-Feb-13 12:29:39

Thank you for hand squeeze Donkey & Thea et all for cyber hugs. All boys now back at school today and I'm here. She is slipping away now, but is very very peaceful, just sleeping. Nurses say (as sedative not in, so no certainty now) will be anything from a couple of days ago to a couple of weeks, but they think more imminent than that given the slow but sure decline in vitals over past 48 hours. Sorry haven't posted but weirdly have found it much easier to read/post on other threads (do check out the joys, vitriol, and polarisation on the smacking one if not yet seen it - is genuinely stupefying) than here. Also - and again weirdly (or maybe it's normal, I have no idea), I can't listen to music at the moment or read properly (as in books which I am usually just absorbed by, not mags or posts on here etc). Thanks all again for all, genuinely helped so much, especially last Friday/Saturday.thanks

Hi stoic I know that feeling of being anywhere other than on the thread most pertinent to you. I have stayed away for a couple of days because I found it bringing back difficult memories, but I have been thinking of you, you are following the path I was nearly exactly a year ago.

It is the toughest thing in the world seeing a loved parent slipping away, the desire to keep them for as long as possible, but also wishing it could be over for them and also (feeling selfish here) to be over for you as well. It is exhausting in the extreme, all the worry, travelling, emotions, trying to deal with other family etc etc.

I was lucky to have my dsis with me when Mum was in hospital. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you sad I am sending hugs and as much strength as you need to get through this xxx

OhThisIsJustGrape Fri 08-Feb-13 14:27:37

Oh Stoic, things are so tough for you. You and your boys and mum have been very much in my thoughts each day.

Not being able to listen to music - you may find that this is a good thing actually. Songs hold powerful memories and I can be completely knocked sideways if I happen to randomly hear a song that was in the charts when my mum was dying - even now, 15yrs later. For same reasons I can't bear to listen to 'Yesterday' by The Beatles as it was on a cd I had on in the car after being told mum was going to die.

Totally understand why you find it difficult to post on this thread, please don't feel you have to. Sometimes it's easier to escape from reality - as often the reality is just too much to bear sad We will all be here to support you and hand hold if you need us though smile

Theas18 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:59:43

still here for you Stoic ((())))

t875 Fri 08-Feb-13 17:29:14

Thinking of you Stoic {{{hugs}}} I look back and see now how the hell I got through that time of waiting for my mum to pass as we knew she wasnt coming back to us it took 6 days and it killed me going back and forth. sad

Feel for you Stoic and also holding out a hand to you. xxx

bamboozled Fri 08-Feb-13 17:40:20

Thinking of you and your loverly boys x

t875 Fri 08-Feb-13 19:58:18

re-reading my post, I meant to say i wish that a miracle was going to happen and she was brought back to life, it broke me up each time to leave her knowing that it might be the last time. sad

Thinking of you and your boys xx

ilovesprouts Fri 08-Feb-13 20:41:54


StoicButStressed Fri 08-Feb-13 20:50:51

Thank youthanksthanksthanks.

Maybe, you are so bang on right - it really is exhausting in the extreme; the combo of not sleeping, nada appetite, rushing around, the swooping emotions. I had a fall on faint when alarm went at 6am and I got out of bed to get boys ready - was nightmare, room spinning like drunk (but without the earning it via way too much wine) then passed out. Scared the sh*t out of me as well as obv had get boys to school, but more importantly get to see my Mum. Got taxi for boys (just wasn't safe for me to drive) but managed drive later to see Mum before going back to school to collect boys. Have taken sleeping tablet to ensure sleep tonight and will try take it slightly easier over weekend (oxygen mask on first/aircraft thing) as if I buckle, ALL will be hugely affectedsad.

Oh You're right re the power of music (which is why I can't listen to it) but I do know if I need an 'outlet' button then it's right there as is immediate 'crack-up' trigger... And T875, OMG I so so SO get what you mean. Now at point where every time I kiss her goodbye, I wonder if it's the last time I willsadsadsad. I find myself saying goodbye but unable leave the room and then popping head back round to do it again - reminds me of when was very little and if we were on phone and would do that "love you", "love you too", "you hang up", "no, you hang up first" thing.... Apposite memory as feel about 6 years old at the moment... I just want my Mum to make it all better, but of course she can't and she never will again. Just excruciating. So so so fucking hard & I ache for all either in same situation now or previously - sending YOU hugs back.

Thank you all for messages, they really do help and being able to write here offers me an outlet (if makes sense?). So TY you, all of you. xxx

Lostonthemoors Fri 08-Feb-13 20:56:30

Just sending you some love.


melrose Fri 08-Feb-13 21:42:23

Just wanting to say you are in my thoughts and prayers, you are being so strong at such a hideous time. Lots of hugs and love to get you through the next few days and weeks.I wish i could o something practical to help you, but sadly i am miles away xx

grumpyoldbookworm Fri 08-Feb-13 21:55:58

Good luck. Have been there as mum died 2 weeks after a hit and run ( driver was caught later though). Suggestion is to print photos of your mum and yours DSs and put them by her so that nurses can see her in the context of who she is. Also warn the boys, even if only by a few hours, so that they can adjust. When we wrote the eulogy for my FIL last year DS1 said ' one day I'll have to do his for you' which may be true... Hugs

Stoic that's scary shock Could you sleep next to your dMum a bit? It's so difficult trying to grab forty winks as and when, and of course your brain is so wired, it's impossible to switch off... I remember sleeping with my mobile right next to my head for a few nights, we had a few false alarms but we'd told the nurses we wanted to be called if they were at all worried Mum was near the end, that was hard. heart pounding etc etc. I have no advice I'm afraid, unless could the sleeping pills be contributing to the fainting? I know they make me really woozy next day...

You will get through this though, and in future will take some comfort from the fact you did everything you could for your dMum.

t875 I too am wishing there could be a miracle. brief hijack have been staying away from 'our' thread for a bit, infact have barely been on MN, I needed to reconnect with my family a bit rather than do all my grieving online. However, I have been thinking of you all thanks Having said that, here I am blush

StoicButStressed Sun 10-Feb-13 09:39:59

Hard to stay as sadly she is in 'care home with nursing' rather than the hospice she was meant to be insad, so no facilities for relees to stay in room with her, plus have the boys to check on. Woke at 8 this morn after asleep at 4am, but TGod no faint this morning (trying look on bright side here!).

Yesterday was worst day yet, truly horrific. Mum was in such pain and nurses took over half an hour to get her PRN/'breakthrough extra morphine (again made me just wish she was in hospice as no way would they have taken that long; it's only as home has just two nurses and you need 2 to sign controlled meds out, so that meant mum had to wait in - utterly heartbreaking - pain until both were free to sign the bloody controlled drug registerangry). And for the first time she was also in just in TOTAL distress, asking to go to the loo (as morphine obviously stopping her remembering she CAN'T 'go' to the loo now) getting very panicky and then crying. Was pleading constantly 'please help me', 'please help me' - worst seen so far (& f*ck knows already seen so much). She was then eventually administered the sedative that has been left out until now, so it's going to be soon now.

Sad but just relieved that once she had PRN and sedative she was pain-free and peaceful. Her breathing was so laboured at one point that I honestly thought it was the end, she would take a long shallow breath and then nothing for what felt like ages and which is new now. And had that noise in her throat (I just can't write the word/s that's normally calledsad), I really did think she was going to pass and sat with her for hours just holding her hand. Once pain had gone but before sedative in, she just kept repeating over & over 'please just let me go to sleep' and I think I know what she meant. Was willing her (through love, not anything bad) to please just be allowed to slip away - no-one deserves that sufferingsadsadsad. Am just going back now but do know she had a peaceful night as have already rung to check so am profoundly grateful for thatthanks. Have put lovely pic that will keep forever of our hands on profile xxx

That's a beautiful photo, am glad your dMum was able to speak a bit to you too. I hope they manage to keep her peaceful now, much easier for you as well ( I remember the distress only too well - your being there will have been a comfort though) and that she will just slip away into peace.

Oh Stoic I wish someone could be with you going through this, but we all are here from a distance and sending as much strength as we can for you.

How are your dc today? This is tough on them for different reasons.

Hippymama Sun 10-Feb-13 19:43:19

Sending you strength xxx

t875 Sun 10-Feb-13 23:42:37

Sending you love and support to you and your boys stoic. Thinking of you.
I'm here also if u want to pm. X

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 11-Feb-13 13:29:08

It may be too tough to post right now but if you read this, many are holding your hand don't feel you are alone. Thinking of you - gather your boys close x

AmberHare Mon 11-Feb-13 21:07:18

Just wanted to say that I'm thinking about you. Not sure what else to say. Words seem so useless. Wishing you well during this difficult time xxx

StoicButStressed Tue 12-Feb-13 15:01:36

thanks all xxx

Nurses pretty sure will be this week given now on syringe driver with full sedative dose, but so hard to see her looking so 'gone' already but still here (IYKWIM?) Finding it very hard to be there (& feeling guilty at feeling that in turn) and am just so so tired. DC's all seem ok(ish) at mo but obviously watching them carefully and talking to them as much as they are comfortable with.

Thank you all again for thoughts and messages xxxx

CharlieBoo Tue 12-Feb-13 17:04:47

Am thinking of you Stoic and have been following your thread. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family. X

You are in my strong xx

GladbagsGold Wed 13-Feb-13 10:23:34

Just read this thread. Your poor wonderful mum. Have been in slightly similar situations and really empathise with what you're going through. Sending you love and strength and energy.

suburbophobe Wed 13-Feb-13 11:47:41

Stoic, thinking of you and big hugs in this oh so difficult time. I'm holding your hand.

And to everyone else who's been or going through similar.

Thank you so much for your lovely words everyone.

The service for mum's cremation was beautiful. Lots of people there. It wasn't a religious service but the guy who led it was great. He even read from Kahlil Gibran, who I love.

Feeling more peaceful now. But it's very up and down.


StoicButStressed Thu 14-Feb-13 03:03:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

saffronwblue Thu 14-Feb-13 04:14:35

Stoic, here is a hand to hold. Losing a parent is so hard, and watching and waiting is so draining. Thinking of you.

CheerfulYank Thu 14-Feb-13 04:49:12

Just read this all and am thinking of you. So sorry this is happening to you and your Mamma.

Alad Thu 14-Feb-13 05:36:35

I've been through this myself. It is hard. Death when it comes is a release for all and I know this might sound odd, but it's quite beautiful when a loved one passes. It's a relief.

The stress of waiting is hard. You will of course feel guilty/sad/angry - this is normal and is all part of grieving.

Let the medics do there job. Ensuring your mum is as comfortable as possible is really the priority.

You must also remember the happy times - death, sad and terrible is natural and we can't stop it - only maybe delay and this isn't always the right thing to do.

Everyone here feels for you and your family. Stay strong. God bless.

Oh Stoic I can remember the sheer exhaustion. It's like a marathon that never ends, but it will at some point in the near future and you will be able to put yourself back together, with your lovely dcs. Is your sister pulling her weight being with your Mum? Migraines pick the worst possible times to appear - you have no control over them (I am a sufferer too) - ignore your sister if you can.

Much love, I wish I could come and be with you.

It's my dMum's first anniversary, I can't believe it, so I will be with my Dad, but I'm thinking of you xxx

weegiemum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:31:33

Stoic, I went through this with my gran 5 Yeats ago when she died - I was 37 and it was no easier.

My dh is a GP in a very rural area and a "home hospice" provider. He always says that apart from a good life, the best thing a doctor can give is a good death, and he always regards it as a privilege to be part of that for his patients.

Just keep talking to her, holding her hand. The last time my Gran made an effort to open her eyes was when I sat beside her - I'm welling up now and that won't help you, but it was not only sad, but very special, being from a "broken home", my Gran was the one constant thing in my life.

I don't know if it helps, but I will be praying for you all.

Weegie x

StoicButStressed Fri 15-Feb-13 12:53:58

Thank you all so much, especially when you're sharing stuff that must be very painful for yousad. It does really help, so thank you. Yesterday was awful, it was the first time that my mum really, really, had no clue I was there or even who I was. The day before, even though she was unconscious, whilst I was holding her hand and talking to her about lots of things, when I paused for a minute and then said "I love you Mumma" she immediately and suddenly squeezed my hand. Was comforting to know she knew I was there and that was right in that hearing/some kind of thinking are last things to go. But yesterday was just nothing. Nothing apart from some awful moanssad.

I do just wish for her - and for us if honest - but mainly simply for herself, that she could be released from this. Is inhumane as she is still getting fresh breakthrough pain but at limit of her meds so nurses won't give her any more. Is just savage and seems so so wrong and brutal. My DBinLaw is now back (him & my DS are expats now) and he is being great in terms of practicalities and has - in nicest way possible - been clear we need to start looking into/making funeral arrangements but that just feels beyond my comprehension or even ability right now, both as she IS still here and also as brain just so non-existent right now. I do though know (thank god) what my mum did and did not want, but have no clue how to go about it. Am going to start a thread asking lovely MN'ers for advice and will post link here when done that.

Thank you all again, I really am just lost and am so very grateful to you for taking the time to write. xxxx

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 15-Feb-13 13:23:06

Am keeping an eye on this thread and hope your DM finds peace and rest soon, Stoic. Am sure if she cannot acknowledge you being there on some level she knows you are close. Please don't feel bad or guilty about needing rest yourself to re-charge.

The brain is such a complicated thing and there is so much we don't know but I strongly believe in cases such as your mum that she will know you are there and will be comforted by your presence and voice, even if she can't respond. Hang on to the thought that you are giving her comfort. Don't worry about thinking about future arrangements, concentrate on your mum, yourself and your dc's.

MrsAceRimmer Fri 15-Feb-13 14:00:39

I've no advice but am so sorry for you and your family. Sending you all big massive hugs xx

Lostonthemoors Fri 15-Feb-13 14:22:40

Thinking of you, Stoic.


CelticPromise Fri 15-Feb-13 14:25:32

I haven't read the whole thread, but I just wanted to send some love and wish you strength and peace.

My dearest mum died of cancer last year. Like you, we thought we had a few months but she went downhill vet quickly. At the end I wished it over for her, because I wanted her to be at peace.

My mum was almost beyond speaking by the time we got to be with her at the end, and there were no profound conversations over the two days we were there. I don't regret this but I do regret not having five minutes alone with her just us. We all talked to her- they say hearing is the last thing to go- and sang a bit.
She also had a syringe driver and I don't think she was in pain. Can your mum's medication be increased given the situation? When my mum died it was gentle, and her family were with her.

My DS aged three was there for a lot of the time, and took it all in his stride.

I lost my Gran when I was the age of your older DC. I felt that it was a privilege to be with her and I remember it as a bit of a rite of passage into adulthood, as well as the obvious sadness.

I've been weeping as I write this. It's hard without them. I wish you and your family a peaceful weekend. May you find strength in each other.

StoicButStressed Sat 16-Feb-13 06:58:53

Celtic - I'm so sorry for your losses and for your weeping, but I do feel blessed to have people like you, Alad, Suburb and all else posting on here as it is helping lots. Especially the ones with regard to her actual passing. I agree it will be a release, especially as she is - horrifically - NOT always pain free at the moment. Cannot tell you how desperately I wish that she was in the hospice rather than the 'Care Home With Nursing' she had to go into about 4 weeks ago. The staff are under-resourced for critical patients like her (there are only ever 2 nurses on duty so her PRN pain-relief can take forever given it needs BOTH those nurses to sign it out of CDR and to administer it), and they are not trained specifically for severe palliative care or end of life care.

Finding it harder and harder and am reminded of a lovely poster upthread who said she totally understood that thing of sometimes finding it easier to be almost anywhere than on the threads closest to home. Get that 100%, in some ways it is so much easier to almost act as if this wasn't happening and post as 'normally' would elsewhere on MN (IYKWIM???). Thank you and grateful hugs back to you allthanks.

CelticPromise Sat 16-Feb-13 08:38:19

Gentle hugs to you Stoic.

Your mum's pain must be very distressing for you. If you or another family member feels you can, make a noise about it, complain, make it clear you aren't happy. Being difficult in this kind of situation can get you places, though it's tough to do. Can you contact the hospice for help even if she can't go there? Perhaps they have a community nurse?

I'll be thinking of you.

StoicButStressed Sun 17-Feb-13 13:09:57

Dear all.

I wanted to let all of you lovely people that my Mumma passed away this morning at 8.15. It is the most stunning day here with the bluest sky seen since last Summer and it is a beautiful day for her to pass. Thank you all for your kindnesses, you will never know how much you have helped me.


CelticPromise Sun 17-Feb-13 14:18:52

Dear Stoic, I'm so very sorry.

There's no right or wrong way to get through it, do whatever you need to do. I hope it is helping in some tiny way to know your mum is not in pain any more. Sending some love to you and your family.

CheerfulYank Sun 17-Feb-13 15:29:16

thanks and hugs, Stoic. Thinking of you.

AmberHare Sun 17-Feb-13 19:55:38

So very sorry for you and your family.

bamboozled Sun 17-Feb-13 19:59:24

Sending lots of love to you and your lovely boys x

JoyceDivision Sun 17-Feb-13 20:04:43

Sorry, Stoic, ever so sorry for your sad news sad

The only comment dh found helpful in the aftermath was that his mums suffering was over, i hope you and your family are finding comfort with this too.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 17-Feb-13 20:09:39

So sorry for the loss of your beloved Mama, remember her and she's still in your heart; first get through each hour, then a day at a time.

Rowlers Sun 17-Feb-13 20:21:29

I'm really sorry, Stoic, for you and your mum.
I did read you earlier posts and haven't posted before now - I lost my mum to cancer almost two and a half years ago and still don't ever talk about it, I just can't.
I still cry for her every single day.
I wish you strength for your journey ahead. x

Lostonthemoors Sun 17-Feb-13 20:28:56

Dear Stoic, I am so sorry to hear you have lost your lovely mother and your boys their much loved grandmother.

Thinking of you and sending you thanks

LottieJenkins Sun 17-Feb-13 20:30:19

Dear Stoic. I am sending love and prayers. My Wilf calls me Mumma so i was very touched to see you call(ed) your Mumma the same..............

greencolorpack Sun 17-Feb-13 20:33:04

This happened to me last weekend, MiL died last Monday. My children all had a chance to say goodbye but only one of the three had anything to say. Ds said "I love you nan" and she said "I love you too (ds name)" and I am glad they did. But some children struggle to have "big" conversations, and that's OKAY.

In the past week they have been surprisingly calm and helpful. Moments of sadness from my ds who wears his heart on his sleeve.

Dreading the funeral.

All the best, sorry for your difficult time.

thanks From me as well.
So very sorry for your loss.

Oh darling, so sorry for your loss.

She is at peace now.

God bless xx

FlouncingMintyy Sun 17-Feb-13 22:35:34

Bless you Stoic. When my Dad died not so long ago it was the most beautiful spring day with not a cloud in the sky. I found that strangely uplifting. I am sure that your darling Mumma was ready to go and I do hope you can find a way to be at peace with that in time.

I'm cutting down on the Internet for Lent but just popped in to see how you are. I'm so sorry that you've lost your dear mumma. May she rest in peace, and may you find some consolation and peace yourself. Big hugs.

Hi stoic sending big hugs to you.
You will be experiencing such swings of emotions now, relief mixed in with your grief.
I really hope you can have some time to slow down and rest a bit, but I know it feels like a neverending rollercoaster organising the funeral/family wishes etc.
If we can help at all, let us know, between us we've some experience of the decisions you will have to make. Also if you just want to rant and rage, we are here...
I'm currently at MILs - Mums anniversary is Wed - so I'm not on here everyday but I'll keep checking back (and avoid arguing with MIL who doesn't get I might not feel up to socialising...
Lots of love xxx

StoicButStressed Mon 18-Feb-13 16:58:16

Thank you all. And sending all best to Maybe for Weds xx And Maybe you are so so right re rollercoastersad. Started thread this morning asking lovely MN'ers for funeral advice (link below) and post just made there says it all. DS and I were meeting to discuss plans and to toast Mum, but she can't/isn't now as she is running late and is holding in to a plan she had for meeting a friend for dinner tonight. Have asked her please maybe change that and us meet as planned, albeit later, but she has refusedsad.

Am very sad and very lonely right now.

something2say Mon 18-Feb-13 18:24:45

Hello Stoic,

I have been checking into your thread since you started it and am so sorry to hear the news. Xxxx. Sorry also that your friend can't meet you, did you mean your son or your friend? Have you got anybody in rl to be with?

Thinking of you xxx

likesnowflakesinanocean Mon 18-Feb-13 19:46:55

been thinking of u often, the first few weeks are grim and am hoping you are strong and look after yourself and your boys. glad you are getting to have the funeral you want for your skim.much love to get you through x

StoicButStressed Mon 18-Feb-13 21:12:38

Something - it was my sistersad, not a son or friend. So painful that she chose to be somewhere else/hold into previously made 'dinner' plans with a friend rather than see me as planned but later than given the paperwork awfulnesss ran over. Trying be strong, but equally recognise the 'value'(???) of allowing myself to grieve. Only one DS home at mo (DS2 17) & yesterday- i.e. day mumma/nanny passed - he was beyond amazing (truly frickin awesome) but i) he is back to very teen today and grieving in an 'angry' way (Cruse say this is normal and age appropriate) and has been a tad vile on occasions); & ii) do not want him to feel he has to carry burden of my own grief/pain.

About to try eat, as haven't really since Friday night. TY allthanks xxx

stoic so sorry you're on your own. Family can behave really peculiarly sometimes... Your dcs will have ups and downs, which won't always coincide with yours. Glad you have been in contact with cruse.
I found the first few days I felt pretty frozen, I ended up watching real weepy films to try to allow myself to cry.
Your plans for your Mums funeral sound lovely. Just make sure it's what you can cope with. I couldn't even look at Mums coffin, photos would have pushed me over the edge. Are your dc happy to participate? My dd was lovely and looked after Dad throughout which was v sweet.
Don't put pressure on yourself to 'host' or entertain guests, do whatever you need for you and yours. Don't underestimate how exhausted you are, whatever you manage will be more than good enough.
Take care xxx

Sorry, didn't mean so many dos and don'ts! Have been writing as thoughts occur... Xxx

StoicButStressed Wed 06-Mar-13 15:23:54

Dearest lovely MN angelssmile,

Wanted to thank you ALL so so much for all your help, & so wanted to let you know that service yesterday was JUST beautiful. And for anyone who wants to hear it, THIS - - is DS1 on guitar and singing yesterday at his Nanny's funeral; if find time, listen as it is just so amazing and poignant.

So it was beyond beautiful - just as YOU lot have been. Will NEVER forget the help and kindnesses been offered on MN in various OP's (which will also post this onto) throughout my Mother's illness; the shock and sudden being told HAD to get DS's up to see her; her passing; and then her funeral.

And, awesomely, have also raised nearly half of the £1,000 target on Mumma's page - - for the hospice that cared for her at home whilst ill but sadly she could NOT be in for those final weeks (hence the horror of the night before she died which is written on the page; and hence why DETERMINED to make a difference in her name and memory, & for those yet to tread this path).

Truly, just thank you all so very much for everything - can't find the words to say it loudly enough, or better than a simple 'thank you', as 'thank you' just does not come close. xxxthanksthanksthanks

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