...........to dread saying goodbye(65 Posts)
Hi all, I am a frequent lurker and occasional poster on various threads, in search of some mumsnet wisdom and solace.
My dear dear mum, aged 85, is nearing the end of her life after a traumatic 8 months.
In summary, she moved to live near me and dh just prior to the birth of our ds 16 years ago (our 2nd dc, as we already had a dd) and has been in her warden controlled accommodation up until August of last year.
When she was first there, people used to mistake her for the warden as she was so fit and active. She has been very involved with the dc, now aged 17 (dd) and 15 (ds), who are devoted to her. She and I have had our ups and downs, but she has been a fabulous mum and nana, always 100% there for us in every way.
Since turning 80, her health has gradually deteriorated. She has been a resolute heavy smoker all her life, which has caused a few issues between us, as I am very anti-smoking, and I was concerned about the impact of her smoking on her and on the dc, but we found ways around this, although it has clearly impacted on her health which I have found hard to witness.
She has dementia, which has become more evident over time, but she was managing at home with a gradually increasing care package until August last year when she went 'off her legs' with a urine infection - one of many she had had over a period of months.
She was admitted to short-term nursing care to treat this as it had got a hold of her and has been in her current nursing home since the end of January, having been in 4 other care settings in the interim. During this time she sustained a hip fracture following a fall in a very poor quality residential care home.
As you can imagine, the last few months have been ghastly for us all. Her current care setting is good, but she has deteriorated rapidly since arriving there in January. She is now confined to bed and is barely able to swallow so is taking very little orally except for small frequent amounts of pain relief. The staff are preparing us for her imminent death.
DH and I both work full time in demanding jobs. Dd and ds are in A level and GCSE year respectively. We have very little support around us. I have one older sister who lives 3 hours drive away, who has had various health and other issues over the last few years, which she is still grappling with. There are times when I feel overwhelmed with all I have to manage.
I can't believe that I am going to have to say goodbye to the person who has always loved me and been there for me. I am a very responsible and grown up adult, but want to howl like a baby and run away from this.
How am I going to get through this and how can I support my dc?
This is crap, isn't it? The end of a life full of love and family and happiness.
But, this is the end of a life that WAS full of love, she will have had the joy of being close to your DC as they grew up, she has the knowledge that you wanted her close and love her still. I hope I end my life that way.
It is overwhelming and really more than anyone should be expected to bear, but you will do it, and survive because you have your mother within you.
Your DC will follow your lead and will surprise you.
Keep talking, we will help
I really have no idea what to say but here's a hug from me ...
Very sorry to hear this and of course YANBU. All I can say - having been through it myself- is that you will cope. It feels impossible and unbearable but somehow you manage. You never get over the death of a parent but, very gradually, you learn to live without them.
Sorry for your troubles OP. Can you take a sabbatical from work?
You will cope, just be kind to yourself, it sounds like you have done everything you could do...my much loved aunt died this year of frontal lobe dementia been a hard few years, you will get through this, but this is your mums time to go now..
Thanks for replies everyone. Feeling very emotional tonight. I am taking tomorrow off so I can speak to GP tomorrow who is leading the medical care. They are talking about a syringe driver for pain relief if swallowing becomes completely impossible, so I want to talk to him about that. Staff are great - very kind and caring. No one can tell me how long she has, so I'm planning to be back at work on Tuesday. Am allowed 5 days leave when she dies
I talked to her tonight and told her how much we love her and what a great mum and nana she has been. just feel so sad...
You will get through it. You just do.
I wish I could tell you what you can/should do, but I really don't know how to. All I know is that - and I know this is a huge cliché - time is a great healer. Also, don't hold in the grief and don't be afraid to let your children see you grieve. It's normal and it's normal for them to grieve. T
All I can say is, hold on to the fact that we all (hopefully) are alive to see our parents die, and we do get over it. We never forget them, but we eventually get to a stage where we can think of them and laugh and not be upset. It's just how things have to be.
thank you for replies so far - helpful to have your kind thoughts and words. Am logging off now and probably going to bed soon. will check in tomorrow
I am so very sorry and I can relate to this 100% as my father was in a very similar sounding scenario. It's so very hard for everyone and I like you had little support and work were rubbish allowing me 3 days leave the rest I took as holiday and I with hindsight went back to work far too soon after. I should have gotten myself signed off so you might want to think about that.
All I can say is just take one day at a time, you will get through it though it's not pleasant. My DD was 14 at the time they cope better than you think.
Thinking about you....keep us posted
I would get together her memories - photo albums etc and sit and look through them with her - talk to her about the fun you've had and the good things you've shared - it might make it easier to find words.
So very sorry xx
I have just this last week lost my own mum. she was perfectly fit and well and much younger than your mum and it was a complete shock that it happened. we had my ds baptism on easter day, I spoke to her on the monday and she suffered a massive stroke on the tuesday and was sadly taken from us very quickly.
I realise this is a completely different scenario to yours but if I could I would love to have had time to say all the things I wanted and just spend time with her. I realise it's hard - believe me after the last few weeks (with a 16w old too) I most definitely realise its hard but you'll find a way through. for me it had been to leave all the jobs that i can leave and just make sure the urgent stuff is done.
I also lost my dad at a young age so for your dc I would give them the option of being involved as they feel able to/would like to be and support each other theough it. Obviously, their school/college work comes under the 'urgent task' remit - im guessing nana would not want their work to suffer.
dementia is not a nice thing to watch a loved one cope with - my grandad had it and it was like he was slowly taken from us as his mind got worse, to the point where he had no idea who we were at all.
(ive suddenly become aware that i sound like a walking sob story - between my mum/dad/grandad. thats not how its supposed to be. im actually a really happy, bubbly person)
please find a way to enjoy your last moments with your mum. id give absolutely anything for a few nore moments with mine. all I can be grateful for now is that (from what ive been told) my mum didn't suffer as it would have happened so fast. I cling to the hope that thisbis true but realky wish I had a little time to say I love her and say goodbye
i lost my dear dad 11 years ago and have lost my dpil over the last 2 years and it is bloody hard. there are no 2 ways about it. the only one left is my dmum- 73 in good health but just the though fills me with dread.
the one thing that helped me when my ddad died (he was only 62) was to think of it as a life complete. i also focussed very much with my dpil that they were no longer suffering and tried very much to think about what they were like a few years earlier.
you will be strong and your kids will cope
I found this book helpful http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item1169703/?site_locale=en_GB
I went thru this with a beloved MIL....at the end,I just wished and wished,she wouldn't wake up,in her lucid moments,so, did she " I just want to go to sleep". My Sil..lives two minutes away,,but she always had"appointments" until it came to Will time,suddenly she was available....It will sort itself out as you journey on,I can't tell you how,but it will.
Just to add,We both got our wish,after finding a lovely nursing home,in which she was only resident for one week,I walked in one lunchtime and found she had died...
Unfortunately,her,she had fallen and broken her hip.The hospital care was terrible and I regret I didn't do more
Sending love and hugs. I've been there and as overwhelming as it is, something will kick in. It really will. You are stronger than you think. Everyone who knows me could not believe the way I handled it when I lost my darling mum and dad. You will cope. She's going to a better place,and you have all your wonderful memories. Stay strong.
Is here any way you can be signed off work to allow you to spend time with your DM whilst she is still with you? My thoughts are with you OP. x
Its so hard, but you will cope.
I lost my mum 5 years ago and my dad, sister and my dc all fell to bits. I took over was the strong one and just coped as someone had to. It delayed my grieving a bit i think but all of us got through it and so will you. If you can take more time to spend with her now than i would to be honest, thats my one regret.
Thinking of you and your family
You will get through it, because love has always been present. From you & from your dear mother.
Losing ones mother is so very hard & especially so when you have such a love.
But it is the right order - just think how bad your Mum would feel were it the other way round.
I am very old & I have said to my son when I go don't be too sad because I would not want to outlive you.
You will cope, with lots of hiccups en route, because your mother loved you & gave you the strength.
And you are allowed to howl.
And a very un MN hug from me to you, Marshy.
A Letter From A Mother To A Child
"My dear child, the day you see Im getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what Im going through.
If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, dont interrupt to say: You said the same thing a minute ago... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I dont want to take a bath, dont be mad and dont embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and dont look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with lifes issues every day... the day you see Im getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what Im going through.
If I occasionally lose track of what were talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I cant, dont be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.
And when my old, tired legs dont let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.
When those days come, dont feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.
Ill cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love Ive always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling child."
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