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Mummy died this morning - not coping atm at all

(40 Posts)
SalVolatile Sun 31-May-09 21:13:49

...but have to, four sake of dcs. Mum had had a failing heart condition for several years so I have watched her deteriorate for a long time now - just a gradual reduction in normal living, punctuated by the odd crisis. I thought I was doing ok tbh sad. Six weeks ago she went into a cardiac unit for drug management and came out with untreated cellulitis - I had her moved into a wonderful nursing home for respite care, and for 4 weeks she was doing really well, back to doing crosswords and eating again. Then the cellulitis turned into an arterial ulcer and the pain was agonising. She has been in terrible pain for the last fortnight despite drugs and I knew she was losing the battle. In addition the Gp thought she was showing signs of stomach cancer or bladder cancer but she was too weak to investigate. She deteriorated really fast over the last few days and I spent last night in her room, watching as she sat upright fighting the terrible pain and retching, losing all sense of dignity, she was fretful, stroppy, scared and just so, so ill. sad. I didn't sit and hold her hand and I so wish I had; instead I kept trying to make her more comfortable and deal with her which I think was wrong. I didn't use the time to tell her how I loved her, I just concentrated on trying to stop her falling over or off the bed, and I think I made things worse sad sad. It reminded me of how, in late stage labour you just go into yourself and the pain and get angry with everyone around.

Finally she got cross because I couldn't understand she wanted something, made a superhuman effort to rise from her chair and turn, and fell. I caught her before she hit the furniture and heard her death rattle. After the nurses came in and laid her out I sat with her until the dawn rose and watched her change from my mother to a corpse if that makes sense.

I can't sleep, I can't forget how she was in her final hours and I can't shake this horror that I didn't do what I should. Why didn't I hold her hand? I knew she was dying, I didn't want her to be alone, but I never knew that death was like this. Does anyone out there know what I am feeling and can share helpful thoughts? Please? Sorry this was long and tmi.....

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 31-May-09 21:16:32

sad I'm sorry.

no wisdom except to say that you were there and that must have meant a huge amont.

noddyholder Sun 31-May-09 21:18:40

I am so sorry.Have you got someone to lean on atm?

rasputin Sun 31-May-09 21:18:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Doobydoo Sun 31-May-09 21:20:12

YOU WERE THERE! You did what manty people would do...try to make your mother comfortable and deal with the situation.You did not know that your mother would die then,which is why you did not say all the things you wished you had.You were dealing with the practicalities,as anyone would.The main thing is YOU WERE THERE...your mum would know you love her.So many people are not there...a person could sit for 23 hours 59mins and 59seconds and for the split second they are gone the person can die....YOU WERE THERE.XXXX
There will always bee sadness and regret,if not this,then something else related to it.In time you will learn to make peace with it.xxxx

Tommy Sun 31-May-09 21:21:41

sad so sorry to hear this. Losing your mother is always hard whatever the situation - you did what you thought was right at the time.

She is out of pain now - that's th emost important thing xx

ingles2 Sun 31-May-09 21:24:04

sad Am so sorry...
making your dear mum comfortable is reacting in the best way possible at the time. Please don't regret this, I'm sure you did all you could.

SalVolatile Sun 31-May-09 21:24:30

thanks, just crying.... Oh God I want her back.....

policywonk Sun 31-May-09 21:25:09

I'm sorry Sal, it sounds like an awful experience (even within the standard awfulness of a bereavement).

It doesn't sound as though you did the 'wrong' thing to me. She was in pain, retching etc; you were trying to alleviate her discomfort and stop her falling off the bed - these were loving, caring reactions.

Even when you 'know' rationally that someone is dying, it's not the same thing as really believing it, emotionally. Perhaps at some level you didn't really believe that it was happening?

As to telling her that you love her - it would probably have been good for you to have done that (in that you wouldn't now feel so bad), but maybe the truth is that, sadly, given her distress and discomfort, it wouldn't have made a lot of difference to her. (I know this sounds harsh, but it sounds as though she might have been very disorientated.)

The first few days and weeks after a death like this are awful. Is there someone around who can help you with the children?

wrinklytum Sun 31-May-09 21:26:14

Aww Sal.I'm so sorry about your mum.

Of course you did not make things worse,you were there with her and that is the most important thing.

Everyone feels helpless at times like this,I have seen many deaths in my job and some are peaceful and others people have "fought" at the end,and it has been distressing to witness.I am sad for you that your mum was not sedated and peaceful when it was her time to go. I have seen deaths that have been terrible,people "bleeding out" and it is imprinted in my memory,and I wasn't even the person's relative so it must be 100000000x worse.

DON'T beat yourself up.You were there with your mum.You couldn't have done anything else.Please go easy on yourself in the next few days/weeks and months xxxxxxx

whooosh Sun 31-May-09 21:28:27

So sorry for yousad.
But you were there-good for you (however bad it was) and for her.
I lost my darling Mum a month before I had DD and couldn't get there in time-something which will haunt me forever.
You will feel wretched,the memories will stay with you forever but in time (and I know this doesn't help)you will learn to live with them.
Hope you have good friends in RL who can help you through this horrible time.

echt Sun 31-May-09 21:32:01

First of all, so sorry hear about your mum.

What you said about dying people being like those in late stage labour rings a bell, and I've read the same thing about the dying, too, they become distanced.

We all want a death where we get to say goodbye and all that, but the truth is that it's often so messy. You were doing everything you could to help her, and that is all anyone can do. You were there and she didn't die alone, and that must be great comfort.

A book I found very helpful after my brother died (because mostly people avoid talking about one's bereavement as you may well find)is "How we Die" by Sherwin B Nuland.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Sun 31-May-09 21:32:08

Heart goes out to you this evening, Sal. Grief is a terrible, lonely place to be.

You must not blame yourself for what you did and didn't do or say for your mother - life does not come with a script. She knew you loved her and you were there for her.

You sound like a wonderful, warm, caring woman - your mother must have been extremely proud that you were hers.

seriouscase Sun 31-May-09 21:36:41

So sorry about your mum. I was with my dad when he died which was very hard and the last time I saw him it didn't look like him at all. I was very scared that that would be my lasting memory of him, this altered picture of him in my head. However that memory has faded and now I think of him as I knew him before his illness. Things are too raw for you just now but the happier memories will come back.

You did everything you could for her, please don't beat yourself up over what you would do differently. I'm sure that is not what she would want you to do.
look after yourself x

pavlovthecat Sun 31-May-09 21:37:10

I cannot say anything to ease your pain right now. But regrets, that is a major part of grief. You did exactly what you should have. You were there that is enough. You will always think there was something you could have said/done differently, whatever you did you would have thought that.

I am so sorry for your loss.

herbietea Sun 31-May-09 21:40:09

Message withdrawn

hippocampus Sun 31-May-09 21:42:44

I'm really sorry for you.

I did exactly the same in my Dad's last hours because to sit and hold his hand and tell him how much I loved him would have been to concede defeat and accept that he was about to die.

You were there for her, I think that's all that can matter x

SalVolatile Sun 31-May-09 22:40:58

God, it really helps to see your messages - I do have dh around but I can't say how I feel in RL at the moment because A) i would fall apart and B) I have 4 siblings but I am tasked with sorting her estates (long story). Policywonk you are right, I think: I was so rational for quite a while about the fact she was dying I actually blanked it emotionally at the time it was right in front of me sad. Wrinklytum at 2am I asked the nurse to call the GP and see if they could sedate her but he refused because her blood pressure was so low.....I know why he decided that way but in a kind world she would have been sedated

stillenacht Sun 31-May-09 22:43:12

so sorry SalVolatile sad You were there for your darling mum xxxx

EachPeachPearMum Sun 31-May-09 22:47:33

So sorry for your loss sad

MrsEricBana Sun 31-May-09 22:51:55

I'm so sorry Sal. Definitely don't beat yourself up - who knows what is the right thing to do in this situation, and I think by trying to help her you were doing your absolute loving best. I sat with my father for hours when he died (October) and I had no clue what to do - I sat there squeezing his hand and prattling away and I don't know whether that was the right thing to do, but as he was sedated it was only thing I could do, but in your case I think I would have done exactly the same. When MIL died I didn't say all the things I wanted to because I felt it would have frightened her if I was obviously saying my final words to her. Although I was very glad I was with my father when he died I was very shocked for a couple of weeks, but now I do remember him before he was ill and what I did remember from the day has receded now. Please don't be hard on yourself, you sound like a very loving and caring daughter. Hope the sorting out is not too much to deal with. Lots of love to you.

cornsilk Sun 31-May-09 22:52:00

Very sorry for your loss sad

mumoverseas Mon 01-Jun-09 12:31:33

so sorry for your loss Sal. I know only too well how you feel as I lost my mother last week.
As others have said, the main thing is, you were there. That is so important. My lovely mother died on her own on her bedroom floor and was found the next day by my brother. I can't get out of my head the fact that she died all alone. I'd have given anything to have been with her for her last moments but I hadn't seen her since December, something which I will never forgive myself for.

Your mother knew you loved her as you were there with her for the end. That is so important. Hugs to you, we will both be going through the same emotions over the coming weeks and months. x

Hassled Mon 01-Jun-09 12:40:50

I'm so sorry. What an awful way to see a loved one go. But you were there, you were with her, you did everything you could to make her comfortable. You wouldn't have made anything worse - imagine if she had spent that awful night on her own, and how horrible that would have been for her. You sound like a caring and loving daughter - please don't beat yourself up with the "what ifs".

Bucharest Mon 01-Jun-09 12:42:37

So sorry for your loss.xx
You too, mumoverseas.xx

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