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Can someone explain what might have happened in this last stage of death *SENSITIVE*

(4 Posts)
WeeBabyBunting Sun 12-Jun-16 19:38:05

My mum died of cancer in a hospice.

In her final few days she lost consciousness.

There's something I think about that I find a bit disturbing and wondered if someone could explain.

The nurses came in to move my mum up the bed to make her more comfortable (she was tall and her feet were right at the bottom of the bed causing her legs to bend) .

As the nurses lifted her from either side and pulled her up the bed , my mum suddenly "woke" up and let out this loud groan , she was wide eyed and it looked like she was looking straight *through" me .

Her eyes were wide as if she was panicked and I don't think she saw me even though she was looking right at me .

It was quite distressing but only lasted moments before she was unconscious again.

Is it possible she was in pain when they moved her ? Why would she suddenly open her eyes ? Is it possible she saw me?

I know nobody can answer for sure but if anyone has knowledge of death , I'd appreciate some thoughts smile

NattyTile Sun 12-Jun-16 19:53:42

It's possible that she was in pain when they moved her.

It's possible that if she were on very high doses of pain relief, she was hallucinating. But that's more common earlier on with pain meds rather than at the end.

It's possible that the action of moving her triggered an automatic response which wasn't any kind of conscious action, just her body responding to the movement.

It's possible that, rather than being in pain, the movement woke her up a little and she was aware of your presence, but too weak to focus or respond properly, which is why to you it seemed as though she was looking through you.

Having been with several people as they were actively dying, I'd say the last two options would be most likely to me - in those very end stages the body simply cannot respond in the way it used to. And pain, whilst a possibility, is unlikely if she were otherwise very peacefully resting and in a hospice - in my experience they are absolutely fantastic at getting pain relief right, especially at the very end stages.

I'm so very sorry for your loss.

WeeBabyBunting Sun 12-Jun-16 19:57:40

That's very comforting natty many thanks flowers

desperatelyseekingcaffeine Sun 12-Jun-16 19:58:19

I've worked professionally with many dying patients. This isn't uncommon to see though I completely understand how distressing it would seem. It's likely the movement roused her but she was unaware of her surroundings. If it only lasted moments unlikely she was in any pain (or at most only briefly as she was actually moved). It doesn't sound like she was aware you were there, but we don't really know enough about awareness at end of life to say for sure.

I'm sorry for your loss.

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