Don't grieve alone; 14,000 members and growing
I can relate to your experience with my mother's passing. Mom had an uncontrollable severe intestinal bleed out that could only be fixed with emergency surgery. There were no good options about the surgery, but I remember as the surgeon left us in the ICU, Mom said to me, "Now I'm really scared." I told her I was as well. I wish I could have said something more comforting or supportive as these were my last words to her. I honestly don't remember how long the surgery was --just that when she returned to ICU, she was unconscious and very restless and uncomfortable. To my knowledge Mom had not expressed her wishes about the DNR order. Through the early evening, I watched her helplessly, prayed, and told her it was okay for her to go. A few hours after I left, my sister got the call telling us that she'd suffered a massive stroke--essentially leaving her brain dead. I arrived about 4 a.m. We were told that she likely would never recover and that the machines were keeping her alive. My sister called our father, brother, and younger sister so that the family could make a decision together. As I talked to my father on the phone, I was in shock unable to fully process everything. I knew Mom would not have wanted to live hooked up to life support. Ultimately we all agreed to let her go. My older sister, a dear friend and I sat around her bedside watching and waiting for nature to take its course. My agnostic older sister asked that the hospital chaplain be called in for Mom's passing. He read the 23 Psalm, said some comforting things about her entering eternal life, allowed each of us to say something, and together we recited the Lord's Prayer. We were given all the time we needed after her passing.
Would the experience have been different had Mom had had a DNR order? Probably not as Mom's time in the hospital was brief--less than 3 days. It was an emergency.
We did the best we could under the circumstances as did you. Give yourself the gift of good memories of you and your mother. Honor the wonderful woman she was and the legacy she gave to you. Take care of yourself; it's what she would want you to do. Praying for you.
Kris, you touched on something that needs to be understood. A DNR does not guarantee life. It may buy us some time, but who does that really benefit? I wish that my mom had said, "Do everything possible to keep me alive" but she did not. In my mom's case, all of the CPR in the world would not have her here with me.
I have also seen my mom on life support. In her case she rallied and lived a good while longer. That was an incredible blessing. She had reached a point where it could have gone either way, and certainly could have ended in her death. There comes a point when we have to accept that nothing can be done and we have to let them go. A doctor will tell you when that time has come.
I don't know if, at that point, if they can hear us or not, but I feel like it is so important to tell our loved one that we will be okay. Even if we don't believe it. They need to hear that.
Betty, my mom had a DNR and I hated it, but my mom chose that for herself. A lot has to do with a person's physical state. My mom was old and fragile. CPR could actually break ribs. Mom had had enough pain. I could have ripped it up but that would have been denying my mom of her choice. She had rights and she relied on me to defend those rights. I was her caretaker. I would not advise anyone to tear up a DNR. I would advise anyone to discuss the DNR with their loved one, if the their loved one is able to have that conversation. My mom and I did. The DNR was in plain view when she was on Hospice care. She never told me to take it away. She never looked at it with a sad expression.
As far as what people called you, or the looks or attitude they gave you, You just have to get over that. People can say what they want. What they say is nothing in comparison to the actual loss of your mom. You were defending your mom's wishes. The DNR bought me some misery, but it was never about me. It was always about my mom.
Oh Betty my heart breaks for you... A DNR is a legal document that your mother put her signature on after she made her decision to not be kept alive by machines. How that makes you gold digging b'''' is beyond reason. Whether or not we can "let go" your mother made her decision and you respected "HER" decision. You are a good daughter! I watched by dad die and I am glad he was not at home because a) my father was more comfortable than he could have been at home and b) I don't have the memory of his last breath in the house where I live. To me that moment was terrible. He was very calm but I felt desperate inside. Truth is you have nothing to be forgiven for... you respected your mothers wishes by presenting them with her DNR.
I have a question, if you don't mind me asking, why did you not want anyone to pray over your mother? I see that you pray so I thought someone praying with or over your mom would be comforting to her and you. I am guessing that you believe in God so I will keep you in my prayers.
"Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trials so that we may be able to comfort others in any sort of trial with the comfort that we receive from God." -- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I hope I was able to bring you some comfort that you were wonderful to your mother and she is the only one that is important.