Watching your loved one die...


Watching your loved one die...

I wanted to start this group for those who are the caregivers to their loved one. Those of us that hold out hope to the very end that we can beat death, while we watch our soul mate wither away and die.

Members: 17
Latest Activity: Mar 22, 2013

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Comment by Tanya on March 22, 2013 at 7:08pm

Catherine, I'm so sorry for the recent loss of your husband. I'm glad that you are here looking for support. I feel that right now with your grief so fresh, it is essential that you have a sounding board of people that are going through like experiences. Seems like you are a natural caregiver, now it is very important that you remember to care for yourself. I am here if you ever wish to talk.

Comment by catherine Massey on March 22, 2013 at 6:49pm

Hi Everyone I am new to the group I just lost my husband March 10,2013 I was his care giver this is so hard to do I feel lost  I was also caregiver to my sister in law who passed March 11,2012 and also my mom who past 3 mo. later June 30,2012 my grief is so hard to deal with cant seem to get any better my husband was the love of my life for 24 years cant stand living without him.

Comment by Aimee on September 19, 2012 at 9:04am

Arian, Very well said!

Comment by Arian Robare on August 3, 2012 at 1:20am

I never felt more powerful in the last days of caring for my father, alone at 26 after my mother passed.  When our loved ones are no longer able to be strong, their strength does not diminish but is transferred to those who must continue....

Comment by Aimee on June 14, 2012 at 10:49pm

Judy--  I'm so sorry your loss was sudden. Please do not feel guilty for not being there when she passed.  I believe people are aware of who is around them when they pass, its possible that she did not want you to have that memory of her.  There are several people that I know who stayed by their loved ones bedside, only to step away for a moment and the person passes.   She knew you were there, she felt you.  My mother did not eat or drink for 8 days and was heavily medicated for pain and terminal restlessness before she died but I know she knew I was there.  Love transends everything.  She knew and knows how much you love her.  I also believe that the person stays around for some time after they transition and believe your mother may have waited for you to came see her before moving on.  About 10 days before my mother died she talked about seeing a white light but that it wasn't strong enough at that time. Then one of the very last things she said to my dad and me, with such peace and wisdom was "my loved ones, I will see you in the afterlife".   She is still with you, you just can't see her.

I don't talk about it much because I don't think people want to hear it or can tolerate it, but it did feel good to hold her, I needed to, it was something that did not come easily for her while she was alive.  She had a hard childhood and learned how to protect herself emotionally.  I don't blame her, I understood her and accepted her the way she was.  I felt closest to her just before she died, she had a peace that came over her, she saw beauty in everything. I know she didn't want to go, she loved life so. The only reason she fought the cancer was for "just one more day" with her grandson as she used to say.   I stayed until they completely buried her, I felt I needed to be there for her.  I am an only child, in my 40's (did the education and career thing before marriage and child) and now I feel a huge void in my life.   I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful child, a good relationship with my dad but.... my mom is gone.  I am so sad about all the things she will miss out on and the memories that will never be made with her grandson. I try to feel her around me but all I feel is sadness, the memory of her dying and death.  I try very hard to redirect my thinking to more positive memories otherwise the sorrow will consume me. I know someday I will see her again and that keeps me going.

Thanks for letting me talk, few want to hear about it after the initial loss has past.  I feel like everyone has moved on in life and I am still at her death and burial.  It still seems so surreal.  Take care.

Comment by Judy on June 13, 2012 at 10:30pm

Aimee -- That is actually a very beautiful story. I am in awe of your ability to do all you did for your mother as well as take care of your son. (You must still be young!) I think it's such a blessing that you were there for her final breath -- and that you held her afterward. I have read that the deceased is still "there" after they pass away. If that is true, then your mother got to see you give her that precious last gift of cradling her body the way you did.


My mother's death was unexpected, and we had no idea what was going on until the end. We thought she would still be breathing the next day, and thus were not there when she passed away. I struggle with the guilt that has caused me. Even though I know logically that she was gone (probably during the surgery was when she left), I still wanted to be there to hold her. We got there a good 45 minutes after she died (we had to commute to the hospital). I can only hope there was a part of her present on some level so that she could know how deeply she was loved before she went on with her journey. I miss her so much; it is a visceral pain. You and I have that visual image still so fresh in our minds. I am so sorry for your pain. 


I know it must be torture for you to remember that moment, I hope you can eventually see it as a selfless gift you gave her, to be with her when she made her transition.

Comment by Aimee on June 13, 2012 at 10:11pm

Judy... I know how you feel.  I was my mother's care taker at home. Only had the hospice nurse, no CNA's, I did all the care taking myself and cared for my 5 yr old.  She had had strokes on and off for 13 yrs, developed colon cancer, and went through surgery, chemo, radiation. As a result of all the chemo she had another serious stroke and she decided she had had enough. In the end she was heavily medicated. The day she died I knew the end was near and stayed by her until the end, I was there for her final breath.  After she died I held her for about an hour waiting for hospice to come. I know I should remember all the happy times but the image of her dying is unforgettable.  The stillness and cold that came over her body I will never forget. I cry daily it hurts so much.  I love her and miss her so much.  She died this Mother's Day.  Strangely, I feel blessed, like she wanted to spend the day with me one last time.

Comment by Judy on June 12, 2012 at 1:38am

I am not a caregiver, but I watched my mother struggle after we removed the ventilator. We sat with her for six hours, but she continued to breathe. She wasn't "there;" she'd had four major strokes during surgery. We went home about 9 PM, and then the hospital called the next morning saying she'd passed. We went back to the hospital, and I kissed her cold face and stroked her still-warm neck and shoulders. I cannot get this image out of my mind. It haunts me and makes me cry a lot. I know I should just put a happy memory into my mind when I see her dead, but I am having trouble doing this.

Comment by Tanya on June 10, 2012 at 8:24pm

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. My husband has been going through a bad spell.

I want to welcome all new members. I'm so sorry we have to meet this way, but I hope we can all find the support we so desperately need.

My son's last day of school is tomorrow and I'm still waiting for Summer to make it's appearance here in Western Washington. I'm hoping that my husband will be feeling up to fishing soon as we have the best Salmon on the river.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone. Please feel free to share. I will be on here more often now that my schedule will be slowing down some.

Blessed Be

Comment by Debra Wick on May 23, 2012 at 9:52pm
My husband Bob was on Hospice service for only 16 days. His cancer was very fast-moving. He was in no pain until the very end but terrible things happened with his body that I would wish upon no one to ever see happen to their loved one. I can't shake these images from my mind yet if I had to do it again, I would be right there by his side. He was only 63 and I just turned 59.

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