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I know this is morbid but...

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Guinness23 posted 5/28/2014 02:34 AM

... have you ever been in the room when someone died? What were your feeling? Significant thoughts?

6 years ago, I was in the emergency room July 8 when my mother died. I am still wrestling with the gift that was.

Tell me about yours.

Guinness23 posted 5/28/2014 02:36 AM

To clarify, I wasn't very close emotionally with my mother. She grew up on the very tough South Side of Chicago and learned to absorb trouble not share it....even with her kids. She did significant damage to me, her 3rd kid, but I know didn't mean it. I loved her but could never get close.

Guinness23 posted 5/28/2014 02:40 AM

May 25, 2008 was the last day I saw her alive and I am triggering. She died of congestive heart failure before ever knowing about my relationship bust.

I miss her but wish we had been close

karmahappens posted 5/28/2014 05:00 AM

I don't think it's morbid. I was in the room when my grandmother passed.

I got to say goodbye. .... but didn't have any real moving experience.

rachelc posted 5/28/2014 06:07 AM

my three teenaged kids were in the hospital room ith hubby when his great Aunt died. There was the beep beep beep just like in the movies and then the long beep. People came rushing in. It was surreal for them. They didn't know her. Hubby got to say goodbye, which was good. She wasn't expected to die then.

HFSSC posted 5/28/2014 06:08 AM

I got really close to my granddaddy during the months before he died. My senior year in nursing school I spent a lot of weekends with him. He had lung cancer and was on hospice for the last 6 months or so. About a month before he died, I brought up the subject of faith and said that we had never really talked about his faith and where he stood with God, that I wanted to know I would see him again one day. He said, "I'll tell you what I believe. When Jesus was on the cross, the thief beside him said 'Lord, remember me when you enter your kingdom' and Jesus said that day he would be with him in paradise." He said, "I believe that with all my heart. And in 2nd Timothy, Paul said 'I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him until that day.' I believe that with all my heart."

And that was the end of that conversation. I was reassured.

At the end, he was admitted to the hospital. On a Wednesday he told my uncle to cancel a trip because he was going to live 3 more days and then die.That Saturday night I didn't want him to be alone, so I stayed at the hospital with him. I was reading to him from 2nd Timothy, the scripture he had shared with me, and I heard him take a deep breath, let it out, and then he was gone. It was a sacred, beautiful moment that I will treasure forever.

Cookie7088 posted 5/28/2014 06:35 AM

I have....and the outcome? I am not afraid to be in a cemetery anymore....

I know it sounds weird, but there's a sense of peace there that I hadn't known before...

Guinness23 posted 5/28/2014 09:12 AM

Thank you all for sharing. My mother used to say that we are in an "envelope" and when we die, that "envelope" is the thing that gets buried. As a kid who attended her first wake/funeral at age 6, I couldn't wrap my brain around that. I freaked at going to wakes. My skin crawled at cemetaries. But after I actually saw my exFIL die (I wasn't in the room when he died but came 20 minutes later) did I realize that those fears are unfounded.

Being in the room when my mother passed was a HUGE gift and it only makes it more important that I wish I had been closer to her in life.

SpecialK posted 5/28/2014 09:17 AM

HSFFC, God blessed your Granddad, and you will see him again, as you are also blessed... Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

I haven't had the experience of a person passing, but I have held my fur babies while they crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

I believe Guinness23, that your Mom knew by your presence how much you loved her. If you have things you need to say, do what my brother does every year on his birthday he writes our Mom a letter. This has made a world of difference for him.
There's merit to the saying, live life like it's your last day alive. Most of us don't know when the end is and are left with unresolved issues. Take the time to connect with people in your life now so you don't regret it later.

woundedwidow posted 5/28/2014 09:45 AM

I was holding my H's hand when he died. I knew the moment when his heart stopped, because his face became very bright and peaceful. There was no sound from any machine; he was in the palliative care unit, where he had been moved from the intensive care unit. The doctor had discussed with him the prognossis (extremely poor), and his heart was straining against his poor, cancer-filled lungs to provide enough oxygen to his body. Since he had a DNR in place, he wanted no preventive or restorative measures. His morphine drip was increased several times to ease his breathing, and he died quietly and peacefully. I was proud to be with him in his last moments, as I had always promised I would be.

rachelc posted 5/28/2014 09:57 AM


philly172 posted 5/28/2014 10:48 AM

I held my mothers hand as she died.. She had been sick with cancer ( very quick & very fast moving). When she was diagnosed & told she had 2 weeks to live, her only wish was to die in her home.. My Uncle had called the American Cancer society to get info on my Moms type of cancer & they were the GREATEST.. they set up a hospital bed to be delivered to her home, steered us to 24 hour nursing care (my Mom had IV's & NG tubes ) We set the bed up in her living room & watched my Mom, not die but actually GAIN weight & watched those 2 weeks go past, then 2 months...In those months she planned her entire funeral.

The night before she died she asked me to scrape the dead skin off her feet , I did so & we chatted about daily stuff like always.. before I knew it, it was 1am.. luckily I lived right behind my Mom. I kissed her goodbye & told her I loved her, she told me she loved me & then asked where I was going I told her I was going home & she replied "me too" that was the last time she spoke..

The next afternoon when I went to her house, the nurse aide said my Mom had been sleeping all night & all morning.. I knew that was odd & asked for her vitals to be checked & the nurse aide realized she was in a coma & today would be the day..

I immediately began calling the rest of her family ( she had requested everyone be with her at the end) & her paramedic friend who would be pronouncing her .

At the end, my brothers van broke down & he didn't make it in time to say goodbye, nor did my ex-husband who was working an hour away..

I held one of my mothers hands, my grandmother (Moms Mom) the other. My Uncle & his wife were at the foot of the bed as was my Aunt.. We all kept telling her we loved her & watched her face as she peacefully left us, then a small tear trickled down her cheek.. It was a blessing to see & while we were all sad that she was gone (My Mom was a special lady & loved by many.. me more than anyone!) I have always felt it was a gift & I will always cherish those last couple of minutes with her.. My grandmother always said it was like someone blew out a candle.. you just saw her life leave her...

Wow, I'm crying just writing this & My Mom died 27 years ago

[This message edited by philly172 at 10:49 AM, May 28th (Wednesday)]

movingforward777 posted 5/28/2014 11:24 AM

As a nurse I have been with many, many people when they died. I have always considered it an honour to be there for them, a lot of times when their family wasn't.
In January I was with my 85 yr old Mum when she passed away peacefully. My sister and I sat and held her hands and each others and witnessed the end of her wonderful life. A peace came over the room and a feeling that my Dad (who died in 2000) had come to take her with him.
As hard as it was to lose her, I couldn't wish her back to suffer and gave her willingly to God.
I am not afraid to die. I have had patients have near death experiences and come back to talk about it....none of it is frightening...not one of them has spoken of "fire and brimstone", but of beautiful garden, peace and loved ones greeting them.
I have always believed that our body is simply the "shell", our spirit is what matters.

Guinness23 posted 5/28/2014 11:31 AM

I haven't had the experience of a person passing, but I have held my fur babies while they crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

This thread most certainly includes our four legger friends!

I had a family of Lhasa Apsos. One month after I married my exh, he insisted we get a dog - something I never had in my life. We got Buddy - a 10 week old Lhasa Apso on Sept 24, 1994. On December 17, 1994, we bought him a 4 months old girlfriend, Foxy. By June 9, 1995, she had 7 puppies....and one kept us we called Goober.

This family of 3 delighted my life for many years. One month after my marriage blew up in July 2008, I had to drive Foxy at age 14 to be put down. On March 13, 2010, I had to put Buddy down. But the worst for me was on August 27, 2011, I had to put my beloved Goober down. I saw him come into the world and I was with him going out.

Three trips to the vet to watch them go to Rainbow Bridge during the worst 5 years of my life with my divorce. I am VERY grateful that "I" stuck by them in their final moments and took care of them when they died.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/28/2014 11:34 AM

Yes, and I felt very respectful. It reminds me of a Robert Heinlein quote:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

stroppy_wanadoo posted 5/28/2014 11:47 AM

God bless all of you for being there for your loved ones. That is a special gift you gave THEM as they passed.

I was too much of a wimp last summer to be in the room with my best friend when she died of breast cancer. She was awake and alert the night before when I left the hospital - and true to form - chastised me not to cry. Her sisters were there with her. None of us expected her to make it through the night.

The next morning, her sisters called and told me it wouldn't be long... she was not very alert and her breathing was inconsistent. They invited me to be with them when she passed. I didn't go. I was selfish and wanted to remember her as I had seen her the night before. It was a decision I will forever regret.

Sorry to T/J. This dredged up emotions and thoughts I had hidden for a bit. But I will say again... I am so proud of each of you for being there for your loved ones.

Weatherly posted 5/28/2014 11:50 AM

I was there when my grandma died. We knew she was dying, by that point, I think we all were praying for it, because she was hurting so badly all the time. My aunt had been there all day, Grandma was home, in her own bed. Aunt got up, and I took her seat, and I just held my grandma's hand. Eventually somebody said they thought she had stopped breathing, but, we didn't know for sure. Everyone started crying, and telling me they thought she was gone, I didn't have to sit there, but, they couldn't tell me for sure, so, I wouldn't let go. Just in case she was still there.

Eventually one of my aunts called somebody, we were sure grandma was gone at that point, most of us got to say our goodbyes. It was a couple hours after she passed before anyone got there to take her body. Which people always seem shocked by, and it doesn't sound morbid, but, it wasn't. It made the funeral strange though, because those of us close to her had already said goodbye, we'd already held her hand and kissed her head and I think most of us seemed oddly detached at the funeral. and, we had already come to terms with the fact she was dying, she was in horrific pain and out of her mind, when we knew she was out of pain, we were sad for our loss, but happy for her, as strange as that sounds.

Lalagirl posted 5/28/2014 12:21 PM

This is not morbid at all. Death is simply the gateway into eternal life, a beautiful life.

My father became very ill in 2005 with sepsis. He lived for another 4.5 years, but his quality of life was never the same. Tons of hospital visits for pneumonia, a broken hip, gallbladder removal...every time taking a little more from him. He began to feel like a burden. My mother took care of him 24/7 and never complained.

My father was never a religious man - for him to believe, it had to be tangible. And he could not understand why if there were a God, why do bad things happen to good people. But about six months prior to his passing, he started watching Joel Osteen on TV and was truly enjoying it. He was believing! However Joel delivered the message was the way my dad needed to receive it.

Dad went through a period (December 2008 to mid-June 2009) during my oldest DD's entire pregnancy without one hospital visit. He was doing really well and was so excited to meet his first great-grandson, due to be induced on June 26.

(side note - DD's OB called and asked if she would mind changing the induction date to 6/25 - DD agreed).

On June 22, Dad was rushed to the hospital - his heart was beating over 200 BPM. They gave him meds to slow it down...and "reset" the rhythm which worked. But the next day it was clear what was happening - he was going into renal failure. He asked my mom if he was going to die. My mom said that the doctors were doing everything they could. He told my mom to tell everyone (including my H and my DD's Hs) that he loved them; and said, "I MEAN IT! Tell them I love them!" Mom promised she would and of course, she did.

Dad held his own pretty well over the next few days with little change one way or the other. I called him the night of June 24 and told him I'd come up to his room to see him tomorrow before the baby is born (my dad and DD were in the same hospital). He giggled and said, "That's right; the baby is coming tomorrow! I am so glad!"

June 25 - I went in to see Dad, gave him a hug and kiss and we talked for awhile. He said, "Lala, I'm very tired." I said, "I know, Dad; you get some rest and I'll bring pictures up of the baby when he gets here."

My grandson was born that afternoon - healthy and screaming. He was named Michael James (James is my father's name). I took pictures and went to Dad's room to show him his new great-grandson. He was so excited to hear that he had been given his name as his middle name. He was very quiet when looking through the pictures. He said, "I know I don't seem excited, but I am. I'm just very tired." I said that was perfectly fine...get some rest and I'd stop by in the morning to say hello before I visited my DD and the baby. Mom was still there. He said to her, "Out with the old and in with the new." Mom was silent. She knew what time it was. He did too but the exact words were not spoken.

June 26 - I went to the hospital, went in to Dad's room to say good morning to him. He was sleeping. I kissed his forehead and told him I would be back. I went downstairs to my DD's hospital room to visit. About 20 minutes later, the phone in DD's room rang. It was my mother. The doctor called to tell her to get there right away, my dad was dying - he was in renal failure and they could not stop the process. She got there immediately. By the time I got to his room he was in and out of lucidity. He could not talk anymore. He would respond with a few noises, but that was it. I was heartbroken. I had to leave. I was so confused...celebrating the birth of my first grandchild and losing my father within 24 hours!

Mom stayed with Dad and held his hand the entire day. She requested all machines to be shut down and to remove the IVs from him. They gave him ativan to help with the guppy breathing. Mom talked to him, sang to him, and was sometimes silent. A few hours later (my mother saw this), he suddenly sat straight up, smiled the biggest smile she had ever seen in their almost 50 years of marriage, gently laid back down and went Home.

What/whoever was there to greet my Dad sure made him smile! How amazing it must have been! And I know for a fact he was holding on so he could see his new great-grandson and so he did not die on the day of his birth.

My grandson is almost 5 - he acts so much like my dad it's incredible. He already loves to make people laugh, he's kind and considerate - almost too much so for such a young man. No, I don't think my Dad is my grandson, but I do think that he has some influence. When my grandson was a baby/toddler, he would go into the hallway at my parent's house pretty regularly and say, "HI!" and smile while looking upward.

[This message edited by Lalagirl at 12:24 PM, May 28th (Wednesday)]

Jrazz posted 5/28/2014 12:35 PM

I was one of four people holding my Mother In Law as she passed away in 2009. She was 54. To say it was surreal was an understatement. She was diagnosed with stage IV gastric cancer in early March, and passed a month and a half later.

It wasn't just being in the room with her when she died... the month of failed chemo and failed radiation treatment at the hospital, the 3 days of hospice... I was with her every day as she slipped away.

Being in the room as she passed, I distinctly felt an energy shift. SIL was sobbing and FWH and FIL were stoic... we left SIL alone with MIL and made the calls to take care of things. Their family lost their core in that moment - you could feel it. We still do.

It's strange - I can still feel the feelings we had in that room. I can barely define them, but I remember them.

Two years later we sat beside FWH's grandfather in the same house as he passed. He actually told us moments before he was going to pass... something along the lines of "Here we go..." and a chuckle. He mumbled something about seeing ants marching on the wall and then slipped away. He could be a mean SOB, but he liked DD which is more than we could say for FIL - so I harbor a little fondness for the guy and include him in my thoughts from time to time.

Both of these events have shaped my life a bit, for sure.


[This message edited by Jrazz at 7:21 PM, May 28th (Wednesday)]

tushnurse posted 5/28/2014 16:43 PM

This may come off a bit strange, but bear with me.

As a former ICU nurse of many years, I have been witness to many souls passing from this world.
I like your mom's analogy. It works.

I have seen patients that we did compassionate weans on (withdraw of care when the situation is hopeless) that I would have thought would go immediately, that hang on for days until that one kid from out of town finally gets there, and others that the family wants desperately to be there, but evidently the patient didn't want them there, because they would check out before we could get the equipment out of the room, and allow them back in. My point is I firmly believe that people have the ability to hang on and to let go when the moment is right, sometimes it is ripped away in horrible fashion, but in cases like your moms, and many others I do believe that person gets to say ok I'm ready now.

I think you did have a gift to be there with her, and I also think she wanted you there with her. You should not regret what you didn't have. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't want you wishing and hoping about the coulda woulda shouldas of life. Instead she would like you to learn from that and reach out, and embrace your loved ones, and share the joy of family, and friends to the utmost.

Your Mom did the best she could with the hand she was dealt, and she wants you to do the same. How do I know, cause I'm a mom, and that's really all any of us want for our kids. Happiness, and full life.

(((and strength))))

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