Reflections on my mother's dying days
I went through exactly the same process with my dad 3 months ago. It's interesting and weird at the same time. Somehow surreal… stay strong Lawrence
Lawrence, I am sorry your family is going through this. My grandparents and aunts had similar prolonged passings. It was crushing. It was hard to not cry in their presence, but I tried to sit and tell them amusing stories rather than focus on sadness. I hoped it would give them one moment of laughter or distraction. I also had a friend who I am convinced was aided in a more rapid departure with morphine, and I lost my dad unexpectedly in his sleep when I was 15. I, too, feel rapid loss is easier for all of us, and I hope progress is made in making it more humane soon. Your mother knows she has good kids and that you love her. She sounds like she enjoyed life, and has many great memories. I hope you can all find some comfort soon.
Difficult. I came to roughly the same conclusion at the end of my father's long tragic decline from Alzheimers. The morphine, dehydration and lack of other sustenance seemed to amount to socially acceptable assisted death. Heavy stuff. All the best.
I am so sorry to hear about your mother Lawrence. What you wrote is so familiar to me, as we went through the same thing with my mum a little over two years ago and then again with my dad less than four months ago.
I am so glad that you have your mother at home with you. Both of my parents died in hospital, and in both cases we missed their very last moments while rushing back to the hospital after being called in. I suspected each time that they had already passed away when the nurses called us, but didn't want to tell us that. It was the hospital in which I and all three of my siblings were born.
Please continue to stroke her and talk to her, even though you can't be certain that she is aware of any of it. My very best to your whole family.
Death is an inevitable part of life, but your mother will always *have been*. Her life and all of your experiences with her continue to exist in whatever form the past takes, Remember the good times, Lawrence.
I'm sorry to hear about your mother's decline. My father passed away after a long battle with Alzhemier's. For the last year of his life he was unable to recognize me and was bed bound. He wasn't on a lot of medicaiton and I was amazed at the body's ability to persist when the mind had totally disintegrated.
I hope you mum isn't in too much pain and is able to draw strength from her family being around. These periods are always painful but I hope she was blessed with good health for the bulk of her long life. I also feel that as long as her loved ones are able to remeber the times they enjoyed together that person is never really gone.
Lawrence, here is a poem that helps me in such times. I think you will appreciate it over the next few years:
"It is Enough” by Anne Alexander Bingham
So sorry, Dr. Krauss. My thoughts are with you and your family
My passed one year ago, she had a type of dementia that also effects the ability to use your muscle’s it’s start’s with your feet and ends at your head. For 15
Years my wife my life was her in bed she didn’t want to be on a ventilator at the hospital. I kept telling myself I should have done this, even though she didn’t want to be in a nursing home and I didn’t have the money she could have lasted longer but like Lawrence Krause said was that for me or her. When I called the ambulance her ability to respond to verbal, visual and when you put a knuckle on the sternum to give them pain, that didn’t work, her body was alive and her brain but I lost her. I want to turn that room into a fun room but I don’t go in, at least I’ve stopped getting up early in the morning to check.
What a great article, well done. I've lost both my parents, and am now myself at almost the age they were when I lost them. The questions you raise have ever growing relevance here. I can't answer those questions, and so will offer only this.
There is no proof that life is better than death. As the history of science so often illustrates, things that we've assumed without questioning to be true, quite often turn out to not be so.
Lawrence, having seen both of my parents return to the elements in such a similar way reminds me painfully how you must feel. Of course, many others have shared this experience. Not really any comfort I guess, just as you say, many have felt what you are feeling. With tears, I wish your Mum a quick and graceful passing, and you and your family strength during your grieving. Like you, I am definitely NOT religious, but I do believe in a "spirit", which lives on in our own minds, to allow us to remember the good times, and still feel that love for our dear friends and family after their passing. I have only just joined here in the last few minutes, and saw this first up, and whilst filled with admiration for your work on this project, I share the pain you are feeling. Stay strong dear man.
This was beautifully written. My Mother and Father passed away from cancer and the same thoughts went through my head.
Allow me to say to you, Sir, the image I first see when I opened my phone to your website of a woman's body in a shiny short dress is inappropriate. No woman would likes her son to boast to the whole world that photo of his mother. You need to read up on Carl Jung psychology to better understand the basis of why is that.
Only God remains. We are from God and to God we shall return. My your mother's soul rest in peace, Amen.