My Loved One Died On (Date, Day, and Time)...
June 28, 2006
Circumstances Surrounding the Death
My mother died after developing internal bleeding, while being hospitalized for aspiration pneumonia. She had refused a gastric feeding tube, but wanted to go home until the pneumonia became untreatable.
She developed a bleed in the morning and died that evening at 5:30. We had incredible support from the hospital's palliative care team from noon until she died that evening at 5:30. Pallitive care called me for a year after the death to check on me. I owe them my life!!
My Experience As a Caregiver
I had an extremely traumatic experience as a caregiver. When we realized she was dying from the bleed, she pushed me away. She let my brother and sister kiss and touch her, but pushed my hand or face away. I was bewildered, but took on the roll of stopping hospital staff from interrupting (unless they knew she was dying). I knew anger was part of the dying process, I just could not wrap my head around how angry my mother seemed to be at ME. I even tried to kill myself 2 years later, because I thought she wanted me dead and that was the thing I should do. My message is, that difficult relationships in life may become devastating during the dying process. I spent 2 years in shock about my mother's death, until I wound up in the psych hospital. I did try to find help during that 2 years, but no one seemed to grasp how dysfunctional the relationship had been with my mother. I gave up finding help, assuming I was the problem.
- It is very important to realize that dysfunctional relationships may become much worse during the dying process. This does not mean it is the suvivor's fault for living. I had already had a lot of therapy to cope with my difficult relationship with my mother. However, none of it prepared me for the trama of her death. I was very hard on myself, and had some therapists who shamed me for not moving on. I have realized now that grief can take much longer to process, especially grief from an unresolved abusive relationship. Death does not end the pain for survivors of abuse, please don't give up. I know it's hard.