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Share Your Story: Death Stories - My Experience Caring for a Dying Loved One

By Carolyn Besio

Updated March 07, 2010

My Loved One Died On (Date, Day, and Time)...

November 26, 2009

Circumstances Surrounding the Death

Due to borderline diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis & dementia, my mother resided at an adult residence & nursing home for eight years. She was 5 weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was unable to walk but surprisingly, she was able to get herself into the wheelchair, go into the bathroom, etc. until shortly prior to her death.

My Experience As a Caregiver

The following is a description of the experience my daughter & I shared while of being with my mother before she died. She was receiving Comfort Care at the nursing home. Family members, Hospice, Comfort Care givers should all be aware of our experience so they can be prepared how to react if suddenly they see their loved one shred tears prior to their death:

Lessons Learned

  • Twenty-four hours before my mother died when she was no longer able to speak, I was startled to see her shed a few tears. My daughter later told me that just prior to that she also saw the tears. She too was puzzled so she went to the window. All I could do was wipe the tears with a tissue. After my mother died, when it was too late, I came to the conclusion that I should have kissed her & said "I love you, mother" even though I had done this everytime I visited her. My cousin told me her sister shed a few tears before her death. A few weeks later after I told the nurse, she replied that it was "Realization"(death).

Angela Morrow, RN, About.com Dying, Funerals & Grief, says:

While it's impossible to know whether shedding tears near death is a "realization" that death is near, also known as Nearing Death Awareness, or simply a biological reaction, many dying people do shed tears near the end. This is a good time to continue to speak soothing words of love and reassurance, to give permission to let go, and to offer gentle touch and kisses.

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