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Readers Respond: What Did You Experience During the Dying Process of a Loved One?

Responses: 164


Updated April 07, 2010

Mom's last gift

Yesterday, on May 30, 2010, my mother finally breathed her last breath after a long battle with mesothelioma. Her final few days were spent at home in bed, barely able to speak. But even then she was strong, feisty ... a real smart ass. Two days before her death, my brother in law asked her "how you doing, Ma?" She replied, in the faintest voice, "ask me again and I'll shoot you!" As the fluid overtook her lungs, her labored breathing was reduced to one long gurgle. I went into her room yesterday at 3:20 and she awoke, looked into my eyes and shed a year. I held her close for one last time, then called my dad and sister in. The painful sound of her breathing went silent. She looked around at all of us, opened her eyes wide and stared straight ahead. In the sunlight coming through the window, you could actually see her aura light up the room. Each of us reported feeling a presence pass into our own bodies. It was the most peaceful, comforting thing any of us have ever felt.
—Guest Andy

The day she died

The day that my mom died was horrible I woke up one morning and she was dead. What made it so bad was that the night before we were joking around and having fun but she kept falling asleep. She would make this weird sound that sounded like she was moaning so I would laugh andcwake her. Before I went to bed I realized that she was breathing real hard, like her lungs didn't want to take in air but she was trying to make them. I went to bed at 6:00 am and woke at 9:30 am to her dead. I can't no matter how hard I try get that image of my mothers dead body right above my head out of my head. I just want to cry cuz everytime I close my eyes that is what I see.

I did not get a call

My mom has been in a nursing home under hospice care for over 2 years now. They called me all the time to tell me minor procedures they were doing such as putting a bandaid on a skin tear. Now I saw her last week-end and she did not look well but was told that everything was ok. Lo and behold two days after I left she took a drastic turn for the worse. They all thought it was any day now; but do you think they called me. Do you think that I was asked to come in and see her? No. Nothing. My mom died with a nurse by her side and me at home oblivious to the events of the days preseding. Tomorrow is Sunday. My day to visit and I have no mom to go see. I did not get to say good bye. Or let her know that I was there for her. For two years I have anticipated this but for he life of me I do not understand why no one called me. For two years I visited her almost every week-end. For two years I got phone calls of minor reports at 2 a.m. Then when it was necessary! Nothing!

Awesome Experience

My 42 yr old son died on May 1, 2007 from cancer. My mother unexpectedly passed just two weeks later. I was at the bedside of each when they passed. My son had a special love for his grandpa and a few minutes before he passed, he said "hi, Grandpa, what's going on?" We believe he was seeing his grandpa waiting for him on the other side. My mother had long stopped responding to anything we said, but we continued to talk to her. I said "Mom, you're going to get to see Brent and Daddy pretty soon." My brother jokingly said "maybe you can get Dad to drink some Ensure when you get there." Much to our shock, she made this face that she always made when she didn't like something (and she hated Ensure). We burst out laughing. That was her last response to anything. She knew she had made us laugh one more time. My son was a musician and had made a recording of Amazing Grace for me a year before he died - my most treasured possession. I miss them, but I will see them in Heaven.
—Guest Ramona


My daddy died 3-11-2010, We all knew it would come one day but he was only 65 he missed his birthday by 11 days. I had called home the day before his death and I had a chest cold and I told my mom I would call him the next day when I felt better. I should have talked to him. My dad was a diabetic and had lost a limb and had had open heart surgery and a heart monitor. He never complained I will forever miss him and regret I should have been there for him more than I was.

Death of my Mother

My mom died June 9, 2002. She had been in the hospital for three weeks. Doctors did not no what was wrong with her. We brought her home Four days before she died. That saturday she stopped eating. My mom would pick at her clothes and skin and tell us bugs were on her. She wanted me to hit her in the head so she could die quicker. She kept asking what is taking her so long to die. My mom had what the older people called a death yell. All that day she started yelling out loud. Not saying anything just yelling. That night her eyes became white as snow. She wanted to get up and wash dishes. Then she started talking to her sisters that were deceased. At 3:30 Sunday morning we called ER. As they rolled my mom out the house, she looked at my dad, smiled and waved at him. She died enroute to the hospital.
—Guest Gloria Smith

Mom - I love you

My Mom died wednesday in the care of Hospice. She had been sick with cancer for 2 years . The past week she was in a coma-like state . She got to the point of her sickness when she gurguled and was short of breath. Approximately one minute before she died as I was laying my hands on her as she opened her eyes. At this time I felt as though I lost a second of time,or so it seemed. I looked over at my Mother ,as my brothers and sisters had let out this incredible gasp, her blue glossy big, seemingly dialated, eyes looking straight up at the ceiling . She did not say anything,did not smile,just gazed. We of course were histerical but it only lasted approximately 30 seconds her eyes closed slowly and after a series of short breaths,she died. When she did open her eyes the room had this energy that I can not explain. Some in the room even smelled a sent of roses as the room before this point smelt of sickness. My Mom and Dad are extremely religious and have been all their lives. I do beli
—Guest Frank

Quick, Hopefully painless.

My father dyed March 16th at 8:20 p.m. he was 92. He went through a rapid decline in the last 4 days. I had been with him 4 weeks before but had to go home. My sister called me 3 days before he dyed. When I walked into his hospital room and saw him, my heart sank. He had that death mask, looking up with eyes open, not seeing anything. He did not seem in pain. My sister, mother and I returned the next day. He was unconcious, but occasionally would try to uncover his torso, sweating. After a break for dinner, my sister and I returned. My mom was too tired to come. Dad was still unconcious. After about 2 hours he opened his eyes. I told my sister. It was the first time his eyes were open in 2 days. We both told we loved him, kissed him. He stopped breathing. This was a wonderful experience. I wonder what was happeding, if he had a concious moment or was experiencing his own transition into death with eyes of wonder.
—Guest Steve

Kidney failure

My mom passed on 2/27/2010. She died after cancer was found so we took her off dialysis. Thanks to the Angels of Hospice it was a less painful death. We decided to keep her in the nursing home in a private room. The first 5 days were as they were the last 6 months. She had many visitors those first 5 days. On the 6th day she began to get very anxious and agitated. She would cry out for me to help her get up, but didn't know where she was going, just that she had to get up. She would also cry out in her sleep for me to help my nephew and get him away from the boys. The rest of the time she was heavily sedated and did not wake up, but we continued to talk to her. Her breathing was very irregular and the nite before her death her blood pressure changed. A few hours later-the death rattle. Ten minutes before her death she sat up in bed, looked around, laid down, and the breathing slowed. She took her last breath at 9:30 am. Our family was devastated. The heart of our family was gone.
—Guest sharon

Mom"s gift to us

On Feb. 20 Mom was taken to the E.R. She was diagnosed with lung cancer with mets to the brain. 3 days later we brought her home to die with her family around her. At first it was a big Italian party with food and music and love.Mom was so happy everyone was around. She gave us the most beautiful 2 weeks. She played with her great-grandchildren and ate lobster and lasagna. Her final meal was a chocolate donut. After a week or so she slowly slipped into a coma. I held her hand and as she took her last breath. I couldn't stop crying or telling her how much I loved her.How much we all loved her. She died on March 10 2010. It was a week ago. I am still crying alot but I think it's better to grieve and feel sad now instead of pushing it away. Mom taught us all that love and family are the most important things and we should cherish them because we may not always have the chance to say goodbye. I know my Mom is still here when I need her. I feel her love around me. I love you Mom. Thanks
—Guest JoAnne

I do not know how to feel

My mom died in myhome on New Years Eve. She did not wait for me. I just went out for 1 hrs to bring in the New Year with friends who had just wanted to show us there new home. I fixed her a nice meal before leaving and when I got back she had ate it and died...I am hurting but do not know where to begin or end with my feelings.
—Guest Sunshine

My other mommy

My step-mother Daphne has had MS since I was 9. I'm 22 now. I have watched her struggle and come to terms with this illness. But my father has not. He has within the last 9 months seperated himself from her. He visits maybe once a day, and she lives next door. My 19 year old sister has been her caretaker for these last months knowing Daphne would not want to be in a home. My sister has been speaking to me about Daphne being tried, and a lack of appetite. Since Daphne has MS it is hard to tell some of the symptoms of dying. But when my sister came urgently to my house today I knew. Daphne has been halucinating. But she's not seeing people. She is seeing my sister's body parts around her room. My sister was very distraught by this. I've heard of people who are crossing over to see angels or loved ones but nothing like that. I know Daphne wants this suffering to be over and she has made that clear by claiming DNR (do not resusitate). I just wish I knew when it was going to happen.

Dying Process of My Mother

My mother passsed Dec. 7, 2009 at 10:23 a.m. She was 93 with Alzheimers. She was in a nursing home but my sisters and I were there everyday. Dec. 4, 2009 when I was feeding her lunch she refused to eat anything. I talked to her doctor and he said she was starting the dying process and said he recommended not giving her any food, water or medications. I was shocked by him saying this because she seemed fine. She was responsive and talking the rest of the day. During the morning of Dec. 5th she was still responsive and still seemed fine but not hungry. By the afternoon she had withdrawn from her surroundings and was breathing rapidly. On Dec. 6 she was still withdrawn and breathing rapidly. At one point in the afternoon she stopped breathing and I thought she had passed but she started breathing again. Dec. 7 her skin was turning yellow. Her lips and feet turned cold. The last 5 minutes before she died her breathing slowed until she took her last breath. I miss her terribly
—Guest Kathy

RIP Daddy/ Pappa March 5,2010

My Dad went into the hospital with a "pleural effusion" which is a bulge in the lining of the lung that is filled with fluid on Christmas Eve. Right after the last guest left and he laid down to go to sleep he woke up and said I cannot breathe. 10 weeks and three hospitals later, we brought him HOME. Up until the day we brought him home, he talked, ate and drank, stayed awake most of the time, etc...each and every nurse, aid, doctor, you name that met him fell instantly in LOVE with him and vice versa....but my Daddy new he wanted to die in his home so he got well enough to make it there. We got him home on a Wed afternoon. He talked a little and drank some water. He made sure he saw everyone of his kids and new his grandkids were coming. He never ate anoter bite, He never drank what I did not pour down him and he passed away ten days later. It was beautiful. He smiled through his dreams and talked of seeing ANGELS! I told him to look for the light, GOD was there waiting

care indeed

Sat up all nite in a dark room. No one touched my mom or me. As she gasped for breath hours on end like a fish out of water, I thought alone in the dark as my sister dozed if I could take a pillow and end all this for her. So much for the palaver of pallative care, Kubler-Ross and that lot. A nurse, Svetlana showed up. I have a last injection but maybe your mother is not ready to take her last breath. Me - you mean you do not want to be the one who takes her life - the doctors have left you alone with this - a shrug. Come back in 15 minutes. Why didn't I say just give her the injection! Do not feel the medical profession should be trusted and wonder if their training ever involves staying with someone till the end. As I write this my anger is - believe it or not, greatly gone. Just sorry I could not protect my dear mom from that long dark night.
—Guest jean

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