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

Responses: 164

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Updated April 07, 2010

From the article: The Journey Towards Death

Was there one particular symptom that made you realize the dying process had begun? Maybe you experienced something unique and special during the death of a loved one. Share your experience with others.

If you would like to share a more in-depth story and share photos of your loved one, please share with the Death Story Show and Tell.

Father-in-law

My father-in-law was diagnosed with chronic monomyleocytic leukemia several months ago. He had several other health issues as well. Due to his previous health issues and his age (82), the decision was made not to agressively treat this disease. For the past five years, my husband and I have been with him every step of the way. This is the hardest thing we have ever had to do. I appreciated being able to read the article and know what we will be going through. We are starting to see some of the signs mentioned. Just in the last week, things have progressed so quickly. It's wonderful to have this information so that I can support my husband through this process. When things happen that are so not like his father's normal actions, it is nice to be able to comfort my husband and let him know that this is part of the process. To those have lost a loved one, or are going through the same process we are, my thoughts and prayers are with you. May this knowledge give you strength.
—guestoml

The Passing of My Dad

My dad was diagnosed with COPD 10 yrs or so ago. Eventually going on hospice. My parents lived in another city than I. They finally moved closer. Alot of the things that I have read of the signs we saw. Nothing had been explained to us and even though we knew he was getting worse we didn't expect him to go when he did. They moved on May 21st and my dad passed on May 25th. the hospice nurse came to see him on the 23rd and told me that she wasn't going to say he was active. I am upset at the fact that I think she knew and didn't say anything. Regardless it was going to happen when it was his time to go. I just feel I would have done things differently if she had of told us. I would've stayed there with them that night so my mom wouldn't have been there by herself when she found him. I love and miss him so much and my heart hurts so much for her and i don't know what to do to make things any better for either one of us.
—Guest car_camp1

Esphogas Cancer took it's toll

My unlce has esphogas cancer. He died less than 48 hours ago. He lost probably 215lbs in the last 6 months of his life. Slowly you could see the weight being lost and his weakness show through. He started with with thinking he had an ulcer to be diagnosed three days later with cancer. I took it hard because he is like a Dad to me. Always there no matter what. He went through so much in such little time. I visited him in the hospital all the time bhut no matter how many times I went to see him, I regret not going to see him more. He had a feeding tube in the last 4 months of his death to getting one surgically put into his stomach. The day before he died he couldn't even say "hi" without having a coughing spasm. It was the hardest thing I ever hard to do. Watch the person you love so much just die. Well he played strip poker by himself in this final minutes, so he died happy :)
—Guest Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

On May 20, 2011 my sister was dicharged from the hospital (she was admitted for shortness of breath). She had been fighting Ovarian Cancer stage 4 appx 7 months at this point. I noticed that my sisters mind started to go on Saturday, she was repeating herself alot. One minute she would want to sit up and the next minute she would want to lay down. On Sunday I noticed that she had puplish spots all over her stomach and chest. On Tues she complained of back pain and on the way to the hospital she kept repeating, "my back, my back". The staff at the hospital took her by stretcher into the hospital and it was 2 hrs later that the doctor came out and said that she was in the dying process. They told me she was on morphine and she would probably die by the end of the night (it was 1:00 pm, at this point). I went in the room and took her hand, and began saying the Our Father and Hail Mary. She lifted my hand to her heart and I knew she could hear me... She died at 9:00 pm.
—Guest Stacy

Mother didn`t tell me

My father passed in april of 2010. I saw mom at the funeral, that was the last time I saw her alive. I got a call from her best friend on april 29/2011 saying she had been rushed to hospital. I booked a flight home for sunday monring. I arrived 2 hours too late, she had passed. She had been told I was on the way to see her. I am feeling so angry and sad, so many questions. She had been a nurse for over 40 yrs, she had to have known she was dying but did not seek help or even tell me she was sick. Her body just shut down, she had gall stones, didn`t get it treated and the infection shut down her organs.
—Guest Mother died

Passing of my father

It was the summer of 2003. I didn't think much of the fact my dad had started vomiting one month before. I thought it was just a flu. Then I noticed in July he started retaining fluid. You could touch his leg with your hand and see an imprint. I thought he would pull out of this, as my father had battled many health issues before. Then I remembered the conversation that we had earlier that year. He told me he had End Stage Renal Failure and was refusing Dialysis. I can tell a person that all experiences of dying are unique. My dad was told September 1st he had one month left....he went Sept.18th. I truly believe everyone has a spiritual journey of going home...no matter what religion. My dad had some emotional and spiritual loose ends to tie up before leaving this Earth. He went through the restlessness. He would sleep very deeply...as if in a coma. He hallucinated, talked to God when dreaming and requested to see others. His final day he stared ahead breathed out once then met God
—Guest Guestshae

Passing of my father

It was the summer of 2003. I didn't think much of the fact my dad had started vomiting one month before. I thought it was just a flu. Then I noticed in July he started retaining fluid. You could touch his leg with your hand and see an imprint. I thought he would pull out of this, as my father had battled many health issues before. Then I remembered the conversation that we had earlier that year. He told me he had End Stage Renal Failure and was refusing Dialysis. I can tell a person that all experiences of dying are unique. My dad was told September 1st he had one month left....he went Sept.18th. I truly believe everyone has a spiritual journey of going home...no matter what religion. My dad had some emotional and spiritual loose ends to tie up before leaving this Earth. He went through the restlessness. He would sleep very deeply...as if in a coma. He hallucinated, talked to God when dreaming and requested to see others. His final day he stared ahead breathed out once then met God
—Guest Guestshae

Passing of my father

It was the summer of 2003. I didn't think much of the fact my dad had started vomiting one month before. I thought it was just a flu. Then I noticed in July he started retaining fluid. You could touch his leg with your hand and see an imprint. I thought he would pull out of this, as my father had battled many health issues before. Then I remembered the conversation that we had earlier that year. He told me he had End Stage Renal Failure and was refusing Dialysis. I can tell a person that all experiences of dying are unique. My dad was told September 1st he had one month left....he went Sept.18th. I truly believe everyone has a spiritual journey of going home...no matter what religion. My dad had some emotional and spiritual loose ends to tie up before leaving this Earth. He went through the restlessness. He would sleep very deeply...as if in a coma. He hallucinated, talked to God when dreaming and requested to see others. His final day he stared ahead breathed out once then met God
—Guest Guestshae

In Mid Stride

My mother lived a full life until she died at 86. I saw her almost every day to drive her to one activity or another. The day before the night she died I took her to the doctor (a dermatologist) and a friend picked her up. They later went for a walk and had a light meal. The following day the emergency response hotline called me and said she had not activated her response, so I went to the house and found her lying on her day bed, her arm across her chest, dead. She had manifest few or none of the symptoms described in the article. When I looked in her much used schedule book, there were no appointments or other notes after the day she died, but she had rafts of activities in the prior days and the very day of the night she went. I often say, she died in mid stride.
—Guest My Experience

so accurate in my situation....

My mom got diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, 10/2008. Received chemo & radiation for several months, under the care of a "world renowned", (but also negligent) oncologist....When he said she was "in remission" & "she should be happy!" she went for another opinion. Even though she luckily was admitted at our local (and undoubtedly one of the BEST) Universities, her spirit started to die. Although they were allowed to do ANY and EVERYTHING with the hopes of extending her life, they finally had to admit defeat and I had to bring her home on hospice in 11/09. told them to do any and everything available to at least TRY to extend her life... but ultimately she was sent home on hospice, 11/18/09, w/8 weeks left to live. I may be medically trained & I "understood" what I would see in the process. But ur never truly prepared. In most situations, this article is 100% ACCURATE. So absorb it, IF this happens to be your current reality. My mom died 12/24/09.
—Guest Ripsi

watching my mom die

doing research on sites like this one helped me a great deal,to look for signs that indicated my mom was actually dieing,i watched this cancer eat my mom away,i can actually say that all the signs that are talked about do actually take place,i watched my mom distance herself from us all,it was her way of saying goodbye,im glad i had the oppertunity to read about this as i would of taken it as rejection and its far from that,im just glad i could sit along side her through it all and just hold her hand and guide her to that special place where she can live on eternally....
—Guest sam

My Father is Dying

I wrote about 2 weeks ago and now it is 9 days since my father died. Knowing the stages of dying from this site helped me and my brother know what we were seeing when we looked at our father. From feeling not well to diagnosis to death was a matter of months. He and my mother had "Living Wills." We were able to decide with our father that we would abide by the Living Will: no heroic measures to save his life, simply to be kept comfortable. The last decision we made with him was to bring him home to the house he and our mother built 60 years ago. He missed her terribly since her passing 14 months ago. We know she was waiting for him. We know that they are together again and dancing to the Big Bands. The loss of this incredible man is terrible. We are all lost without him, but have each other. I hope that you all have the time you need to spend with your loved ones. We saw him through.
—Guest Deb

My Father is Dying

I have researched what to look for when a loved one is dying and ended up here. Just reading a few of the experiences of others has led me to write. He was diagnosed with esophogeal gastric cancer. He will be 90 years old in 3 weeks. There is nothing to be done. His last wish is to be at home. He has deteriorated so quickly and it is so hard to see this strong man in such a weakened state. I believe he will not have more than a few more days. We have said all the important things. I know my mother is waiting for him. Even though this is happening way too fast, it is also going so slowly. My Father is dying and I can't keep him here.
—Guest Deb

mum dieing

i was with mum when she died it was so bad watching her
—Guest maria

Dying with the silent killer bowel cance

I have whatched my partner of 18 years deteriorate for two years sinse the 17th of April 2009 .He lies in my front room unable to eat,drink,talk, and express his wishes. He has always been a very deep man and I wish god takes him as its so distressing to whatch and endure the rollercoaster of emotions that I am feeling at this moment in time. He has fought the battle well after going through extensive surgery to the bowel,bladder and liver. They told him last September that the cancer had came back how awful. I have lived in limbo all this time and can empathise with anyone going through the same. In hindsight I wish he had refused the surgery as there was not a good outcome just no quality of life especialy when you have a stoma bag and urine bag. This was a very fit man who never had a problem or heath care problem in his life. He loved to sing as he is Irish and loved the crac. God bless you Liam Shaun I love you . 59 years of age never to enjoy the things you loved to do again in
—Guest Shirley
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