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Vstopaz

Can Someone Please Help Me Understand

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Vstopaz

I’m not sure I’m in the right forum, but I need help. My mom passed away on 9/11/2016. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in January of 2016. I know it’s been two years but even though I knew she would die from her cancer, I wasn’t at all prepared for her to be gone as quickly as she was. She fought hard with chemo and radiation. She finished her course in May. Then by late August she had a lot of trouble breathing and I thought she needed some relief. Instead the Dr. says she should be in hospice. I was shocked because I knew hospice was end of life but my mother kept telling all of us she would be fine. She never acknowledged that she was dying and therefore, we never really got to say goodbye. She spent 16 days in hospice and she didn’t want any of us being there with her. When we visited she would say, “ok, thanks for coming.”  So I wasn’t there when she passed away..  I didn’t get to hold her hand and tell her we would be ok, and that it was ok for her to go because she wouldn’t admit she was dying. So now I wonder if she was afraid.  I wonder if she knew she was dying.  I just want to hear from someone that’s been through it, that she probably died peacefully. I don’t know why she wouldn’t acknowledge her death, but I’m left with a hole in my heart. And I feel guilty that we weren’t all sitting there helping her pass on/transition, but she didn’t want us to be there.  So if anyone has any advice to help me understand why she didn’t want her 4 daughters there, please let me know. 

 

Thanks in advance. 

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Billie Rae
I’m not sure I’m in the right forum, but I need help. My mom passed away on 9/11/2016. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in January of 2016. I know it’s been two years but even though I knew she would die from her cancer, I wasn’t at all prepared for her to be gone as quickly as she was. She fought hard with chemo and radiation. She finished her course in May. Then by late August she had a lot of trouble breathing and I thought she needed some relief. Instead the Dr. says she should be in hospice. I was shocked because I knew hospice was end of life but my mother kept telling all of us she would be fine. She never acknowledged that she was dying and therefore, we never really got to say goodbye. She spent 16 days in hospice and she didn’t want any of us being there with her. When we visited she would say, “ok, thanks for coming.”  So I wasn’t there when she passed away..  I didn’t get to hold her hand and tell her we would be ok, and that it was ok for her to go because she wouldn’t admit she was dying. So now I wonder if she was afraid.  I wonder if she knew she was dying.  I just want to hear from someone that’s been through it, that she probably died peacefully. I don’t know why she wouldn’t acknowledge her death, but I’m left with a hole in my heart. And I feel guilty that we weren’t all sitting there helping her pass on/transition, but she didn’t want us to be there.  So if anyone has any advice to help me understand why she didn’t want her 4 daughters there, please let me know. 
 
Thanks in advance. 
My husband also never accepted he was dying,he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer October 14 and passed January 16.Each day he would say"if I could eat I will be fine"and every morning he was surprised to not feel good.On his last night he was having delusions but when he got clarity he told me it was just the morphine he felt fine.So I went to work the next morning and he went.My feeling is that he had unfinished things and regret(he wasn't very involved in our marriage and in his last week he said he would be more there).Some people never get to the acceptance part of death,know that you are no way at fault and it is actually not that last moment that counts,it's the love before.My husband did not want anyone to see him die,he told me he didn't want that to be my last memory of him and he didn't want me to feel the stress.All on this site are non judgemental.So very heart broken for you.Also you should go to the thread under loss of and post there.Hugs to you

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reader

Dear Vstopaz,

I'm very sorry for your loss. It's very hard. I too feel guilty for not being there when my father passed and ensuring my siblings were there too.

I'm sure your mom wanted to be brave and spare her family the pain of knowing. I think during this difficult time many are in denial. I never thought my dad would pass. We were told he would have 6 months maybe more. That morning the doctor said there were no imminent signs he would pass. I was there and could see how weak he was and yet still went to work. He passed two hours later.

I know its hard and we all wish we could go back in time. Please know what you are asking and feeling is a normal part of grief. Even as adult I would do what my father and mother wanted. I never wanted to upset them by questioning them.

My one counsellor suggested I write a letter to my father. And one made me talk to my father as if he were sitting across from me. I'm sure your mom would say forgive yourself, you didn't know. I feel strongly your mom did not want you to suffer. I know many parents want to protect even their adult children from that final pain of watching them pass.

Thinking of you. Sending all my thoughts and prayers.

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Lia

Dear Vstopaz,

I'm sorry for your loss, my uncle recently passed away on January 6th of this year from an aggressive form of skin cancer. He was diagnosed in 2010 and fought it for almost 10 years. Even though we had a very long time to prepare and brace ourselves for his death, we were completely blindsided when it finally did happen. Honestly, you can prepare yourself all you can but when it comes to the people we love, there's nothing you can do to really prepare.

Everyone experiences things differently, and everyone handles their grief differently. Maybe for your mom it was easier for her to push you away rather than to leave the memories of her being ill in your mind. With my uncle, I was there every day during his last few months. While I'm so grateful for that time with him, it was very difficult to watch someone I love waste away like that. There was a point where I realized that the most prominent version of his face in my mind was him while he was sick in his hospital bed. Without even realizing it, his illness had overridden my mental representation of him. Because he had been sick for so long, sometimes it's difficult to remember him before his illness. Maybe your mom wanted to help you preserve your memories of her smiling and laughing and healthy.

I know how helpless you can feel when someone you love is taken away by something you can't help, but I hope I can offer you comfort as someone who has observed the last few moments and can tell you that when my uncle took his last breath, he smiled. Maybe it was because he knew that it meant that there would be no more doctors or medications or treatments, or maybe it was because his pain was finally over. Though I can't tell you exactly what happened with your mom, I hope you can find comfort in the fact that no matter how things went down, she's no longer in pain.

I hope this helps you sort things out,

-Lia

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