Gransnet forums

Bereavement

Pressure to be there...

(58 Posts)
Mamissimo Mon 09-Jul-18 21:57:49

My dear Mum died today after an eleven year trial by Altzheimers. She hadn’t known me for over five years and lost all communication ability two years ago. I have visited and told her about family news, held her hand, stroked her and looked out for her interests.

On Saturday we left for a week’s break in North Wales, six hours drive away. On Sunday morning I got a call saying I needed to get back by the afternoon if I wanted to see her. I didn’t get back until this afternoon. We had to recover to drive safely!

I’m totally conflicted but feel I’m being judged and found wanting by the home...or am I just beating myself up?

Anniebach Mon 09-Jul-18 22:06:12

Beating yourself up, guilt even when there shouldn’t be does creep in when suffering a bereavement, I am sorry you are suffering the loss of your mother.

Hugs x

janeainsworth Mon 09-Jul-18 22:11:32

mamissimo you’ve lost your mum twice over - once when the Alizheimer’a took hold, and again today.
Don’t be hard on yourself. flowers

fiorentina51 Mon 09-Jul-18 22:12:18

You have done all that you could to support your mother. Hold your head up high. Those who cared for her would know what you did so please don't be hard on yourself.
My condolences to you and your family. 💐

BlueBelle Mon 09-Jul-18 22:16:12

You re beating yourself up Mamis my mum had. Alzheimer’s for about 9 years 7 in residential I used to visit after work nearly every day she didn’t know me she couldn’t walk talk see or hear she was doubly incontinent It’s a dreadful dreadful thing
You couldn’t get there any quicker, you have visited her and been with her through thick and thin you have done all you could we always find something to beat ourself up about it’s human nature I suppose, my mum died six years ago but I still think could I have done this better or that better
Please don’t worry you have done nothing wrong even if you had left straight away you may not have made it You did your best we can only do what we can do
Your mum is at peace I hope you can be too

grannyactivist Mon 09-Jul-18 22:20:28

I can assure you Mamissimo that if the home is judging you (which I think is highly unlikely) then the problem is with them and not with you. My condolences on your loss. flowers

gillybob Mon 09-Jul-18 22:21:00

I agree with Anniebach You are beating yourself up for no reason Mamissimo . I am so sorry for the loss of your mum. You clearly did your very best for her for many years despite her no longer knowing you, which must be heartbreaking.

I looked after my grandma for years. She caught a nasty infection aged 99 and was taken into hospital. I sat by her bed night and day as we knew she didn’t have long. I went home very briefly and received an urgent call to rush back. The hospital is only about 15 minutes away by car and by the time I got there she was gone.

Very similar with my mum too. She came out of hospital after many years of kidney dialysis in order to die at home. My dad, sister and I took turns sitting with her day and night for 7 days then one night when my sister and I had dashed home to have a shower, my dad was dozing in the chair and she quietly slipped away.

Many people have told me that dying is a private thing and that loved ones often wait until there is no one around then quietly slip away.

Luckygirl Mon 09-Jul-18 22:22:55

I was in a similar situation with my Mum. I said goodbye to her in my heart long before she actually died; and I did not go down at the point where she died, I just went down for the funeral planning and the funeral itself.

I think you need to not worry about what others think. No-one has the right to judge you in this situation; and it is likely that they are not doing so - residential and nursing home staff will be used to this situation which will have happened many times before.

You were there for your mother when she was able to respond to you, whether she knew you or not.

Sending condolences to you all. Please mourn her in your own way and do not trouble yourself with ideas of people judging you. flowers

M0nica Mon 09-Jul-18 22:33:00

Mamissimo, my sympathy at the loss of your mother. But would it have helped if rushing back from Wales, tired and frazzled, whoever was driving made a miscaculation and was the cause of an accident and injury or death to you and your spouse or others. Of course it wouldn't.

You did the right thing. If others, who you will probably never see again, make misinformed judgments, so what? In a care home, deaths are not infrequent and within a year the circumstances of your DM's death and your arrival will, I am sad to say, be completely forgotten.

So do not make a rod for your own back, remember your mother as she was when you were a child and later until the loss of personality. So many years were good and happy, the lost years were very few.

Cherrytree59 Mon 09-Jul-18 22:48:31

I understand how you feel Mamissimo
I was only a few minutes away when my father died.
Even though I know no one blames me,
it still plays on my mind.

My condolences to you and your family x

cornergran Mon 09-Jul-18 22:59:04

I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother mamissimo. Please don’t blame yourself in any way. You made the choice to be safe and to keep other road users safe, no one can criticise you for that and please don’t criticise yourself. flowers.

Mamissimo Mon 09-Jul-18 22:59:31

Ladies thank you! If Mum had read my twaddle she would have given me one of her obelisk stares and told me to stop being dramatic. It’s been such a long slog of looking after three aged parents that I lack a bit of sensible perspective. Hopefully I will sleep tonight and be a human in the morning.

stella1949 Tue 10-Jul-18 05:19:57

You're worried that you'll be found wanting by the home ? Forget it ! They have other things to do than sit around judging relatives. Honestly, when someone dies in an aged care home, the staff pack up the belongings, do the paperwork, and move on to caring for the other people in the home. Whether you were there or not wouldn't enter their heads.

After a long time with dementia your Mum is at peace - condolences to you and your family .

OldMeg Tue 10-Jul-18 06:20:16

Exactly Mamissimo your second post says it all. Sorry for your loss and hope you managed to sleep after all,💐

kittylester Tue 10-Jul-18 06:54:18

I'm sure the home won't judge you - they will have seen your dedication to your mum for all the time she spent in the home.

Be gentle with yourself. flowers

JaneD3 Tue 10-Jul-18 12:41:48

Very sorry about your Mum Mamissimo and I exactly understand. I always felt judged by Mum’s care home, even wondered why they gave us an hour’s notice at the end. I live an hour and a half away and she had been deteriorating for two or three days. We are now four months on and I am more able to remember the good times and not that poor old soul who would have hated to see herself in that position.
Be kind to yourself - you did what you could. flowers

dragonfly46 Tue 10-Jul-18 12:44:47

My dad is in end of life care at the home he is in. I have told them I do not need to be there at the end so not to ring me in the middle of the night. I asked if they felt this was awful of me and the manager replied she was exactly the same with her dad. It isn't that I don't care it is just that I go every day and sit with him for a time but I find even that so distressing I cannot stay for too long. We are all different about how we approach these things and we should all be respected for the way in which we deal with it. There is no right way!

MissAdventure Tue 10-Jul-18 12:46:36

I think its natural, and a part of grieving to wonder if you could have done things differently, but I'm absolutely sure the care home staff know that you were devoted to your mum.
Condolences to you: I can still remember the terrible sadness when my mum died, and more than that, I can remember how kind the gransnetters were. flowers

Jaycee5 Tue 10-Jul-18 12:52:21

I doubt if the Home is judging you but if they are they are in the wrong not you so ignore it.
They will have people there who get no visitors, infrequent visitors, rare visitors and visitors who are a nuisance. If they judge you for taking a holiday and not being able to get back in time then shame on them.
You are not superhuman and realistically there is not much difference to visiting her just before she went and visiting her the week before unless you were able to be there all day every day which no one could.
I can do no more than ring my mother given that she is abroad and I am not sure nowadays that she follows the thread of a conversation (although she is doing well for 93). We can all only do what we can.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 10-Jul-18 12:54:30

Mamissimo I sat with my Mum for over 16 hours, went home to change and get a couple of hours sleep. I got the phone call when I was home. I know exactly how you feel.

Please do not feel guilty or worry about what the staff in the care home might or might not think, now is the time to take care of yourself.

Sending you love, hugs and prayers 💐💐💐

Purpledaffodil Tue 10-Jul-18 12:55:06

A horrid time for you but sure no one could have done more and there is no need to beat yourself up. flowers

mostlyharmless Tue 10-Jul-18 12:59:28

Sorry that you’ve lost your mother Mamissimo. Please don’t beat yourself up about not being there for the final minutes.
There’s too much pressure on relatives being expected to be there at the end. Even if you’re there in the hospital or home you might miss the last few minutes for any number of reasons.
Your mother knew deep down that she was loved, that’s the important thing.

MiniMoon Tue 10-Jul-18 13:03:56

I spent many years as night sister in a nursing home. I never judged anyone for not being there at the end of their loved ones life. I always tried to have a member of staff in attendance although sometimes it wasn't possible.
When both my parents died, it was the middle of the night, my Mother in hospital but unexpected, my Dad in a care home, neither my sisters or I were there. We don't feel any guilt, and you shouldn't either.

Willow500 Tue 10-Jul-18 13:13:42

So sorry for your loss Mamissimo - the posts above show just how often this happens and you really shouldn't feel guilty about not being there. You have obviously spent many years looking out for her and spending time with her - it was her time to just slip away quietly and the home will not be judging you.

We had said goodbye to my dad in care at the end - I'd told him quietly that it was ok for him to let go and went home - we got a call half an hour later to say he'd gone. With my mum it seemed worse as like yours she'd lost all ability to communicate, move, talk or hear for the last year of her life. I spent the last afternoon sitting with her for quite a long time and then went away for the weekend - she passed away on the Sunday morning while I was gone. I felt guilty to start with but then realised she would have been the last person to have told me not to go and enjoy myself had she been herself.

Take care of yourself flowers

Apricity Tue 10-Jul-18 13:18:26

Mamissimo don't feel conflicted or judged. You were a good and caring daughter over a long period of time, please give yourself credit for that care. What other people think is neither here nor there, you know the truth. Let the knowledge that you did your very best help you with your grief and sadness.

For reasons I cannot begin to fathom it seems to be not uncommon for people to 'go gently into the night' just as their loved ones take a break, sometimes just to go to the loo have lunch or even a much needed holiday. It is almost as though people somehow choose to do this as it is so frequently observed. It is one of the great unanswerable questions of life.
Take care of yourself. 💐