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Topic: the reality of the Palliative Care experience - watching my mum die

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. anne beckman
    anne beckman  avatar
    1 posts
    7 August 2019

    I am struggling with severe anxiety and get so overwhelmed with constant thoughts of how terrible and disturbing the last days were before mum died at home, that the room starts spinning and i literally fall on the floor sobbing and cant stop.. its been 2 months and i just feel worse and worse, i think the palliative care team do a wonderful job but they really didn’t prepare me for how - i hate to use these words - gruesome and disturbing the last days could be. I feel like its a taboo subject that no one wants to talk about the days before and how the actual death are, its certainly not like you see it in the movies. I am trying to find someone to talk to about the palliative care experience. It all feels like a nightmare that i cant wake up from

    1 person found this helpful
  2. paddyanne
    paddyanne avatar
    51 posts
    7 August 2019 in reply to anne beckman
    Hi anne. Can I ask if your mum had Alzheimer's or cancer. Being in palliative care is supposed to take away the heaviness of caring for our loved ones. However, the truth is it's harder because we (the children) want to care for them, but are medically unable to. No-one can prepare another person for the eventual passing of the loved one. No-one knows how another person will react to the passing. It's hurtful and leaves you feeling guilty (could I have done more, should I have done something else). My ex MIL passed after suffering Alzheimers for the last few months of her existence. I say existence because it started off with dementia, eventually leading to Alzheimers. My own mum died alone at home, I saw her and didn't recognize her. I felt cheated/betrayed/angry. Every feeling you have is grief and you need to ask your Dr for help to cope with the raw pain. Grief is as strong an emotion as any other emotion. Have you tried speaking to the palliative care team regarding their care of your mother. Make an appointment if necessary to speak to someone and tell them how grateful you are that they were there. Talk to them about your feelings of anxiety and ask if there's some way of dealing with these emotions. No doubt they will help you, they are trained to deal with the aftermath of deceased patients. It's not that it's a taboo subject, it's a personal subject as each death affects the families differently. My ex has no grief over his mother's passing as he believes she would admonish him for feeling any sort of loss. It took me several months to accept my mother had passed.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Soberlicious96
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Soberlicious96 avatar
    100 posts
    7 August 2019 in reply to anne beckman

    Dear Anne,

    I want to start by saying I am so sorry for the loss of your Mum. Grief is, in my opinion the heaviest of all emotions, because it brings with it every other emotion; anger, sadness, disbelief, confusion ..... on and on the list goes.

    I too lost my Mum and yeah, nothing really prepares you for the final days. My Mum was a BIG lady - size 22 to 24 - but in the end she had wasted away to about a size 10. And she was yellow ....... I won't go on about the other stuff, but what I will tell you is this; the vision of her in her final days and hours stayed with me too, vividly, and for some months afterwards. My Mum was my best friend in the whole world and losing her was losing a part of myself.

    I guess what gave me comfort is that I talked and talked and talked about my Mum and her illness until one day, I found myself talking about her regarding something other than how she died and how she looked. I talked about our shopping adventures and how her and I so loved to shop for hours and hours and stop briefly for coffee and cake.

    And it helped that my friends were so patient with me too ..... they kept reminding me that it's okay to cry every day; that the amount of tears were just an indicator of the amount of love that I had for my Mum. They also gently reminded me, from time to time, that my Mum would want me to find joy again, and for me to carry on with sharing myself with the world just like she had. My Mum was a real nuturerer and helper, always there for those in need. She was constantly making things and doing things for those less fortunate. She had such a golden heart.

    Perhaps you too could think about the kind of legacy that your Mum may have left? And maybe think about how you could carry on with her spirit in your life?

    I know it's still very very early days yet though, so the most important thing is just to take it a day, or an hour, or a minute at a time, if that's all you can do right now.

    And yeah, like paddyanne suggested, maybe it would help to get some grief counseling as well. You don't have to do this alone you know. Help is out there. Losing someone so close is no time to 'put on the brave face' ..... be gentle with yourself. In the meantime, we are here for you and with you for as much as you need. (((hugs)))

  4. Butterflyfish
    Butterflyfish avatar
    1 posts
    11 September 2019 in reply to anne beckman

    Hi Anne

    I was with my Nanna when she passed away. It's been almost a year but I tend to just think of her sitting in here with a cup of tea. I know it's hard, to be honest I don't think I've fully come to terms with it.

    you are not alone!

  5. Philomena
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Philomena avatar
    19 posts
    9 October 2019 in reply to anne beckman

    Hi Anne beckman

    I am just completing my Certificate IV in bereavement support and I feel I can help.

    Anne I am really sorry to hear about your mum, grief as you know is a normal reaction and everyone grieves differently. The pain of the grief can never be taken away no matter what anyone says you will need to feel and express the pain in order to start processing the loss.

    You will need to accept the reality of the grief by having a memorial service in honour of your mother where friends and relatives meet. Then you need to work through the grief there are moments you will feel sad, angry, denial, numb, fear, lonely, confusion and then you need to establish an enduring connection with your mother though she is not present in your heart and mind by memories of her, biographies and try to develop new skills, new friends and join activities you like.

    You may also like to go to a support group in your area where you will meet others grieving too and know that you are not alone and join in their activities.

    Try to talk to someone whom you trust who know cares and you feel comfortable to share your pain and feelings someone who can listen patiently without being judgemental.

    You can always share your feelings with me here anytime and I would be happy to reply.

    Be strong.

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