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Waiting to Pass

Updated on February 19, 2014
The Passing: What to Expect When Witnessing a Loved One's Death
The Passing: What to Expect When Witnessing a Loved One's Death | Source

There was an issue that came up on two different occasions during the last month of my mom’s life. Two people mentioned that because I stayed in the room with my mom so much, that I might cause her to suffer on longer than she should have to. Neither one was talking out of meanness; they were concerned about the situation. They told me that my mom may wait to pass when I’m not in the room, so that I won’t see her die. It would be her trying to protect me.

I took to heart what each had said. One is a very dear friend of mine, and he just recently lost his mom, so he knew the situation well. He said that his mom would have never wanted him there in the room with her when she died, and he honored her wishes. The other person was someone that worked with families that are in the same situation that we were in, so he had a lot of experience in this area that I didn’t have. I could only go by my feelings.

Now that it had been brought up a second time I thought I should talk to mom about the situation. I told her what had been said by two different people, (Both of which she knew) and then I asked her what she would be more comfortable with when the time came. She in turn asked me what I wanted to do. I told her that I couldn’t stand the thought of her dieing alone, that I wanted to be with her, and she said that that’s what she wanted as well. She was sincere when she said that, because when she passed away she did so with my husband, son and me, all in the room with her. She was definitely not waiting, to be alone, to pass.

I think it’s important to ask your loved one their wishes, but, they need to know what you want to do as well. More than likely, they’re going to be comfortable with whatever you’re comfortable doing. In my mom’s case, it was as if she waited to pass until all four of us were together as a family.

When someone is dieing, there’s no conversation you can’t have with them. You need to be able to talk about difficult things, and you’ll be glad that you did, because it’s going to make all the difference in their last days, and in your last memories with them.

Looking Back - The Signal to Depart?

There will always be one thing that is going to baffle me about my mom’s last moments of life; she seemed to get startled when my text signal sounded on my phone? Mom had been incoherent for days, and when the Hospice Nurse took her off oxygen that morning she said that mom had slipped in to a coma. We had no idea while we were sitting by her bedside that she was aware of her surroundings, or at least somewhat so, because when my phone signaled that I had a text message, all of a sudden my mom reacted as if something had startled her, and then a few moments later she was gone.

I know this is going to sound a little crazy, but it was as if the sound on my phone signaled my mom that it was time for her to depart. We knew she was going to die at any time, so we weren’t in shock that she had passed, but the way that it happened is what was so bizarre. My family and I were in the room with mom, we were talking, my phone sounded the signal, and as soon as it did my mom’s eyes opened as if she were in shock and she took a deep breath; her reaction was so startling that the three of us jumped in our seats, and the next thing we knew, she was gone. I can remember saying that it was as if my phone signaled her to go. I know that can’t be so, nonetheless it is still quite baffling how everything happened.

Source

The Agonal Breath

I looked up about a person’s last breath; it is called Agonal breathing aka agonal gasps. I think the article explains what happened the day that my mom died. It reads, “Gasping is a survival reflex triggered by the brain and indicates the brain is still alive, although normal breathing and the heart has stopped working.” I’ve added a link to the website from where this information came from.

So, if I’m reading the information correctly; my mother’s heart had stopped and her brain went into survival mode which triggered her to gasp for air, and this happened at the very moment that my phone sounded the text alert. I will forever wonder if that little sound that my phone made, woke my mom’s brain up one last time before she died.

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