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Newbie with a ?? about the dying process

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2013

My Mother passed away from Dementia in Feburary of this year.  She was released from the hospital back to the nursing home. I had made the decision to put her on "comfort care", (basicly keep her comfortable and sedated until she passed) 1st day back in the home, she was like a new person, very energetic, lucid etc. I questioned my decision for comfort care, Omg, it was horrible. This lasted several hours then slowly returned to her declined condition. The nurses assured me it was a normal occurance in someone who is near death. She passed away 4 days later. I researched it and now understand that it is normal.


In May of this year my Dad passed away from Lung Cancer.  He was at home with Hospice care. Very near the end he was most comfortable sitting on his couch. He was on quite a bit of Morphine and other drugs so he sat on his couch talking, watching T.V. and slept on his couch (he hadn't eaten anything or had nothing more than a few sips of water for several days). I was sitting next to him when he suddenly bolted up and tried to start running.  I tried to help/stop him but he was strong as an ox and was pushing me away. All the while yelling things that I could not understand.  He seemed very frightened to me. Finally he stopped at the counter hanging on and slipping down but trying to hold himself up.  On his way down for the last time, he lost control of his bowels and his bladder while mumbling apologies and stuff I could not understand.  My Sister and I finaly managed to get him cleaned up and in his wheelchair, all of the fight was out of him.  From that point he was put in bed and Hospice set him up with a Morphing pump and he was kept comfortable and sedated until he passed away 3 days later.

My question is this...I understand what happened with my Mom's happy spell but I cannot find out what happened with my Dad's frightened spell.  It haunts me beacuse I do not understand what happened. Can anyone please help me with this?


Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Cindy,

Based on my experience, folks have their own paths.  My mother had a similar experience as yours.  My Dad had a similar one to your father's, except he could not get up since he had had a stroke.  My dad was reliving life and death struggles.  "It was him or me", was spoken several times.  Dad was in WWII and he also had to work for a bootlegging grandfather during Prohibition.  He'd had a very difficult childhood and the war was no piece of cake.  I'd tell you all about organ failure, and the adrenaline rush, but it really amounts to the dying process.  The important thing is that you were there.  Your voice and touch were reassuring even if your father didn't respond to you.  Feel blessed and honored that you were there.

Peace be with you.


Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Cindy

Welcome! I can relate to you and your dad's experience with passing. My dad passed on March 9, 2010 from esophageal cancer/liver cancer. He too had

stopped eating and was barely drinking anything substantial. He was on morphine, and spent the whole day of March 9th sleeping and moaning things

we could not understand. That night he decided he wanted to get up out of lazy boy chair and walk. I know he was totally dehydrated and could not walk

at all, but he tried! He collapsed on the floor, was thrashing around, looking very scared, saying help me, help me. This lasted a few minutes, then he got

this vacent look in his eyes, his eyes turned a very pretty blue color, he lost control of his bladder, and he was gone. Prior to his passing his feet and ankles

were very very swollen. After he passed I know I saw a look of peace on his face, almost a smile, and his feet and ankles were no longer swollen! I was so

happy for him. I know he was happy and no longer in pain from his cancer. Sorry for the loss of both your mom and dad, but you and I know they are both

so better off in heaven without their terrible diseases! Hope this helps. Keep in touch.

Tina in Va

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