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filmfann's avatar

Have you ever had to do something you prayed you would never be made to do? What was your most difficult moment?

Asked by filmfann (46551points) April 22nd, 2009

4 years ago today I had to take my comatose Mother off life support. It was the right thing to do, and she wanted it done, and every day I regret it. I miss you, Mom.

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11 Answers

crisw's avatar

Lots of things, although I cannot say that I prayed for them not to happen, as I do not pray. Putting my mom in hospice and watching her slowly fade away and die and putting beloved pets to sleep are certainly the most emotionally wrenching things I have gone through.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

A relative of mine diagnosed Alzheimer’s starved himself to death soon after being put into a nursing home. He had said he would do this but I didn’t say anything even when I knew he had begun. When my family saw him last, he just held my hand and nodded to me saying he “was tired”. I still didn’t tell and he was dead the next month.

avalmez's avatar

i don’t think any of us have not had to make a decision we would rather not to have faced.

putting a parent in nursing care is something many of us have had to do. realizing that the health of a loved one is such that no heroic measure should be taken to preserve their life in accordance with their own wished is another.

last year, i was present when an 18-month old was removed from life support following a horrific accident and despite tremendous efforts to save the toddler’s life. giving advice to the mother of that child to let him go was not an easy thing to do.

what i’m leading up to is that you are not alone, and having the courage to make the best decision you know your loved one would have supported is the best you can be expected to do.

feeling guilt is over having made that decision is part of the grieving process. seek the help of a bereavement counselor to help you deal with your grief. there are many charitable organizations that provide such counseling (for example, Catholic Charities provides such services in many areas regardless of your religious background and ablility to pay).

Best of luck to you and do seek advice.

filmfann's avatar

My grandmother had her legs amputated, and she starved herself to death. It amazes me that some people have the strength to do that, and that they have such strength, and don’t fight on.

avalmez's avatar

for many people quality of life takes precedence over life at all costs. nothing wrong with either perspective i guess, but obviously the latter suffer more and to some extent are in a state of denial. hospice people have told me the former almost always pass on more peacefully and that’s kind of easy to understand.

avalmez's avatar

i should have added, i think it’s an act of love for a terminally ill person to decide they will not suffer nor allow their families to suffer prolonging what can not be prevented.

Jude's avatar

@filmfann my heart goes out to you.

It was this week two years ago that my Mom and our family found out that she had terminal cancer and had “six weeks to live”. In a couple of days she would have had her one and only round of chemo. It was palliative chemo. I had to call my Mom’s brothers and sisters.

cak's avatar

@filmfann You are a very strong person, loving person. That is a hard thing to go through – actually, both of them. I respect your strength and ability to love your mother enough to let her go. I’m sorry for both of your losses.

The first one – my sister was missing. She was on drugs, off her bipolar meds and took off. I was out of high school, in college and I was trying to help find her. Flyers, working with the police, helping my parents. I had taken emergency time from school to come back and look for her. I got a call from one of the Dectectives that actually gave me the time of day, they thought they found her and needed someone to do a positive ID. My parents had to take care of the close of a house – as they were in the middle of a job transfer, out-of-state. They didn’t get the call, I did. I really didn’t realize that they were asking me to identify my dead sister, or what they thought might be my dead sister. I got there and yes, the girl on the table had the same hair, same face structure, but she wasn’t my sister. A few weeks later, my sister turned up. To this day, I’ll never forget the face and I’ll always wonder if her parents or family found her.

My other experience was January 3, of this year. My father was dying. We were all very aware that he was dying, we just weren’t ready to accept it. He’s always had a DNR on file; however, when he was transferred for some reason, they didn’t have it in his records at the second hospital – they found it, after he died. I was getting ready to head out the door, back to the hospital when my phone rang. I remember the conversation, exactly how it happened.

“Mrs. ******, this is ***** from ***** hospital. We have reviewed your father’s records and need to know the family’s wishes. His bp is dropping fast and he breathing is weakening. Mrs. *******, if he weakens further, does your father wish to be on life support?”

Oh God. It landed on me to say, “No. My father just wants to go, naturally.” I could barely get the words out. I was the one that had to say let him go. He was my father, my friend, my partner in crime. I said to let him go. I still wish it hadn’t been me. I still cry everyday and miss him so much, some times, it hurts to breathe.

augustlan's avatar

{hugs} to all of you.

joybells34's avatar

@filmfann That was a very hard day. I miss her too. I love you UA!!

Jack79's avatar

sort of, though not as bad as what filfann explained.

When I was in the army, I had to wake up really early every morning. So the day I got out, I swore to myself I’d never wake up again before the sun was high up in the sky. My very next job involved waking up at 6! But I did my best to change it, and managed to do so within a few months.

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