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Did I Fail My Mom?

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I just lost my Mom last week and buried her on 9/11 after a year and a half of hospitalizations. She was 99 (close to 100) but ambulatory until last April. I refused to send her to a nursing home, caring for her from June 2006 to now at home, partly on hospice and always with private hire aides. Mom's passing was, I believe, some form of congestive heart failure which was difficult to watch the last day, as she tried to breathe and her eyelids drooped. My Aide stayed late due to Mom's condition but left reminding me I needed the rest. I was sleepy, so I slept leaving a friend to watch Mom, and I awakened about an hour later to find Mom had died.

I've been able to accept her death. Everyone tells me what I already know - that I did everything for her....Almost. I'm Catholic and have strong beliefs. Mom was seeing something evil weeks before her death towards the foot of her bed. I had a priest annoint her multiple times from last year to as late as Labor Day this year. But I didn't put sacramentals on her that Catholics believe are important at the end out of fear she might choke. I didn't pray for her much - before or even after her death.

I've been seeking counseling now - I feel I failed my mother religiously. Please don't laugh. She couldn't help herself, so it was up to me, and I'm tired of people telling me she's an angel in Heaven. These are generic remarks people make too easily. I'm afraid for my Mom's soul, and that's what's made me go out of my mind this week. It's not that she's gone (and oh how I miss her) - but I don't know that she's safe spiritually, and I realize now how little I prayed for her while she was lying in her hospital bed....

Feeling like I'm losing my mind at times, I'm her

Only Child

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Hi Only Child,

I felt the same way when my mom died... She died of a diabetic coma but I did not know she had diabetis and I gave her any sweets she wanted toward the end... I felt she deserved them because she had gone through so much.. She had breast and ovary cancer... So when I read about your loss of your mom I feel that she knew that you had done your best for her and would understand in the end... You were such a loving daughter to her from just what you wrote here... I know you feel that you let her down or you failed her but that is normal for the grief you are going through right now... Keep coming here and posting or just reading and you will find that these people are very understanding and caring... You are not alone..... Take care and God Bless... I will keep you in my prayers... Shelley

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Only Child,

First of all, I am so sorry to her about your mother and can sympathies with your feelings of guilt.

However, I think it's important to realize that you're putting yourself under a lot of undeserved pressure.

I used to have a lot of problems with faith before and after my own mother died and kept feeling that I didn’t do enough for her.

It took me a long time to figure out that it wasn't me who was causing the feelings of guilt. It was my faith.

Please don’t get me wrong, I commend your faithfulness to your religion and think that it is a thing sorely lacking in the world today (you should be proud). I think it is extremely important to have faith these days, especially when going through a horrible loss.

It is quite obvious that you love your mother and did everything possible to help her in her final days. That’s all anyone can and should ask of you in these trying times.

I believe God knows how much you love your mother and will take care of her, and I don’t think quantity of prayers is more important than quality. With that said, I think your mother will be taken care of. I may have not prayed very often in the hospital as my mother was dying but I do believe that God knew how much I loved her and took care of her.

Please don’t feel guilty.

I wish you much love.

The Duke

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Only child,

I am so sorry about your mom. I lost my mom Dec.06. I was with my mom for hours before she died, her sister came to see her and I stepped out of the room to give them some time alone. My mom died minutes later. I believe she waited to go when I was out of the room, it sounds like that might be what your mom did too.

I admire your stength and courage and love for your mom. You took care of her for months and months. You did everything you could for your mom , she knew that and I have to believe God knew that too. I am sorry you are feeling like you didn't pray enough, but the things that you did for your mom speak louder than anything. My mom saw bad things too before she died, I believe it was just the medications and her brain starting to shut down. It sounds like your faith has always been a huge part of your life and your moms, is there someone in the church that you can talk to, that can help you find the answers. I wish you a peaceful day.

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I think in these sort of situations, there is no right answer. No matter what, I think we feel guilt. My father died in front of me... practically in our arms and to this day I can't help but wonder what I could have done different? What if I had said something, when I'd noticed he wasn't looking well? what if what if?

I say this not to diminish your feelings - I truly feel sorry for you and wish that you were not required to go through this situation. I hope you can find a way to heal & come to the understanding that it was not your fault. You were doing your best to help your mom...

Take care.

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