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Last night I was reading on the Loss of a Parent forum here because my dad passed away three weeks before my husband. Anyway, the topic was about a mom who right before she passed, had a smile on her face. The thread continued with different persons' theories. One of them said something about people witnessing tears from their unresponsive loved ones right before they died. This brought a memory of my husband who had a massive brain bleed and was unresponsive for three days. I remember many times wiping what I thought were just his eyes watering, but now all I can think is that he didn't want to leave us, but couldn't tell us and he was crying. This is breaking my heart. What if he heard me talking and wanted to tell me he didn't want to go??? My tears won't stop now

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Hey so sorry you are having a rough time, was his tears a sign of a physical manifestation, from his brain bleed? The Hospice Nurse repeatedly reminded me that the sense of hearing was one of the last things to go, so did your beloved hear all that was going on and knew what was happening? I believe so, Mike just a few hrs before he went although not talking at all would shake his head, blink his eyes, when I would tell him I loved him.

With what I have just said, I realize now that our loved ones, and I truely believe this, are mourning this loss also, I really believe that although they may be glad to be out of their physical pain.......it hurts them to be apart from us also.

Take care, thinking of you.....Dave

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I truly believe that when a person dies they gain a new perspective on this life on earth and see the big picture. I also believe that he knows your thoughts and feelings and knows you have sorrow over how things happened and that it no longer matters. It is my personal belief but it helps me to feel peaceful about a lot of things around the death of our loved ones. I think he would want you to let go of this as soon as you are able to do so.

Mary mfh

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Dave, I truly hope you didn't think I didn't appreciate your response. I did, I'm just trying to work thru this. As always, your insight is very comforting to me. Mary, thank you. You gave me another view to consider. I already feel some better just knowing you guys are out there when I need you. Peace and hugs to all of us, Pam

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Pam, dear, from what I've read, what you experienced is not unusual. See, for example, Hospice Care: tears during death

I gather that you were reading some of the posts in the thread in our Loss of a Parent forum entitled A Smile At Death. I want to draw your attention back to the wise words of longtime hospice nurse Barbara Karnes, RN, in that same thread. I encourage you to read her post once again, most especially her thoughts about getting caught up in the smallest details at the moment of death, at the cost of focusing on what is most important now. This nurse speaks from experience; she has been at the bedside of hundreds of people in their last moments, as they transitioned from this earthly life:

Posted 11 August 2011 - 04:01 PM

And this comes from Barbara Karnes, RN, an award-winning hospice nurse and nationally prominent speaker on the dynamics of dying. She is the author of the three booklets on which many providers of end-of-life care rely: Gone From My Sight, My Friend I Care, and A Time to Live. Her book, The Final Act of Living, is "a hospice training manual with heart." It is used in universities, for hospice orientation of staff and volunteers, and in end-of-life related areas, yet it is also useful for any lay reader. She is a nationally recognized expert on death and the dying process. Read more about Barbara on her website, www.bkbooks.com:

Hi Marty, to answer your question about the smile before death and what is that--here goes:

Most people just before they die will have a facial expression change. Most of the time the look is one of a grimace, a frown, a movement of the face, head and even the arm and neck. Once in awhile I have seen a smile. I personally think that the facial movement and body movement is the actual moment that the soul leaves the body. As I said, this is my own personal belief. There is no scientific research or proof that that is what is happening. The belief for me stems from being at the bed side of so many people and seeing them all have the similar movements and then just a few breaths following the frown or smile.

The fact that Kandy's mom smiled instead of frowning has no particular significance for me. Her body was letting go and she was freed. There was a release and it was registered on the face and in the body.

I hope this offers some help: Don't get caught up in the little details of the moment of death. They are unimportant. What is important is to celebrate the life Mom lived, her relationships, her legacy and to wish her well on her new journey.

My blessings to you Marty and to this family.

Barbara

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Dear Pam,

With, and I now someone will fault me for saying this, Pauline's Strong faith in where she was going and where we will meet again some day, kept her at peace. She suffered way to much from the MS, Pain, Bladder and Bowel problems, from one extreme to the other. Along with many other problems. Her body just stopped absorbing nutrients, the way we do, In just 2+ months she went from 118 to about 90 pounds. It didn't matter, I got Medical protein for her, but it did not help, The Doctor said a feeding tube would not help either, so Pauline being Pauline, faced death right in the face with such grace and poise. She never had, anxiety over death. She lapsed into a coma of some state about 2 1/2 days before she passed. She could still resound to me, not with her eyes, the MS took that away from her the final days. The eyes are were it started first anyway. But she resounded to touch, and a few movements of the mouth. When her family was her early that day, and the hospice nurse came that morning.She told us it would be about 3 days, but I knew that morning that this was the day. I could just feel it. About 1 or so after everyone was gone. I was holding her and crying, and telling her I loved her, then I said, I would be alright with as few tears as I could muster, that it was ok for her to go to sleep now. That I love you more than anything, then her mouth moved and very, very soft, she said, I LOVE YOU TOO. That was her last breath she took and let out to say those words of love to me. That I was on her mind. I held her for a long time, just telling her over and over that I loved her, and we will be reunited again when it is my time to be called. She never feared death at all, because our faith tells us where we go.

God Bless, I know if you told your husband you loved him and you were going to be ok. That he heard every words even after the heart stopped beating. He could hear you. Take comfort in that and find peace, no he did not want to leave you, and the tears were his way to show his love for you. That he loved you so much, that this is how he was letting you know his deep and lasting love for you. I hope you can find some PEACE with this.

Dwayne

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I'm sorry that this new thought is causing you so much pain.

My husband also died of a massive brain haemmorrage -it was devastating in its severity and struck with no warning. He was conscious for some of the next day, off and on, and then he became progressively unresponsive as the bleeding continued.

I am reminded of the difficult conversation with the consulting specialist neurosurgeon who was gently explaining to me on the 4th day that there was no hope of recovery because my husband had permanently lost the ability to control even the most automatic of functions like breathing and blood pressure control. He was not in a coma, he was brain dead.

The doctor said that there was no way to know exactly when 'death of the mind' had occurred, but from what he had seen of the time we had been together in the ICU, he knew without a shadow of a doubt that my husband's last thoughts, whenever that was, would have been of how much he loved us, an understanding of how much he was loved and an appreciation of how lucky he had been in life.

He told me to remember this whenever I think of the last hours because the time ahead was about body death, not last thoughts or feelings.

It was a great gift to me to have heard those words and I have held onto them tightly ever since. I can understand the views held by many about a person's spirit at death but the words of this kind doctor have helped me to believe that my husband's last thoughts were positive ones about the love, given and received, in his life.

I hope this might bring you some comfort as well..Susie Q

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Thank you all so much for your insight. Marty, after reading your post, I decided to focus on our life together and not worry so much about things that I possibly may never know the answer to. I feel so much better and thank you all! Peace and hugs, Pam p.s. Susie Q-it sounds like your husband's neurologist was a very kind Dr. I'm so glad for you that he was able to make you feel more at peace.

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my dear,I'm so sorry my post has upset you.I really do think that my dad was sad to leave.I wonder all the time about that tear.It breaks my heart,to be honest.But i also know we lose control of our body functions when we pass so I may be ignorant about it.It's just so easy for me to believe he was crying for his family,since what was being shouted at the time were things like,"dont leave!your kids need you!your family lovesyou,dont go."I do believe the other side is beautiful,and great,but my thoughts and beliefs change by the hour.I just wanted to say sorry that my thoughts on my post triggered you to have this awful worry.I'm truly sorry.

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The last time I saw George, he was in the hospital having a massive heart attack and they were starting to work on him (paddles etc). I told him, "Hold on, George!" and he shook his head "no". Twice that happened. His eyes were big and he looked a bit frantic. I think the pain was too much and he never wanted to die of a heart attack. But was that all there was to it? George loved me more than anything in the world and always had great concern for me. Why would he not try harder to fight to stay here with me? My take...not only was it all too much for him, the struggle and pain, but maybe, just maybe, he got a glimpse of what was to come in those final moments...maybe, just maybe, the allure of peace from all he'd endured tipped the scale. There is a fine line between life and death...sometimes those dying are lingering between this world and the next and perhaps that gives them a greater perspective than we can imagine. Perhaps when they die they are also given a peace about us...perhaps they know all of our struggles here are something that passes, just as theirs was.

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Kay, when Bill was in his final weeks, he would say once in a while, "I want to die". I felt badly but I understood. He would NEVER want to leave me and I knew that but the loss of his mind, his abilities, and his life itself was so compromised and he knew he would not get better after the long struggle....so I told him I understood, that I would be ok (little did I know the pain), and that it was ok for him to die....I think patients get to a point where surrender is all they CAN do...Bill, George, others. We both know they loved us and given a choice they would want to stay IF they were not in such pain and loss. I also know if I had died first, Bill would have had a much tougher time than I am having...and that is saying a lot considering how tough this has been.

Peace

mary

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