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Did your children visit?


wondermom

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Not sure what is going on with me tonight but I am extremely emotional. I have been second guessing how I handled some things in mom's last week of life when she was in the hospital. One thing that I have been struggling with is if I should have let my kids see my mom in the hospital those last few days. My brother, sister, and dad were there non-stop. Literally sleeping in her room with her. My kids missed me (and I them) and my husband would bring them to see me. At the time I thought it was important for them to see their Grandma and be able to talk to her one last time. I thought it was important for her to hear them say they loved her etc. I am sure it was very scary for them to see Grandma like that. They are 2 and 5. I told them before they went in that it would look like she was sleeping but that she could still hear them. Their visits were brief. Did I do the right thing?

I am such a wreck today. Just can't seem to stop replaying that time period in my mind. Can't stop wondering if I handled everything right. Oh, how I miss her. I know she would tell me not to question myself and I know I did what I thought was best at the time. But I also worry that maybe that shouldn't have been their last memory of Grandma.

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You can't beat yourself up by questioning everything-- and at 2 and 5 there is just no way they comprehended all that. So if you're wondering if it was right for them, don't. If you're wondering if it was right for your mom-- absolutely. I am sure it meant the world to her.

My situation was different then yours because we thought John would be leaving the hospital. Prior to his cremation we had a family time with just us, so the kids and immediate family could see him and say good-bye. I think it was a good thing for them (heartbreaking to be sure but in the end a good thing).

I hope you're doing better today.

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Yes, I think you did the right thing! You needed to see that closure with the kids, your mom knew they were there and it probably helped her to be at peace hearing them and feeling their touch one last time. And quite honestly, if you are worried about the kids and the effect on them...they won't remember. My kids were 5 and 3 years old at the time, and now at 7 and almost 5, they don't remember going to see her. I don't know if that is good or bad - in many ways it breaks my heart, but also they are not traumatized in any way.

I am SO glad I did it, my mom was ready to leave the hospital to go to the hospice center, they had given her a few weeks to live...but I just had this FEELING, I knew I had to get the kids in NOW. She only lived another three days after that, and I know I would have regretted not bringing them. My mom was in this semi-conscious state, her eyes closed and responding here and there...but when my five-year-son (who was her little soulmate) leaned over her bed and hugged her and said "I love you, Nana", she reached her arm out over his back and said "I love you too, Babydoll"...that moment will forever be etched in my mind and heart. Yes, I am crying right now just thinking of it, but I have no regrets.

I also want you to know that the stage you are in now, it's so similar to where I was at that time. Your grief is at the point where you are questioning everything, fixating on details, events, etc...I know how painful that is and I'm so sorry you are going through it. But I wanted you to know that it's so normal (I hate to use that word, b/c there is nothing "normal" about losing your mom...hopefully you know what I mean). Your post struck such a chord with me, this all just sucks, quite frankly.

Hang in there, you did all the right things and your mother loves you dearly, she knows you did everything you could to bring her peace. Bringing your children in, as hard as it was, was actually the most unselfish thing you could have done, especially at that age. Be kind to yourself, the very fact that you are worrying about all of this shows what a good and loving mom you are.

Hang in there...

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My daughter, sixteen years old, never left my or my Dad's side during the ten days he was in the hospital. He was comatose the whole time, he just appeared to be sleeping with labored breathing. If she were younger, there is no doubt I would have brought her to see him. Kids are more resilient than what we think. They'll cherish those last memories forever. You did the right thing.

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My kids, age 3, and 9 (at the time my mom passed) got to see grandma "one last time". Though they didn't know it was THE last time- they knew grandma was really sick and looked like she was "sleeping" and they kissed her hand and talked to her. She would squeeze their hand when she heard them.

It was the right thing to do for us, and now my son, whose 10, is so grateful for having had that "last visit" with grandma.

Be gentle on yourself. You shouldn't question what happened then and I am sure it was the right thing to do.

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I believe you absolutely did do the right thing. I'm sure that your mom was aware of their presence and speaking from a grandma's viewpoint, I know how much peace those visits must have brought to her heart. If I have learned one thing since losing Dennis, it is to NEVER second guess decisions that were made in those last days of his illness. When we make decisions during those days, I believe they are truly heartfelt decisions and I believe that God controls those heartstrings.

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When my wife Karen died, our kids were 3 and 5. And Karen died here at home with us. So our kids watched the whole thing unfold. I talked to them every chance that they would listen about what was happening to Mommy and what it meant. We talked to them about everything from the moment we were diagnosed. So the conversation never really ended about what was happening from the tests to the chemo to the radiation to Mommy being unable to walk on her own to Mommy being unable to stand to Mommy "sleeping" and then Mommy being dead. And we still talk about it and talk about Mommy being in Heaven and now she our angel watching over us and keeping us safe. She is still a part of our daily lives.

I have always thought that this was absolutely the best thing for Karen, for our girls, and for our family. I weep for them for what they witnessed. It breaks my heart every day for what I saw and for what they saw. And it about destroys me to think that every time they go through another developmental stage that they have to grieve Mommy again and again and again. As they develop and as their brains develop, they will begin to understand more and more of what they witnessed, of what happened to Mommy. And I'll be here to hold their hands every step of the way.

This grief thing sucks. I second guess about EVERY decision that I made about EVERY action that I took and all the inaction that occurred too. But I don't ever question the decision I made about what my daughters saw. In some strange way, I am now beginning to see that the beauty and joy of birth can be seen amid the sorrow and fear of death. And I know that none of the adjectives I used come even close to what we feel at each of those events - but that is all the language has to offer. Our Minister recited this at Karen's service and it reflects a shift in how I feel about Karen dying and has given me new thoughts into death. Which is why I can compare her death to something beautiful - - - -

"I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, 'There she goes!'

Gone where? Gone from my sight ... that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, 'There she goes!' there are other eyes watching her coming and their voices ready to take up the glad shouts 'Here she comes!'

by Henry van Dyke

I hope that you can find some solace today and everyday when grief strikes like a hammer. It is so hard and so hard. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your children will always have memories of your mom - happy and healthy and playful as well as sick and bald and tired. The last time they saw their grandma isn't their last memory - they will remember their grandma and her love for as long as they live.

Anne

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Thank you to everyone who responded. Anne, that was a beautiful quote.

Last night was rough. I slept about an hour. Just couldn't get the memories to stop flowing through my mind. It is funny how these moments sneak up on you just when you think you have your thoughts and emotions back in control. I am better today. I am glad for all of you and for knowing I wasn't alone in how I handled the kids in this situation.

My heart aches that my kids may not remember Mom. She was such a light in their lives. I talk about her often to my kids. I ask them to tell me what they remember about Grandma and it makes me so happy that they can still tell me stories they remember. I hope they will always remember those stories or if nothing else, I hope they will remember feeling loved by her.

Thanks again for your kind words and support.

Jill

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You did the right thing. I never brought my daughter to see my father during his last days. She is 2 also. I thought about it, and now I regret it. So, see, you would have regretted it either way because it is such a difficult thing to lose someone you love so much you second guess everything you did for LONG while.

I hope your this post finds you feeling better.

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Jill--

You know I went through bouts of replaying every little decision I made and hating myself for most of them. In fact, I still do from time to time....

But the truth is, you did wonderfully. I think your Mama needed those little angels near her. I can only imagine that they brought her great joy just knowing they were there with her. As for what they saw... That's part of THEIR story now, and I think that it is a beautiful part. Hard yes.... And how unfair that your kids had to be introduced to the hard parts of life so very soon.... But still so beautiful that they were part of their Grandma's life in that way.

((((((hugs)))))) to you. Your Mama is proud of you. We are too.

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You didn't even have to question yourself. I could understand if you didn't bring them. They may not remember when they grow up but you will and I'm sure that was the best thing for your mom.

You did right! I'm glad you ae feeling better today.

Maryanne

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Jill,

I do think you did the right thing. All any of us can do in those circumstances is our best. I understand what you mean about those moments sneaking up on you, and you just replay them over and over. And somehow everything you did seems wrong! I think that comes from the sense of not being in control of it all.

Your kids will remember your wonderful mom with your help. Just keep talking about her, showing them pictures, telling them the stories over and over, perhaps make little memory books for them that include your childhood and the time they had with your mom. They'll remember.

Hugs,

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My brother brought his kids down a few days before she died. They are 7,5 and 3. I think the oldest one understood--he brought her a special Yu-Ghio (whatever?) card and the middle one who was her special guy was very quiet and sad (VERY unusual). The baby didn't understand. My brother is now regretting not bringing them down more and sooner. I think he blames me...because I gave him the "chemo+germs=bad" speech. But truth is Mom couldn't handle the rambunctiousness (or the germs).

I think we all have our own regrets in hindsight...but it sounds like you did it all right to me. We could be here all day discussing what we should have done and it will do no good now. You do the best you can at the time.

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