Last month my mother died. She was receiving hospice care, and I took a leave from my job to be her primary caregiver. Although my mother was sleeping most of the day, I still spent most of my time by her side. On the day she died, the hospice nurse suggested that I take some time for myself when the bath aide came later in the day. I did as the nurse suggested and my mother died while I was out of the home. I feel angry and guilty at the same time. I wanted to be at her side, to hold her hand and tell her I loved her when she took her last breath. I can’t forgive myself for not being there. Do you think she waited until I left to die?
Dear Motherless Daughter,
I am so sorry for your loss and for the sadness you must feel at not being with your mother when she died. No one can predict when someone will die, not even the hospice nurse. I know your mother found comfort and love with you at her side day in and day out, even on the day she died. I hope you can find comfort in knowing she died peacefully and comfortably. There is no reason to feel guilty, your mother knew your love for her, and no, I don’t think she waited for you to leave to die, I think it was her time. It’s time for you and your family to celebrate her life and keep your memories close to your heart.