But we have been hearing from a lot of people sitting vigual with there passing loved ones. What if your not someone that can emotionally do that?
I feel like that is judge alot, and some people just can't do it.

As for my feelings on it. I want to remember people standing up.
And I want to be remembered standing up

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Well, I see there are a lot of different strong feelings on this , which is why I asked. And thank you for your response.
I will handle things maybe a little different down the road, but I'm going to do what I believe is the right thing to do in my heart .


I am struck by your comment (paraphrasing) about being good to a person while they're "here".
A sick person in hospice is still here. No one can be somewhere 24/7 but someone being at the end of there life ill is no reason to not go and see them.

It's true many people wait until everyone is out of the room before they pass over to God's mercy. That doesn't mean loved ones shouldn't visit or spend time with them if it's a comfort to the person.


I adored my grandmother. She and I thought alike about so many things.

One thing that she always said to everyone, I especially loved, “Give me flowers when I am living and can enjoy them. Don’t wait until I am dead and gone to give them to me.”

Most people who are dying don’t want to have a parade of people marching in and out of their room! They aren’t up for that. They would rather be around only a few people who matter to them the most.

Personally, I feel people should be considerate of the person who is dying and respectful of their family members as well.

I don’t know if certain people don’t realize these things or if they are just plain weird and somewhat nosy. Either way, you should tell friends or ‘so called’ friends that it isn’t a good time to visit when you want your privacy.

I am at the point in my life where I am not concerned about offending anyone if they are knowingly or unknowingly being disrespectful.

I will initially attempt to be tactful and polite, but if they don’t take the hint and they need a brick to fall on top of their heads, then I would be more direct with my message to them about not visiting.

Why people feel that they have to impose at the most inopportune times is beyond me. Don’t give these things a second thought. Do what is best for you and your family.

People who are true friends will visit a person when they are well and can appreciate their visits. They don’t wait until the person is dying to go see them.

There are other ways that they can show that they are thinking of them. They can send a letter or a card with a thoughtful handwritten note.

Most of these attempts done by these sort of people are not done out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s done so they can brag to others about what ‘they’ did. It’s hogwash. It’s insincere BS.

Express to any unwelcome visitors that you appreciate their support, but the family desires to be alone at this time.

I have known people who have been too busy to attend happy events such as a graduation or a wedding. Oh, but they run to a wake and funeral to make an appearance! It’s kind of crazy. Be there for a person when it actually means something.

People have different ways of dealing with issues. Theres no right or wrong way to be with a dying person. If you don’t want to stand vigil, don’t. You do not owe anyone any explanation. If anyone should ask you about why you did or didn’t do a particular things, you can tell them your feelings or better yet tell them to mind there own business. Anyone who would question someone in a time of grief is not being helpful.

I think what I'm meaning mostly is, do I want to sit vigual absolutely not. Will I for a loved one , yes, but I'd say I would be absolutely happy if I left the room, then the loved one dies.

But it's the friends that are sitting vigual with there loved ones and want you to go say goodbye to them. Those are the people I want to remember standing up. And when I'm dieing I don't think I'm going to want all these people in and out , teary eyed saying goodbye to me.

And people get so insulted if I don't, I support them in other ways and that's just going to have to be enough

A friend of mine, is a nurse, her father wanted to die alone with her. there was so many people try to see him and say there goodbyes. He was. Quite the ladies man in his day, and they where all showing up. My friends husband had to actually block the bottom of the driveway and sit there so the poor guy could die the way he wanted to.

And I yes I wanted my husband with me when I had my babies but I definitely didn't want my long lost relatives in and out of the labor room.

So I just don't get this thing with people resenting for not saying goodbye to there loved one


Your MIL from what you've told us here was an awful and selfish woman who treated her family like crap. If there weren't many tears shed for her who would be surprised?

As for your SIL, well she needs everyone to be gentle with her now becaus she's in a strange place. People who were abused by their parents often are when they finally die. They have a lot of mixed feelings.

Interesting post--since we are dealing with the aftermath of my MIL's death 3 weeks ago.

Her 3 kids took care of her for the last year of her life. It was brutal to watch her use and abuse these 'kids' who gave up their own lives for her. IDK if she ever showed gratitude or not. I just watched me DH become an angry, angry man. I thought my BIL was going to have another heart attack due to the stress. SIL's hair went completely gray in that year.

MIL was in active Hospice that entire time. The company they worked with was awful, but they didn't know it. Just kept running that hamster wheel.

At the time of the closing of the casket, the funeral director told the kids to say their final goodbyes. YS went to the casket and leaned in and kissed her mom and wept over her for an uncomfortably long time.

DH walked up the casket and touched the edge of it and walked away. No tears.

OB stood with his back to the casket and indicated to the funeral director to 'close the lid'. I never saw OB even look at his mother. No tears. no signs of ANY emotion.

I think they had 'sat vigil' with her for so long--they were simply burned up.

In the end, MIL died alone. And that's FINE. Dh had few days of feeling bad about that, but he's over it.

OB is absolutely thrilled to have his life back.

SIL is getting there. But she was here last night and looked like the weight of the world was off her shoulders!

Dying is as personal as life gets. I hope when I go, that there will be no "coulda, shoulda, woulda' attitudes.

I'll let you in on a little secret here about sitting vigil over a person you love when they are dying.

No one wants to do it.

That being said life is not all rainbows and adorable puppies and hot fudge sundaes. There's the lousy, bad, unfair, heartbreaking stuff too.

The not being able to handle it "emotionally" is just a cop out, plain and simple. No one is saying you have to be by a person's side 24/7 when they're at the end of their life in the hospital. If you're capable of having any actual love for a person that isn't just on-the-surface superficial love in good times, you'll find the strength you need to go to them. You behave like an adult and put away the baby excuses like not being able to "emotionally" handle it and you just handle it.

If you are an adult you can do it. Even when there's nothing you can actually do for the person, you can be there. Many times I would have to pull over and cry in my car after leaving my in-laws' house. So I did. I survived. I would not be here commenting if I didn't. If I had stayed away like a baby who can't cope with real life, what would I think of myself today?

I'll tell you one thing. I wouldn't be proud of myself. I wouldn't feel good about myself if I stayed away from the man I shared a life and so much love with. Or his family who did so much for me. They needed help with his care. I owed them but I also love them.

As for wanting to remember a person "standing up" and in the prime of their life and health. You get to remember them like that. Do you think when I recall my first husband that my only memories of him are of an emaciated dying skeleton in a hospital bed? They're not. I have wonderful memories of my first husband when neither of us was standing up.

I also have memories of a gorgeous 21 year old guy wearing a leather jacket that had golden hair and twinkling blue eyes and looked like the end of the world on his motorcycle.

No one gets only good times and good memories in this life. You have to take both. So you take both.

Or you don't. If you choose not to suck up the judgment you're going to get from others. Own it and live with it because you deserve it.

"Actually being a loving, caring person while they are here is more important." Well-said Grandma❤️

There is nothing "wrong" about not wanting to be with someone when they die.
Your feelings are yours and you are entitled to them.
Actually being a loving, caring person while they are here is more important.
The "funny" thing is many people will die alone. It seems that they chose to do so. They will wait until family member has gone to get a drink, gone to the bathroom, or even just stepped away from the bed for a moment.
The Hospice Nurse told me that she has seen this a lot. She said death is a private matter and some seem to wait until others have left the room.
If your loved one is on Hospice and you do not want to be there Hospice can arrange a Vigil Volunteer that has been trained and they will be with your loved one with you there or not.
Your feelings are valid, do not let anyone make you feel "bad" or "guilty" because you feel this way.

"We" seem to have come full circle.
Years and years ago most people spent their last days at home with family then "modern medicine" and hospitals more than likely people died in the hospital hooked up to machines and no family with them and now we are back to letting a person die at home with family that have been caring for them. For some of us this is still an uncomfortable thought, experience. You are not the only one that feels this way.
We all are uncomfortable with the "unknown".
Watching someone die brings us a little bit closer to acknowledging that we also are going to die and that is frightening.

I wasn't there when my husband took his last breath even though I was on my way to the hospital. The nurse met me at the door to tell me he had just passed. I wasn't all the upset about it because of my belief system. I figured he was still there in spirit form anyway. I don't look at God being way away somewhere out of our reach.

When people are close to death, they will only want a couple of people around anyway. In my brother's case, it was his oldest daughter and his second wife. They were present at his death and when he took last breath. Dying people do not want a large crowd around them.

You draw your first breath on the day of your birth, and you draw your last breath on the day of your death.

I was at home when my mom passed peacefully in her home. Everyone was asleep when she died. The kids were in her room on the other bed along with the dog. She died with family all around.

I was there at the hospital when my disabled sister drew her last breath and gave up the ghost as they said in the old days.

My brother passed recently and I wasn't there for him during his last months. He was in a hospice way down in Waldorf, MD. His friend and I were planning to visit him on that Thursday. Jim died that Tuesday. We talked a lot about death and spirituality before his first hospitalization. He didn't improve, but spiritually I think he had made up his mind to let go months before he died. He gave up.

My Uncle Charles passed one day before my brother's funeral service this week. Uncle Charles died March 3rd, and my brother was funeralized March 4th.

Although I was there when my mom took her last breath I could very well have not been because we went home each night to sleep, I figured that gave mom the choice to go when we were not there or to wait until we were. I knew mom was scared and I figured the least I could do for her, the only thing, was to be there to hold her hand. I do have regrets about not being there when other family members died but I was younger then and not experienced enough to handle it, being a caregiver was a good prep course.

"To me, dying is the most private thing I'll ever do."

BlueHeron, I absolutely agree. The presence of other people would feel like a hindrance to embark on my journey into another sphere - well at least this is how I imagine it now.

When my father was dying in the hospital some weeks ago I always made sure to leave him alone for a couple of hours. He had been unconscious for five days, so I could not ask him anymore if he prefers me at his side or not. He died alone, early in the morning, after my brother and I left the hospital, and I think he wanted it this way.

But people are different, the ones who are dying as well as their loved ones. No death and no grief is like the other, so everyone should listen to what feels right to them and not be pressured into anything just because other people's opinion of "what is right and what isn't".

Anxietnacy, you are definitely not "a terrible human being" for not wanting to watch your loved one die. You can light a candle and think with love about them from afar. I am sure they feel it.

I was in the waiting room with my mother at the hospital when they took my father off life support. A chaplain at the hospital was more than happy to sit with him and say prayers of comfort while my father passed. I don't want any of my family in the room when I die. The thought of it weirds me out. To me, dying is the most private thing I'll ever do.

I am a big believer in doing whatever is best for you. If a person feels that it’s important to be there, they should follow their heart.

I don’t feel like a person loves anyone less or more regardless of whether they are there or not. It isn’t mandatory.

None of my family members expected anyone to sit with them day and night.

My brother was with my mom when she died. Mom was in an end of life hospice care home during Covid so we had to take turns visiting. They didn’t allow all of us to go in at one time.

Personally, I have absolutely no desire to see a person that I love dearly draw their last breath. I don’t want that as my last image of them.

If I would have happened to be there, then so be it. My brother died the second after I walked out of the room.

My other brother who died recently was alone in his home. His wife was at work. He was talking to his friend on the phone when he was dying. He told his friend that he didn’t feel well. His friend called 911. He was dead before he arrived at the hospital.

I saw my parents a few hours before they died. I was relieved that I hadn’t seen them die. It would have broken my heart.

My dad died in the hospital and my brother was there.

None of my family members were afraid of death. I know people who are afraid to die and they want someone with them at the end of their lives.

I don’t care if I die alone. I would never want to make anyone feel like they had to be there with me.

I don’t find there to be a right or a wrong in this. I’ve both missed a parent passing and before right there for it. I’m unconvinced it made much difference either way though I felt privileged to be there. Make a choice you can be at peace with

Anxietynacy, everyone is different along with the person who is passing. When my Dad [95] was in hospice and his days were final, I knew he wouldn't want me to see him pass. So I whispered in his ear that it was ok for him to leave me and be with my Mom, who had passed the year before and he missed dearly. He passed a couple hours after I left. Dad had one of his favorite professional caregivers there with him.

As for my Mom [98], even though she was in a coma in a nursing home, I knew she didn't like being alone. This was the middle of the night and with luck have it, I found her favorite movie on TV "Smokey & the Bandit". Some how I felt she could still hear the movie even in a coma. So for me, I had to smile as she waited until the movie ended, and a few minutes later she passed.

I'm sure it does probably depend, I don't see me leaving my husband if the time comes before me. But I don't want to be there when other loved ones pass.

Maybe it's just in my area but when someone is actively dieing , friend all go to visit. I get to support the family, but it feels to me almost like a private thing. But people have actually gotten rude to me and my husband because we didn't go say are good bys

If I had a friend that was completely alone I would never let her sit vigual alone. I would suck it up best I could.

One friend understood, kind of, I brought her food and she tried to get me to go in. While the whole family was with him.i politely said no, she seemed to understand

I honestly cannot imagine not being able to sit vigil with my loved one if I am able. I guess that's just me. I was unable to be with my brother at the end. It came shockingly fast, and it was the beginning of Covid and all that went with it for facilities. I wish I could have been there for him. I was so attached to my brother that I would have wanted to be with him at ANY time, good or bad, and certainly would have wanted to be with him when he was helpless.

I think people feel differently about these things; that's fine. Some dads don't want to be there when the baby is born, and that used to be the norm at one point. Others believe it is witnessing a miracle.

We're all different. I think no one would judge you for not sitting vigil.

I suppose it varies. I was OK loving my mother when she was flat in bed, dying. 'Fear of death' itself isn't too good, and seems to be a part of the dreaded FOG.

"I want to remember people standing up".

Love it!

As a child, the message from my practical elders was to remember people as they had been - lively & active (not laying still in a hospital bed).

That has stuck with me.

You are not a horrible human. There are plenty of people here who don't necessarily want to sit vigil and be there when their LO passes. I am one of them. I would prefer to remember her as she was when she was living her best life, healthy and strong. And no judgment on those who are emotionally able to handle being with their LO as they draw their final breath and transition into eternity. It is definitely a VERY personal choice.

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