MOM IS DYING and There's So Much Blame

Dear Barbara, My mother doesn’t have very much time left. One of the issues I am dealing with, being the oldest in my family, is my siblings don’t seem to connect with me in this situation. I realize we deal with it in our own way but there seems to be a lot of blame going on, not a lot of remembrance, and there has been financial resentment as well as petty behavior. Can you give me some feedback?

I'm sorry to say when a family member is dying it can bring us together and be our finest hour as a family or it can bring out the worst in us and create resentments that last a very long time. From what you are describing this may not be your family's finest hour.

What to do about all the discord? I would have a family meeting and talk about the negative attitudes, not finger pointing but stating, "We are not doing so well here supporting mom by fighting among ourselves". Suggest a truce until mother is gone. Suggest you all come together for her sake, to show your love for her, and concentrate on providing a loving, peaceful environment. Talk of giving her the gift of a family that is getting along. When she is gone you all can resume the discord if you want.

This meeting may or may not work. You may just be criticized even more for being the “oldest” and “thinking you know best” (I’m an oldest, too, so I know how that thinking works).

Be gentle with yourself. If the discord continues then you just support and love your mother. You be the point of stability, calm and peacefulness around her. Don’t engage in the arguments or discussions. Once you have suggested the “truce” let everyone have their point of view and whether you agree or disagree just stay quiet.

You want to be able to look back on this time and know you did the best you could to give your mother a peaceful journey. You can only be responsible for your actions. This is a gift you are giving your mother, your love and efforts. Each family member has to live with their contributions.

Something More About... MOM IS DYING and There's So Much Blame

On my Facebook Group Page, End of Life Care and Bereavement, nurses, social workers, EOL Doula's, and families learn, support and share end of life and bereavement experiences. You may want to join this safe space.



Barbara, i am 54 yrs old single never had kids, (I mention this because i believe that bearing children brings “family” in the situation of “life”!)
I have been a cna in idaho and CA. First time to see one pass away i was at work in idaho, in a facility (which by enlarge are no comparison to CA, cause CA could learn alot about the caring for others! Period!)
I remember the “gurgling” sound and was unfamiliar with that, i thought cant someone just suck the spit out so she dosent choke?
My hope in writing is maybe care facilities would remember that some people (as myself at the time), NEED to have this experience but others who have been through it before should share (as you do!) with others what to expect. I was frightened, wish then that i had the resources of “you”, to guide me.
Ive been through many that experience since then and i can tell you honestly, my father (20 yrs ago) and my mother (2013) i was able capable and understood what was happening because of your unselfishness, and it brought so much peace and love. No “do overs” on this part of life, right!
Just a great “thank you”, from the innermost depths with gratitude for you!
God Bless you!


Hi Diana, thank you so much for sharing the outcome of your experience with your father. My blessings to you. Barbara


Hi Lena, about if people who do not have a religious belief die differently than those that do: I have not really seen a difference. We, no matter our belief are going to be afraid to some degree, when it comes time to die. We are facing the unknown and that is scary. Most of us, through out our life, have decided on a belief system, that belief may or may not include a god. Whatever our beliefs are we tend to keep them as we are dying. There are very few deathbed conversions. Our role in helping people as they approach the end of life is to support them in their beliefs, not introduce ours. Blessings! Barbara


Our hospice nurse shared your books with us. So valuable to us at just the right time. Have shared with clergy and friends. Thank you for helping in our darkest hour.

Lena Deblanc

You and/or your staff have been with many people who die “in peace” as Christian believers. I often wonder about people who die without belief in an after life or even a God. Can you share your experience in that area?

1 2

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published