Sorry to hear your news. I cared for my mother during the last five years of her life.
Wow, a long time. I only took care of my Father for his last 6 weeks.
Came to Florida right after his first heart attack. He had 5 more, the tough old bird, bless him, took the 6th to bring the final curtain. I had to save him a few times, even resorting to CPR. On your own Father that's tough.
Watching him die wasn't easy. True with a parent, true with my first partner. And I would think true with any other human.
It's the way I think Nature made us. To care for each other, and of course more so for our family, and our friends. And to feel their loss more. So I can have a great deal of empathy for you, as can other guys here.
I wasn`t the only one caring for her, but was the main one. I lived in with her, for example.
She fell badly and broke her hip in November, 1997. She was seventy six and spent quite a while in hospital recovering from that and other complications. She came home in December. The fall had harmed her confidence and she had limited mobility, both physical and psychological.
I did most things for her from then on, cooking, cleaning, shopping(she insisted on coming with me to do that, though), medical visits, medication, trips out, gardening, even enjoying her television programmes with her, and anything else that needed doing.
She had a spell back in hospital in September, 2001, for treatment of hyper-thyroidism and diabetes, but came home well enough.
Some intution led me to give her a big Christmas and all the works that year. She always loved it, and gave me and my brother a happy and generous one when we were young, so it was the least I could do.
She slowly weakened, and finally became unconscious in November, 2002. I knew it was bad when the doctor said she needed to go straight to hospital and they found a bed for her in Accident and Emergency immediately. The next day my sister and I received the diagnosis from the hosptial doctor. Our mother had a massive brain tumour the size of an apple. It was very largely untreatable and so terminal, though radio therapy might give her a few more weeks of life. His estimate of time left varied between a few weeks and maybe two months at most.
She never regained consciousness. She spent her last days in a ward, then private room, of a local hospital devoted to the terminally ill, having lots of visitors.
She died mid-December peacefully in her sleep. I was there with one of my sisters in the hospital room at the time. She had kept her dignity all the way to the end, something I hope I can as well when my time comes. I appreciate the way she let go of life in small steps, always voluntarily and gracefully, and so death came gently to her.
Afterwards, people said to me they didn`t know how I managed to care for all those years. I answered, perhaps rather flippantly at the time, that I have a lot of stamina and will to see things through. Looking back, I think what happened was the situation brought it forth from me as needed. I didn`t think ahead, just made the day as good as it could be and let tomorrow take care of itself. There was a strength and resilience in me I had not quite known about. It was a good lesson for the future.