Question: Dying - Alone or With Your Loved Ones Holding You?

When looking back at my life and looking at myself right now, I try to figure out what hurts me more and will stuck with me probably for the rest of my life:

A. if I couldn't be at the side of my son, if he were in danger to die due to the virus infection or vice versa for him, if he could not be with me, if I were going to die or

B. keeping distance as requested by the authorities.

Here why I think about that:

1. I wasn't at my mother's bedside when she took her last breath. I was 4000 miles away.

2. My sister was in the bedroom of my mother with her back to my mother's bed, looking out of the window and smoking. My mother was weak, but not sick, just old, but mentally fir. My siser did not foresee and did not realize that my mother was taking her last breath. Somehow she couldn't understand it.

3. I was not at my father's bedside, when he took his last breath. My mother was at his side in the marital bed. My father must have died during his sleep at night, but my mother was not sure if her husband was dead or not.(That was 1998). My sister is still haunted by the voice of my mothers telephone call, begging her to come over (both being neighors of each other), because she wasn't sure, if my father - her husband - was dead or not.

4. I regretted my whole life that I wasn't at my mothers side, when she died. I mourned more about that than the actual death. I always felt I was betrayed to not have been able to say good bye to her.

5. My sister was at the side of her husband, when he unexpectedly died prematurely after surgery of a non-lethal complication in the hospital. I remember vividly how she talked to us about that.

6. My sister closed the eyes of her daughter, who died after her daughter's life-long struggle with Hodgkin's disease and brain cancer, and was present when she took her last breath. We all spent a week with her daughter and her before she died. All of us knew her daughter was going to die within the next couple of days to weeks. My sister, her mother, was the only one, who didn't see that coming. That's what she admitted to us later on. And we were all struck by the fact that she didn't realize at what stage her daughter was at in relation to her upcoming death. I haven't understood why my sister was unable to let that reality sink into her mind. Similarly she doesn't understand the virus pandemy and what it could entail for many people.

7. My son and me, we are 7,285 plus some miles apart.

8. There are travel restrictions from HI to Germany and from Germany to HI. There is no chance to overcome these restrictions logistically and no way to undermine the regulations financially, as it can be expected that under cover extortion of money will happen - by those, who could help some persons to get an airplane flying away from the Hawaiian islands or to get place on a freighter ship from HI over to Germany or the US or Canada.

9. My son is in close contact with people, who could carry the virus. He had symptoms, his girlfriedn had symptoms. There were no tests available for residents of the islands. Tests meanwhile are available for passengers on incoming flights, for returning US cititzens, who are permanent residents on HI, For other incoming passengers, I am not sure what the regulations are. I think the get tested and perhaps also quarantained by default, but I am not sure.

10. Rules over travel restrictions are not clear and can be changed by the day, both in the US and in Europe. It is hard to keep up what the regulation changes are. I posted somewhere else the latest Duran video that is long, but makes it clear for EU conditions.

11. What I see is that the greatest concerns people have, is to not be able to be at the side of their loved ones, when they fear they might die through the virus infection or other sickness.

12. The travel restrictions and lack of testing kits for all persons everywhere, applied to no matter who they are, makes me the most angry/sad/demoralized. And handling this is difficult on each person individually, I feel..

Can and would you travel to a loved one, who has the symptoms or has a high probablity to carry the virus, if you had the chance and it were allowed and legal? Or would you keep a 'social' distance?

PS. Oh, yeah, folks in Europe won't forget what happens in the US, though they have no clue how bad the situation can get for the Americans. But then, who knows for sure anything these days?

I hope I didn't get too close to your feelings of hurt. If I did, I apologize and am sorry.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

10 users have voted.


Raggedy Ann's picture

death is for the living. Having regrets will eat at you and you show that in your essay. Instead, maybe live with the fond memories you have of those who passed. You were not supposed to witness their death. Their death was there for your sister, who seems to be in denial when it comes to death. She doesn't see it coming.

I guess I've been fortunate in that I was subjected to funerals from a very young age. It's our culture, the Spanish-Americans I grew up with. When an uncle died, I was eight and remember everything about the funeral to this day. My dead uncle's spirit even came to me. After his death, I got used to it as part of life. However, when my grandfather died, I was very close to him. I was 12. I wanted to die just to see where he went and then come back. It was my first brush with wondering.

I'm a believer in reincarnation. We are here for a purpose. We are here to find a balance with that which was left unbalanced in another life. In a past-life reading, I found I had abandoned my parents to work and make money far from them. They disowned me. This time, I was the one left to care for them. Once I realized I was balancing this, I gave it everything I had so that I would have no regrets and balance this one out. Hard for non-believers to understand, but to believers, you get me.

If my children contract the disease and pass away without me next to them, I will try and be virtually next to them and look around at who is balancing their act. My mother used to say that the one who cries the loudest has the most guilt. I've never forgotten that so I try and find if I have guilt and then try and balance to leave it with no regret.

Am I rambling now? Sorry - it's a subject I care about. Pleasantry

12 users have voted.

"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

mimi's picture

@Raggedy Ann
and feelings. I think with me the regret I had over my mother was the fact that for almost 45 years we lived geographically far away from each other (4000 miles plus). Neither me nor she really wanted it that way, but both of us knew, there was not much we could have done about it.

The regret is over that fact, not so much over her death. We could have had more common memories of each other, if we hadn't lived so far away and separated from each other. We loved each other dearly and I knew nothing could have destroyed that. That is not the case with others. So, I see that as something very special and guess that is what I regret the most and sometimes still mourn over today.

2 users have voted.


Lookout's picture

There's skype and facetime if it is visual contact you crave. There's always a phone call, email, or even a letter (don't lick the envelop). Being together in heart, mind, and spirit with our loved ones (alive and dead) is the real treasure. Being in same room together isn't the goal. Sharing love, kindness, and generosity is.

Be at peace and .

7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture


Sharing love, kindness, and generosity is.

in the 'whats-up way' and by moving money back and forth, when needed. So, we were thinking what would happen if the internet would be 'down'. And what would be if the 'electricity' would be off...
Love feels better in the non-digital world, though. I get tired of typing the sams thins over and over and or calling it over the ether through the phone.

3 users have voted.


and at bedside. In some instances there was not enough time given to walk across the street. This can be seen as both a curse and a blessing. No goodby, but also no bad choice to bring regrets. When there was time to be present there were always many questions. Am I needed? Can I help? Do I have the strength to look at the face of a dying loved one and find the reflection of my own death looking back?

All those questions remain alive for me with each new loss. We all live with the certainty of death in our future but I find I persistently forget that simple truth. When I am able to live with more awareness of my own mortality the way forward becomes more clear, but still, questions always remain.

9 users have voted.

“We have a very small window in which we need to make a fundamental shift away from capitalism.” Kshama Sawant

mimi's picture

because I am younger than them. I kinda not fear my death, I fear pain and I live with the thought that I could die any time. My sister and me are always saying we want to die sleeping in our bed without pain. That's all.

When there was time to be present there were always many questions. Am I needed? Can I help? Do I have the strength to look at the face of a dying loved one and find the reflection of my own death looking back?

Right, when there is time ... I think I would be needed and I would have the strength to look at the face at my dying son (When my son was in the Iraq war and was in combat, the worst thoughts that came to my mind, was not knowing if, how, when and where he could have died. The US AF didn't allow contact to families over the phone and relating anything relevant during the war in Iraq. That I found painful). My son survived and I don't know how I would have reacted if he had been killed in that war. I don't know it til today.

I saw that too in my aunts and uncles memories for their loved ones killed in wwII at unknown locations. The note of their death came per letter of their fellow soldiers and comrades, months later. In my mothers family after wwII, there was that very painful and unforseen event, that my mother and my aunt (her sister) both got a note/letter saying that my aunt's husband was killed at an unknown location in Russia and that my mother's husband ((my father) survived twice POW camp in Russia, was alive and on the train back to Berlin. And it was even around Christmas time. There is a photo of both my mother, my aunt, and my grandparents from that day. So, the strangest and saddest and happiest moments can happen all at the same time to a family.

Just saying, why I want to know when and where, when, why and how my sone would have died during the Iraq war.

My son and me, we never understood and never supported that war. Just bad luck that my son enlisted before all the shit happened, not knowing what the contract my son signed with the US AF in the end of 1999 really would mean to him, after 9/11 happened. Killing innocent civilians and Iraq soldiers in a war nobody could have foreseen or anticipated - left life-long psychologcial wounds in him and I don't forgive GWBush' for making that war decisions. Never.

On the other hand I dont think I needed the help of my son when I were on my way to pass away. He might think so, but it is not the case. May be he would need it for himself, but not for me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

4 users have voted.


seeing and hearing that last breath I take?"
I do not.
Tell your son every day how much you love him.

6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp
I do not need and do not decide either, if ma son would be at my side, if I am passing away.
I would rather him not having another stress going through such moments.

Just talked to him. He told me what he was most afraid of during the Iraq war. It was incoming missiles and the fear of being attacked with chemical warheads. I even remember him telling me about the constant jumping in and getting out of the chemical suits.

These memories inside him come up and we just 'talk about them as long til we are so tired that we don't talk any further' ... til the next time.

3 users have voted.


@on the cusp I think about that, too, and know that my mother felt this way. I also know that she was there, holding a good friend, as he passed. It's not something we would look forward to, but, I think it's a difficult part of life that can make us stronger.
My mother, talking with her sister, said she was afraid to go alone. Unfortunately, that is a trip, usually, that one must make alone. I would give up everything I have if I could have been there for her. I was in town, but let my older sister convince me to leave the hospital that night. Lots of regrets.

0 users have voted.

In life, as in dance, grace glides on blistered feet. ~Alice Abrams

Bisbonian's picture

about 23 years ago. He had been in a hospice program for months, and we all knew he was going to go. His wife, his daughter (my wife, at the time), and our two girls were with us. I was holding him up, so that he could breathe. All of us were very sad, but glad to be there with him, and together.

I little over a year ago, my youngest daughter passed away. She had recovered from leukemia (we thought), and I was flying a trip for work, when her body suddenly rejected a bone marrow transplant, and there was no way I could be there. Her mother and our daughter were with her, and were glad at least to be able to do that. I was not, and was devastated.

I want to be with my family. I figure that if either my partner or I gets this virus, we will both have it, in short order. I think our 13 yr old grand-daughter will come through okay, but have serious doubts about my partner and I. In my mind, either I will be holding her, or she holding me. I can accept that. Problem is, my work takes me away, and I could miss the opportunity (again). I don't want that (again).

My parents are both in their 70s, both struggling with their health without this virus, and live about a 10 hour drive from me (flying would take longer). I talked to them yesterday, and will keep in close contact as this goes on. That's the best I can expect.

5 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

mimi's picture

I am very grateful to you for sharing, though it may have been tough to remember and talking and posting about it.

All I can say, I am very close to your feelings. Especially those:

Her mother and our daughter were with her, and were glad at least to be able to do that. I was not, and was devastated. I want to be with my family.

I figure that if either my partner or I gets this virus, we will both have it, in short order.

But have serious doubts about my partner and I. In my mind, either I will be holding her, or she holding me. I can accept that. Problem is, my work takes me away, and I could miss the opportunity.

You just present the dilemma of physical distance, wanting to be with your family and keeping the livelihood with your job. My son and I came up with daily compromises and watch out for solutions one day and week and step at the time. As long as we can talk to each other ... it's all we can expect for right now.

3 users have voted.


Bisbonian's picture


looking always several steps ahead, taking things one step at a time is rather difficult for me.

I am learning.

Thanks for you comments.

3 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

RantingRooster's picture

my heart goes out to you. Imagine a nice, big warm hug and your favorite drink.

My wife's death hit me really hard. It's been almost five years and it still burns in my chest from time to time. She was my “everything” if you will. I was fortunate to be able to be at her side when she passed. I was reading off all the FB posts and well wishers from her friends, holding her hand and she just let go. It was kind of strange because on one hand I felt relief that she was finally able to let go and not suffer anymore, but on the other hand I wanted her back god dammit!

Of course when my mother passed, my own family didn't even let me know, I got notified by a txt from a stranger, “Sorry about your mom”, and I'm like WTF? To this day I still don't know the actual day she died. As I'm sure you've guessed my family and I don't get along well. And one the main reason, well, was I married a southern baptist, republican.

I don't really miss my mother. We hadn't spoken in about a decade, and that wasn't a good discussion either. But, I have no regrets. Reconciliation was impossible and I just had to let go of that idea.

Now, my mother in law on the other hand, I spent the last few days with her till she passed from brain cancer. She and I used to have lunch or dinner together and plot how we were going to get her daughter to marry me. She was anything but a typical “mother-in-law”. She told me she was ok with dying because she finally knew her daughter had someone to really love her, not like her own abusive alcoholic husband. She said she knew I would kill or die for her daughter without hesitation.

I didn't get a chance to speak with my older brother before he was killed by an already felony convicted drunk driver. The police had “disengaged” in the chase, and turned off their emergency lights, and 90 seconds later my brother was dead. T-boned right in the driver side. I'm just glad his death was instant and he didn't have to suffer through the pain of horrific injuries. They guy committed suicide about a month later, and my parents let the whole criminal case drop. I do miss him a lot. He was the only one in my family I could stand being around for any length of time.

If it were my wife, I would walk straight up to DT and put two in his head, if it meant being able to be by her side. Travel restrictions be damned. I don't recommend that kind of action / behavior to anyone. Since she gone already, I won't break the travel restrictions.

Mimi, again, my heart goes out to you. Allow your self to grieve, and know that grieving is a “process”, and it does take time. I wish I could come over and watch Netflix and just chill.


4 users have voted.

C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

mimi's picture

tearing-ones-guts-apart life experiences with your loved ones and the 'rest of the bunch'.

For the moment I need to take a break, I will come back. Some parts of your story is the real similar, bur reverse opposite from mine. Makes me have dry tears that don't want to get out, but don't leave me alone either.

I feel your hugs and give them back. If we could get back, what we wanted most, when losing it, that would just be heavenly paradise. ...

Talk to you later.

PS. I am still not a netflixy girl, I want to go to the Computer Chaos Club here in Hamburg, Germany, because chaos is my middle name in my head. I guess they don't take grannies in their classes. Heh, I can still enjoy something, and my life is good. No worries. And Thanks again. Are you ready to conquer paradise? Heh, as Mami Merkel says: 'Wir schaffen das'

2 users have voted.


PriceRip's picture

Take care of yourself:

2 users have voted.