One of the things I am realizing people struggle with most is not being at the bedside when that last breath is taken. Some people are miles and miles away, some went home to shower or sleep, and some stepped away to make a call or get another cup of coffee. And almost everyone who misses that last breath is feeling guilty, fearing that the person they love felt abandoned and alone.
I can't speak for the people you love, but I have witnessed hundreds of last breaths of people who were surrounded by family, who only had staff at the bedside, sometimes only me, and many were completely alone. And I feel confident in telling you that they were not feeling abandoned by you, or angry, or sad. I don't think they go "there" when those last breaths are taken.
I think their take-away, the stuff they hold in their heart when they go, is how much they are loved. Sometimes I think maybe they go back in time to a place when things were good and happy and they stay there in their mind and heart, and that feeling is what fills them up and what they take with them.
Some people do not want an audience, some don't want the people they love to have this as their last memory. Please do not beat yourself up, things happen and whether it was completely out of your control or not, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you know that they know you love them.
If it was my time to go and I was lying in a bed, and no one was there... I think I would go to my place of make-believe and simply imagine everyone I love gathered around me... because I know they will be, physically or not.
❤ You were there... trust me.
They don’t take with them who was there at the last breath, they take with them who was there all along… in their heart.