Hi there and welcome. First off, I must say that your Mother doesn't need anyone who wants to beat the truth into her if she doesn't want to hear it. Trust me, she knows the truth. The opposite of that is someone placating and pretending everything is perfect & although I do believe that while someone might be in denial for short period of time, it is not a good idea to encourage or even play along with this because when the time comes to get serious, and generally a person eventually does accept what is happening, and when they do and want to discuss it, the patient might not be able to relate to the person who played along for fear of disappointing them. I have found that being honest and being yourself has worked for me.
You don't want to put yourself into a position of alienating a person who is dying, I know that is blunt (sorry). A person on some level, truly DOES understand what is happening to them, they just might not feel like discussing it. Perhaps she doesn't want it to be real yet. Trust me, she will have plenty of reminders of the situation. I know it is frustrating because you want someone to deal with what IS, not what they believe. I do understand these feelings. For the last year I have watched my beloved Mother go from a beautiful vibrant human being to what is happening now. It is almost unbearable sometimes, but it is something that we can't run from. I often have wondered myself how I will be able to go on after she leaves, but Lisa, at the point my Mom is already at, she already has left in a sense. I hate saying that but it is true. You will adjust and cope and it is unfair and hard and hurtful but I promise you will adjust. Your 3 babies will not let your world shut down and that will probably be your Godsend. I know my son who will be five in July, has been a tremendous help in the sense that he reminds me that I can't just sit here and feel sorry for myself. This kid needs me to fix his bath, or dinner, or clean the walls that he just got fingerprints all over and so forth. It is like the whole circle of life happening and it seems unfair that Mom is going but I can't stop it....
I really hope that I don't sound negative because for all I know your Mom might make a miraculous recovery, I'm just trying to offer you some insight as far as my situation. Take what helps you and throw the rest out, ok?
I have been reading a book titled 'Final Gifts' written by two hospice nurses. It is a compilation of many stories of how people were able to come to peace with death. It also has alot of very important advice about how to interpret the message of people who are dying. They can be verbal, might not make any sense and so forth. I highly recommend this book, although it is a very sad read, it offered valuable advice on what to look for, what to listen for, what to do and what not to do. A very compassionate book geared to helping people that are caregivers to terminal patients, to actually help the person who is dying feel at peace.
I know this is scary and frustrating, there is no way around it. Take comfort in the comfort you offer to your Mom. It really brings me great joy to know that I have been able to bring a measure of security, or peace, or comfort, or even humor to her. I am myself and sometimes I ask her dumb questions that seem weird or morbid but I think it is very important to give her the respect of her being my Mom. By that I mean, listen to her, don't try and protect her from herself, try not to treat her like a child. Tell her that you truly believe that the family and her will be all right somehow....no matter what. When she sees that you have it together, she will feel reassured.
This is really tough Lisa and I could go on for hours. For now, I'll let you digest what I wrote and if you are able, write back. Like you, I also wrote in because I didn't want to feel so isolated. It helped me to see others dealing with this disease in a dignified manner. I have received so much inspiration and support by listening and also by sorting out my own feelings by writing.
God Bless you and good luck,