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I feel so blue
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013 7:18 AM
Joined: 10/29/2012
Posts: 105

Hello.  I have some thoughts to share.  Lately I have been agonizing over the loss of my mother.  She passed on 7/26/13.  Some of you may remember what a difficult time I had placing my mom in assisted living.  Well, lately I have been agonizing about her.  I miss her so much.  I picture her sitting on the living room sofa watching TV.  She was a very small woman, so cute.  She was always so comforting to have around.  Of course, right before I placed her in assisted living, she was absolutely driving me nuts with her constant repeating, asking where our dead dog was, etc.  But I sure miss her.  I keep having nagging thoughts about - maybe I should have retired and kept her home.  I remember just about every day she would seem pretty normal at the assisted living facility, more so, it seemed than the other residents, who could not functional on their own at all.  Where my mother was 100 years old and could run circles around them.  She would say, "I miss my house so much.  I miss my bedroom.  It was so nice and quiet there.  When are you coming to get me."  Those words will haunt me til I die.  I keep thinking when she said those words, she was too normal to be away from the home she dearly loved.  Why did I put her through so much unhappiness.  She wanted so much to come home.  I just can't seem to knock the sorrow out of my mind.  I am tortured!. 


I hope someday I can feel peace about her begging to come home and I did not listen or act on those words.  I do get comfort from the fact that her ashes are in a beautiful urn, sitting right next to the box of ashes of our beloved dog, Sammy.  So in a sense I brought her home and now she is right next to Sammy the dog she could not understand had died.


Sorry to sound so gloomy.

dj okay
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013 8:02 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840

Dear Shirley,

I remember all too well what torment you went through placing your dear mother.  Trust me, you did the best you could with the hand you were dealt.


I have recently gone through a period of self-doubt.  I nearly drove myself insane with the second-guessing.  I was even having nightmares about it!  And this was all well past the one-year anniversary of her passing.


Someone told me to write this down and paste it to my forehead "You did the best you could with what you knew at the time."  You did all you did for her out of love and... a sense of survival.  If we don't survive the caregiving, who would be there for our loved ones?  Your mother actually did much better in the facility than she did at home BECAUSE it was the right thing to do, not IN SPITE OF IT.


We can drive ourselves crazy with the "what if's", but none of it will change the past one iota.  So why spend time and energy doing it to ourselves?


If we spend too much time rehashing the past, we will be no good to ourselves or anyone else in the present.  Try to work out in your mind (NOT your heart) everything you did for your mother.  Then put the past decisions away.  Your mother would not want you to do this to yourself.


I know, trust me, I understand what you're talking about.  There are things my mother said and ways she looked at me that will haunt me the rest of my life.  But when those things come into my head now, I no it isn't what she would want for me.  She would want me to be happy and move forward with positive feelings in my life.  I think she knew in her heart that I had done the best I could for her.  I think your mother knew that, too.


Grief is hard work in itself, let alone all the "stuff" we have to deal with in our heads and hearts from our caregiving days.  Be good to yourself now, your mother would want you to.



Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013 9:19 AM
Joined: 10/29/2012
Posts: 105

Thank you so much dj okay.  You are right in everything you said.  It is so wonderful to get such encouraging replies to my posts here. 

It is awful that we have to loose loved ones isn't it?  Especially our mothers.  I was exceptionally close to my mother.  It is as though my reason on this earth was to be with her to the end.  As I have no children and never remarried after my divorce in the early 1980's.  I was so content to be with my mother.  I felt so secure with her.


We had our "moments" don't get me wrong.  We are Italian so we had quite the tempers.  But all is forgiven.


Thank you so much.  I can go on now.

Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013 10:12 AM
Joined: 11/8/2013
Posts: 2

My mom passed 4/1/12 and I too continue to agonize over the actions and feelings you have described. In an instant I can see my mother's face and eyes searching my face and my eyes seeking an answer as to why she was not home. I can give myself all the intellectual answers and forgiveness, but the agony of seeing my mother-- who trusted me--in such emotional pain is not easy to overcome. Then she started asking me to help her die if it was her only way out. I did get to do that for her when she suffered an infection. No peace with this yet...I think Alzheimer's grief is a unique place to be,I get some comfort knowing we share these haunting emotions.

Thank you.

Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013 1:32 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

I understand how you feel.  My father wanted to stay in his home, he was very comfortable and adored his home.  But he was progressing and it was difficult to cover all of his needs.  Unfortunately, moving in with me, wasn't an option.  I had a lot of stairs, too, and not much space, not wheelchair accessible.  He was placed in a care facility for almost two years.  Towards the end, about a week and a half before he passed, he was having a very difficult time and he asked me to take him home with me that night, right then.  If was the most heartwrenching thing for me to say, I can't do that, Dad.  I won't ever forget that moment.


I try very hard not to dwell on it, because it creates such pain in my heart, it's difficult to bear that pain.  Some things are so painful to think of, that is the one for me.  I have to try and remember that I did what I could at the time, I tried my best at that time.


I'm going for longer stretches of time, where those kinds of thoughts don't come to me every day as they used to, not beating myself up so often as I had and I've been able to pull myself out of any harsh doubts, but I have to say, the holiday season is making this very difficult.  Just a couple of days ago, I got caught up in my self-doubts and regrets and talked to my husband about it.  We naturally miss them so much, but our attention is drawn to the times we spent with them, the memories of the holidays, the birthdays, special occasions especially, the times shared with them.  The good times and we miss those so much.  This time especially kicks up those self-doubts and second guessing.


I think we have to be especially kind to ourselves during this time.  It may have been some time now that our loved ones have passed, but our grieving continues, it will always be there, how can it not?  I think it will always come in waves and maybe we learn not to dwell, to realize we did what we could and we did the very best we could and if we could have done anything differently, we certainly would have.  Sometimes we forget the quality of care we did provide to our loved ones.


I wish I had an easy answer for these feelings, I wish I can say, eventually we will not think these things.  I suspect we always will though, and along the way, we will learn coping mechanisms to ease and soften the pain, and we can learn to live with both the loss and to show ourselves some kindness and release.  I wish us all peace.

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 7:15 AM
Joined: 10/29/2012
Posts: 105

I am reading these replies before I go to work today.  Thank you all so much for caring enough to reply to my sorrow.  I will try again today to face what memories I have of my mom. 

It helps so much to know that you care enough to reply to me even though you are grieving also.

I just hope my mom is having the time of her life now - if there is an after life.  I hope she is laughing, going places, discovering old friends and family, and I hope our little dog Sammy is there wagging his tail and barking at her to pick him up, like he always did.


Thank you everyone.

one daughter
Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013 11:43 PM
Joined: 1/30/2013
Posts: 1980

I'm going thru the choice of placing my mama. Reading your story is really making me think twice about placing her.
one daughter
Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013 11:48 PM
Joined: 1/30/2013
Posts: 1980

Pely - the one who trusted me, exactly, I'm the only one my mama trusts. Altho, she doesn't always know my name, she knows who I am.
Posted: Monday, December 9, 2013 6:20 AM
Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 318

I kept Mom home until the end, but for quite a while she didn't recognize it as her home.  The day before she died she wanted to know when I was taking her home from "this hotel" and she was in her own bedroom.  Don't second guess your decision - we all do what we feel is the best thing for our LO at the time.  I'm thinking now that I should have placed her, that they might have been able to keep her more comfortable in a facility than I could at home.

I'm also feeling really blue.  In my case it started just before Thanksgiving, and has only gotten worse as Christmas approaches.  It just doesn't feel right - there are too many people who aren't here for the holidays.