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So lost
strange1
Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013 2:24 PM
Joined: 5/31/2012
Posts: 191


An empty chair can break your heart.
Tomc5592
Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013 3:21 PM
Joined: 11/17/2012
Posts: 1203


I'm so sorry. 

 

If things are too tough, please consider a grief support group.


dj okay
Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013 6:58 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840


Yes, it can.  And so can so many other things.

 

I can only offer a hug for you((((()))))


Nora
Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013 7:46 PM
Joined: 1/23/2012
Posts: 2270


For me it is a full chair, the one Mom occupied at our front window. It is full of cat or cats all the time. The two of them would jockey for the prime spot with Mom. Now they occupy it alone but the chair still makes me lonely.

I do miss her so!
strange1
Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 8:31 AM
Joined: 5/31/2012
Posts: 191


I wonder if it's possible to experience all of the stages of the grief process at once, except for the last one. Acceptance is a long way off. It's been a rough month. My FIL's passing was sudden. In two months time he went from walking and eating  fine to needing assistance walking and eating. Then one day he didn't want to get out of bed. I tried to feed him but he ate very little and stopped eating altogether. He was in bed for one week. We had hospice for three days. I didn't leave his side that week and was with him when he took his last breath. He did have one lucid moment when the family was in the room. I told him I loved him and he said, "I know you do". 

I'm still not used to him being gone and I don't think anyone in the home is either. February 20th was the two year anniversary of my Dad's passing. I went straight from being a caregiver for my dad to being a caregiver for my FIL. I'm swinging between tea
rs and rage. I want to go out and make someone hurt as bad as I'm hurting (even though I'd never do that) knowing it would do no good to ease my pain. Both Dad and my FIL died from neurological diseases that we should already have cures for. I think that's what angers me the most. They were too young to be taken. They didn't deserve the hand they were dealt. I may be acting selfish but sometimes memories aren't enough; even though they have to be.
dj okay
Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 8:51 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840


Dear Katie,

 

I have been in sort of a fog for a while now.  When you posted in this forum, I kept thinking, when did her FIL pass?  Somehow I must have missed your post, but I went back and looked it up.


Please accept my sincere sympathy in your loss and let your husband know that it applies to him as well in the loss of his father.  I am so sorry I haven't done it sooner.  But I have a saying...it's never too late to do the right thing.

 

A month is such a short time period when you are grieving this kind of loss.  I know because I thought I was doing well at times during the first month after my mother passed away.  Then I had an out-patient procedure, very routine, and had a profound grief response when I came out of the anesthetic.  The body and soul have to grieve in their own due time.  We cannot rush that process.

 

I am glad you are reaching out in this forum.  You will find it much less active than the caregivers forum, but there are some great folks here who are mourning similar losses.  We will get through this together, my friend.

 


KML
Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 11:30 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105


It's really hard to lose someone you love.  People all along the way ask me how long it's been since my dad died.  Seems like the people who haven't lost anyone close, feel it's time to move on, get over it.  My cousin asked me, when it was six months, he said it must feel like a long time ago?  No, I said, it seems like yesterday.  Now it's nine months and it still feels like it was recent.  Depends on the day, depends on the reminders, the empty house, the empty garage where I always expect to see him puttering around.

 

I still rage and get angry in my mind at the people who did not visit him when he needed it so badly, I'm still angry at the care facility.  It subsides and it kicks up again.  After knowing someone all of my life, 60 years, nine months is just a drop in the bucket as far as length of time for grieving my dad.  I also still grieve for my mom, passed away 12 years ago. 

 

I suspect the feelings will always be there, the intensity will lessen, but then there are days and the triggers and it comes back fresh again.  Like the ocean.   The waves come and sometimes the waters are still.  But deep in those waters, there is still a lot of beauty and life, but we know and expect there will be crashing waves and again, and there will be calmness.  The one thing is, it's predictable and all very normal.


Oceanbum
Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 9:09 AM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433


You are so right. Whenever I go over to my Dad's house and I see the dining room chair my Mom always sat in empty it breaks my heart. She always sat in that same chair when we had our talks over a cup of coffee, or over a nice lunch, or when I started helping take care of her and would help her eat her breakfast and her lunch. She sat in that chair many times as I helped her put on and tie her shoes. Years earlier she held my girls when they were babies in that chair. Then as they grew she held them in her lap and did puzzles with them. Then she played cards with them, always sitting in that chair. That was always her chair. I never thought about the significance of that chair until I read this topic. But now that I think about it - that chair is a very special place for me. I'll look at it in a whole new way from now on. Thank you!
strange1
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 7:06 AM
Joined: 5/31/2012
Posts: 191


Thank you all for your responses. As always it helps me feel that I'm not alone in this.

 Dj, 

 Thank you for your condolences. Don't feel bad about missing my post. Things had been so hectic that I hadn't been on the boards in a while. I'm sure its like that for all of us. You have been a great support to me and I sincerely appreciate it.

 Katie


Johanna C.
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:20 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11988


Ah Katie, I am deeply sorry.  it is true, the sight of an empty chair can break one's heart all over again.  It is the little flashes of memory; a favorite food, song, chair, or many other little personal things that can pull us into the loss so deeply at unexpected moments.  Even shopping for greeting cards for special days hurts as one can no longer search for that perfect card to please our loved one.

 

I find that Christmas especially causes flashes of grief for me.  And it is the chairs . . . . Mom always sat in one, Dad in another, Aunt Dorothy and Grammie had theirs; brother Michael would play the piano.  For some reason, they always went for the same seats.   Each holiday, I feel their loss so sharply when looking at their special places.  While the pain is not as acute as time has moved forward; for me, the poignancy continues to remain. 

 

Miss Katie, you have such a gift within yourself.  And when I think of it, you spent years nursing your father and almost immediately began years of nursing your FIL.  This amounts to years and years.  It became part of who you were - and I know what an amazingly compassionate caregiver you were and how devoted a protective advocate.  So in a way, perhaps you may have lost a piece of your identity for just a little while as well as having your heart broken.

 

I so respect what you achieved for your Loved Ones in all that you brought to them through your compassion, love, faithful caregiving and unflappable hard work, and I hope that somewhere there can be the awakening of knowledge for you of how much you brought, in so many ways, to the end of life for these two souls.

 

I am truly sorry for the pain you are feeling and I hope that solace and peace soon find you and lift some of the heartache.

 

With a soft hug,

 

Johanna C.


strange1
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 12:16 PM
Joined: 5/31/2012
Posts: 191


Johanna C, 

As always your posts and support bring tears to my eyes; but good tears. You have been so supportive of me in so many ways. You are correct in saying caregiving is what I know and who I am. I do need to find myself. I will eventually return to school but right now my brain is mush. 

I've contacted Home Instead and inquired about becoming a paid caregiver. It's what I know and I'm good at it. They told me once I'm ready to come fill out an application. I don't think I'll have any problem getting a job there. 

I'm going to take as much time as I need to find some of myself again. It's so strange to go to town and not have to rush. I can go visit my grandson and not have to leave after five minutes because I'm worrying. Getting back to normal is going to take time, if there's such a thing as normal

Soft hugs back at cha, 

Katie


Johanna C.
Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 10:29 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11988


Hello Dear Katie:   It has been a long, long course of primary caregiving and it will take some time to work through it.

 

I too found that I didn't know who I was anymore after the deaths of my mother and step-dad.  I was so immersed in caregiving for so long that all friends had sailed away or moved to other states, I no longer was connected to things I had been, and for heaven's sake . . . who am I?  I truly had misplaced my identity and I also knew I had changed.  I was not the person I was before.

 

You are wonderful at caregiving, but as a forum friend, I would hope you do not yet move forward into immediately taking a job as a caregiver if you do not need to. 

 

There has not yet been time to assimilate, adjust and process internally inside where the rubber hits the road part of the brain is; it would be good to find yourself again.  I hope you can give that a bit of time.

 

So says the pot to the kettle.  In other words, here I am . . . a Peer Volunteer.  I received such kind support during my LOs journeys, I wanted to give back to others, so when the invitation came to join the PVs, I thought about it and realized I wanted to give to others and I certainly had a background of experience and here I am.  It has been very gratifying and it takes such a small amount of time.

 

You must do what is best for you, but I hope there is also time for Katie to heal and to begin to blossom.

 

As for being able to visit your grandbaby more, isn't that just the best thing ever?

 

Johanna C.


Angela65
Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 7:51 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 276


yes a empty chair can be heartbreaking. my moms chair is now empty also.
deb97
Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 6:16 PM
Joined: 8/7/2012
Posts: 218


Everybody should have a wonderful daughter in law like you.  Your FIL and your Dad were so lucky to have you care for them.

 

My Mom passed 6 months ago and when I have a day that seems like I'm handling it better, the next day just knocks me right back down again.  Living like this, especially when you live alone, is just so hard. 

 

Deb