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On observation perhaps....any thoughts?
Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2013 12:01 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 2283

dj and Johanna


The years that we 3 have been on the previous Boards and now have allowed us to view the reshaping of how longevity with Dementia Caregiving has caused the "oldie but goodies" to lose some of their unrewarding yearning to care. We oldies know the drill and how much of our own lives have been negatively altered.


After years of heartache, depression, stress, tears, and unrewarded offerings to a Loved One, we as the still functional Caregivers have reached a point in the Caregiver chart where we accept being burnt out. It took me 10+ years of having my dreams and efforts destroyed to realize I am but an accessory to my wife's current life. An accessory much like her winter sweater, her shoes, her spoon for eating; things that have no emotional contribution to the Demented patient. I am but an unpaid Caregiver, much like an employee to my wife at a Care Facility whom works for no salary.


For those Newbies and the Caregivers who are at emotional turmoil, you will differ from my factual feelings. But I have nothing left to give my wife who does not know who I really am, nor does she care. Her world is the staff at her Care Facility and the other patients. When I arrive for a visit it is an interruption to my wife minute to minute expectation of what comes next in her life. I think that is called objective?


The subjective part kinda departed from me several weeks ago when I had an experience that taught me that where my wife and I are going, as separate people, we are going whether we write new script of not.


My best to all.......give 'em your love for as long as you can. This will support you during the very dark days of your present and forthcoming life.



Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:56 PM
Joined: 9/17/2012
Posts: 28

I just read this thread all the way through, and I am very bothered by my reaction to my mom's passing and have been going over in my head what is wrong with me. So I wanted to put it in writing to try and make some sense out of it.  

 Granted it has only been a week and I am sure I might still be in shock, denial, or something, but except for a few tears the first 2  days, I feel for the most part relieved.   During the 5 years of mom's decline, I really tried not to compare "her" (meaning my AD mom) to my mom, who was an awesome mom.  I just gave this woman grace and took what came.   I tried not to look at old pictures.  But I grieved, during each change when we lost more andmore of her, especially the last 3 months.  
  After she passed, I found pictures on my computer of my mom, 6+ years ago.  That is my mom.  She's smiling holding my oldest, when he was a baby, did I say smiling.  
  Maybe because I was not her primary caregiver and only with her 2-3 times per week, I almost forgot the last 5 years and am remembering my mom. 
     But still it feels like she has been gone a long time, therefore I dont have the shocked, overcome with grief feeling, but more like fond memories. 

dj okay
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:49 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840



I don't know the answers to the questions in your mind about your grief.  A lot of it may be because it is still so early.  I'm sure the past week has been busy with final arrangements and such.  In my experience, it takes some time for the finality of it to really sink in.


Your reaction could have a lot to do with your philosophy throughout your mother's illness (not looking at her as "your mom" but your "AD mom").  I was never fully able to do that.  I was just as much in love with the woman my mother became as I was before, and maybe more so because my mother suffered from some form of emotional instability all my life and that was treated with antidepressants her last several years.  She was in a lot of ways a lot more pleasant person.  So my experience with grief has been different from yours.


You must have a lot of curiosity about this or you never would have made it through this entire discussion!  I would encourage you to at least read a little on grief, there are many, many good books on the subject, as well as wonderful web sites.  It has helped me to understand my process a little better.


If I were you, I wouldn't judge my reaction too closely just yet.  A week is a very short time in the grand scale of things.  Then again, you may be one of those really well put-together folks who understand and process things from a healthy perspective.  Time will tell.


The bottom line of this thread is that we are all unique and grieve in unique ways.  Allow yourself to grieve in whatever way works for you.


I am very sorry for your loss.  Be as good to yourself as you were to your mother.

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 8:50 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 521

dj,  What a lovely thread.  So glad you posted and the very human responses have caused a few tears here.


Grief is so very different for each of us, isn't it?


My dear husband died in 1986 and I have to say that I still grieve his death.  Some songs or happening cause a tear.  When my grandchildren do something special I can see him and just know that he would so have loved to be here. 


My heart still hurts even though I have "dealt" with the grief maybe?  Do not know but that is still my reaction even after all these years.


My daddy died in 2003 from bone cancer and I have not missed him so much.  He caused constant anxiety in our family and was not easy to be around.  I have some guilt that maybe I did not try hard enough to understand but it is what it is.


My mother, in stage 7, bedridden I still am grieving and know it will continue for my life.  She made our home life easier.  Guess she was the good out weighing my dad.  Her grace has made my brother and I better people than we would have been. 


dj, I also yelled at my mother and have still held that sadness that I could have done so.  She was always hiding her purse.  She was hiding it from me so that I would not steal all of her money... Anyway guess who had to find the purse when we needed to go somewhere.  On one search she kept on not understanding where it could be, as I was about to give up looking.  I yelled that if she would quit hiding her purse from me this would not keep happening!  Well the look of hurt on her face really took me aback.  She said I would never hide anything from you... Knew that at that moment I was seeing my mother as she was and she felt that hurt all the way through.  I could only hug her and repeat how very sorry I was to have yelled at her and I knew she would not hide anything from me.


That gave me a lesson and I took it to heart.  My dealings were with more patience due to my heart felt pain in that lesson from my dear sweet Mother.  She does not really know me anymore and I miss her so very much.  I still cry about the loss and have grieved for most of the last 6-7 years of missing the wonderful Mother that she is. 


I know that when she dies I will feel relief that she is no longer locked on this earth in a manner that she was so afraid of.  God will take her up in loving arms and give her the release that she needs.


SherriC, I think I may be a little like you but do not know that for sure.  Know that there will be tears but I will have such joy for her that she is released from the ravages of this disease on her mind and body.  Know I will know soon as she is 84 and getting to the age that anything can happen.


Hugs to all of you as dealing with grief is so very individually handled as witnessed by all of the heart felt accounts here.


May the guilt be gone and loving memories held close.



Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:28 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105



There is no right or wrong way to grieve or how to react to a loss, it's totally individual to the person, to personal experiences, to family history, to a host of things.  The bottom line is you loved and cared for your mother and you saw her through to the end, you were with her in heart and spirit and that's all that matters really.  You felt relief for her from her suffering.  You have strong memories of your mother before this disease and you loved her as she was with this disease.  You loved her well.


There's no roadmap on how to handle a loss.  Each day brings different feelings and thoughts and all of that is so normal.  Don't question yourself if your reaction is not the same as someone else's, it's not possible to feel exactly as another person, we are all unique with individual sets of circumstances.   You sound very much at peace and I think that's wonderful.  We sometimes have a whole lot of feelings back and forth and that's normal, too.  We all deal with things differently, that's being who we are.