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It's been 2 years
Camaya429
Posted: Friday, July 1, 2016 11:51 PM
Joined: 9/1/2013
Posts: 87


I regularly came to this website when I was dad's caregiver & legal guardian. Last month was the two year anniversary of his passing. I am comforted just knowing he is no longer suffering. His illness was very aggressive and he fell many times, resulting in bruises and some very serious lacerations. I now have PTSD as I cannot forget these images, things he would say and that vacant stare in his eyes. 

I've been in therapy since I began caring for him. At this point I feel I'm just repeating the events that occurred and that I replay in my mind. My religion has been compromised. I'm not sure what I believe in anymore although we are Catholic and my parents sent me to Catholic school. Lately I've been having nightmares. Too much time on my hands I thought, so I managed a job at a call center that I was not comfortable with (health insurance company cashing in on the Obama care "scare". I felt it was dishonest and preyed upon those who would be fined without medical insurance. I wasn't very good at it and was fired.

My father is the first great loss for me, meaning I've lost grandparents, uncles and friends, but losing dad was huge. And the violent way he died haunts me. I still have anger & fear with a shot of guilt. Can anyone relate? I didn't think at my age I would be so insecure and doubtful about life in general. 

Thanks to anyone who reads this and I empathize with you and your loved ones.

Camaya 


rfrdaughter
Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 2:34 PM
Joined: 4/1/2016
Posts: 66


Camaya,

Because you mentioned your religion, I thought that I might say that there are Christian based therapists.  Maybe, if you feel you might want to find your way back to your religion one might be helpful.  They are regular counselors it's just that they also may incorporate spirituals ideas.  Just a thought. 

My heart goes out to you.  As the caregiver for my father, I know how traumatizing it can be.

God bless you for all you did for your father.

I pray that you will find peace,

Meg


Camaya429
Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 3:44 PM
Joined: 9/1/2013
Posts: 87


Thank you Meg for reading my post. To be honest, I was hoping for a few more responses - but, I do agree the attention needs to go to the caregivers who are currently in the midst of caring for a loved one and in the complicated levels and unpredictability of the stages that are different for each individual.

Thank you for your advice. I'm just very confused (still) and I think the fact I lost my job brought that sense of failure to the fore front of my mind.

I hope you are doing well, and great respect to you for going through posts and taking the time to respond.

 

Sincerely,

Camaya

 


rfrdaughter
Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 5:15 PM
Joined: 4/1/2016
Posts: 66


My father passed away just 2 months ago.  I, too, ended up with anxiety issues prior to his passing, as a result of all that I had to deal with.  Luckily for me, medication has helped tremendously.  The parent/child relationship is so complicated especially when Alz. is involved.  I think it's inevitable that one deals with much "baggage" after the person they were caring for dies.  It sounds like it was a very difficult situation for you.

Please continue to care for yourself and to seek help.  Your people want you to be well and happy.  You have to try to care for yourself as you cared for your father.  Keep on fighting!

Peace,

Meg


acb10
Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 7:47 PM
Joined: 5/31/2014
Posts: 124


Dear Camaya,

I read your post last week and feel badly that you are suffering still from the loss of your father.  That fact that you feel some guilt after two years - I'm not a therapist or a social worker or a member of the clergy - and I just don't know what will help you with this.  If it were a fairly recent loss I would say time heals.  All I can say is we all are behind you, come here when you feel the need to talk.

I just lost my mother.  The dynamics of losing a parent and especially for me, my mother, is different from anything else.  I keep replaying in my mind her last couple of months and especially the last weekend.  Sometimes I have a little guilt, I even beat myself up over some of the times I may have lost my temper, felt frustrated with her.  But then, I know that she knew I loved her, and I come across a photo, or an old card or letter to me that makes me smile and feel better.  Because the photo, card and letter was from when she was who she really was - not the sick person she was the last 4 years.  I am trying more and more to go over the great vacations we had together, or quiet times we had, fun times and that is starting to make me feel better.  Are you able to try to think of the better times with your dad rather than just the illness part of his life?

Thinking of you and hope you will feel better.

april

 


Camaya429
Posted: Monday, July 18, 2016 1:35 PM
Joined: 9/1/2013
Posts: 87


Dear April;

Thanks for reading my post. Thanks for your advice. I feel we are either very different people, or our experiences losing our parents were maybe very different. I just felt totally responsible for what happened to dad. I had to become his legal guardian because his will was not as specific as it could have been. He did not want me to be his caregiver (live with us), he wanted his significant other, or his older brother...but they said no. As I stated he fell numerous times with terrible injuries that could have been prevented - I feel very strongly about that. He/we went through 3 assisted living homes and they asked me to take him out of the 2nd after so many falls. He passed away at the 3rd and last home.

That vacant look in his eyes. When my mother visited him (they had been divorced for over 25 years) he cried when he saw her. The last time I saw him before he became totally bedridden, he was shaking so badly-I sat him down and held his trembling hands. He hadn't said anything intelligible for weeks, and he looked right into my eyes and said "I want to go home." Those were the last words he ever spoke to me.

Such an injustice for a man who was good and worked hard and took care of his family. He had his flaws (who doesn't) but he did not deserve that.

Forgive the rant April, I am a very emotional person and I think I mentioned I lost my job, I just don't know where to go from here...we need income but I can't seem to get it together. I began this computer session looking for a job and ended up here. Again thank you and please don't take this as an attack on you, I do feel others may be thinking "she's not over this yet?"

Sincerely,

Camaya


Camaya429
Posted: Monday, July 18, 2016 1:38 PM
Joined: 9/1/2013
Posts: 87


Hi Meg, again thank you so much for listening. I feel I've exhausted all other people that I feel close enough to talk to about this. I too am on meds and seeing a therapist.

Hanging in there.

You are a good person Meg, much appreciated. You take care of yourself too.

Camaya


jfkoc
Posted: Monday, July 18, 2016 2:18 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20105


My husband lived with horrible guilt for not taking his father home to die. My husband was in Laos, his father in Kansas City. My husband visited in KC, flew back to Laos and was met at the airport with the news that his father had died. Back he went. 

There was no way his father could have returned home. Sometimes we can not make happen as we want them to. My husband did his best and so did  you.

I basically lost my religion when my father lay dying in ICU. I actually went outside and told God that I no longer believed in him because what was happening was wrong. 

I think it is not unusual for us to question "God" when terrible, horrible things happen. If we do have faith it is shaken and sometimes to the core. 

Do I now believe in God some 25 years later? Only sometimes. When people say to me that my LO is at peace and in heaven I say thank you....but to me he has died. Life for him is over and that is what I hate. I hate it for him. I can live with missing him I just do not want his life to have ended.

 


bela
Posted: Monday, July 18, 2016 4:09 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


So sorry.  I have images too..you said  your father had a violent death and mymom had a terribly long labored death which was traumatic for me...I too have doubted the existance of God...this is all I can muster for the moment.

thoughts are with you...peace for us.


CyndiR
Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2016 1:14 PM
Joined: 6/20/2013
Posts: 311


Camaya

I'm so very sorry for the loss of your father, the first man who loved you.  I, too, am just 2 years out since my father passed.  My trauma in his passing was that he passed on my birthday, and I spent the evening sitting with him, badgering the hospice nurse who took 2 hours to show up and said that he would sleep it off (he had been in death rattle stage and no one would tell me what it was but I knew it wasn't good), and fielding phone calls and text messages from my alcoholic brother, each one nastier than the last until I put my phone in silent mode.  What bothers me most is that I didn't stay just 10 more minutes with him so that he wouldn't pass alone.  I left him at 9:30 pm, and it took me 30 minutes to drive straight home.  As I pulled into my driveway, I got the call that he was gone. Turning right around and going back to the ALF he was in and seeing him still and quiet was harder than seeing him prepared for the funeral home the next day.  The only comfort I could take is knowing that the last words he heard from me were "I love you,Dad". 

It's still difficult now to have memories and images pop in my head of how he looked his last few weeks, weakened by pneumonia and a stroke in addition to dementia and liver failure.  And through it all, he tried and tried to "go home".  He is now in his Heavenly Home, and that gives me much comfort.  Knowing he's not sick and weak anymore is a comfort.  Knowing that my brother no longer has control over his care is an even bigger comfort, and most of all, having no contact with my brother is the biggest comfort.

 

 

 

 


Camaya429
Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 1:51 PM
Joined: 9/1/2013
Posts: 87


Dear CyndiR;

My deepest sympathy for the loss of your father. I know what you mean. So many times I think "what if I'd done this, or not done that," and feel angry and it takes some time to realize I'm dwelling in the past which I cannot change. So sorry about your brother too. I really needed my big brother, but he and his wife just couldn't deal with my dad's behavior. Did he think I could? He pretty much just stepped back and "visited with dad." My husband did all the things he (my brother) should've done...shaving him, helping him shower (when he wasn't working) and just holding him up so he could eat.

On my birthday, my dad wandered into other resident's rooms and told them it was his house and for them to leave. One of the residents threatened to call the police, so the caregiver called me and we were able to intervene. The Alzheimer's association told me "whatever you do, do not take him back home with you, it will just make things more difficult." So we ended up taking him to the hospital where they admitted him to the senior behavioral unit. That was another nightmare...but we needed a few days to find placement for him. He was worse when we picked him up. I later found out he took a fall there and I was never notified. He seemed happy to get out of there, just to be taken to ANOTHER facility. I could go on and on.

Thank you for reading my post and responding. I wish you the best in your life,  be well.


Camaya429
Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 2:02 PM
Joined: 9/1/2013
Posts: 87


Dear jfkoc;

I have seen you post on here ever since I began here. Thank you so very much for continuing to visit here. I know it helps me to know others are going through and feeling the way I do and I'm not just crazy. Of course I am sorry for all who experience this horrendous disease. It has crushed my spirit, even 2 yrs. later.

My condolences for your losses. I did the stages of grief for dad...anger, denial, bargaining of course depression and acceptance - having a little trouble with that one.

I so want to believe there's a better place and I will see him again - but I am filled with doubt.

Thank you again, you are a good person for comforting others like me.

 

Best wishes,

Camaya

 


Camaya429
Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 2:13 PM
Joined: 9/1/2013
Posts: 87


Dear bela;

Thank you for responding at all, I feel you are deeply hurt. It's not that I purposely want these images in my head, they just arise. Since dad was totally incapacited - he was more like a child than a grown man, and I felt like his only secure life line, his voice. I actually became his legal guardian. Still having trouble wrapping my head around that one.

I hope you feel better bela. I too want "peace" of mind for us all, and thank you for being gracious enough and having the strength to read & reply to these posts, it is not easy when you are down.

Take care, with deepest condolences,

Camaya