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How do the people (like me) with no one survive this?
Still Waters
Posted: Friday, September 30, 2016 3:18 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


I would like to know how those of you with no family members survive this.

I have cousins, we visit once in a while. Talk on the phone.

I started dating but feel too vulnerable right now to get involved with someone.

I don't enjoy going anywhere yet.

When I go somewhere I get nervous and want to go home.

I work full time. I don't feel like exercising, walking, going to movies.

I come home from work mentally exhausted from beating myself up all day.

I don't even feel like watching TV.

I am not religious.

I have not even sent out the thank you cards from the funeral yet.

No motivation.

I like to read. That’s it.

But no one there at night when I come home.

No one to comfort me.


acb10
Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2016 9:20 AM
Joined: 5/31/2014
Posts: 124


still waters,

I have no siblings, and just two cousins living in other states.  Like you, I took care of my mother for years.  I work full time, am a business owner.  I have a cat. I'm doing the best I can.  I have some friends but I don't see them all that often. I have out of town visitors once in a while (who couldn't come to funeral) - one of them is coming next week for 5 days and she'll help a little organize my mother's apartment.  I also have 4 children - they are not mine - with whom I am very very close and they keep me busy.  They lost their mother 7 years ago when the youngest was 7 and now they lost my mother with whom they were close. When I start to be a little weepy or think of the past couple of years when mum's illness really got me down, I think of the kids and how they never got to have all the memories of their mother that I got to have.  My mother lived until 88.  I'm 64.  I had 60 of the most wonderful years with my mother and am very lucky to have beautiful memories that make me laugh and smile.  This is what I'm concentrating on.  It's been 6 months for me, I know it is very recent for you.  Everyone gets through this in his/her own way. I hope this will be easier for you in the coming weeks.

april

 


Still Waters
Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2016 10:04 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Thank you April for trying. You said you have 4 children who keep you very busy. I guess there is no one out there like me. Totally alone.
dayn2nite2
Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2016 3:06 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2813


I stayed alive because I had to take care of my mother's dogs, 1 of which is still living today.  If having a pet isn't possible, you may want to add an additional support group or an additional day of therapy each week during this acute time.

You can also consider antidepressants if you aren't already on one or even an inpatient psychiatric stay if you are feeling hopeless about feeling better.


Kathy43
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016 4:57 PM
Joined: 3/11/2014
Posts: 318


Still Waters,

I took care of my Mom 24/7 with the help of caregivers when I worked for the last 3 years and to a lesser extent for years before that.  I'm unmarried, do not have any siblings and both of my parents are now dead.  I wish I had an answer for you on how to do this, but I'm trying to figure it out myself (my Mom died 9/19/16),  But even though I don't have an answer yet, I wanted to let you know that you are not alone, nor the only one in your situation.  I just keep saying one day at a time.

Kathy


Still Waters
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016 6:28 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Kathy my mom died 9/19/16 !!!!!!! Oh my god. Finally I found some one just like me. Kathy It gets worst for me every day. The reality that she's never coming back gets worse as each day goes by. The weekends are the worst. I was home on the weekends and my entire weekend revolved around her care and we spent much more time together on the weekends. I wake up sometimes with panic attacks. I told myself that right after she died I was going to get rid of everything in the apartment. Get rid of everything that reminded me of her illness. But now I don't want to remove a single thing. I keep the cameras on and I still look at them all the time. And I picture her lying in her bed at night.How are you doing?
Veterans kid
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016 7:31 PM
Joined: 10/17/2014
Posts: 1239


Still Waters, 

I know your heart is breaking now.  I imagine the huge waves of grief still crash down upon you frequently.  It's still very raw- it hasn't been very long.

The stages of grief are different for each and everyone of us, as our stories.

I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

No family, no kids, very few friends.

My only suggestion would be try to write down one thing each day that you are thankful for.

Your job

You're mom is free from this hateful disease.

You have a roof over your head and food. 

You were able to be with her.

Things like that.  

Hoplefully you can write down more than one

 Please know that you're not alone-there are things that we share here, and there's things that we don't share that are just very personal.

that doesn't mean that our suffering is any less or worse or better than someone else's.

 I am trying to move forward myself-it's been seven months today that I became an orphan. Because I knew my dad very well, and I told him that I would be all right, and I intend to keep that promise to him-I am trying to put 1 foot in front of the other and find things to be thankful for.  

I started volunteering for hospice, and that is something that I'm able to give to someone else and not just think about me. 

Last year I was able to walk in the End Alz walk.

This year I was on the committe.  Trying to do good, and help others.  One day at a time.

Allow yourself the time to grieve, but try to find one thing good each day.  

 

At the same time, I'm struggling to have gas money to go visit patients because I don't have a job anymore, and I'm trying not to lose my home and become homeless. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and maybe try not to just do too much just take baby steps one step at a time.

 Sending you an endless supply of hugs,

Always b VK


Still Waters
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016 8:07 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Hi VK. I just wanted to check in  before I went to sleep and saw your beautiful thoughtful reply. Thank you so very much you made my night little more peaceful. You stopped all those crazy thoughts in my head. God bless you.
bela
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2016 8:20 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


VK said it very well.

 


Still Waters
Posted: Monday, October 3, 2016 9:08 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


VK if you are worried about having a place to live (like I am) how do you find the concentration to volunteer? I find it hard to help myself when I feel unsettled. I feel like I can't move on until I figure out where I will be living. Yet figuring out where I will be living is hard for me to do right now. It seems overwhelming and I am still in denial that she is gone.



Veterans kid
Posted: Monday, October 3, 2016 10:54 AM
Joined: 10/17/2014
Posts: 1239


Some day are easier than others.  

You are only 3 weeks into this.  I was not ready to do anything and I think, still in that surreal place 3 weeks after my dad passed.  

I wa starting to get stuff together for the MIA siblings.  Heck, that was even a chore for them.  It took 2 months of giving dates and then finally saying "ok, I've got the veterans truck coming on this date", so if you want this stuff, then figure out a way to get here. 

It's a LONG 40 minutes away- lol. 

Slowly, I began to realize that the promise I'd made to dad, was not going to happen if I didn't help myself.

I started attending grief support meetings through our hospice.  

They have a couple of pictures of my dad in their office.  Smiling-just being him.

It finally sunk it, the best way to honor him, is to take all the lessons he'd taught me, and I was still learning right up to he  eryvend, and apply them.

Hospice isn't for everyone.  Volunteering I mean.  But it was something I had thought about after my mom died 21 years ago.  

By concentrating on others, I have a purpose.  Something to give.  

 Last year I was able to walk in the end ALZ walk. This year, not taking care of dad and having all this free time and not knowing what to do, I join the committee. There was another avenue for me to not think of myself but  others, and know that others were counting on me to do my part-that helped also. 

I just lost my first patient last week- the daughter ( main caregiver) called me that night and we talked , well, I listened   for over 2 hours.  I shed tears with her. 

I was honored the family asked me if I'd like to attend her service. 

The daughter told me how much it meant to her mom that I sat and talked with her.  Held her hand, prayed with her.  Joked with her.  

And it hit me- that is how people describe my dad.  That he was happy and smiling and always made them feel better about themselves after meeting him.so not only did I get his thick hair, eyes, and swear glands , I also got a little of his gift to make people smile.

It's hard to keep focus, especially when it's still so soon after.

I just try and focus, and refocus.  Like learning all over again. 

Your mom raised a very strong and strong willed daughter!

You CAN do this!

Slowly, 

 Do I miss my dad? Every minute of every day-and also my mom. 

 I don't like being an orphan, I don't like how our family is so split, and I know my dad didn't know many details, but he knew things weren't right. He wasn't seeing his kids or his  grandkids and great grandkids except for one. My dad always said that if you can change something, then change it. If you can't, you can't worry about it and fret over it, all you can do is go around it and move on.  Life is too short to spend it unhappy.

 He also used to say that the good Lord didn't put us on this earth to be sad and mean to one another, that we were here to love and help one another.  As the alz progressed, it got shortened a bit to  " The good Lord didn't put us here to be sad sacks "

The pastor, at the VA cemetery, used that line and gave me a big smile.  

You'll find your way and purpose.  

Wishing you comfort and peace and sending endless hugs,

Julie...always b VK  

 

 

 

 


VKB
Posted: Monday, October 3, 2016 3:18 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 3724


You will survive this dark time.  It will not last forever.  Hold onto this hope and tell yourself often, "I will find happiness again because you will.  VK is a good person with lots of great ideas.  Glad she answered you.  Peace, my friend. Veronica
VKB
Posted: Monday, October 3, 2016 3:27 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 3724


Veterans kid wrote:

Still Waters, 


My only suggestion would be try to write down one thing each day that you are thankful for.

Your job

You're mom is free from this hateful disease.

You have a roof over your head and food. 

You were able to be with her.

Things like that.  

Hoplefully you can write down more than one

*******************************************************************

 
 Great advice VK.........there is something almost magical about gratitude.....it really does make us strong. 


bela
Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 12:18 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


Post death

I think you mentioned going to your mother's grave a lot. If that is what you need, then that alone is enough for now- if happiness is to be found it's not now per se, not during intense grief.

 

After I came out of my fog I kept finding small ways to honor my mother (I do not have a grave to go to as my mother's ashes are with e and will later be buried in So CA with my father's ashes 500+ miles away from me.

In lieu if you will of going to the cemetery, I used moms side table (antique) and made a quasi alter which I could certainly use to pray but that was not my intent (my prayers have been please give me peace and may mom have eternal rest) - I used small items that belonged to my mother to create the alter-in addition a favorite photo of me and her- t

My mother died in June and I was a mess come the Christmas season- I vowed (vowing is "doing" something or creating a new/different style of life) no more ho ho ho or red and green.  My holidays would certainly not be festive;  more holy (or perhaps prayerful although I have doubts about heaven etc), quiet, reflective, solemn, .... 

I didn't strive to be happy like many (not here) suggested and I did not try to move on or be social. I just was...an empty tearful lost soul.  One day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. 

We simply have to ride out the pain and tears because that is how grief works.

I attached a photo of the quasi alter.

 

 

 


File Attachment(s):
table mom.png (73168 bytes)

Still Waters
Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 9:31 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Thank you Bela, VKB and VK.I will try to take your advice and shape my world with it. For now I am seem to be paralyzed by dread.
jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 10:37 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20233


Like Bela, I don't think I have thought about being happy or getting on with my life. I realized that my life had forever changed but also knew that the horrible visceral pain would abate. All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other...slowly at first and maybe never again a run but I would still be able to make my life meaningful in some way.
Radar007
Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2016 5:30 PM
Joined: 11/20/2015
Posts: 366


Still Waters,

Have you ever suffered from depression? You sound like you might be clinically depressed ( I know because I've been there). Think about it. Maybe talking to your MD and getting assessed might help. Meds help tremendously and they change everything (For the better).


Still Waters
Posted: Friday, October 7, 2016 7:47 AM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Thank you Radar. I started anti-depressants a month ago. It helps a little with the pain and guilt. It kind of has made me feel numb. I take sleep meds too. I think you could be right, I have been depressed since my mother got Alzheimer's about 15 years ago. I could be clinically depressed at this point in time. This is bad. Never felt so sad and lonely before. My bereavement counselor tells me this is all normal grieving. I also have a therapist that I have been seeing since my mother went into a nursing home 6 years ago because I came home every night crying. So I am doing the best I can to try and help myself but all I want to do is sleep. I feel so tired and worn out all day long. I can't sleep because I have to go to work. I read a lot of books at night on Grieving. It’s the only thing I seem to find joy in doing. Being alone and reading. Anything that has to do with my mother I enjoy doing. Anything other that that, I get no joy from. Ugh.

 


Moish
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 1:57 PM
Joined: 7/29/2016
Posts: 319


SW: what do you think? Do you think you're clinically depressed?
Still Waters
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 2:04 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


I don't know. What difference does it make. I tried everything so far nothing makes me feel better. No medication, no therapy, no amount of time, takes away the vision I have of my mom in my head all day long, dying from dehydration because I stopped feeding her. No one can stop the panic attacks I feel when I wake up in the morning and realize she is gone forever. No one can help me.

Moish
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 2:22 PM
Joined: 7/29/2016
Posts: 319


SW - You are suffering so much, there is help out there. I've had a couple of serious depressions in my life, truly terrible suicidal depressions. I was helped out of them with skilled therapy and medication. If one med doesn't work, then another can be tried, or added. 

How often do you see your therapist?


Still Waters
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 2:48 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Thank you for your concern. My bereavement counselor once a week. My regular therapist once a week. I tried 2 new therapists. None of them have helped much. They keep wanting to give me more meds, change meds, add meds. I am trying not to go there. I would like to work this out without being drugged up. I come here and express my feelings, not to try get people to worry about me or feel sorry for me. I just want someone to understand me. But does not seem possible. Not entirely.


Moish
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 3:15 PM
Joined: 7/29/2016
Posts: 319


I think most of us do understand. I really do. And this is not about pity, it's concern. 

I am here for you anytime you need to vent or yell or cry. We all are. 


Still Waters
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 3:21 PM
Joined: 2/6/2012
Posts: 1092


Thank you.