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8 months later
Wgonzo
Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 10:19 AM
Joined: 1/8/2016
Posts: 365


Hi Everyone,

So, today marks 8 months since mom passed........how quickly the months fly by. I know the first year is the hardest & each month you are hurled back to that day like it just happened.

Some days are ok, busy with work and daily life. Still trying to tackle that list I made of the things I needed or wanted to get done, but lacking energy or desire. I have my days like everyone here.........still cry at odd times. I'm thankful for my husband, children, fur babies & friends that get me.

But, I miss her so much.........


Rockym
Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 11:51 AM
Joined: 1/17/2016
Posts: 934


Yep, I know just what you're feeling.  When I am real busy, I sort of forget, but then one little thing turns on the tears.  It's been just over 3 months for me.  I'm having a tough time as I need to go back to my childhood home in another state and take the rest of the things I want before calling a company to clear it out.

I should feel good that the house is in a great neighborhood and that I've had people wanting to purchase the home for years, but it doesn't make it any easier to wrap it up and say good-bye.  The house has been in our family since 1970 and it's where I grew up.  Over the past few years with mom here, I went back a few times a year and cleared out almost everything except the furniture and some household items, but it doesn't make it any easier.

My brother died in that house, my dad died in that house and fortunately I had mom here with me when she passed.  Wgonzo, this is a cruddy head to be in right now.  I feel pressure to take care of things and then frozen with the ability to do it.  I just ordered a book that was recommended by Hospice called "Finding Your Way Through Grief: A Guide For The First Year."  Hopefully it will be helpful.  I also made an appointment with a Hospice Bereavement Counselor.  Not sure what to think of that, but I felt like it was needed.


dolor
Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 4:19 PM
Joined: 11/9/2017
Posts: 305


Ouch, Wendy, I can hear it in your post. Those month anniversaries are hell.

Grief is like a thuggish thief who hides in alleys in the night, and ambushes us at unexpected and inconvenient times.

It can help to have a ritual, physical or mental, when you "speak," or write, or talk to your mom on these days.

The first year has been truly a nightmare for me. The one year anniversary is dreadful for some people, and peaceful for others, but once you are past that, times won't have that "first" agony.


dolor
Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 4:23 PM
Joined: 11/9/2017
Posts: 305


Rocky,

I took advantage of the hospice 13 month counseling. I think it is worth it, whatever it takes--taking time off work to do it, whatever.

I can't imagine what you are going through with the house. I do know exactly what you mean by frozen. I still have not managed to donate my mom's clothes. I have started folding many up in large plastic containers--I can't even put them in a bag!

The house is full of "stuff" and my mom left all of her "personal effects" to me.

The whole process feels like continuously being punched in the stomach.


BethL
Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 6:58 PM
Joined: 3/25/2015
Posts: 787


Do something to honor your mom. For example, send a donation to a cause she supported. Or do the Alz walk and write her name to indicate you are walking for her. Plant a tree (or flower) in your yard, or elsewhere, in her honor. 

And....keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Know that your mom wants you to enjoy life and be happy.


mickeymouse
Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 10:02 PM
Joined: 6/18/2015
Posts: 74


Wgonzo,

I definitely know what you are going through.  My mom has been gone almost 16 months and I miss her so much. I keep telling myself she would not want to be here like she was at the end. I know she would want me to move on and live my life. My head knows that but my heart doesn't. 

 Hugs to you!


dutiful deb
Posted: Friday, September 7, 2018 12:20 PM
Joined: 1/1/2012
Posts: 1895


I'm coming up on the 4 month mark, and totally understand what you are saying.  My mom did not live with me, but managing her care took all my time and energy. If I wasn't working or doing homework for online courses I was enrolled in, I was handling Mom's affairs, so my house, yard, and many other aspects of life were neglected. I'm finishing up my coursework and still haven't gotten my house back in order. My husband and I embarked on a bathroom remodel, and, as always seems to happen, it's taken three times as long as we'd planned to finish. My mother-in-law's needs are increasing, and we're right back to where we were with my mom a few years ago. I feel like I'm still in limbo, not able to get my house in order yet. I'm also learning to use my time differently, and am finding that adjustment to be a challenge. 

Thanks for the update, and I will try to be more faithful about checking in! 

 


MPSunshine
Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2018 10:00 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2007


Hi, all, I'm almost at three months. I put on many "mission creep of caregiving" pounds. Lost ten since the checkup in early August so I'm on the right track. Also high blood pressure, which doc thinks will resolve with weight loss. Also high cholesterol not to mention anxiety attacks and spinning/dizziness. I was the perfect caregiver, took my dad and mom to all their appointments, but when do you think my last real appointment was? That's right! Before caring for my folks, and then after my mom died so it was years! I feel like telling caregivers to not neglect themselves, but I know how it happened with me. At first I took good care of myself, but then as the worries and stress multiplied, my self-care just fell by the wayside. I can't blame them or judge them because caregiving takes a toll on each caregiver. As far as grieving, yup, doing that too, but mostly just grateful that I had the chance to spend the time I did with both of them, time that was meaningful beyond words. There are definitely parts I don't miss, but overall grateful not only to these boards for giving a sense of perspective and nourishment during the hardest most challenging and unfathomable-by-anyone-not-in-the-trenches-with-me-times, but also for friends found along with way, new appreciation for what 24/7 care really means, and a greater tolerance for some pretty bizarre swings along the way of the wild ride.
dolor
Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2018 6:43 PM
Joined: 11/9/2017
Posts: 305


MPSunshine, that's right, it is so recent for you. 

And wow, the panic attacks!  Driving was an issue for me. And sometimes work. I'd say expect them. 

The only thing that concerns me a bit is you say you have dizziness--have you changed/started/stopped any sort of medication? Changed your sugar or food intake dramatically? If not, do you have a blood pressure cuff? You can get them at drug stores. You may want to get in to see the dr for that if you can't find any reason for it. 

You are still in the throes of it I'm afraid. There's just no way out but through it. Autumn kind of intensifies emotions, at least in my experience. Keep your eyes and ears open...


dolor
Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2018 6:45 PM
Joined: 11/9/2017
Posts: 305


By the way, I think manybof us have PTSD afterward. I know I do. 

If you get treated for it, it should be a different regime than for depression!

There is medication to stop nightmares!


Skittles412
Posted: Monday, September 10, 2018 8:19 AM
Joined: 5/14/2018
Posts: 259


This past Thursday marked 3 months for my mom.  It's like my wound got ripped open once again. I miss my mother so much.  Nothing is the same..... I'm not the same. 

Rocky, MP and Wendy I can totally relate to how you're all feeling.  This is the worst.  Hugs all around <3 

dolor I think you might be right about the PTSD.

xoxoxo -Kat


dolor
Posted: Monday, September 10, 2018 2:53 PM
Joined: 11/9/2017
Posts: 305


Skittles I'm so sorry. Yes the monthly anniversaries are just horrid. 

After today, start mulling over how to deal with the holidays. They will be hard. 

Once you get past a year the feeling of "firsts" lessens. 

I'm still in an immense amount of pain, but I was very close with my mom. 

Grief definitely will come in sudden waves. It ambushes. 

I hope the day passes quickly. You might feel better tomorrow. 

Hugs!!


Merinda
Posted: Monday, September 10, 2018 10:47 PM
Joined: 2/3/2018
Posts: 100


Grief - it ambushes.

Sigh.  It sure does.

Take care all.


MPSunshine
Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 6:13 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2007


Hi, Wendy and all who are posting here, It's not just the shape of me that changed (still shedding some of that excess stress weight), it was the whole shape of my life that changed through caregiving. I learned how it was to truly put myself in the footsteps of someone who could not express him and then herself except through presence, to love another truly more than I loved myself, and to want for them peace and serenity and dare I say, glory. So now, my life can never be the same. One cannot un-know what one now knows.
Goodtogo
Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 7:07 PM
Joined: 11/27/2017
Posts: 49


Post caregiving life has brought new challenges for me, my LO passed 10 mos ago.  I fully agree with MP that my life has changed and will never be the same emotionally and physically.  Besides the grief I think caregivers are burned out and agree that some might have PTSD.   

The range of emotions at times still catches me off guard.  For me the gift of being the primary caregiver to someone I love with alz continues to be a gift that keeps on giving by personal growth.  I feel like I have so much more to learn.

 

I’m still grieving and missing my mom dearly.


George K
Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 5:16 AM
Joined: 12/16/2011
Posts: 2818


Nadine, I think I know exactly what you're talking about; I'm a far more kind, gentle, loving, understanding, considerate and patient person now than I was before this damned disease entered my life.  But, oh my, at what a cost! 

 


MPSunshine
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018 6:48 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2007


Sorry, I meant to post this comment here, but I put it on dutiful deb's thread by accident. So I'm just going to post it here too, hope you know it's the same comment, just possibly more relevant here.

Let me just comment on PTSD and also therapists. I agree that many of the symptoms after the death of someone close resemble those of PTSD. However, I don't think these are things that can be dealt with through therapy. Therapy has as its premise that something is wrong with the psychology of the person who is in therapy. I don't see anything wrong with me, just with the society that doesn't have caring care systems, or at least didn't towards my elderly parents. I see something very wrong with the bloated healthcare system that is ravaging the savings of anyone with a long term illness such as this. I see wrong in the dearth of support systems in our society for persons who are compelled to take the best care they can of their loved ones. It's not something that can be solved with "reframing," or "behavior modification" or any medicine. It's a societal problem of dimensions that we don't even truly have an inkling of yet, until it is our generation who is entering stages of memory loss and need for care.


MissHer
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018 12:44 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2365


I miss my mom,too. She is in a NH because I was unable to care for her by myself anymore. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. She is on hospice because of her behaviors, stopped eating, does drink. It was the only place in town that would take her and it's not that great. They mostly have her sedated now and it bugs me so much! If I make a huge stink about it (I could!) they would just have me take her back or send her far away. This is so awful and breaking my broken heart, She doesn't walk anymore and I never could find enough help the last time. I miss her so much. Every time I go see her she is sleeping now. Before hospice she was angry, anxious, and would not eat. Wish I knew what to do but I don't. I have to make all of the decisions and my siblings do nothing, as usual. Heavy load. Tired of crying.  I do pray.   Thanks just needed to get this off my heavy heart to people who understand.

I'm so sorry for all of you. hugs


Sheen66
Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018 7:56 PM
Joined: 6/10/2018
Posts: 53


Greetings all, 

It is the one-month anniversary of my mom’s passing here. Time is not on my side just yet. I had a good bawling session today and a not so smallish pity party. I haven’t left the house. 

(Sidebar: Did anyone get sick after the grief set in? It’s “just an allergy/sinus infection but I almost never get ill ...)

Coping: So, have been writing as a therapeutic tool. Some journaling, some just here on these posts, some letters to my mom, and some things in my head as little inspirations that I hope I put to type eventually. 

MPSun, I think what your doing is a great idea! Congratulations!! 

My mother was a big believer in taking care of herself—which she did—living without injury or disease and independent and active into her 90s. What got her? VD from high blood pressure, I believe, from the pressure she put on herself, and an ensuing series of TIAs. Of course possible mixed Alzheimer’s as well, but this will remain conjecture. She was diagnosed formally in 2014. I know Mom would want me to take care of myself. 

I am inspired to try some baby steps. I’d like to lose ten of my “caregiver” pounds, too, and make my mama proud. Maybe start by getting out of bed? Did you join a gym? We've always hiked and bikes around our home...

Rocky and others, I don’t know if you saw the link I posted about the “tasks” of grief, just another tool to help with the “stages” model. For what it is worth ...This was sent to me from my therapist. It’s on another ost here but I’ll add it here, too. 

Meanwhile, I want to say I do think think there is a trauma element to caregiving; also, I believe   that we get out of harmony with our own lives and we have to find a way back. 

As if caring for one’s own parent(s) isn’t tough enough, witnessing their journey end is surely traumatic at any age. I’m a registered nurse and no stranger to witnessing the end of life—or beginning. 

I have not returned to work yet; however, I sense in myself (along with amped up anxiety and insomnia) an even greater sense of compassion that I believe will make me a better person and nurse (and I was already one of the good ones, really

For all of us, if that trauma can be harnessed, harmonized, and balanced, and our loved owns honored meaningfully and tethered to our lives, perhaps somewhere in all this there is a lesson about finding a greater reverence for the beauty of all life. 

And about losing ten pounds along the way? 

Here is that link on the “tasks” of grief, which was new to me: 

https://whatsyourgrief.com/wordens-four-tasks-of-mourning/


MPSunshine
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 6:41 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 2007


Quick note to Sheen. Thank you for posting this link and for your observations. They are very helpful. More later, I have to get ready for work! Best to all... be careful and take care, especially if you are in the path of the storm or on the fringes of the storm.