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Christmas emotions
Lynne D
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2020 8:30 PM
Joined: 7/21/2020
Posts: 29

Is anyone else physically and mentally exhausted from taking care of your LO, constantly on watch, cleaning up after someone like a toddler, cleaning up broken glass, etc., and hoping next Christmas may be easier? Then remembering when you actually had conversations with them, and they bought you Christmas gifts? Then feeling like this may be your last Christmas together and getting profoundly sad for all you have both lost? Not being able to be near family makes this so much harder. I just cannot stop the tears and don’t want to bring sadness to other family. I hope you all know that there are those who recognize the loneliness of this journey.
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2020 8:46 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 762

Yes Lynne I have a sixth sense that this may be our last.  But the minute I say that seem like i'll be wrong. Makes everything very bittersweet.
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2020 10:28 PM
Joined: 11/11/2020
Posts: 5

I am, also, feeling emotional about Christmas this year. Covid necessitated family not being together this year. Husband repetitively asking when we are opening gifts so is clearly aware that gifts are exchanged and that I sent out gifts to family. But he no longer buys a gift for me or says anything about it. He accepts my gifts and sometimes thanks me. I understand this is part of the disease process but it still hurts that he saw it as appropriate for me to me sending gifts to family and giving him one but not that he should be giving me one. I feel selfishly sad for myself but more for my husband who loved picking out and buying nice gifts.

An even greater sadness is that this Christmas may have been the last one that he will enjoy being with our family and it has been taken from us by this tragic pandemic.

I am blessed to have wonderful and understanding sons who can lift my spirits with their phone calls of love and support.

Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2020 10:46 PM
Joined: 4/4/2018
Posts: 206

YES! Well said. Rick
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2020 11:05 PM
Joined: 2/28/2017
Posts: 154

Thanks for posting, Lynne. I feel this is the last Christmas that my husband will be aware of, and yet, he's asked me about ten times since yesterday if it is his birthday. His birthday was three weeks ago. Maybe, deep down, I'm thinking it is the last Christmas he will be aware of me or our adult kids. It's midnight and pouring rain and windy outside. There's no way to avoid this lonesome journey. Merry Christmas to you all. May peace be with all of us in 2021.
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 6:31 AM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 3837

I don't know if this will physically be our last Christmas together, but I have a feeling it will be the last mentally. But I'm going to try to make the most of it.
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 7:22 AM
Joined: 10/24/2019
Posts: 386

I’m a member of the club that wonders if this is the last Christmas.  That sad thought is made worse by the fact that it’s the year none of the kids is here, given COVID.

Despite all the decorations in the house, my DW does not know it’s Christmas.  Just like she doesn’t know the name of the town we live in or the name of our dog.

So yes, most definitely, it’s hard to avoid thinking about the monumental losses.  But it’s Christmas, and I will try to make it a good one for her.  May we all find some cheer as we go about our caregiving.

David J
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 11:58 AM
Joined: 2/15/2020
Posts: 212

Yes, I am exhausted. Also saddened by the loss of Christmas. Like many here, I don’t know if next year will be slow or quick deterioration or if we will be together next Christmas. DW doesn’t know it’s Christmas, just like she doesn’t understand birthdays and anniversaries. 


Rescue mom
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 3:36 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1816

Lynne, short answer: yes, you said it.

I am *so* exhausted....I tried to do a few little things, for me, since DH doesn’t know from Christmas any more. But he’s taken a downward turn, acting out more, causing more disruption, more damage to household. It’s hard enough (as everybody knows) on “regular” days, but between the tiny bit of Christmas I tried to have, and fixing what he’s (un)done, and trying to “child-proof “ house and home and still unable to think of everything an Alzheimer’s mind can, I’m just....exhausted. Yes, we used to have wonderful Christmases. I’ve never been big on looking back, I always wanted to look ahead but that doesn’t work with Alzheimer’s.

Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 8:12 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 762

I'm not facile with links, but read a brilliantly written opinion piece by Michael Gerson today in the Washington post  that is worth looking up. Made my day on the meaning of Christmas. Put me at peace for a bit.
Rescue mom
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 8:32 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1816

That Michal Gerson piece is a splendid, breath-taking piece of writing. I wish I was big enough to do it.
Liz B
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 9:23 PM
Joined: 8/12/2020
Posts: 21

Today I am feeling grateful for this group. I, too, am feeling sad at the changes in my DH, and yes, Lynne, the incredible loneliness of this journey, and yet, I am glad to be able to share here, and not burden friends with that sadness.

My DH still has much of his memory and can still do most things on his own. It's the apathy that is killing me. He slept until 11 this morning, got up long enough to eat, standing at the kitchen counter, a homemade sticky bun (it has always been a 'together' part of our Christmas morning, with mimosas or coffee), then return to bed. No gifts. Not even Merry Christmas, just - 'Is it Christmas?' I bought grouper, a special treat for us, to prepare for dinner. Not hungry, just wanted a PB and J. So, I found myself eating leftovers, being sad for what we have both lost, but also frustrated that he DOES know this is a special day, and yet, apparently can or will do nothing to celebrate or even make the day a little special. I feel as if I have mastered doing things on my own day after day after day, or deciding what I want to have for dinner because he will say he doesn't care. But, it IS exhausting, and there is little to help re-fill that bucket for myself. And like all of you, I do have to wonder where we will be this time next year. And how do I muster the energy to see the next changes in him (realizing that they are going to get worse), do all of the housework, the bills, manage the financial issues we still have outstanding, etc., etc., as you all know.

The Washington Post article was beautifully written and a lovely reminder that I am not as alone as I feel right now, and that compassion and kindness are so important, that this is a day of rebirth and hope. Thank you for sharing that, M1!

So many of you are ahead of me in your journey. I admire your tenacity, despite the fact that it's not really a choice, and continue to learn from your wisdom. So grateful for you all today.

Posted: Saturday, December 26, 2020 7:36 AM
Joined: 5/26/2020
Posts: 46

Each year is sadly different. Last Christmas DH sat by the fire and was able to open his gifts and know what they were. This year he didn't want to get up from the kitchen table so I brought the presents to him. He had difficulty unwrapping them and didn't understand what they were for the most part. (CD player for his music and a neck massager) Thanks to the relentless TV ads he had been wanting a “My Pillow” so I got him one and he looked at it like it was a UFO. Something also new this year is his difficulty with eating utensils. 90% of his food makes it to his mouth and 10% on his lap or the floor. I’m getting pretty good at ignoring the small stuff to not cause friction. Life’s too short.  I cherish each day even if I have to go into another room at times and cry into “my” pillow.


Posted: Saturday, December 26, 2020 8:23 AM
Joined: 2/2/2014
Posts: 6153

The Hi-light of my Christmas with DW was seeing her through the window of the lobby of the MC.  I sent in Turkey pot pie, blueberry pie and brownies all of which I was assured she enjoyed.  But the shell in MC is not the wonderful woman I asked to marry me on Christmas day 1972.  She has been gone for more than a year, and there is nothing I can do about it.  I simply must remember and enjoy the wonderful life we had.   

Here is the link to the Gerson piece for those who might find it comforting.  I will admit that I  don't.

I have seen far too much hatred and violence and viciousness perpetuated in the name of various dieties to take comfort in organized religion of any kind.    But there  is always a place for kindness and charity and care and love and respect for all our brothers and sisters. The day after Christmas is always my day for sending charitable contributions.  All the charities I support that help the hungry and homeless are religious, so go figure.  Peace and love