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Self care during difficult times
KawKaw
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 9:45 AM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 401


My FIL with dementia died this past weekend.

The sudden change in daily activity has been jarring.  However, I'm doing new things related to arrangements and tasks to wrap up affairs, etc.

Brain fog isn't too bad, though it has increased since this weekend.  I am more weary and much less focused than usual.  Sleep has been adequate and I nap daily.

Grief takes its toll.

One positive I have gained is that watching my spouse care for his father gives me more confidence in the care I will receive should I progress into dementia myself.

I am having a bit of struggle with motivation.  However, if I can accomplish one small thing, it helps me choose to accomplish another.

The heat waves here in the high desert have kept me from running in the mornings with my dogs, but I have a recumbent exercise bike I ride indoors before it becomes too warm inside.

Best practices are important to me and difficult to manage with my reduced motivation.  I believe it will improve as grief and the effects of a sudden change in my circumstances become more familiar.

Wishing for the best possible days for all of us.


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 10:36 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17430


I'm so sorry to learn about your dear father-in-law, KawKaw.  Please accept my condolences in your loss.  His death appears to be unexpected. You made him comfortable in his last days.  It was good that his family was there with him.  


You will need time to decompress.  A lot of time.  You still have affairs to take care of.   Allow yourself to grieve and to rest.  Let your animals comfort you.  You don't have to put on a "face" for them.  


Iris


KawKaw
Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2021 11:21 AM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 401


Wise words, Iris.  Thank you.

I am trying to decompress. While doing that, I am needing to help my spouse with paperwork and document searches... all the paperwork required when a person dies.

I have to take it in small chunks, because I am uncertain about some of the information I need to provide, and my spouse is overwhelmed and unable to understand why I need the information.  He didn't need to do this, he says, when his mother died 15 yrs ago.

However, I have confirmed from our county office of vital records that this is indeed required.  So I will do them and have him sign them.

I understand his being overwhelmed.  Everything to do with his father has been his responsibility ultimately.

I have to make space for myself, which has included spending time alone away from my spouse.  Let his frustration flow over me when we are together.

I know how overwhelming this part is.  My mother's affairs were not settled for months and we worked diligently to close them.

I am having compassion for both my spouse and myself.

It is still hard.  Form are intimidating!  Ugh.  But they are necessary, so onwards.

 


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, July 16, 2021 2:03 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17430


I think I would think like your spouse, KawKaw.  When my mother died thirty years ago, there was not much paperwork.  The funeral home handled most of it.  


My mother's death was not unexpected because she had terminal cancer.  Even so,  her death came as a shock to me.  After the funeral, I fell into a depression.  I had no appetite and I had strange dreams about my mom.  I wasn't exactly sad, more numb.  I went through a lot of my mom's photos.  She lived for five years after her retirement.  I could see from the photos that she was surrounded by her friends and she was always smiling.  So I felt comforted that her last years were enjoyable to her.  Although she had cancer, she always claimed she had no pain.  She had been fairly okay until the last three weeks.  She had around-the-clock caregivers in her home that we paid for.  Even when she was in the hospital we paid the caregivers to attend to her there. 

 

I'm saying this to say that your emotions will probably change over the coming days and weeks.  Also for your spouse.  Is he an only child?  Be gentle with yourselves and allow yourselves to grieve in your own ways.  I hope there's no rush.

 

Iris