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What's Normal?
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 3:06 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 40

So anyway I click the CWHLS section, as my stomach drops. I feel so lost, empty, confused. Find myself thinking Is this how Alzheimer's patients feel? I need to find my normal now and it's been gone for so long. I almost feel like I can't function.  


We lost Mom a week ago today. I never imagined it would hit me like this. We had to put her into a NH approx 1 1/2 years ago, but now we don't have to rush home from work, eat dinner and get there prior to her going to bed. The normal we've known for the last several months has vanished in literally the blink of an eye.  


Does this ever go away? We've spent the last 7 years caring for one parent or another and now something we longed for and finally have feels horrible.

Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 3:23 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

I feel the exact same way you do and I think most of us feel this way.


I can't answer what's normal?  I don't remember what normal feels like.


My dad passed away three months ago and his care facility was one block away from my home.  When I come home from work, I still almost make that left-hand turn to go to his facility to visit him before he gets ready for bed.  All in a split second I do this and then remember, he's gone, he's not here anymore.


I have people remark to me that I now have more time.  I do have more time, but I don't like the reason why I do, and I don't feel motivated to do anything I didn't have time to do before.


I took care of my parents for 13 years, my mom passed away from AD 12 years ago, my dad just more recently.


What is normal about our feelings right now, is the grief we are experiencing. 


I've been reading about grief and what you describe you feel and what I feel is what the experts consider normal for the process of grief.


I am sorry for your loss, much like the journey with AD, this part is a journey, too, a day at a time.





Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 3:31 PM
Joined: 12/2/2011
Posts: 726

Oh, Mystic -- I am so sorry for your loss.  It's only been a week.  Of course you are still numb and in shock. 


I lost both my parents in the last few months.  I also was shocked at how hard it hit me.  I thought that I had grieved for them during the 5 years that I cared for them, but noooooo.  I was surprised at how much I missed them.  They always smiled when they saw me.  They were in memory care, but I went to see them almost every day.  I miss putting cream on my mom's hands and kissing my dad's head.  They were a bigger part of my life than I even knew.  Sometimes it physically hurts when I think of them.  I miss being with them more than I could have ever imagined.


I am now starting to feel more "normal".  I cry less than I did.  I am starting to exercise again.  I feel less like I am floating.  I am starting to enjoy things again. Please give yourself time to grieve.  Be good to yourself.  Come back and let us know how you are doing.  Sending you gentle hugs and heartfelt condolences.  

dj okay
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 7:59 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840

Dear Mistic,


My heart breaks for you.  I lost my mother 2 weeks ago yesterday and I still feel a lot like you describe, lost, empty, confused.  I think it's pretty normal for this early in the process, maybe will be for a while.


I also cared for my mother for the past 7 years.  For the first fews days, I felt like I was falling with no one to catch me.  I am just beginning to look forward to doing things without that feeling of dread with every ring of the phone.


I changed my ringtone yesterday.  I realized that the tone had a significance to me that I just didn't want to think about anymore.  Now I don't recognize my phone when it rings...oh well.  I'll get used to it.


I'm trying to take baby steps.  I still haven't finished all the thank-you notes.  I still have a lot of paperwork to do.  And I still have tons of her things to go through and decide what to do with.


But the hurt does ease a bit.  I feel a lot better than I did a week ago.  I hope you will, too.

We'll get through this together.


Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 9:36 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81

Mistic I know what you mean.  I lost my Mom last Saturday.  She had been in the NH for about 9 months.  I would got visit at least three times a day, especially at meals.  When I called my Aunt to tell her of her Sister's passing, she said now I didn't have to go to the NH three times a day.  Felt like saying I went because I wanted to.  Over the past week haven't hardly left the house.  Next we are going to Northern Michagen to bury Mom.  But I don't what a normal life is?  I'm the baby of the family and have lived away from home for over a year.  So needless to say my relationship with my Mom was very special, she was my best friend.  Now that she's gone I feel lost.


Thank GOD I found these boards.  It has helped to be able to vent and cry here.

Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 9:43 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 40

Thank you all for your words of encouragement. I have lost my parents previously so I'm somewhat familar with the greif process, this is different for me. I can't put my finger on the exact reason.


Either way, I know my Mother Inlaw is in a better place, along with your loved ones. Together my friends we WILL get thru this and find OUR new Normals.


This past weekend, my husband and I finished all the Thank you Notes, and pushed ourselves out of the house. We both agree it felt good to get out although neither of us really wanted to. We did so for the other. Push push push is the name of the game I guess.



(((((Hugs to all of you )))))))

Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 11:25 AM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433



I know how you feel, too. We lost my Mom in June. She was in a NH right at a year and was on Hospice care for about 7 months. It was a rough road for her and on several occasions I found myself praying for God to just take her home. She wouldn't want to live like this. But now that He has I miss her terribly. It was what I prayed for. He took her peacefully, she didn't suffer, and she is free of this disease. But now I find myself lost without her. I would go on my lunch hours to visit her at least 3 days a week. The other 2 I ran errands, went to the grocery, the school, whatever I had to do for the kids. But now I find myself lost. Thank God for my physical therapy that takes up 2 of those lunch hours. But that leaves me 3 days to fill up those lunch hours. I usually go to the cemetery at least 1 day a week. I sit and talk to Mom. I always end up crying. But it's a realease I find I still need. I may start walking again. I did that before Mom went into the nursing home. So that's what I may have to do. I fear for the winter, though. I'll probably be through with my physical therapy, it will be too cold to walk, if there's snow on I won't be able to make the hill to the cemetery - I don't know what I'll do. Maybe I'll start cross stitching again or reading. 

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012 4:20 PM
Joined: 9/16/2012
Posts: 3

We lost my husbands mom last Sunday at 12:06 am, which was Grandparents Day. Her husband took care of her for 8 years until it was just impossible to do anymore, and then had to go into a NH. The last 3 years we've always been in "that rush" to get there on days.

As what we are trying to do is take day by day, and this is all you can do. Think of your loved one everyday, but keep going forward when you do. They're always with you, just in spirit now.


Hugs to you, I just found this site and it is nice to be able to relate to others on here.

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012 6:13 PM
Joined: 4/19/2012
Posts: 414

Welcome Nurse! 


I am so glad you are here, but not for the reason.


I think we are all finding that sometimes families don't grieve together, and we need support just the same. I know I don't grieve with my sibs, to many bad dynamics there, but here I have found nice folks, and good people. We all need a safe place if family is not providing that.



Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012 6:20 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 403

Hi Mistic, sorry about your loss. You have come to the right place where we all know what you're feeling because some of us have been there and some still are.


I lost my mom Feb 14, 2012 and my dad on April 19, 2011. Normal stopped being part of my vocabulary for a long time. When dad died we thought things would become normal, but life had another plan for us. My mom started deteriorating very rapid. I know what you mean about coming home to eat, running to the ALF until mom went to sleep. I did that for many months.


They say time heals all wounds, I dont think so, I think it just makes them hurt less. At least for me the loss of my parents is always a hidden pain waiting to surface and it does when I least expect it.


So the most important thing is to allow yourself to mourn. I didnt do that because I had to take care of mom, so when mom died it felt twice as painful.


We are all here for you!!

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012 7:41 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 40

Again, I'd like to thank everyone for their kinds words.


Something that has helped get me through these difficult days. The words Mom said to us about 8 months ago when she still communicated with us was "I'm just an empty shell". Thats when we lost her.


I'm sorry for the losses everyone has sustained due to this terrible illness. Perhaps if you think back to a time to when things were better you may recall something to help get you through.


It's still difficult to find that we don't have to rush around, but I'm sure with time the pain will ease, never completely vanish, just subside somewhat.


Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012 10:17 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097

I think normal is just gone....


I'm coming up on 6 months since mom died on October 1 and I have been VERY weepy lately, really missing her.  On one hand I've felt every day since she's been gone and on another it feels like a blink of an eye.



Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 4:54 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 799

My mother died on July 7th.  It hits me in waves.  Sometimes I'm fine, then I'm not.  I just said to someone last night that I should be driving out to see her today since I was off from work.  I barely use the car anymore.  I used to complain about those drives, especially if I got stuck in traffic.  Now I miss them.  I feel almost like a lost puppy dog. 


At some point you will realize the freedom is kind of nice, although you will still miss the "non-freedom" (I hope that didn't sound bad).


I miss my mother something awful, yet I don't miss her suffering.

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012 11:11 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

I'm hit with waves, too.  I think this is just how it is.  We're always going to miss them, I will always feel sad, but eventually, those feelings of sadness get incorporated into our lives, mixed in with everything else going on in our lives, we'll feel happy, we'll feel stressed, we'll feel sad, it will all start to mix in together and we adapt to all.  We will never forget and I'm not sure I will ever be normal, I don't think I ever was really.


I got back from vacation last week.  I had time to think, but everything that has happened is just too much to really absorb.  I thought about my dad, my parents alot while I was on vacation.  I think everyday about them, especially my dad since his death was just almost four months ago. 


I read a book that grief is life's way of slowing and easing us into the absorption of our loss.  Grief gives us a chance to slow down, to take in what's happened.  When my mom died, I would always think to myself that grief was my friend.  It was the only thing that understood what I was going through and it didn't expect me to be happy or to get on quickly with things.  It just let me feel what I was feeling without explanation.

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 9:33 AM
Joined: 12/31/2011
Posts: 140

It's been almost 3 months now since Dad passed and I still feel the waves of sadness. Some days are okay, other days are so sad and I can't stop thinking about things. It's not dissimilar to a PTSD reaction, I guess -- anything will trigger being right back there with Dad's AD struggle. I still feel like I could have done more although I can't put my finger on exactly how. I wish I'd been able to make his days and nights better, but we (the paid cgs and I) all struggled with the worst times -- sundowning, paranoia, wandering. It's best for him that he's not suffering any of it anymore, but I can't get over how much I miss him, even after thinking many times while he was alive that I'd already lost the Dad I knew, then losing him again when he died.


So "normal" is a very very slow adjustment filled with lots of remembering. If I get totally bogged down in a sad or unpleasant memory, I try to bring up a good memory. Then get out for a walk and try to not beat myself up about any of it.

Posted: Friday, April 24, 2015 5:19 AM
Joined: 8/24/2013
Posts: 20

Having lost mom 3 days ago, so great to read all of this and see that we are all normal in our abnormality/disorientedness/lostness/sadness/etc, and also great to be forewarned about things others might say ("you have more time now!") that are well intentioned but to which I might be quite sensitive right now.

I think everyone on this site is stronger than s/he thinks. We will get through this. Peace and strength to you all!!

Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2015 8:38 AM
Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 1

I am meeting with the hospice social worker this morning, I do not feel I am in denial but there is a part of me that insists Mom does not need this. Does this ever get any easier? I just lost my Dad 3 weeks ago tomorrow to Parkinsons and this terrible disease. While I have support from my friends and family I feel so alone. with a huge mountain in front of me to climb. suggestions?

Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2015 1:06 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 12875

Hi everyone,

So many parents lost so recently. To all of you, please accept my sincere condolences.

I lost my dad in 1995 and my mother 13 months later. You never get over missing them- you're a part of each of them.
So often I think of things I'd like to tell mother or something I'd like to ask daddy.

I lost my Charles three and a half months ago. We'd been married just short of 43 years. I'll never get over his loss either.

Losing your parents is so very hard but when I lost each of them I had Charles to support and comfort me. When I lost him I really had no one. The loss of a husband or wife is different from the loss of a parent. I won't say worse, just different. I don't think you ever, truly, get over either--there will always be that empty space they occupied.

It takes time to heal-so give yourself all the time you need-don't rush.

Again, I'm so sorry for your losses.