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The Final Loss of Mom
Posted: Monday, May 27, 2019 11:01 PM
Joined: 7/11/2012
Posts: 93

Hello everyone,

I've been coming to this board since I first suspected my mom had Alzheimer's, which was back in, I think 2012.  We saw odd changes in her, but just didn't know what was going on.  I came to the board with questions, always receiving so much valuable information as well as advice and sharing of stories.  I took my mom to a memory care center for assessment in early 2012, they diagnosed her with dementia, likely Alzheimer's.  That was the day I cried.  Unfortunately, I had read a lot about the disease and had a good idea what was in store for her, and us.  Or at least I thought so at the time.  Little did I know.

My mom made me her POA, and we began our journey on the Alzheimer's road.  After some dangerous issues arising at home, my husband and I decided to put my mom in an assisted living.  She fought back pretty dang hard the first few months, then settled in and seemed to enjoy her time there, at least as much as possible after being taken out of her home.  Obviously, I still struggle with that decision.  Three years later, in the fall of 2016, we moved to another state and took my mom with us and moved her into our home with us.  It was difficult for her, nothing was familiar except for her family members.  But, she enjoyed sitting on the back porch, watching the birds, the deer, the butterflies, and occasional turkeys wandering around.  My sister also lives with us, thankfully as she is a CNA.

As we watched my mom progress in the disease, I watched all the things happen that I had read about, it was surreal.  She was always trying to "go home."  Once I asked her where "home" was, she said, "Well, I don't know!"  We always tried our best to live in the present with her, in her world, and for the most part she was, happy.  As happy as she could be without my dad, who had passed away December 2010.  We bought her all the yummy treats that she liked, made food that she liked, took her out to eat until she was just no longer able to do that.

One day in mid-March of this year, I just felt that my mom was, different.  Off.  And then she had a minor fall, nothing broken, but some bruising on her arm, which she fell on.  A day or so after that fall she slept pretty much 1 1/2 days, in her bed and in her recliner in the living room.  I knew that something was changing and called Hospice in.  Even they weren't quite sure, but with her weight loss and sleeping she was accepted.  Five weeks later she died at home with us and her family from out of state here by her bedside.  It took much longer than Hospice thought it would, she was unconscious and did not eat or drink for 9 days.  Listening to that breathing for that long was very difficult.  But, as we were holding her hands, she took one last breath, tried to swallow, and that was it.  In fact I said to my sister, "Was that it?!  She's gone?!"  Just. Like. That.  After all those years, all the caregiving, all the reading, researching, talking to people, doctor appointments, watching, watching the move into the next stage, my mom was finally done.  Done with Alzheimer's.  I smile ever time I think of her now with my dad, and her parents, who both also passed away with Alzheimer's.  And all of her other family and friends who had left us before her.  I think I must be in denial, because I just cannot feel sad, I feel happy for her, I've cried since 2012 over losing my mom.  This was simply, the final loss.  And I am so happy that my mom can once again be who she was before.  Before Alzheimer's.  Thank you everyone for all that you give to everyone on this board <3


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Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 3:34 PM
Joined: 1/17/2016
Posts: 939

Terry, that photo of you and your mom is beautiful.  You both look so happy.  My mom has been gone for one year as of Mother's Day.  I have not been able to post because I keep finding myself at a loss for words.  I was also there when my mom passed too and will never forget the sound of that last breath.  You were there for your mom and helped her all those years and although she may have had her memory issues, it sounds like you and your sister did everything right.  I am sure that your mom appreciated it.

I also took my mom out for lunches every week and she used to say, "Isn't is great we love the same foods and isn't it great we get along so well?"  She would sometimes say, "Some mothers and daughters are at war, but not us."  She loved that we had a friendship and even when she couldn't recall 5 minutes prior, we were able to have conversations about many things.

Grieving is a strange process.  I had acceptance immediately and then went to anger then depression and then back to acceptance.  I feel like my mom is now back to her typical self somewhere with my father and my brother.  I often feel like she is hanging around too.  She sends so many signs my way.  What is a little frustrating is that I am only 54 and although I have a loving husband and two great kids, I still feel lonely for my immediate family.  My mom's headstone will be placed soon and it feels sad to see the three tablets in a row.