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I feel and act like it's the end of my life
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:02 PM
Joined: 5/22/2016
Posts: 274

DH is late stage 5. He's 56. I'm 52. He spends all his time going through things in our house and trying to give them away / sell them because he knows he'll never use them again. Even things I want to keep, he says we'll never use because we're old. Every time I turn around, I'm reminded of how old I am and how my life is now over. I have to fight to keep my favorite things, and after time just get rid of them because it's not worth the fight. He's been at this for over 4 years now.

I just found out a co-worker is quitting her job to start a new career. She's 62. 10 years older than I am. It hit me - I'm not old. Now I'm just so depressed because I have nothing in my life to look forward to. I don't know how to plan for a future when I've spent so many years living like there isn't one.

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2020 11:14 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2314

There are moments, and sometimes long periods, where the feeling is like this. But, we HAVE to keep moving. There is not much else, but keep moving. You never know what is around the corner. 

Your 62 year old co-worker is your hope. You have more to look forward to.  Someday you’ll be looking back, or remembering the past too. It will someday be behind you. We gotta keep going.


dutiful deb
Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020 8:42 PM
Joined: 1/1/2012
Posts: 1884

I hear you. I'm 52 and my husband is 55. The entire decade of my 40's was spent caring for my mom, and even before she passed away, my husband began showing signs of impairment.  I've often wondered if this is how I am destined to spend my life.  There are times when I see my future looming ahead, full of endless paperwork and decision-making, dealing with hoarding and clutter, and listening to inappropriate jokes and mis-remembered stories.  Other days time seems short and I want to hang on to everything I can now because I know things change.

You're not alone! As Ruth said, we need to keep going. We have to! I like this quote by Elisabeth Eliot: When you don' t know what to do next, just do the thing in front of  you. 



Posted: Sunday, March 1, 2020 4:30 PM
Joined: 5/22/2016
Posts: 274

Thanks to both of you. Keep going is about all I can do. I really need to make plans for my future. It seems so dark and it seems so hard to look past the darkness to what may come.

Deb - What a fantastic daughter you are. I can't imagine going through this twice. I don't know if it is good for you to know the path, or worse. I guess it's good to know what to put in place, paperwork wise.

Posted: Friday, March 6, 2020 11:36 PM
Joined: 6/11/2019
Posts: 522

Josey-- I'm right between your age and your DH's. I cannot imagine GOING THROUGH THIS WITH A SPOUSE AT THIS AGE. I've been dismayed enough that this is how my mom is spending her 70s and I consider HER young for the stage of the game she's at.

I'm so sorry that this is where you find yourself. I'll share two things ...

When I first started down this path with my mom, one of the things I read advised caregivers to never stop planning. Think about things you will do when your tour of duty ends and even put pieces of it into place when you can while you're caregiving. Maybe you can find a way to hang onto at least some of the things you really want to keep!!! DEFINE some things for you to look forward to … and keep looking forward!

It's going to get darker and likely stay darker for some period of time. It probably won't be easy but find YOUR light.

And the second thing … you are NOT old! (If you are, that means I am, too.  If you're not offended by the language, for the last two years my mantra has been "Keep f*cking going." I saw it on a bracelet last year. It's on the inside, so as not to offend. I bought it last week. Just knowing that's there against my wrist can make me feel a little bit better.

Here's hoping you find your equivalent.  {{{HUGS}}}

Posted: Saturday, March 7, 2020 12:23 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18944

I have been a widow for 4+ years and I want one of those bracelets!!!!
Posted: Sunday, March 8, 2020 7:49 PM
Joined: 12/10/2019
Posts: 114

Minute by Minute

That is very interesting advice- to keep planning. Sometimes I start doing that and feel guilty about not being in the moment with DH. Going to give myself permission to do it from now on.


dutiful deb
Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 12:44 AM
Joined: 1/1/2012
Posts: 1884

Deb - What a fantastic daughter you are. I can't imagine going through this twice. I don't know if it is good for you to know the path, or worse. I guess it's good to know what to put in place, paperwork wise.

Thank you, Josey. I feel that  I'm more aware of what's happening and how to prepare because I have been through this before.  I have already begun putting things in place. I have taken steps to further my education because I know I may have to work past retirement, or change to another job in my field, as my husband's situation may require it. I also took the lead in getting our estate planning done, as well as getting things like HIPAA and POA in place. With my mom, I think I was more hopeful that I was wrong, or that things weren't so bad, but when I accepted reality, I was able to cope better (well, not really all the time, but accepting things helped me a lot). 

While my mom was in the hospital two months before she died, my husband paid some acquaintance of his $500.00 to use his yard out in the woods for our daughter's engagement party.  I had already decided to reserve a park with a gazebo, seating, tables, cooking areas, etc. had discussed it with everyone, and we were all on the same page. As part of the agreement to use this man's land, my husband had to hire and supervise someone to clean up the yard, which was a disaster.  We were restricted in what we could do, we had to bring in our own tables, chairs, and cooking grills. The man and his family left the place to us for the day, which was fine, but it was also uncomfortable not having anyone from the house around, especially as our guests had to use the man's home for the restroom and to wash hands.  We were not allowed to bring in a portable bathroom and there was no outdoor sink. 

 For that kind of money I could have hired a crew to clean and landscape my own yard.  I was angry, exhausted, and defeated, but I chose to let it go.  I filed it away as an "I have to get a handle on the finances" experience, as well as an "I am going to have to figure out how to make the decisions now".   We  had always shared these things but this was a sign that certain responsibilities  needed to shift. It was also the beginning of choosing my battles. After I let go of the anger, I was able to see this as one of those incidents where you just "know".  I also realized I wasn't really upset at my husband. He was trying to help. I was mad at the situation, and honestly mad at the man who, in my opinion, was an opportunist that saw my husband coming.  

There have been other experiences,  like the time we took a vacation to the Gulf Coast with my sister and her family, and as we were standing on the beach in Gulf Shores he informed me that he was going to come back, bring a kayak (we live in the Pacific Northwest) and launch it off that very beach to go fishing.  At first I thought he was was joking, but no, he was serious, and talked about it incessantly that whole trip and beyond. And the time my niece's car was stolen from the parking lot at her work by drug addicts who stripped it and pushed it over a cliff; he told me the "real story" is that she had secretly arranged to have her own car stolen from her driveway and trashed on purpose just to claim insurance money. This is so far fetched that when I heard it I was shocked. 

I tried to be a good daughter for my dementia-affected mom, and I like to think I did well. Now it's time to figure out how to be married to an impaired husband. I'm learning a great deal from reading your posts, Josey, and others in the same situation. When I feel discouraged, it helps to know there are others out there who understand. 

Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 5:55 AM
Joined: 1/25/2018
Posts: 690

I'm struck every day by things we'll never do again. Take a trip, walk on the beach, eat at a nice restaurant, hike a couple of miles on a scenic trail, go to a family members birthday party, celebrate a holiday together, look to the future... All I can say is, perhaps your spouse is feeling the same way and is trying to simplify his environment. Are your resources adequate to rent a storage facility? Things your husband wishes to get rid of could be placed there. He gets a simplified environment, and you still have your things when you want them.
Posted: Monday, May 11, 2020 5:28 PM
Joined: 11/30/2018
Posts: 6

I'm only 44, but I feel this way too. I feel like my life is over. I quit my job and moved in with my parents 3 years ago to be my mom's primary caregiver. She had dementia and lived for 17 years after her initial diagnosis. She passed in January 2019. In early 2018, I started noticing the signs in my dad. Now I'm his primary caregiver. I am able to work part-time now, but I feel like I'm stuck. My sister is only 57, and I'm starting to see the symptoms in her too. By the time my father is gone, I'll be caring for her. Then by the time she's gone, I'll be starting to show signs. So, I really feel like there's nothing more to my life. This is all I will ever get to do. My goals and dreams have had to be abandoned in order to care for my family. And I'm grateful that I get this opportunity, but I didn't expect that it would be the only thing I ever did for the rest of my life. I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes it's overwhelming. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant.
Posted: Monday, June 1, 2020 12:42 PM
Joined: 5/22/2016
Posts: 274

Marcus - I'm really late in getting back to this thread, but I think your idea of a storage unit is brilliant. We have many close by, and I just may rent one.