Loading discussion content. Please wait...
Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
Hi Carlly Jean,
Thanks for your well wishes. And the same to you. My grandmother passed away on December 18th, 2012. She was 103 and 4 months. She had Alzheimers so badly at the end that she only occaisonally knew who I was, or even remembered simple things. It was so hard and I feel so bad that I am relieved that her suffering is over. Now she can be with her husband, my Pappy, in heaven. But I keep thinking, did I do everything I could have? Maybe she should've had more PT or I should've taken her to the beauty shop sooner- she wanted to have her hair done. She didn't remember who her daughter (her constant caregiver ) was, but she wanted her hair done. She could hardly walk, it was so slow and difficult, and she didn't like to listen to music, or read, or even watch tv anymore. It was so sad. Some days she would try to leave the house and walk down the cement stairs on the porch, so my mother would have to lock the front door. My gramma still liked pets, though, even near the end. She would coo at the kitties and talk to the dog and the parakeets. Sometimes she would respond to the pets and but not me.
It has been a difficult holiday season.
Thanks for letting me rant a little.
Hi again, Carlly Jean, this is my first (ok, 2nd) time posting here and I see I replied to you individually, which is fine- but how do I get a post to show in the general thread? or should I just reply to individuals to participate? Thanks if you can answer my question.
Best wishes, Carmel
Hello CarllyJean, I too lost my mom in 2012, April 1. I had the same thing happen with New Year's.
With the changing of the year, it felt like I was leaving my mom behind somehow. I was pretty weepy at times last night.
Same here CarllyJean. My parents passed away July 2012. I did pretty good for xmas, like you I "prepared", but the New Year blindsided me.
Yes dayn2nite, it felt like I was leaving them behind too. Now instead of saying "this year", we now have to say "last year" which sounds farther away.
Thank you guys for helping me see I'm not abnormal. I just kept thinking it's just 2013, why are you so upset? But it's like a page turned and all I want to do is go back to the page my mom is on.
Oceanbum, I turned 50 in October, I barely acknowledged it. I'm sure I just put off some big crying spell and that will catch up with me....lol
I agree.......it was nice to see that my thoughts and feelings are shared by so many others.
I lost my Mother on Thanksgiving Day 2012. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were difficult days. Christmas Eve was our family tradition of celebrating. Christmas Day it snowed and we stayed inside and had a quiet day. New's Years Eve and New Years Day proved to be another emotional days......I like so many of you feel the pain of turning another page.
My youngest son (5 yrs) cried today as I took down the Christmas Tree that we have called " Grandma's Tree". As he wept in my arms, head buried in my chest, he said it just reminded him of Grandma. Explaining to him that we couldn't keep the tree up all year, we would undo the tree and put the tree away together in a way that we remembered Grandma and would look forward to next year putting it up again. Somehow thru many tears from both of us, we took that final step in closing the zipper of the tree bag together, but not before he laid his little head on the tree inside as if it were a part of Grandma. We had put the tree up the night before Mother had passed, so this was symbolic of her for him.....a sweet, sweet reminder. He misses her so much. We talk about Heaven, Angels.....and how Grandma is healthy and at peace.......it's just a lot for a little guy to understand.
This journey we are on is still new........and I know I am not walking it alone. God is holding our hands.....and with his love and his goodness and mercy.......we'll make it. A new year has begun with hope and promise. I rejoice because I know Mother's in Heaven.......but my heart aches for her. I almost feel selfish because I just miss her so much. However I would never want to bring her back to this horrible heartwreching disease she had. May God hold us all as we make this journey thru our grief.........Wishing you all a beautiful new year.
I've been pondering this, and I think I am going to use the word "months" instead of "last year"......if the subject arises that is. It feels better (oxymoron) to say "my parents died 6 months ago" then/than to say "my parents died last year". It keeps it more "recent" since that is truly how it feels.
This might help some of you as well?
FAD, I'm going to start thinking of it like that too--I think it will help.
I sure am glad this forum is here--I tried to tell my boyfriend about how I was feeling and he just didn't understand.
I guess I haven't thought that much about it in this way. But the whole holiday season has been hard for me in a sort of underground way. I have gotten through the parties and festivities fairly well, but there is still an undercurrent of grief.
A few days after Christmas, I just curled up on the couch and cried. When my husband asked if I was okay, I shook my head. When he asked what was wrong, I said "I want my mama." He was so sweet, he came and sat down next to me and just said "I know, I do, too." He lost his mom 10 years ago and he still misses her. So he let me know that he understands my pain. It helped.
As for the new year, I have a number of new things going on in my life that seem to be taking my mind off my grief, which is good. But I sometimes feel guilty for being able to go on without her. It sounds like I'm not the only one.
CarllyJean I hope you can "plan" something good for each of those dates, good for yourself, or doing good for someone else. That is how I got through xmas, playing secret santa to people. But plan something even if it is just getting an ice cream cone that particular day. All the "firsts" are tough, at least we are aware that they are coming.
I still have 6 more months of "firsts". VD day, Easter, both their birthdays, my dogs passing (Hunter the "gol dang poodle"), and then finally the anniversary of each of their deaths.
I'm glad to hear your thoughts because the whole holiday seemed difficult and for me it's not over yet; we celebrate Three Kings Day ( a Latino holiday) on January 6th. Grammy didn't usually come over that day so maybe it will be easier but she always attended my New Year's party and this year she was gone. I've cried some but not enough- I think I'm a bit shut off from it still.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Best wishes to all for the healing process.
Beautiful Dreamer- it sounds like you are doing a great job helping your young son cope with the loss. As a elementary and health teacher I like to suggest he do some kind of art or even write and illustrate a story about his grandmother, her death, his feelings, his memories- whatever he wants to write or draw about. If he's not big on writing yet, an adult such as yourself can 'scribe' for him by writing the words he tells you to describe each page.
Just my thoughts. Actually, these are probably good exercises for us all. : )
Thankyou Carmel....... I appreciate that
He does love to draw and I love to write.. In fact, on Christmas Eve, which was our families big celebration time we went to my parents grave site and took them a beautiful floral arrangement. He drew pictures and I also wrote a letter. Placing his drawings and my letter in plastic to protect from the weather a bit, we attached them to the floral arrangement. I had thought it might be helpful. I also purchased a beautiful book " Heaven Is For Real" for Children. Of course the book talks about angels, and I collect angels. The other day he had asked if we could keep the angel tree ornaments out and not pack them away. He said the angels reminded him of Grandma. I said "sure"......thinking in some way that may help him too. Well after a really rough day the other day ( It was just one of those days I was missing Mother so much) I came over to my desk to find that he had placed one of the angels there for me to see. In his wisdom and love he had placed it there to give me comfort like the angels give him, reminding him of Grandma.......It was so sweet.......He places them on the door knobs.....the shelves.....we never know when we will be seeing them.......
Anyway......thankyou again. I so appreciate you're input and if you have any more suggestions that might be helpful in helping him deal with the loss of his Grandma, please share.
Blessings to all.......
My mother passed away from end-stage dementia several years ago, but I still miss her very very much. I understand how you feel. Please be good to yourself. I'm sure your mother was fortunate to have you as her daughter.
Hi Beautiful Dreamer,
That sounds wonderful to find angels in surprising places! That could even be a metaphor for life. It sounds like you are doing a super job with your son. The letter and flowers and picture are fitting tributes. I hope he and you and all your family are healing.
One comment I might make, that you probably know already, is that children often want to talk about the person, or the person's death, over and over again. It is one way they cope. Actually, adults do this too. Sometimes children will be upset if they start to talk about the loss and "their" adults cry. It is important to clearly remind them that it is ok to talk about it, and that it is ok to cry, too. Sometimes they can feel like it is 'bad' or something, but it is all part of healing.
Blessings to all. -Karmel
Again thankyou so much for your input. I actually really needed to hear that affirmation that it's "ok" for the child to see the adult cry. I have had such a stuggle dealing with Mother's death, and at times I've worried that him seeing me cry has hindered his healing......but deep down I know it is part of the healing process. Thanks for the words.....I needed to hear them.
He does talk about her alot.....every day.....several times a day. Yesterday he came up and asked me " Mommy, why did Grandma have to get sick and die?" ( swallowing hard ) I cuddled him on the sofa trying to explain......It's so difficult.
I haven't been posting much lately. I'm feeling depressed and sad and I don't think passing that along is very helpful to anyone, but maybe in a way it is. I know I'm not the only one feeling this way and these feelings are just there.
The holidays have made the feelings more difficult, of course. Christmas was quiet. I didn't have to do anything related to my dad and I felt very bad about that and felt guilty because the day was not hectic, no rushing to go anywhere or get anything done. He wasn't here so I couldn't give him our special family cookies, we used to bake together. New Years the same. I wasn't able to buy him a special calendar for 2013 and tell him, yes, it's 2013, he was always amazed we were in the 2000's. It feels like his presence is fading and I'm moving farther from the memories. The gap is widening. I know the memories are supposed to stay with us, but the familiarity of everything I've experienced feels like it's floating away. I feel a big part of my life and identity are gone, too. Caring for my father for 13 years defined a big part of who I was. It's quite an adjustment, sort of like in limbo.
I was on the train last night going home from work and someone on the train was whistling. I thought of my dad, he could whistle like a canary, seriously, he sounded like a real bird. My eyes got misty, thinking I wouldn't hear that anymore. He also had a phrase that I loved, just the spontaneity of it and the innocence and truthfulness of it. If someone asked him a question and he didn't know the answer, he would say this simple sentence that said it all in a few words, "Not that I know of." with the emphasis on "Not" It was the way he said it, kind of like a pure of heart statement, simple and to the point. I miss hearing that, too.
I miss my mother, too, she passed away 12 years ago, and I guess I just felt more at ease with how she passed, my father I'm still struggling with his last days, they were very difficult and it still plays out over and over in my mind.
I do all the things I'm supposed to, I try and think about the good things, he's not suffering any longer, but it still is a very big empty hurting I feel and I expect it's going to keep on for a long long time.
I find myself apologizing out loud a lot to him, I'm sorry, dad, I'm sorry it ended this way for you.
Many gentle ones sent your way...............Farawaydaughter
Today, I went to the NH my mom was to visit since the activities director sent me such a nice card, plus the receptionist is in love with my dog.
2012 was not kind at the NH, so many of the residents I knew have passed away, there was one lady who was always posted at the entrance to the living room and when she wasn't there I knew. I haven't been there in months because it got hard to think about going.
I was glad to see everyone, though--all the same aides and nurses and I even went upstairs where mom's room was to visit one of the roommates I know was still alive, but she was getting changed and was kind of agitated so I'll save a visit for another time.
I felt like crying going up in the elevator but didn't. Only cried a little on the way home.