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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
@SueK -- Condolences
Dear SueK -- I am so sorry for the recent loss of your mother. Please be gentle with yourself. We all grieve in different ways. I have found this forum to be a source of great comfort in the past year since my parents died. It is not as active as the Caregivers Forum, but you will receive support and understanding.
I thought that after caring for my parents for over 5 years that my journey had ended. I didn't know that the grief process was another journey with its own ups and downs. Please come back and let us know how you are doing. Also, please accept my heartfelt condolences and hugs from afar...
Thank you - at this point I just feel numb, like I'm sleepwalking through every thing. The funeral was Monday, and the hospice chaplain did an amazing job - she sat down with me and took pages of notes, so there were lots of stories that made people laugh (and cry) about Mom's life. She'd been on the same bowling league for over 20 years - she actually was still bowling in April - and my son and sons in law all wore her bowling t-shirts to the funeral. I think some people thought it was disrespectful, but I thought it was the most wonderful tribute, and so did a lot of the women she bowled with.
I think today is going to be the hardest day - the last of the relatives (my 23 year old son & his girlfriend) are leaving from here to drive out to California. My son had gotten a job out there just before Mom started on hospice, and he flew back in July when she was going downhill fast. I feel like in a way I just lost my mom, and now in a way I'm losing my baby too. Out of everyone in the family he was the most supportive through Mom's journey with AD, and now he'll be 3000 miles away.
Months ago she had told him that he could have her engagement ring to give to his girlfriend when he proposed. What I never realized is that 4 years ago when one of my daughters and her boyfriend were getting serious, Mom had given the boyfriend my grandmothers engagement ring, and he had the stone reset for my daughters ring.
I'm just kind of waiting to fall apart - I'm wondering if maybe from all this time of trying to stuff everything down inside & pretend to Mom that everything was fine I just somehow forgot how to let the feelings out. Has that happened to anyone else?
I am sorry for the loss of your mother. The funeral sounded lovely, as were the bowling shirts worn. She'd be smiling I bet. A wonderful tribute!
You may fall apart piece by piece, you may stay numb for awhile, you may crash and burn. Grief is very unique to each person, and we all here understand that as we all have been and are going through it also.
One thing we all know is that you have to through it. Don't push yourself, don't expect anything of yourself, but instead be kind to yourself.
Keep coming back here, we all know grief.
Again, my sympathy's.
You have uprooted your own life to care for your mother. Of course things are going to seem like they are spinning out of control for a while. It may take some time for you and your husband to figure out where to go from here.
When my mom passed away last year, I had feelings of falling, day and night. Just like someone had dropped me off a tall building. It would rattle my nerves. And the grief would wash over me like the strong undertow of the ocean, in waves that caught me totally unaware. Thankfully, those feelings didn't last too long, two or three weeks, I think.
But it takes time to sort through a lifetime of emotions. I think this is especially true when we lose our mothers, the ones that gave us life.
This forum has helped me tremendously over the past year. I hope it will be a help to you.
SueK - You said "I'm wondering if maybe from all this time of trying to stuff everything down inside & pretend to Mom that everything was fine I just somehow forgot how to let the feelings out". Altho I still have my mama (w/alz) I always do the very same thing. Day after day after day, after I get off work, I head over to mama's house so the CG can leave @ 3. I ALWAYS walk in w/a big smile on my face & say "Hey mama, you sure do look real pretty today" & I kiss her.
Knowing i feel like crap cause I know she didn't get any sleep last nite, or she tries to tell me something & she can't get it out. I know how bad these things bother her. She tells me sometimes "I don't know what's wrong w/my head". And i always tell her it'll come back to you. Or when she asks about my daddy (who passed in March of this yr w/dementia). EVERY DAY I pretend everything. I HATE THIS DISEASE & how it affects the families.
Hi Sue - I think I feel the same as you. I think I felt for so long that I could control what happened to my mother or that it "wasn't really that bad" that I didn't deal with the feelings I should have as they were probably surfacing. I buried them so fast that I didn't even realize I was having them. My mom's been gone 7 weeks and I still feel sometimes like she was just diagnosed and I'm still in the middle of everything, although by myself now, which is a weird feeling for sure. The dreams I had the first few weeks after she was gone were all dreams where I wasn't really myself, or was in situations that I wasn't acting my normal self. I literally would say in my dream "this isn't me, i would never do this". It's so bizarre the process and feelings we go through. Since for the last few months or years our mom was already "gone" this is a second kind of goodbye in the physical sense, so it feels like a big gaping hole.
As far as waiting to fall apart, don't worry about that. You'll feel however you'll feel whenever you feel it. I cried for a solid 30 minutes the first day my mom died, though not until I was ready for bed that night. Earlier i had been surrounded by friends telling and listening to great stories about her and thoroughly enjoying myself. Then when I got home it hit me like a wrecking ball. I've had a few other moments like that, it'll just come over me in a wave and I'll cry like a baby for 5, 10, 20 minutes. I just let it rip and it passes. It lessens the feeling of grief a bit and it makes my mind a bit more clear.
I think I'm most surprised by how much I miss her. I didn't think I would miss her as much as I do. And I miss not only the Alz mom, but the mom she was before, although that mom is a bit more fuzzy than the most recent one I knew. But that's what I'm working my way towards. I think if if continue to have thoughts about her from when I was young and up from there, it'll be easier and less painful to remember her well as a whole.
Make sense? Probably not, none of this feels right or makes sense, so I'm just going with it every day no matter what I "feel". It is indeed like waves on the beach. Sometimes it's a placid surface, sometimes it's a roiling nightmare of whitewash, sometimes it's just regular interval waves washing up on shore. Hang in there and let us know how you are. I know the last few months have been hellish for you, so please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.