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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
My dad passed from Alzheimers seven years ago this week at the age of 69. I moved back in with him and mom when I was 35 to be his caregiver. I had no ided what we were in for and how hard we would work to protect him in our "little bubble of crazy" We did it though, we had no choice or time to think about the sadness.
Seven years later there is saddness, anger, and fear that I did not do enough for him. I am still in shock over the trauma and wreckage Alzheimers left in me.
I have been noting anniversaries as well.
I am so sorry for your loss, for the difficulties you all experienced, and for the sorrow of wondering if you did enough.
I wonder that too. My mother's dementia caught me off-guard and I feel that I never completely caught up.
But is there a way to be truly on top of dementia?
If I had had more resources, her quality of life would have been improved earlier and more effectively.
At the same time, I was running on empty trying to keep up and get her needs met.
I am grateful that I had some of the moments with her that I did. I am grateful my sister and I were able to be at her side during her last few days in the hospital under hospice care.
I labored to do my utmost for her and even if I had succeeded in giving what I wanted to, it would not have been enough.
Dementia is an awful way to travel to the end of one's life. I wish it on no one.
Perhaps someday, there will be effective treatment available to all.
In the meantime, I work to be kind to myself and accept that my best was all I could do.
I hope for you that you can look on your time caring for your father with patience and kindness for yourself.
I'm sorry for the loss of your father. I know it hurts even after years and years. And I totally understand what you mean when you say trauma because that is what it is when you are a hands-on caregiver taking care of someone towards the end of their live when they have Alz. It is so very hard and ugly and demeaning and demoralizing. But I wouldn't want to have missed one second of the work that was necessary to keep my mom safe, fed, clean, content and loved.
There were so many good days in the beginning and I try to think of those when the bad memories come up. And they cone up often because mom lived with me for almost 15 years and she died in the bedroom I now sleep in. I did so much in those rooms...things I will never forget...the good and the ugly- but always with love.
I had all the money I needed to take good care of mom, but in the end no amount of money could save her dignity nor from the decline, the pain, the death. I agree with KawKaw, we have to be gentle with ourselves because we did the best we could for our loved one. We honor them by trying to live a happy life. Best to you!
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my dear husband to Alzheimer's in February. I started attending a GriefShare class in August with the world began to open up more. We have to socially distance and wear masks.
GriefShare is a great class. It teaches you about the most common problems that people encounter when they are grieving and how to overcome the hurdles. You never "get over it" or "move on". You just learn how to live with the pain. It does lessen over time. At some point, we need to be able to have joy in our lives in spite of the fact that we will always miss the loved ones that we have lost.
I recommend the program. You can get more information and find a class near you at griefshare.org.
It is a Christian based organization, but others do benefit from the lessons as well.