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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
2 months on
At the time, it certainly felt like her death coincided with a lot, particularly with my education. I'm a master's student focusing on bereavement and grief in dementia caregivers and had just started writing my thesis. Living my thesis was very much not my intention, but we don't get to pick and choose when things happen.
Two months on, I feel like I've begun to find silver linings. My grandmother was 101 years old when she passed - she had lived a very long, exceptional life and most of it prior to her diagnosis (she was diagnosed at 90). I felt like I had grieved her in many ways prior to her death, and while it doesn't fully alleviate my grief now, it strangely feels like it made things easier? And we've gotten a lot of signs from her. My mom has seen bluebird and hummingbirds hang out by her bedroom window - both birds we associate with my grandfather and uncle. I dreamt of seeing all my grandparents together telling us how proud they were. And more than anything, I am so grateful that the women she loved most were in the room with her when she passed. These present times remind us how precious it is to be able to die at home surrounded by family.
I'm very invested in dementia care - it's been my specialization for 5 years! - and is something that I love to talk about. I'm also talk a lot about end of life and grief, and now, since I've lost my only LO with dementia, hope to connect with others - if anything to be an understanding ear.
Thank you so much for reading this ramble. I hope to connect with more people on here!
I am so glad I saw your message. I recently lost my mom to Alzheimer's in November 2020. I saw so many things in your message that were similar to my experience. You are right; it was a heartbreaking thing to happen in an already awful year. My mom was 95 years old when she passed. She was not officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's until she was 92, but her decline was quick.
I talk to a bereavement counselor from hospice once a week, and I told her my grieving started back when my mom had to move from assisted living to a nursing home, and could no longer do things for herself. Then when 2020 came along and I was no longer able to visit her because of Covid, things got so much worse. I was able to be in her room the last two days, but I was wearing a gown, mask, face shield, and gloves. It was worth it to be able to let her know I love her.
I try to remember the good memories of my mom. And I am getting signs, too. The cardinals that visit my yard remind me of her.
Thanks for your message. Let's talk again.
My deepest condolences for the loss of your mother, and what a blessing to have had her for so long. I fully understand starting the grieving process long before our loved one's pass. I very much felt the same when my grandmother began to experience a much more significant decline. I had personally hoped grieving her before she passed would make grieving now easier.
I cannot imagine having to be separated from my loved one by so much protective equipment, but I am so very glad you were able to be with your mom and tell her you loved her. It's the little things right? And the signs mean so much. We've been getting more and more as time goes on, and I hope they never go away. I feel so much safer and comforted knowing someone is watching out for me, and I hope it's the same for you.
Thank you for your reply and for sharing your story. I feel deeply for you in this shared experience. Please reach out if you ever need another ear.