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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
When Is It Going To Hit Me?
I feel so bizarre, but I think (I know) it still hasn't hit me yet. I still haven't had one good cry, nothing - except for a slight choke up here and there.
I was pretty ill over the weekend, had a severe case of vertigo - that never happened before. I slept the entire weekend. Maybe that was my body's way of telling me to relax.
I am waiting for the bomb to drop.
Your description pretty well fits me. Dad's been gone for 6 weeks now and I haven't had the wall fall on me yet. I think of him often, always good thoughts, and sometimes thinking I should write him a note, and thinking, "Oh, yeah, that's right, he's gone." I'm thinking that since he suffered, more or less, for 6 years after his stroke, we were all ready for it. My mom sounds wonderful when I talk to her on the phone, much less tired than the several years past.
I guess I wouldn't tell you not to expect the reality to hit you, but just to go on the best you can with your life and take what comes. Maybe some of us grieve softer, I don't know. That's a blessing, if we do.
Oh marj sorry you had vertigo. I hate that @%#$ and I have it everytime I get a head cold. Get rest while you are able because trust me it will hit and it will hit hard! It hasn't stopped hitting me from beginning when I would just wail and wail with grief to now where I still can't go to sleep without thinking of my dad on his death bed. I am not making much progress.
I'm not much help. sorry.
It hits me in little waves every day. I think about him throughout the day. His final month is still on my mind and those were not good times. I'm remembering good times, too, but that also takes me to the last month and I ask why did it have to be so hard for him.
I don't think there is any magic way to get through this and everyone is so different, how we think, how we deal. The only way to get through it, is to step through it each day, when I feel bad, I let myself, if I feel good, I let myself. I've been down and depressed for so long, the moments I'm feeling better, I'm really trying to enjoy those times.
I'm still not answering many phone calls. I just don't want to hear the "sympathy" voices. Maybe I should hear those sympathy voices and just let myself "feel". I bet it's going to hit me soon, when I realize I don't have to drive out there anymore. That's going to hurt. I can't force it to come on - but I'm really not understanding this. When I sold my mother's apartment I bawled uncontrollably. I even said then that I bet that was going to be my major grieving over her. I wonder if it was?
I guess it still doesn't seem real. I am sure that if she were still here then I would be taking a drive out there tomorrow or Friday to visit her.
I don't know if it's PTS or what. My daughter commented to me about her friend whose grandma passed away. Her friend said she feels like her grandma is just sleeping, not gone. I sort of feel the same way. We go so long, so much time with our loved ones, that the feeling of them being there just can't fade away so quick, that's a bit too painful to believe. I find the longer time goes on, the reality of it starts hitting. I think a few weeks, a couple of months, it just really hasn't sunk in.
I remember when my mom died, it was just too painful to think I'll never talk to her again, I'll never see her again, I just sort of thought of her just being away but not really gone. It took me about a year before I stopped thinking, I have to call mom. In a split second, it would hit me, I can't she's gone.
It is very hard for me, as it is for everyone who has lost someone, that my dad is gone. I spent a whole lot of time and my life in the last 13 years looking after him, doing things for him, taking care of him. His care facility is five minutes from my home and I pass by it everyday. I still have to stop myself from making that left-hand turn to go see him before going home.
I'm trying very hard to get the last month out of my mind, it was a very difficult time for him and my intent was that he would never have to suffer. But he did and I think that is making things harder for me in a lot of ways. My dad was 92 and I knew he wasn't going to live forever, although he said he would make it to 100, we thought he would. He was the energizer bunny, he always sprung back. I just wanted the end of his life to be peaceful and no suffering. I can only hope and I wish that there is an afterlife and he is finally happy. I want to believe that for him and for me.
I have a lot of thoughts floating around in my head like dust, it settles, then it kicks up again and settles and kicks up again. Such is life and so it goes and in time, there will be some clarity to what happened and I just hope I've learned some important lessons about life and what it means.
I don't think it's a matter of waiting or looking for something one expects to "hit." It didn't happen that way for me either. Just let what comes to you to come; one doesn't have to await or search for something that may not be or may take another form.
But then, we are all different and feel grief in our own individual way.
When mother passed away, I was with her and it was my honor to be able to be with her. I wept openly at that time and I let the tears flow.
It was then time to settle all her personal business that needed to be settled as well as arranging for the memorial service and all that went with that. Going over photos for the still photo display at the service (DVD) got me going over so many memories, and recounting those times was a positive which helped to offset the last few awful years.
What I have are unexpected moments of thinking of her so strongly, or of passing moments where I feel such a fleeting sadness of, "Oh, Mom!" Sometimes I feel a fleeting moment or two of missing her so much, but those moments have not been dwelling moments, just unexpected passing moments of recall and feeling.
These moments come unbidden in the midst of something else altogether. They don't come often, but they come once in awhile. I miss her presence on special days or when I see something I think she'd like.
I was big on Mother's Day and her birthday, and miss picking out just the special card for her; so now I pick out flowers to be placed on her grave where her ashes are interred. The lovely folks at the florists (in another state) send me a photo of her headstone with the flowers each time I place a bouquet. Lovely of them to do so since I cannot be there.
What I have learned is to just let life flow and to let her memory visit me as it wishes, and to accept that memory close in my heart
We are all different and we all differ in the way we feel grief and also it makes a difference on who the person has been to oneself; mother, spouse, child, etc. One never knows what form the grief will take, it just does what it will.
I am always so impressed by the loving ways of the dear folks here and know that this place is a great help to so many.
I'm actually thinking that because she was placed and I had a bit of travel time to go see her, it just hasn't hit me yet. If she was home and I had to go through her stuff now, it probably would have hit me like a brick. I didn't get to see her everyday because of the distance. Probably in a week or so I will realize that I am not driving out there to see her anymore.
There really isn't like me, to be so non-emotional.
The big celebration of her life is being held on July 28th. I wonder if that's when I'll fall apart or realize that this is really real.
I also really haven't gone through photos of her yet, maybe a few at my sister's to help pick out some for the memory board - the one my sister is putting together.
I can certainly relate to what you're saying about being non-emotional. I always thought that when my mom passed I wouldn't be able to control my grief. That I would be crying all the time.
In the beginning I think I just felt relief for her, that she was no longer suffering and I found peace in that. As the months went by, and I believe it was the third month I remember going to work and crying at my desk and going into the ladies room to pull myself together (several times during that day). That evening I drove home from work crying uncontrollably, as if I had just found out that she passed. I walked through the door and my husband didn't know what happened...I said, nothing happened I'm just so sad about my mom and I don't know why today is so bad. He hugged me and said well it will take time and it certainly does. From that point on I felt so much more depressed than I had the first 3 months after she passed. It's now a year and I find myself joining this message board. I guess I'm still going through the grieving process. This board really helps me.
I watched life leaving her body for the last 11 days of her life. For the last three months of her life, she deteriorated so much - she was suffering. I guess I'm relieved for her. I have been grieving for my mother for years.
Now it's really final, she's gone. I know it's going to hit me and hit me hard - I just wish it would happen already. I know that sounds bizarre. I'm not kidding when I said I was bawling uncontrollably when I sold her apartment. That's when it hit me that she was really "gone", although she was still here.
Maybe I'm so worried about when it's going to happen as opposed to just letting it happen.
I am sure that next year on her anniversary, I will not be this calm.
I just wish I could turn the clock back about 8 years, when my mother was still completely healthy.
I think it's different for everyone. From my mom's death until after her service, I was pretty numb. I had cleaned out her house three years prior and although I didn't sell it, the knowledge that she was probably never moving back really hit me hard and I grieved a lot then, similar to you Marj. Then, similar to your mom, my mom declined a lot in the months before her passing.
I believe that by God's grace, I'm being able to process one or two issues at a time as I grieve. First, I was relieved that she is at peace but I missed her. Then, it was all about my poor mom that this all happened to her. Then it was "how in the #@! happened so fast? (my mom was still driving pretty much safely until the end of 2008 and gave up driving in May or June 2009)
I remember about a year and a half ago, before we found the best ALF for her, I was up late at night, crying uncontrollably and asking God "why?" and feeling like my mom and I were forgotten. I thought I'd done some of my major grieving then but since grieving isn't very quantifiable, who knows?
I hope that when you're no longer feeling numb, or longing to feel, that whatever you experience, that it be good medicine for your heart and that you continue to feel energy and willingness to share here.
Hi - lots of similar stories about passages of time and emotions. Some similar, some not. I'd only add that it doesn't work on a timetable. I certainly wish it did some days! lol! I kept thinking - Good lord, I've been grieving for years now before she actually died for the person she was. You'd think that'd be enough and I'd just move on? What I found was waves of grief at different times, sometimes quite unexpected times. The rounds were'nt necessarily tied directly to thinking of my Mother but strong emotional reactions to 'other' losses. They seemed way out of proportion to the cause until I started thinking about what triggered it. I would describe them as total meltdowns
If that happens to you, know that you're indeed not crazy and it too is part of the grieving process. You've suffered a great loss and sometimes other 'little' losses trigger that emotion.
It's certainly a process and one that will not be rushed. If you feel up to it, books from Alan Wolfelt have helped me to better understand the process. Although he's a pretty well-known grief counselor, he's really someone who stands beside you along the journey. The one book I've read is Understanding your Grief - 10 touchstones.
Thinking of you Marjk. Hope today is a litte better than yesterday -
When I lost my mom 12 years ago to AD, it didn't seem I had time to what I thought was "formally grieve". I hit the ground running and started taking care of my dad. I would think about my mom every day and I would cry, but there was always something else I had to take care of and I couldn't get some quiet time to think. I realize now I was grieving, in spurts. I think this is how it goes, as humans we go along, we do what we have to, a memory comes up, a thought, we feel sad, we feel happy, we then participate in life and do what we have to do, we grieve, we live, we incorporate all of those emotions into our life and it becomes another part of us. I think of it as making room in our hearts for all that has happened. It's uncomfortable and sometimes it feels like a tight squeeze in our hearts, so many things to fit it, but we do it, we cram it in and we make room for everything, and we go on.
Now my dad passed away in May and during this time right before he passed, my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. So again, I'm grieving in spurts. My mind is filled with sadness for my father's passing and his suffering in the end, how hard his last few years were, my mind is filled with watching my daughter in her fight against cancer which she is winning and the side effects of chemo.
I feel like I'm grieving all the time and taking turns of who to grieve for and it's a struggle to stay afloat some days, but I'm managing and trying hard to see some good in each day and really, really looking forward to some brighter days and some peace.
KML, I am glad that your daughter is winning the cancer fight. You must be so worried about everyone else that you probably have no time to give into the sadness.
Today I received a lot of condolence cards in the mail, and the intensity of love that I felt from the community is what got my tears flowing. I have been a mess all day, and it doesn't help that my 13 year old son is giving me major grief.
Marj, don't worry about it not hitting you, yet. It will when your ready. If you read about the stages of grief, there is no time table.
I hope that no one will be offended if I make a recommendation. The person that I have lost recently is not my ADLO, but my son as some of you know. A couple of months after he died, I read the book "On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss" by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler. This book really helped me to understand what I and the rest of my family was experiencing. There were passages where I said to myself, "Yes, that is exactly how I am feeling." It made me understand that there is no right or wrong way to deal with a major loss. This book is also available as an e-book, which is how I read it - I keep it on my ipad so I can look at it whenever I want to.
Marjk, what made me think of this for you was your feeling that your grief has not hit you yet. In the book the authors discuss how this happens to many people, sort of a feeling of unreality about the whole experience.
For those of you whose loss is very new, you might not be ready for this yet, but perhaps keep it in mind. I found it to be comforting at a time when I thought nothing could comfort me at all. I hope that no one is upset by the suggestion.
I am so sorry for what all of you are going through.
@Good Son's Wife -- I, for one, am not offended by you offering suggestions on this forum. If anyone meets the description of "Caregiver Who Has Lost Someone", you certainly do.
Interesting that you should mention that book. I remember reading it in college decades ago. I will pick it up again.
I think of you and your family often. I hope your daughter is doing okay. She is so lucky to have you. Obviously, you are working hard to help your family cope. I hope that your MIL is well situated and your husband's family has stepped up.
@Marj -- I can't offer any insight right now. Just numb. I'm thinking of you and Pie, too. My teenagers are not helping either!
Good Son's Wife - I don't see how your recommendation could be taken as offensive. I appreciate it. Actually somebody recommended a book and I know Pie said she ordered one copy for her and one for me. That might be it.
I'm glad to see you on here, I think of you often and wonder how you are doing.
I have been running around so much trying to take care of everything that I haven't actually given myself any time to let it all sink in. Today should be my last day of craziness, and next Saturday is her "celebration party". As I relax a little bit more, it's starting to sink in.
Today is my day to be on hold (phone) all day to verify that her death certificates have been received by her pension and her secondary medical insurance company. Because of PO Box addresses I couldn't send them certified or registered mail.
Today I should be driving out to see her. I haven't even seen the inside of my car since July 7th, the day she passed.
Good Son's Wife:
Thank you for sharing this book. I'm going to get it. I thought things might be quieting down for me. But last night, I burst out in anger about a lot of things, going through everything again that went wrong, so it's always on the surface just waiting to boil over.
Anything that is recommended that can help is so much appreciated. It feels like wandering around aimlessly looking for something to make it better, to soothe, so your caring to share this is very appreciated. Thank you. You're very generous to reach out to others while in your own grief.