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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
1 year today...
A year ago today I lost my Dad to cancer. I always hesitate to come here with this because it doesn't seeem like the "right" place. But you were all there for me thru Mom's dementia and her passing. And then with Dad's sudden diagnosis and passing with cancer, you were still there. His wasn't a dementia related passing but you were all still there for me. I think we all know that loss is loss. And you are all still like family to me. I just felt the need to come here and share today. Somehow it does still feel "right".
It's been a year but it seems like only yesterday I was discussing with my brothers what we should do about Dad. He wasn't eating well, he hadn't been sleeping, he just didn't look good. I knew he was depressed over losing Mom and had been for 2 1/2 years. But something just wasn't right. So we had the squad come and take him to the ER. We figured he was dehydrated and they would run an IV and get him back on his feet in no time. Little did we expect to hear the doctor say he was looking for cancer. Eleven days later we lost him. It was such a sudden, unexpected shock. I think on some levels our family is still stunned from it. He was so healthy prior to all of this - at least we thought he was. He walked 3 miles a day, worked in his yard, bowled 2 days a week. He was very active especially for 80 years old! But I think looking back now - he knew. Some of the conversations we had about family history, who he wanted to have things, where all of the financial and important papers were kept. Yes, I think he knew. He had made up his mind long before he went to hospital he was ready to go join Mom. And he did last year one day before her birthday. I miss them both terribly. My life hasn't been the same since they left - and I guess it never will be. I miss them both so much.
It really does seem like a short time ago you had the news of your dad. It's so hard to believe that from that time to now has moved so quickly by, it's kind of hard to register how fast time really goes by.
I understand how hard the holidays will be, it just brings so many memories of our loved ones and the emptiness we feel without their presence. The intensity is stronger during this time. I miss my parents very much, too. I find myself thinking, why they can't just come back for a minute or two, even if just in a dream.
I think I remember you saying your mom baked special pies? That is always a good thing to do, the traditions you shared with your parents, to do those helps bring them back right along side you. It will never be the same, but we can hold on to those special things about them.
Hug your family more during this time, enjoy and appreciate this time with them and find comfort together. Be good to yourself, Oceanbum.
Thanks, KML. And yes, Mom made the most delicious apple pies. We had them for Thanksgiving! My daughter asked me to make "Grandma's apple pie" so I did. The first time I baked them for a family dinner my cousin said to me "It was like a little slice of Heaven". I think of that every time I bake one.
Wishing you a joyous holiday season as well, KML! Hugs to you!
I think losing the remaining parent can make it difficult. When my Dad passed we had to focus on taking care of Mom, and I think the grieving was different if not partially postponed.
When Mom became ill the focus was on her care and the last 3 years she required a lot of care.
After she died I've had a difficult time and am seeing a bereavement counselor. It took me by surprise how difficult this loss has been.
It is the end of 'family' as we knew it. An era has passed, a generation is gone. It's a big deal in my opinion.
I'm shocked how different I am and how much my life has changed.
Anyway, I'm glad you posted!
Glad you came back! Please come back. We all need each other.
Thanks Patrick & LJ,
Yes, it is the end of an era. I feel like that part of my life is over and in the past. I don't want to ever let go of it or I'm afraid I'll forget it. I want to honor it and always remember it as the wonderful time it was. I've made memories with my children as they have grown up and I only hope that they have the kinds of fond memories of us that I have of my parents. That's what I want my legacy to be for my children. And as they grow older and have families of their own I want to be the grandparents for their children that my parents were for them. I've learned alot by watching my parents - both with me and my brothers and with their grandchildren. I just hope I learned enough!!
Today is another especially difficult day. Today is Mom's 80th birthday. I find I'm missing her SO much. Every year I expect it to get easier but it seems to get harder and harder. It's been 3 1/2 years since she left us. Not a day has gone by that I haven't wished I could have just one more phone call or one more visit with her.
December is such a difficult month for me. Not only do I have the holidays to deal with but I have both Mom & Dad's birthdays, and I also have Dad's passing as well. It's a very difficult month indeed.
Thank you all for your responses! I wish you all a joyous holiday season! Hugs to you!
What a different world it becomes when our second parent is gone. Somehow, I thought things would be more "normal" when I came out the other end of Dad's disease. I didn't expect it to be a different world; I didn't expect my identity to change, morph, or even come into question.
I would like to share a good read with you. The Adult Orphan, by Alexander Levy. I read several books, trying to come to terms with what was wrong with me, once the immediate grief of loosing Dad had decreased. This one was the one that rang clear for me. It was helpful to understand what was going on with me.
Still straigtening things out. I suspect I will be for a long time. I hope a good memory or two came to you on the anniversary of Dad's death.
Right now, today, I am going to the attorney to continue work on Dad's estate. I find myself disconcertingly in the middle of great distaste for the whole process.
I can't believe it has been a year for you, already.
Hi King Boo! Good to see you!
Yes, it certainly is a different feeling once you have lost both parents. I feel so lost now. When Dad was still alive I knew I could still call the house and talk to him or stop by and have a conversation. I still felt "connected" to my childhood. But now that they are both gone it seems like that part of me is gone, too. I know I still have my brothers and I have a very good relationship with all 3 of them. I'm very thankful for that. But it just doesn't seem the same as the connection I had with Mom & Dad. I still talk to them all the time. I just wish they could talk to me.
Have a blessed and joyous holiday season! Hugs to you!