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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
Do people assume you're ok? so, you don't hear from them
It's been a couple of months since mom passed. All is quite............too quite. I know she's at peace and I feel it, which is good. I'm making positive changes to move on in my life, which is important. But, the void is excruciating! Some days I feel like I'm standing still while the world moves around me.
The other day I was talking to my sister and she asked me if I've heard from any family members. And, I said no. Strange isn't it? At the time of the funeral everyone is so sympathetic and it's wonderful. Then time passes and it's all quite. I don't want to dwell on the sadness and sorrow, but I was just wondering if that has been your experience. That's why getting support after your LO passes is important. I read what's happening on the caregiver board and it's weird because I'm not living that anymore. I feel sad for them and hear their pleas for relief, but this part isn't any better.
Grief certainly doesn't go away over night, does it now. (A hundred years ago, people would wear a black armband for a year indicating that they were in a grieving state.) It certainly is something we all go through at our own pace. I sure remember that feeling of standing still while the rest of the world continues rushing on.
All I can say is this feeling will subside. But it will take time. I still miss my dad. And yes, it does seem that once the funeral is over, we're expected to move on and the friends/family sympathy go away all too quickly. I think a part of this relates to their emotional distance with the LO, as well as the fact that (as a general rule) we don't do well with helping others deal with their grief.
As far as the caregiver board, I understand. Yet for me, I almost resented being on the Caregiver who lost someone side of it all. I didn't want to be here. I still wanted to be, and felt like a caregiver. But the other thing I always have is a dread of seeing all the new names. It breaks my heart that other people are starting this journey.
I'm sure sending you a hug today.
please add a hug from me...
Stage 8 is rough. The raw pain will lessen but the grief will find a way into your life for a long time.
Wgonzo, it's not that others don't care, but if they weren't close to the person who died, they pay their respects and move on. And life moves on. And others pass away. There have been 5 people I know of who recently died. There will be more. I can barely keep up with attending visitations, funerals and sending sympathy cards and memorial $.
So please understand that others just aren't in the same place emotionally (with your LO's passing) as you are.
You will grieve. But as you feel better, go out and do something to honor your mom.
Thanks guys! I was just feeling off this morning.
I appreciate your support.
BethL, no worries. You're absolutely right. My grief is greater then my other family members. I think it was just a moment where I realized just how quite things have become. It's a process....
I'm working on it. My mom loved her garden and flowers. So, I'm hoping to plant lots of flowers this spring.
I totally agree with the statement it seems like your world stops while the rest of the world keeps on spinning. That's exactly how it is. It's been almost 10 months since my precious sister left this world. My heart still aches for her so much. I find myself talking to her & hear my husband doing the same. I, also, experienced the fact that other family members, who surround you at the time of death, move on and assume that you're doing the same. Either that or their not comfortable asking you how you're really doing.
I, too, have found that doing something in her memory - something that others can benefit from - is so helpful. It's like keeping a part of her alive and with me. Planting flowers, as your mom would have enjoyed, sounds like an excellent idea.
God bless you and may you feel His comfort and peace as your life journey is changing.
This "after" can be so strange. Sometimes wishing for more connection, other times needing the quiet and a bit of being alone from time to time, but not lonely. Learning to live with that dreadful empty space and the pain.
People tend to drift away rather soon; that can make one feel rather unmoored. The world spins madly without having taken notice; how odd. It is not the same culture of our grandparents where the wagons circled and concrete, ongoing supportive connections went on and on; one did not feel so adrift. It has evolved into a different world with more disconnect; it seems that the yester-year cultural aspect of being consistently connected in a real way has mostly wafted away. This I have felt not just after a death, but during the period of long-term illness including the dementia journey.
I will continue to miss those who have gone before me and whenever we have a family dinner such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, when out of town family gathers, when wine is poured at the table, I always remember to raise my glass and toast, "to those we love who have gone before us."
In my life I have lost grandparents, aunts, uncles, father, mother, younger brother and infant sister. Not one is forgotten and yes; sometimes I softly speak to each of them letting them know they are not forgotten and I am thinking of them.
The loss of my mother will always poignantly be with me. What I have done in her honor but also because it is comforting to my spirit, was to befriend several elderly ladies who do not have close families or who have become more or less housebound. Two of them have since passed; one is across the country from me, but I send cards, make a call at times and send little gifts now and then. Good chocolates, warm fuzzy comfort socks, flowers, creative cards both funny and beautiful, etc.
I LOVE the delight of my very elderly friend and am really touched when I hear the happiness in her voice. That is my gift to me and the memory of my mother.
When I think of loss, I think the worst would be the crushing loss of a child or a beloved spouse; how people manage through that must be at a much more deep level of the heart. I saw this first hand with my parents when my infant sister died. The grief and anguish defies adjectives.
As we ourselves age, our own worlds will become smaller. Those who have loving family near who are connected and compassionate are blessed beyond measure. But even families can have that odd disconnect and electronic world sparseness.
If only there was a magic concoction that would remove the pain of loss; but we must walk the path hoping that tincture of time will ease our aching hearts.
People do assume, rather too quickly, that things are "okay," and that we are "getting over it," but we certainly know that is not the reality.
Soft hugs and warmest thoughts are being sent from all of me to all of you,