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Life after caregiving
Posted: Monday, July 16, 2018 6:52 AM
Joined: 5/14/2018
Posts: 256

Thank you Wendy: I'm hoping I too can find some help here from all of you.  Wednesday it will be 6 weeks since my mom left us and I don't feel any better off than I did that day.  This is so hard.
Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:46 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

It takes a long, long time to emerge from the loss of a loved one.  You have had them in your life for a long time, and it takes time, lots of it to feel somewhat normal again.  Everything changes, and there is a new type of life to get used to.  Be patient and don't hurry through this thinking you have to pick up where you left before caring for your loved one.  Your life is changed, but it can still be a good life.  Albeit, sadder, but one day, it will soften, you begin to appreciate what's left behind and do the best you can.  They will never leave your mind or heart.  In time, the tougher memories will be easier, the good ones will come.  I'm not talking months, I'm talking years.  At least for me, it is years.  I will always remember every thing involved in the caretaking years, I will always remember the best times, the worst times and I make room in my heart for all of it, because none of it is going away.  I've learned some things about my parents and myself in the caretaking process.  None of us gets to stay, that is the tough reality.  Death can bring an appreciation of what is left.  The sadness doesn't go way, but it softens.  I know my parents had to leave.  They were suffering so much, nothing could help them, nothing I could do made their outcome different.  So they had to leave me and I understand.  For them it was best, for me, it's a life lesson.  Life has a term, I didn't think much about that when I was young, but I do now.  To honor our loved ones, live the best you can while you can, that's what they would say.  There will be days that the memories will hit you and you'll be sad, there will be days when you remember something happy about them.  You will think, you were lucky to have them in your life, they will always be a part of you, but in a different way.  They thank you for loving them, and caring so much about them, but they want you to have peace, too, in your mind and your heart and they want you to take care of yourself as you did them.
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 4:50 PM
Joined: 11/27/2017
Posts: 49

Thanks Wendy, finding the new normal takes time.  Thank you for asking about my son, he still has his moments and challenges.  I was able to support him after the injury and initial recovery before my caregiving increased with my mom.  The biggest challenge for me behavior between mom and son.  Way too many times I felt like I was on the wrong end between both of them.  Couldn’t get a break and at times didn’t shift gears quick enough depending on who I was dealing with and how they reacted.  It was really difficult when they both in a mood and at times I couldn’t please either of them. Oh well.

Pam I hear you, I didn’t realize how it wiped me out both physically and mentally.   Putting myself first was alwas challenge, maybe something I could and should have done better, not sure.   So true that people expect you to pick your life back up and more on.  I had a few family members ask/said to me a few weeks after mom passed:  so what do you plan on doing now that you have all this time; i guess you’ll be able to do things you haven’t been able to, but the best was I guess you’ll be able to schedule DH knee replacement.  

Kay, be kind to yourself right now.  I decided not to catch up on life but to find a path that works for me now and do what is best for me.  The bond you had and how your feeling is yours.  

I don’t know if I’m more tuned in to Alzheimer, but I started noticing MIL demonstrating signs and mentioned it to both of her children my concerns and observations about her safety and need to get forms in order etc.  I’ve offered to share knowledge, resources and support, it’s not my place to take over at this time.

For the first time in years I started to reflect back and found it to be painful yet found some peace in knowing I did my best. I know the dementia journey and caregiving changed me forever in many ways (jury is out if for the better or worse).   

Organically trying to deal with the grief and finding the new normal, what ever that might be.   

jb crick
Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018 11:46 PM
Joined: 8/2/2016
Posts: 632


It will take some time but things will gradually start to get better. I like the dog in your avatar. If that is yours, you truly have a great non-judgemental companion you can lean on anytime. I have been taking care of my son's dog (can't have a pet in his apartment), and she has been there like a shadow and a great comfort and companion.

My dad had a picture of his Jack Russell in his office with a poem that read:

       A friend is not a feller

       Who is taken in by sham,

       A friend is one who knows your faults

       And doesn’t give a darn*.


 My son's dog will race me to the door as soon as she hears the keys jingle. Like I've said, she is my little shadow and always my comfort when I'm down. I joked with my son that he will need to find another dog, can't have this one back.



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