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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
My dad passed away from early-onset dementia a year and a half ago. Before he passed, I had to be an advocate for him and push my mom to putting him in a care facility and getting him the help that he needed. Many of the decisions fell on me since my mom was heavily in denial about how bad things were and just couldn't cope with what was happening.
My mom has already moved on and got remarried less than a year later. She is now actively trying to erase any evidence of my dad from her house - renovating, removing pictures, throwing away belongings, and so on.
I feel like that by now I should be doing better - feeling relieved, less stressed and just able to be happy again. Instead, I just feel the weight and guilt of those decisions. Sometimes, I feel like I am doing better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel but then my mom reveals something new that she has done and I end up at the beginning again. I am just so lost. My dad was the strong one and the one that I went to with my problems.
I am just not sure what I should do now. I know that I need to make a change so that I can heal but I am just not sure what.
I don't think there is a timeline where grief and healing are concerned. We all heal in our own time. I do think that it helps to talk to others that have experienced the same type of loss. Obviously, your mom has moved on and I'm sure that doesn't sit well with you.
Have you tried therapy/counseling? Who else do you have in your life that is positive and supportive? You're here so that's a start.
My mom passed in January and it's a lot to process. This disease has changed me forever, but connecting with others here have helped me cope. And, I have my husband & kids who have been very supportive. Work helps too and just taking life one day at a time.
Hoping for a better tomorrow
I’m sorry for the loss of your dad, and for what you’re going through now with your mom. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling. What I do know is the loss of my dad, which is a little over two years ago. I lost my mom 21 years ago. Wendy had said it perfectly, there is no timeline on grieving. Everyone is different, and circumstances are different so there is no right or wrong answer. Be gentle on yourself, and know that you are OK and know that you also have friends here to lean on.
I’m sending you endless cyber hugs and prayers,
Always be VK
Oh I feel so sad for you. The fact that you lost your Dad and now you are almost re-losing him again as your mom is sort of erasing him from her life. She is coping differently than you and that's totally ok. She is doing what she needs to do. That being said, I would step in and take as much of the pictures, objects and whatever else she no longer wants to have. I also agree about counseling. I was the decision maker for my Dad too. From moving him to a dementia community to a nursing home to giving him morphine for pain in his last dying hours. It's a LOT to go through and a lot of pressure to be under.
For me, just sitting quietly a few times a day and letting the memories (good and bad) come has helped a lot. I also see a therapist. That being said, I do have a long way to go. So don't pressure yourself to be in any one spot at any time. Take your time with this.
Hugs to you.
Grieving is very different for everyone. My guess is your mom HAS TO have someone and the fact you mentioned he was the supportive one to you means he was probably the supportive one to her too. I lost my dad 14 years ago and he was the nurturing one who helped me with problems, etc. Mom was a bit tougher and we had a more complicated relationship back then.
I started to care for my mom from a state away about 5 years ago and then moved her here 3 years ago when it was apparent her dementia was causing her to not function alone anymore. I became the mother and caretaker for her and it was the steepest learning curve I could imagine.
I agree with others. Get his stuff before it's gone. She probably should have offered it to you, but who knows what she is thinking. Our emotions are going to turn on and off and hopefully we get to some happy place. It's only been 6 weeks for me and it's strange how quickly some of the rougher times are fading and being heavily replaced with the good stuff. Perhaps focus on the good things and how you cared for him like no one else could. Pick some music that reminds you of him and maybe give yourself some time to grieve when it feels right. Counseling can be helpful too.
Thank you for the kind words. I do have a good support system in my wonderful husband and kids. I have not tried therapy yet but I have considered it on several occassions.
I actually am okay with my mom moving on and finding love again since loneliness is such a terrible thing. It is the attempt to erase and replace that bothers me the most. I understand that she is grieving differently than I am; however, I wish that she would take the rest of the family into consideration and realize that her actions are hurting them. My mom has always been extremely selfish though and it is all about what is best for her.
Perhaps the erase and replace is for her new husband. Maybe she thinks if she does that he will be more comfortable, love her more, who knows. The healthy thing is to have something around because I assume they were married a long time.
Hopefully you got pictures, clothing or anything else that would be good reminders/memories for you and of course depending on how close you are with your mom, you could simply say that it hurts your feelings that the family home has no trace of him. After that, of course it's up to her, but at least you have had your say. Good luck.