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Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by daughter, Feb 7, 2007.
My thoughts are with you and your family at this time.
My dear mum died three weeks ago
I lost my dear mum just three weeks ago. she had AD for 14 years. In October 2005 I was told she would only probably live for about 48 hrs. and yet she survived a further 15 months. In October 2005 I took the decision to ask that she recieved just pallative care which she had until her death. I was fortunate that the nursing home care she recieved was top class, when mum was very Ill I spent 10 days and nights sitting with her- It enabled me to talk to Mum although she did'nt understand, we had special time - just the two of us. I miss her so much - but I do not regret taking the decision for her just to recieve pallative care - my mum is at peace. It would be selfish of me to wish she was still here, she suffered the ravages of this terrible illness for long enough. I know how you are feeling at the moment Take Care.
Dear Ginger, What a long period of suffering for you and your mum. It`s so good that your last memories were so positive, a quality nursing home and time together when you could say all the things you wanted to. It must be a great comfort for you to think back to those times.
Take care, Sylvia x
Once again, thank you for all your very kind messages. Ginger, Gweyneva, thank you for sharing your similar stories, it shows that others know what we are going through.
It all hit me yesterday and I cried on the telephone to my Mum (something I would not have done previously while Dad was alive, because I had been trying to save her from yet more worry and pain). To have Mum concerned over me was something I've been trying to avoid for so long now but I am glad I opened up to her. (Thank you Nada for your wise words).
We arranged to go out together for lunch. As we were talking, our conversation went from things (good and bad) that happened in the past with Dad to arrangements about the funeral. They say it helps to talk - yes! - and also to keep your mind on something - this is also true. The funeral is a focus for us, as we make plans, trying to decide on what to do, venue etc. I am trying to compose something to be read out about Dad, although I'm not sure I will be able to do the reading myself.
I have not been in this position before, of someone very close dying, and yet most of it feels familiar. The feelings of denial, fear, sadness and so on, they have all been happening over the past years about Dad. But also, bit by bit it is starting to sink in that the pain of watching Dad, and the whole family, struggling through Alzheimers is at an end.
Dear Hazel, You are doing so well. Love Sylvia x
Hazel, love, it's OK to cry. I know you're trying to spare your Mum worry, but it may help her to know that you're so upset too.
I'm sure you'll do your Dad proud at the funeral. It's good that you're trying to write about how you feel. Even if you don't manage to read it yourself, it will always be there for you to read over and over again.
Your Mum is going to need your support after the funeral. As you say, the funeral is a focus, and it leaves such a void after it is over. But you're such a caring daughter, I'm sure you'll help each other.
Love and sympathy,
One thing that strikes me every time I read posts from people who have just lost a dearly loved person from their life, is how they DO keep on and keep managing. I think all of us fear the thought so much (before the death occurs) that we feel paralysed by it. But when the beloved person dies, we accept that it has happened (albeit with grief) and keep on managing.
Perhaps this is more true when death has been expected or for our elderly loved ones at the end of their lives. . . .? I don't know how true it is for deaths that are unexpected or for those of children.
May I say your strength, your grace and your fortitude are a shining example to all of us, even though only a few days ago, you felt you were "completely out of your depth"? My thoughts are with you and your Mum over these next very difficult days and weeks. Please take good care of yourselves - and each other. Nell
Thank you Hazel, I think I'm bottling more of it up, but I know now that it will eventually come out. I've been such a cry baby for a lot of my life, (not that I haven't had some good causes!) that in some ways it's a relief to not cry!
It's very strange, Nell, because I had actually been thinking to myself that perhaps I shouldn't post for a while out of respect (?) for my Dad. When Sylvia posted "You are doing so well" (and thank you for that Sylvia - this is no reflection on your post - I appreciate your words) - a paranoid part of me thought that perhaps I shouldn't be doing well! Almost as if people might think badly of me because I am carrying on, as before, in lots of ways. Stupid thoughts like "Dad has died yet I'm still turning on my computer".
But really you do have to, don't you? It could be partly the fact that Dad had a long life and was ill for a long time, it could also be that I still have Mum to think about and support through this, but after that very strong and scarey feeling near the end of 'this is it - no turning back', all the cliches are coming true - life does go on and, just as you say, we manage. Thank you.
I've been trying to figure it out over the past three months or so and can't come to a conclusion. Nell, I think you're right...there's acceptance to an extent...I wouldn't have wanted any of my relatives to suffer any longer in the way they did.
There's also the feeling that they lived a good and happy life, enjoyed much of it, took pleasure in their families, travels, friendships, interests and hobbies. Above all, there is sheer gratitude on my behalf that I was lucky enough to have a very special aunt and uncle and grandparents in my life. My gramps died last weekend, peacefully and quietly, having reached a grand old age. They loved me, they taught me, they cared for me, they were interested, encouraging, patient. And they were there. My life was richer because they were in it, and the world was a nicer place.
It's still a nice place, and life does go on, but some days it's just so hard. The happy memories...yes, where would I be without them...
But today is a day where I just want gramps back. And nan, and my aunt and uncle, too. I want to hear their voices, see them smile, be able to ring them for a chat, have a laugh, share some stories...And this is the difficult bit: I just miss them hugely, as they were before they were ill.
Routine helps, friends help, memories help...and I appreciate them all. But...
Hazel, take good care. you just deal with things as they come and go. This way today, another way tomorrow. I don't think there's any right or wrong way in grief. Whatever makes you feel comfortable, and mum, is ok.
Dear Hazel, In doing so well, you are continuing in the same vein, unselfish as ever, putting others before yourself.
The computer thing is an automatic response, it has been your outlet, a place to express your thoughts and fears without putting additional strain on those you love who are suffering with you.
There is no `should` or `shouldn`t` about the behaviour we show through sorrow. There is no right or wrong. We can only do as we feel. But sometimes when it is in our nature put others first, we don`t even do that.
It`s OK to do well, Hazel, but keep yourself in the equation.
Love Sylvia xx
Hazel and Tina, you're both so right. When you lose someone you love, it leaves such a void that only by doing 'normal' things can you get round it. It doesn't fill the void, nothing can, but you can't sit and stare into the void -- that only leads to more depression.
You're doing so well, both of you. Do what you need to do, come on TP nd tell us how you're feeling. You know we understand.