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Dementia’s journey

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,625
0
74
Devon, Totnes
Any advice from my fellow posters about a Christmas get together of family?

We’re having a pre Christmas meet up (18th) with family I haven’t heard from for maybe 2 years. They’ll arrive at my daughter’s home bit by bit, family after family, see me, probable feel awkward, ask me how Bridget is, how I am, ( oh dear isn’t it sad) but really they’ll want to mix and be joyful and talk about anything else apart from my situation. Can’t blame them as we’re supposed to enjoy ourselves aren’t we?

I’ll do my best to be upbeat but I know I’ll be a bit of a blight on the day ( elephant in the room) They may even avoid me!! Christmas was everything to Bridget and for me the specialness has disappeared.
I’m sure this situation is repeated for many people like us .
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,997
0
Kent
Hello @Dutchman

If I thought I would spoil it for everyone else I wouldn`t go. I would give my apologies and say I`m not in the right place and wouldn`t want to spoil everyone`s enjoyment.

If I did go I would not want to be the elephant in any room. I would accept concerned enquiries from others with gratitude , tell them it is as it is and I am trying my best to live with it.
 

CAL Y

Registered User
Jul 17, 2021
169
0
Just signing in to sign out. What a lovely picture of Bridget @Dutchman. Very unexpectedly my husband died and is now at peace after 16 years of growing torment. He was exactly 65.5 years (to the very day). Love to you all continuing with this life. I have no idea what comes next. xxx
@update2020 . My sincere condolences to you. Your husband was very young . 16 years is an awfully long time for you both to suffer.
Its 4 weeks since my husband died and I’m finding it strange to have the freedom to whatever I want when all I really want is a healthy husband .
You might find that these next weeks will be so busy that something in your brain helps you through it.
It will probably be after the funeral that it really sinks in.
Even if you don’t feel like it, try to accept any invitations from friends etc for coffee, get together etc.
Thats what I’m doing now. There will still be plenty of lonely moments where you Will think you have nothing to go on for but it’s going to be up and down for a long time.
Wishing you strength to get through this. Love to you
Carole.xx
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,625
0
74
Devon, Totnes
Hello @Dutchman

If I thought I would spoil it for everyone else I wouldn`t go. I would give my apologies and say I`m not in the right place and wouldn`t want to spoil everyone`s enjoyment.

If I did go I would not want to be the elephant in any room. I would accept concerned enquiries from others with gratitude , tell them it is as it is and I am trying my best to live with it.
Thank you @Grannie G for those wise words. As ever you are a great comfort and support.
Peterxx
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
11,287
0
Yorkshire
Sad news @update2020
your husband has found peace
and I hope there's peace of mind and comfort for you knowing you stood by him all those years
Be as kind and gentle to yourself
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,407
0
High Peak
Any advice from my fellow posters about a Christmas get together of family?

We’re having a pre Christmas meet up (18th) with family I haven’t heard from for maybe 2 years. They’ll arrive at my daughter’s home bit by bit, family after family, see me, probable feel awkward, ask me how Bridget is, how I am, ( oh dear isn’t it sad) but really they’ll want to mix and be joyful and talk about anything else apart from my situation. Can’t blame them as we’re supposed to enjoy ourselves aren’t we?

I’ll do my best to be upbeat but I know I’ll be a bit of a blight on the day ( elephant in the room) They may even avoid me!! Christmas was everything to Bridget and for me the specialness has disappeared.
I’m sure this situation is repeated for many people like us .
I think you're right and don't see how you could avoid it being as you describe. Why not tell your daughter exactly what you've said here? Perhaps say that you'd love to see her and her family some time over Christmas but that you're just not up to doing big get togethers. In other words, don't just say no, but offer an alternative instead. I don't imagine you or the distant relatives will be too bothered if you don't see each other...
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
576
0
The alternative is to visit for an hour when most people are there, have a brief word with people and then leave. Or, not attend the big gathering but see your daughter and her family over Christmas - and I do think that you should see your daughter in the Christmas period as she is losing her mother and needs to spend time with her father.

I do worry that you’re going to distance yourself from Christmas celebrations for ever, Peter, as you say that without Bridget Christmas doesn’t mean anything.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,625
0
74
Devon, Totnes
Hello @Dutchman

If I thought I would spoil it for everyone else I wouldn`t go. I would give my apologies and say I`m not in the right place and wouldn`t want to spoil everyone`s enjoyment.

If I did go I would not want to be the elephant in any room. I would accept concerned enquiries from others with gratitude , tell them it is as it is and I am trying my best to live with it.
Thank you @Grannie G for those wise words. As ever you are a great comfort and support.
Peter
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,625
0
74
Devon, Totnes
The alternative is to visit for an hour when most people are there, have a brief word with people and then leave. Or, not attend the big gathering but see your daughter and her family over Christmas - and I do think that you should see your daughter in the Christmas period as she is losing her mother and needs to spend time with her father.

I do worry that you’re going to distance yourself from Christmas celebrations for ever, Peter, as you say that without Bridget Christmas doesn’t mean anything.
Hello @Violet Jane @Jaded'n'faded @Grannie G
After your good advice I’ve decided to give it a go and just do the best I can during the family get together. After all it’s only a few hours and when it’s done it’s done.
Bless you
 

update2020

Registered User
Jan 2, 2020
86
0
Thank you for all your kind comments. i really appreciate them. I’m lucky to have wonderful children who are working hard to look after me and organise things.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,625
0
74
Devon, Totnes
It was my birthday yesterday and, although I was remembered by my friends and family, the one person I wanted to be close and to love me doesn’t even know I’m her husband. This will be the third birthday she’s forgotten and it just reinforces the fact that I’ve lost and she’s lost so much. I really enjoyed being pampered and reminded how much I was loved. All gone.

It’s the anniversaries ( birthdays/ Christmas/ wedding) that are stark reminders of loss.
 

Old Flopsy

Registered User
Sep 12, 2019
294
0
@Dutchman - that is so true- I have not had cards for years from OH. But clearing out the loft I found a 'padded card' from OH, 'To My Sweetheart', from before we were married 55 years ago. So this year- the first Christmas alone- I will proudly prop the ancient card up on the mantlepiece!
 

Picture

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
17
0
@Dutchman happy birthday for yesterday. I am pleased you’ve decided to go to the Christmas party, I think that’s a good decision. Don’t worry or feel bad if you want to change that decision. For now, it’s the right one.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,625
0
74
Devon, Totnes
A heart stopping moment……..I found a small piece of paper with the words “ Peter, I love you” with some kisses which was written towards the last days of Bridget’s ability to write anything.

She really tried to let me know. It’s little things like this that trip you up just when you think you’ve nailed your emotions down.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,625
0
74
Devon, Totnes
I wonder if anyone else experiences this? I’m currently sitting in the car at home after going to the shops and I’m just stuck here in the car with no motivation to get out and go indoors. What’s the point? It’s just another day on my own with the silence of an empty house.

Just the simple act of walking is difficult. I sometimes sit down and then lie out on the settee and enjoy the coziness of being comfortable, just an hour of being away from the continual tiredness of being sad for wanting my Bridget back into my life. It’s the lack of motivation and someone else geeing you up to do something.
Tell me I’m not abnormal please!
Peter
 

Andy54

Registered User
Sep 24, 2020
112
0
I wonder if anyone else experiences this? I’m currently sitting in the car at home after going to the shops and I’m just stuck here in the car with no motivation to get out and go indoors. What’s the point? It’s just another day on my own with the silence of an empty house.

Just the simple act of walking is difficult. I sometimes sit down and then lie out on the settee and enjoy the coziness of being comfortable, just an hour of being away from the continual tiredness of being sad for wanting my Bridget back into my life. It’s the lack of motivation and someone else geeing you up to do something.
Tell me I’m not abnormal please!
Peter
I can't say that I have ever (yet) reached the point where I felt I didn't want to go back into the house. I do agree with the feeling of things feeling pointless on my own and the resulting lack of motivation. I can usually put these feelings aside for short periods but they do always return at some point. I wouldn't say that feeling the sort of sadness that we do is abnormal in the circumstances.
Andy.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,625
0
74
Devon, Totnes
I can't say that I have ever (yet) reached the point where I felt I didn't want to go back into the house. I do agree with the feeling of things feeling pointless on my own and the resulting lack of motivation. I can usually put these feelings aside for short periods but they do always return at some point. I wouldn't say that feeling the sort of sadness that we do is abnormal in the circumstances.
Andy.
Thanks @Andy54. Finally got indoors and some friends rang and I ended up having a drink with them. Thanks for the support
Peter