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Im new here.....feeling a bit lost

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by narfloon, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. narfloon

    narfloon Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    9
    Hamshire
    Hi
    I am new to all this. i lost my mum Dec 31 2006 after 5 years. I am finding it hard to cope to be honest. My mum was just 69 when she died. I am 31. The sadest part for me is that she never really knew her grandchildren(I have boys aged 2 and 4). She longed for grandchildren but by the time she got them the disease had well and truly taken hold. Worst of all is mum went in to care about 2 years ago, my dad started to see another woman about a year ago and has now moved a fair way away from me and my children to live with her, Dont get me wrong, I think its great he can be happy but feel so incredably alone and lost. I feel like i have been totally abandoned and that my children dont really have any family. My other half is supportive but has never lost a parent, and the same is true of my friends. I miss my mum so much.
     
  2. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    Welcome to TP. I am sorry to hear of your loss. It's only a few months since your mum died and it's not surprising that you still feel her loss so keenly. I am sure it must be hard to feel alone in your grief. Would I be right in assuming that you are an only child yourself? You say your children don't have any family. They have you and their dad which are the most important. I assume that their dad has family as well. I know you must feel that they have no family on your side and that must be hard.

    My dad died just over 2 years ago and my mum (who has dementia) has been in residential care ever since. There are quite a few members here who have lost their loved ones to dementia and I am sure they will be able to understand something of what you are going through.
     
  3. narfloon

    narfloon Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    9
    Hamshire
    Did you say your name is Brenda? Are you from Basingstoke by any chance?
     
  4. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    no, nowhere near Basingstoke! Liverpool in fact.
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,586
    Kent
    Welcome narfloon

    I`m sorry you lost your mother and now feel you`ve lost your dad. Does he keep in touch or don`t you hear from him at all.

    Your children still have a grandfather. Perhaps they could send him birthday and Christmas cards, or draw pictures for him and send them. This might make your father realize what he`s missing and encourage him to keep in touch.

    If you could encourage this in your children, it might bring your father back to you.
     
  6. narfloon

    narfloon Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    9
    Hamshire
    He just does not really seem that interested in the children to be honest which hurts me deeply as my mum would have been devoted. I just keep going over what might of been. She will miss my wedding, has missed both my childrens births and so many other things. I was a bit of a cow to her when I was a teenager (understatement of the year) and feel terribly guilty about this as I never really understood where she was coming from until I had my own children. I never got the chance to tell her that I understoood and I am so so sorry for taking her for granted. I never realised what a wonderful mummy she was until it was all too late.
     
  7. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    I think being horrible to your parents goes with the job description when you are a teenager! I remember being terribly inconsiderate myself and now I have an 18 year old son myself I realise the significance of the expression 'what goes around comes around'! Unless you are extremely lucky your children will behave badly towards you when they are teenagers also - I think it's almost compulsory!

    However, by the time your mum died you were 31. From what you say, your mum developed dementia about 5 years ago. Therefore I would imagine that your terrible teens were behind you and you treated your mum a lot better in those later years. I am sure your mum knew that you cared for her and knew that anything that happened in those teenage years was water under the bridge. I am sure she didn't love you any the less for it. I know that my son loves me and I do not love him less when he treats me badly. By the time he is in his twenties, things will be very different.

    I can't tell you not to feel guilty because I know it wouldn't help - you can't turn guilt off like a tap unfortunately, or we'd all do it! I can tell you that your mum wouldn't want you to feel guilty and would want you to find some peace.

    It is very sad that she never got to appreciate being a grandmother in the way you would have wanted her to. That must feel very cruel. However, she does live on in those grandchildren. Try to hold onto that.
     
  8. narfloon

    narfloon Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    9
    Hamshire
    Thank you

    That means a lot. I do try to beleive she does live in on my boys. She would have made a great nanny. X
     
  9. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    #9 alex, Apr 30, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
    Hiya Narfloon

    Sorry to hear about your mum, its still early days for you, i lost my partner in june so i'm ahead of you by a few months, but i do understand how you feel.
    Its very difficult when you lose such an important part of your life, it changes your outlook on everything, makes you feel unsettled in everything and you take stock of the family you have/or don't as the case may be, but things do get a little easier with time.............and you'll begin to settle again in time ..................and there will come a day when you feel able to start moving forward again.

    Guilt???????? It comes with the territory............guilt is a coat we all wear, as time goes on you learn to hang it up behing the door, best to try and leave it there, i'm sure your mum would be upset if she thought it was causing you pain.

    Take comfort in the fact that your mum will never be far away when you can see so much of her in your children!

    I hope your feeling better soon.
    Love Alex
     
  10. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    270
    England
    Welcome Narfloon

    I share so many of your feelings, having lost both of my parents in recent years, one to dementia. I thought I would cope well with my parents' deaths as I am in my mid fifties - quite grown up really! Yet it has shocked me how hard it has been. I suppose to others I have dealt well with it all, but on the inside I still hurt. People are right - it does get easier with time, but I think that losing someone so close to you fundamentally alters you and your vision of the world. There are monsters under the bed after all. We understand that death will come to us all, in a way we perhaps didn't really think about before. This makes us feel vulnerable, fragile and alone. I try hard to think of the positives in life and not dwell on the negatives. We all feel guilt when we lose someone because we are not perfect - we can all think of omissions or unkind words from our relationship with them - that is being human. But we can also focus on the good things from our love for them and theirs for us - we can feel the love still existing - and this has to be what we cling to. It is sad that your dad cannot be the person you want at the moment, but I'm sure he loves you in his own way. There is nothing fair about dying or about the dreadful suffering and living loss that comes with dementia. Try to remember the good times with your mum, look at some photos that will help recall good memories. Think about how you can enjoy your children's lives now, as though she can share that happiness through you. Live for the present and the future as well as the past.
    Blue sea
     
  11. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    My Dad died seven years ago and my Mum died just over a month ago from a sudden heart attack, but she also had severe rheumatoid arthritis and Vascular Dementia. I just feel so empty and alone now, as I don't have any brothers and sisters and my cousins all live at least an hour or so away by car.
    I feel very disorientated, as suddenly Mum is no longer there, not even in the Nursing Home. We had to sort out her house two years ago when she went into a Care Home and now it almost seems as if she never existed. I didn't like visiting in the NH, but it did become a routine and I found some of the staff quite supportive and helpful. Now I don't need to go there.
    I've been finding it difficult to cope with everything and it just seems such an effort to make a new start. I feel like I just want to have some quiet times to think, but there is so much to do and so much pressure. Sometimes I just wish the telephone would ring and someone would ask me how I am, but it would be more likely to be yet another job to do.
    I know I shouldn't feel sorry for myself because other people probably have more problems to deal with, but at the moment I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I seem to be feeling more sad now than just after Mum died and I don't know if this is normal. Little things are upsetting me and I keep making mistakes and saying the wrong things. I don't know what to do for the best.
    Kayla
     
  12. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,586
    Kent
    #12 Grannie G, Jul 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2007
    Dear Kayla,

    You cannot expect to feel any different to the way you are feeling, so soon after losing your mother.

    You have spent years as a carer, and now there is no-one to care for. You are the one who could now do with some TLC, but who is there for you.

    Well TP cares Kayla, but sometimes it isn`t enough.

    What do you have to do, and what is the pressure?

    It sounds as if you feel so alone.

    Why shouldn`t you feel sorry for yourself, you have just lost your mother.

    If things get too bad, Kayla, would you consider seeing if your GP can help. I know drugs aren`t the answer, but you might get some short term help.

    If anyone on TP can help, pleas keep posting. We are all here for you, know what you`ve been through and are upset for you.

    Don`t expect to recover from your bereavement to order. It takes time.

    Take care

    Love xx
     
  13. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    565
    Merseyside
    Hi Kayla,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I find it such an odd thing that as a species we all feel so apologetic about our grief.

    A month is such a short space of time - I would be more surprised if you weren't grieving to be honest. It's not like the measles - you won't be over it in two weeks and nor should you feel that you should be.

    I've spoken to a lot of people (none of them actually dealing with dementia) who feel that because you've had a long time to prepare so it shouldn't be so bad but the fact is that through all the time you've been caring and visiting and looking after your mum, the adrenaline has been pumping, keeping you going and it's only now that you really have time to feel.

    Take good care of yourself - give yourself time to heal, see your GP if you think you need it and maybe look for a support group where you can meet people in a similar situation to yourself.

    I'll be thinking of you and I'm more than happy to talk about it all - as little help as I might be - through TP or private message.

    Kate
    XXX
     
  14. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    I'm finding the most pressure from my voluntary activities, surprisingly. I'm self-employed and I cancelled work when I didn't feel up to it and that is always an option for me. The voluntary activities seem harder to give up. I was expected to look after a group of children in Church, just a few days after Mum's funeral and help prepare a meal later in the week.
    It was my turn again last Sunday and I decided it was all too much and asked to be taken off the rota. It seems that because Mum was in a Nursing Home and people hadn't seen her for eighteen months or so, they forget that I still miss her because she was my Mum and I saw her several times a week.
    I do think that the spiritual and social side of dementia sufferers lives tends to be rather neglected by hospitals, Homes and Churches. If somebody has always gone to Church and is a believer, then their faith is likely to become even more important as they become ill.
    Mum was given a Palm Cross, which was pinned above her bed and she seemed to look out for it. I also read her stories from a Children's Bible, which had colourful illustrations and asked for her favourite stories.
    When she broke her hip, I asked a nurse if she could see the Hospital Chaplain and his reply was, "She's not that ill!"
    As far as I know Mum didn't see anybody from the Chaplaincy Service, while she was in the hospital for nearly a month, only the Church Secretary from our own Church (we didn't have a Minister at that time).
    When Mum died, I asked for a Minister and within half an hour, a Chaplain appeared to say prayers for her. If Mum had received regular visits from a Chaplain while she was in hospital, she may have felt more settled and less distressed. There were no name cards above the beds and nobody was called by their name, so they must have felt terribly dehumanised and isolated.
    Mum seemed content in her Nursing Home once she knew the staff and the routine and she said how much she liked the nurses and carers and the food.The staff were very kind and often made a big fuss of Mum as she had a good sense of humour, even though she was quite ill. I think she tended to boss them around a bit too.
    Kayla
     
  15. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    Chaplains did visit my mother in hospital though she wasn't usually a Christian and wasn't dying then. They brought round lavendar bags etc. with little Christian messages. (I felt any social contact was better than none.)

    When she was at home and had sudden religious attacks I asked if she wanted us to contact a priest, minister etc. but she wasn't interested.

    No, the medical and social services aren't interested in the social/spiritual welfare or even in the basic physical health of carers. Even if after bereavement you can get a few sessions with a counsellor, such a short time doesn't seem much use, especially when it is with someone who knows all the jargon but is much too young and has had no relevant experience. (Not her fault, perhaps she'll be a very good counsellor in a few years' time.)
     
  16. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    565
    Merseyside
    Hi Kayla,

    I'm so disappointed you received such little support from the chaplin etc. We're very lucky at our church and our vicar has been of immeasurable help - she was the one who persuaded mum to come to the GP with us.

    I think you're doing the right thing cutting back on your voluntary activities for now - people can be a bit thoughtless sometimes - usually because they've got minds full of their own problems.

    You can always start doing them again when you're ready and as I said originally your priority right now is to look after yourself - given yourself time to adjust to a new routine in life and time to heal.

    My prayers are with you at this time.

    Kate
    XXX
     

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