1. purchase

    purchase Registered User

    Aug 31, 2005
    Hello everyone

    Sorry to moan but I have just visited mom and like all the other visits over the past twelve months 95% of the time she was crying. We lost our much loved dad twelve months ago and mom is clinging to the belief that this is why she is so low in mood. She thinks that he only died 6 weeks ago. This is so hard because I still hope that one of my visits will be cheerful and also because I am missing dad so much myself and moms crying,even though she can't help it, brings back so many sad memories. We are also giving her house up this week because it is rented and she will never go home. It's hard because we are giving some of her things away and this seems so wrong. She is saying all the time that she wants to go home and I feel so guilty because I know that she no longer has a home to go to. I am not sure if we should tell her. The thing is she will most likely forget within an hour of my visit so why hurt her. I just wish that we could stop the crying.

    Thanks for listening. I am usually a cheerful person, honest, but this year has been so bad that my sense of humour has left me at the moment.

  2. EllieS

    EllieS Registered User

    Aug 23, 2005
    Chin Up!

    Dear Jacky

    I do know how you must be feeling.

    Dad died just over a year ago and Mum didn't cry at all! She didn't and hasn't to this day grieved. It was almost as if Dad hadn't existed - she had nursed him for about 2 years and they had always been so close.

    When she was first admitted to Hospital we asked if she could see a Counsellor and were quickly informed that there was such a thing but that the waiting list was so long and they didn't feel it was a good idea, so they treated her with anti-depressants - and she is still on them now! I'm not really all that happy about it but there you go.

    So, may I ask, have you asked for your Mum to see a Counsellor because she has every right to be crying - she's lost her beloved husband and probably knows she has memory problems and must be very fearful. She knows she's not at home and must feel as if she's lost everything - apart from you.

    Maybe it would help, maybe it wouldn't - but you can only try.

    It's sometimes easier to allow our loved ones to be neatly categorised but how many people do you know who are the same!

    Your Mum and my Mum are special individuals. They're not perfect but neither are we.

    So, I'm trying to view things from 2 sides: 1: listen to what the doctors say but also 2: have an open mind and find out about alternatives .

    But I do get weary and think is it worth it - let it go - but, I just can't.

    I hope this is of some help to you.

    Best wishes

  3. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    Dear Jacky, I can't help very much but wanted to tell you that I know how you are feeling in some respects. I know how heart-stoppingly awful it is to have lost your Dad, and on top of that to have your Mum like this. My Dad died 18 months ago and as far as I'm aware, Mum has never grieved for him. She knows in theory that he has died, but has no idea when this happened. For people such as us, there hasn't been any time to take out to deal with the death because of what we have to do to help our mothers. I can't always explain myself so very well so don't know if this will make sense (I'm still trying to make sense of the last 2 years myself), but just wanted to say that I at least can feel some of the pain that you have, and know what it's like.
  4. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    Ellie Lulu and Jackie

    We seem to be in this awful club together. My Dad too died suddenly a year ago and we were all plunged into an awful time. Mum, an Ad sufferer has never asked about Dad, but a couple of weeks ago asked if "Dad" was dead, we said yes but she didn't seem phased. Maybe she thought it was her Dad, who knows.

    Her psychiatrist reckoned she is staying in the initial denial stage of grief, but can't be sure.

    Perhaps your Mum is "stuck" in the grief state that follows a death, so I can only suggest an urgent appointment with her consultant or a psychatric nurse, maybe. they seem to know the right questions to ask and maybe they can help. I do hope so for your poor Mums sake.

    The worst aspect for us was losing Dad and not having Mum there to share together in the whole dying and grieving process, and to be honest I focus so hard on Mum that I probably will not start to recover from Dad's death properly until Mum joins him.

    Words and kind thoughts don't help much but they are all I can offer.

  5. purchase

    purchase Registered User

    Aug 31, 2005
    Kind words

    Thanks for your kind words. I am a new user to Talking Point but I am learning very quickly how much it helps. I don't want to go onto my family all the time so having fellow carers to talk to is really helping.

    Thanks again

  6. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    sorry if I'm taking things off track a bit, but just to add, Kathleen, that this is exactly how I feel. I won't have the space to think about Dad properly until Mum is no longer here - such is her reliance on me. But as I can't cope with the thought of no longer having her either, it's a case of muddling through as best I can. Thinking of you all.
  7. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Hi Jacky,

    I can see how hard this must have been for you - the pain of your Mum constantly crying, the guilt about your Mum's house and belongings and how on earth do you have a chance to grieve for your Dad among all this? I'm afraid I have no answers but wanted to let you know you are very entitled to moan and this is just the place to do it!

    I would personally not tell your Mum about her home, you're right about not hurting her, it's not worth it the pain for either of you.

    All the best,
  8. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    I too am struggling with the sale of Aunts house and her "posessions". The way I have dealt with it to date is by convincing myself that her things are being "looked after" for her. I tried to offer as many items as possible to her friends etc and that has helped and I own up to the fact that our attic and garage are now stuffed full of other things. Totally impractical and perhaps silly but it has given me time to come to terms and now as there are only a few items of furniture unhomed I feel that shortly I will be able to put them into a sale without getting too upset.

    The house is in the hands of the agent and as much as I will be sorry to sign the papers when the time comes I have now reached a point when I just wish this bit was over, the hardest part was making the decision.

    The downside is that the boxes currently packed away will have to be opened up one day and the tears I shed as I filled them in the first place will probably be shed again. But it just didn't seem right to get rid of them before.

  9. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Kriss

    I'm a believer that everything has its time.

    I have slowly disposed of many of Jan's things - for the first two years she was at her care home I had left our home untouched, and, had she been able, she could have walked back in and picked up from where she had left off.

    Slowly it has dawned on me that she will never return, even for a visit, so I have started to get rid of things, clothes, slowly, and in stages.

    As each pile of what is really rubbish [if I admit that] has gone, I have been able to look anew at what is left. That then becomes the next target, whenever.

    Some especially important things will never go, but without her being around, the material things don't really count for a lot. It is the memories, and especially the photographs, that are most important.

    And even the photos seem to be of someone I can't fully recognise now. I have to concentrate on the Jan that is, not the Jan that was. Maybe in time.....
  10. EllieS

    EllieS Registered User

    Aug 23, 2005
    Dear Bruce

    You remind me how lucky I am - although my Mum is extremely important to me, she isn't my whole life - as our husbands/wives are!

    Are you not able to see the Jan that is through the eyes that know the Jan that was?

    Hard as it must be - you're standing by the one you loved, married and shared your life with for xxxxx years.

    I can truly understand anyone making a new life under these circumstances but one that doesn't exclude the "one that was".

    I truly hope you have found a way to have a life for yourself as you deserve to.

    Best wishes

  11. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Ellie

    All too often, our partner for whom we are caring becomes the only focus of our lives - that perhaps has to be, particularly when we are caring for them at home. That is the situation when things really become constricting.

    Jan and I were together for 35 years in all, and for a further 4 years she has been in her nursing care home. For 15 years now, Jan has been disabled to some extent by her dementia, very badly so for at least 7 years.

    Sometime in the period just before Jan went into the home, a friend said to me "remember her as she was". Problem was, I couldn't, somewhat to my surprise.

    The dementia has dropped her voice by almost an octave [maybe more] so I can't even remember her voice when she was well. That is surprisingly upsetting.

    Are you not able to see the Jan that is through the eyes that know the Jan that was?

    Simple answer is... no. Much as I would like that. I have even begun not to recognise her face in the many many photos I have of her and me.

    This disease is too all-encompassing to be able to pretend or imagine things. For the moment, Jan is as she is now, and [I hope] she needs me to be around to help her, though the fantastic staff at her home have the bulk of the task.

    I can truly understand anyone making a new life under these circumstances but one that doesn't exclude the "one that was". I truly hope you have found a way to have a life for yourself as you deserve to.

    I realised quite a time ago that Jan was, to all intents, gone for me, but I resolved that I would never be 'gone' for her. I seem to recall saying some words at a ceremony long ago in the Welsh rain, and I keep my promises.

    However, I am making a new life, with a new partner who happened to be Jan's best friend when I met them both for the first time. I guess I have to have done something good to have been blessed by someone so fantastic in every way - including, like yesterday, visiting Jan with me, and more importantly, putting up with my losing 3 hours of every day driving to visit Jan. Few partners would put up with that.

    When I 'lost' Jan to Alzheimer's I vowed that I would never again fall in love, it can be too painful. Hey, didn't I say above that I keep my promises - well I had a lapse!

    My belief is that my recall of how Jan was will return, but only after her passing.
  12. KarenC

    KarenC Registered User

    Jun 2, 2005
    Los Angeles, USA

    Thanks for sharing these thoughtful and touching observations.

    As to it becoming possible to remember Jan as she was after she was gone, I think you are right. While neither you nor I believe in personal immortality (as discussed in another thread), I think there is something akin to how a Christian might believe that his loved one will go to heaven and be restored to health and vigor. When she is gone she will be free from the suffering and limitations of her disease, and I trust that after a time you will be able to see her in your memory that way, restored to herself as she was before the disease.

  13. purchase

    purchase Registered User

    Aug 31, 2005

    Just got home from work and read all your posts.

    It's as though I have found many new friends who totally understand things. I tend to pretend to my family as they don't fully understand how I feel. Mom you see has always suffered from depression which unfortunately came out in the form of aggression mainly directed at dad and myself. They know how hurt I was and because of this they don't fully understand why I need to care for mom now. But mom now is not the mom of two years ago.

    The home think she is manipulating me and my sister but I don't think she is capable of this now.

    Speak to you all soo

  14. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    HI BRUCIE your post touched a cord in me ,my Jim changed in every way during the seven years of his illness,although he was never as severe as your Jan ,even his features changed,i make no apologyies,for saying his illness did not change my deep love for him ,i would have moved the earth for him if i could ,I have been without him for 4months now ,and try very hard to obliterate the horror of his last months ,but it is so hard to think back to how he was 7 year ago it is not that i can not remember ,it is just that the painfull years take up all the space in my mind ,but the family get togethers are filled with storys of JIM in the past,as he was well loved ,Today for the first time ,i sat and watched vidios of the past and it seemed like yesterday ,these tapes are tresures,to keep and watch .hopeyou all have some ,or if its not to late to get some,much better than photos.ANGELA
  15. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005


    Reading others'accounts is both supporting and heartbreaking isn't it? So much suffering.........
    Going back to your mum's situation, I too wouldn't tell her about her home. Once the dementia has reached the stage it seems to have with your mum, you have to take many difficult decisions like that. As dad has got worse I've protected him more and more, about his house being sold, friends dying and so on. In the end I decided I could do no good by telling him as he really cannot understandand, it just causes bewilderment. However with each of these decisions what is right is what you feel most comfortable with - as ultimately there can't be a right and wrong. Everything you do is out of love - that's what matters. Like you and others I went through the loss of one parent in death to almost immediately afterwards the 'loss' of the other through dementia. Dad seemed to grieve initially, but in a detached, strange sort of way. I missed being able to grieve with him and like you and others feel I have still to grieve properly for mum. Now, 2 years on, I'm not even sure that dad recognizes photos of mum. While that all seems so sad, I also feel glad in a way that the illness is protecting him from the terrible grief. Mum was his whole world. I also feel grateful that dad has had a full and long life. To me the illness is even more cruel when it happens to people in the prime of their lives, as with Bruce's wife.

    Hope you have some better days soon.

    Blue sea
  16. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Blue Sea
    Alzheimer's is cruel at any age and at any time of life.
    I agree it is cruel when someone is struck down at a young age,hopefully as we have seen there may be time for the partner to have a "second life".
    With older people who have been together a lifetime,one love never known another,it is just as bad.
    Older people may have reached the pinnacle of their profession ,received honours and not be short of money and have the opportunity to share in their children's and grand children's good fortune.
    None of these things mean much when the partner has AD and most likely when left alone after their partner's demise they are probably too old and too tired too enjoy life at all.
    This is my ramble for today,sorry if I sound a little bitter.
    Best Wishes
    Norman :(
  17. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Let's face it, dementia at any age in oneself, a partner, relation, friend, parent or child is a disaster! Each case has its own private hell for somebody.

    We can only tell how it is for our own.
  18. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi Jacky,

    Your situation with your mum's crying reminded me of something that I learned about when my daughter was young (reception year in primary school). Usually, I could see my daughter in her classroom before actually picking her up and she would be happily singing a song or doing some activity. However, sometimes when she met me in the playground she would burst into tears.

    The explanation given to me by a friend who is a child psychologist is that my daughter saw me as a "safe" outlet for her feelings. That is, whatever emotions she had buried during the day, surfaced when she was with a person she trusted deeply.

    I have no idea if this has any bearing on your mother's behaviour, but it may be that because she feels a deep connection with you and your sister, she can let out all of her pent-up emotions. If this is part of what's going on, it doesn't necessarily make it any easier for you to deal with her tears. But at least you would know that your visits are not contributing to her sadness, but giving her a safe and compassionate shoulder to cry on.

    Do you have any concern about the home's description of her behaviour when you or your sister is not there? Can you observe her before she sees you? Does she anticipate your visits?

    Take care,

  19. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Dear Norman, you could never sound bitter, you are just 'telling it like it is for you'.
    Agree with Bruce, 'dementia' is cruel, whatever age, and whenever it strikes.

    We are now so fortunate to have a forum like this where we can be ourselves, and say what we think. Every thread will touch a cord with someone, every incident will be a memory for someone else.

    I salute you all........Connie
  20. purchase

    purchase Registered User

    Aug 31, 2005
    Blue Sea

    Dear blue sea

    Thank you for your kind words. Your are right about not telling mom. I think things will be better for my sister and myself after this week because that is when we have finally given up mom's house. Until then I think we both cling to the hope that she may return which we know is impossible. Once the keys are handed over there is no going back and we can only move forward.

    Even though it must have been a very hard 2 years for you I agree that once the illness progresses it may in a way become easier because hopefully our mom's won't hurt as much. One thing that I find helps me in a little way is that even though my heart still breaks when I think of dad at least he didn't have to see mom going through this.

    Look after yourself.

    Jacky l

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