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Mums 1st Death Anniversary

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by arun, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. arun

    arun Registered User

    Nov 10, 2007
    London, UK

    It feels a bit strange having to celebrate Mum's death anniversary. It is on the 20th of Feb.
    However reason for this post is my thoughts are returning to some issues that are troubling me recently.
    They were brought on by a coversations with some friends at work.
    Dad had to put Mum into a care home in India.
    She was diabetic stopped taking her medicines and was refusing to eat.

    We still had no understanding of Dementia.
    There is hardly any awareness of this in India.
    I was just starting to collate info. in the UK.

    I wanted Mum to return home ASAP. Just gives you an indication of my naivety of understanding Dad's plight.
    He was caring for her alone.
    There is no support suystem in India.

    Dad gave in to my pressure. Only to bring home my Mum who was enraged that Dad had sent her to a home.

    Late one night. Just Mum and Dad alone in our reasonably large flat in India. Mum took a knife and lunged for my Dad.
    When I recounted this thought recently it has stirred up some guilt I am finding difficult to overcome.
    Perhaps I never will....
    I left the UK to join Dad and Mum.

    Mum had an obsession with cutlery.
    She used to hide it in her cupboard which she used to lock.
    Loose her key and then blame Dad for stealing it.

    When she started to get incontinent.
    It was difficult to get her to stop this compulsive behaviour.
    One month of no cutlery while I was living with Dad and Mum and trying in vain to get Mum to stop got too much for me.
    Dad had to do this for a year.
    He used to pour food onto plates and eat with bare hands.
    There was no question of cutting fruits.
    I stopped her in the middle of the act and smacked her hand.

    I am so sorry now... But it's just too bloody late.
    The dirty deed was inflicted on Mum by me.
    I was the person Mum, loved, trusted and cherished the most in her life.
    I know have to live with this scar the rest of my life.
    Possibly best because I well deserve the pain.

    But I hope that Mums spirit is next to mine while I am writing this string.

    I am sorry Mum. Truly dearly sorry.
    I was completely undeserving of having someone as wonderful as you for my Mum.

    I was so truly blessed to have you as my Mum,
    I was just a selfish, arrogant little idiot to think I could stop you.
    All you were probably doing was just protecting our things from being stolen.....
    Hopefully this out of the way I can reminisce on better times closer to Mums anniversary.

    There are a lot more of good times than bad.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Arun.

    Please don`t let the rest of your life be worn down with guilt. You did what was your best at the time, it is easy with hindsight to think you could have done better.

    My behaviour with my mother`s dementia was so different to my behaviour now with my husband. With my mother, I was as ignorant of dementia as you were. The lessons I learnt from her illness, unfortunately left me better prepared to accept and live with the dementia of my husband.

    This is life.

    Love xx
  3. arun

    arun Registered User

    Nov 10, 2007
    London, UK
    Thanks Sylvia

    Through all the adversity.
    I have grown to be a lot more sensitive to others.

    I see my Mum as a strong, beautiful and sensitive woman whose love and devotion for me can never be replaced.

    I am a lot closer to my Dad and his immediate family.
    Through our difficulties my Dad's family provided him with tremenduous support.
    Just being there for him.

    The love Mum continued to find in her to give me just washed over all the difficulties.
    We had a volatile (words were exchanged, both of us being Arians) but equally loving relationship.

    Thanks for your kind words.
  4. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    We have all done things we are sorry for, it is just human. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Your Mom would not want you to beat yourself up. Dementia is a very hard thing to deal with and we just do our best. Only in making mistakes do all of us learn throughout this process. Guilt is wicked and will keep you from healing and having sweet memories. And I am telling you this so I can also remember it for myself!
    Take care,
  5. Dealing with our guilt


    Thanks for your honesty. Be assured that you arent the only one to have been frustrated by the sometime awfulness of dealing with dementia.
    I also have to live with the knowledge that I too hit my partner on one occasion. I felt terrible afterwards, hugged him so closely as a recompense, and knew that I must never do it again.
    Such actions stem from our frustration and our inability to cope. Yet from the remainder of the things you said, such frustration was a sign of love and care and nothing more than that. Those who have never been in such extreme situations have no right to judge you because they don't know the half of it, and those who have been in such situations do not judge you either because we all know the depths of our feelings as we continue with the demands of caring.
    Forgive yourself, you have every right to and you need to. You loved and that is all you need to know.
    It occurs to me to mention that in the Society's library there are copies of a lovely little book called 'Anger' and it is by Edna Ballard of the Alzheimers Research Centre, Duke University in North Carolina. Thoroughly recommended.

    Best wishes
    LGBT Carers Group
  6. arun

    arun Registered User

    Nov 10, 2007
    London, UK
    #6 arun, Feb 11, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
    Dear Debbie and Roger

    Thanks for your posts. I am generally quite a positive person.
    Thanks to Mum's dementia.

    I am learning to appreciate simple things in life that were taken for granted. Sometimes I almost feel renewed.

    Seeing what it does to people in later stages.
    I am grateful that Mum passed away in relatively early to mid stages.

    To me she will always be that selfless loving person who put her children before herself.

    She has left me with more than I ever could have hoped for.....

    You are right. I seem to learn only from my mistakes...

    I will look up the book anger..... It seems to have manifested in several areas of my life.

  7. arun

    arun Registered User

    Nov 10, 2007
    London, UK

    I just wanted to say Mums annniversary was celebrated in a gentle, loving, caring way.
    Just a quiet evening spent with her grand daughter and daughter in law at a favourite restaurant. Just the way she would have wanted it.

    A lot of thanks were extended to some very special people at the Alzheimers Society.

    I just also want to extend sincere thanks to all on Talking Point who have extended their time to help me along my path.
  8. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Arun,
    Thank you for your lovely post about how you commemorated your Mum's passing anniversary. It sounds like a special way to remember a special person.

    As others have said, we are all "guilty" of saying or doing things we later wish we had not said or done. The most important thing is to use these as lessons for the future. You are clearly using the knowledge you gained from your Mum to behave differently now. I know your Mum would be so proud of you for this.

    Don't allow guilt to eat you up. It is a negative emotion. It is good to read that you are mostly positive and this is down to your Mum. What a beautiful tribute to her!
  9. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    Dear Arun

    My mum passed away on the 12th February of last year......I have passed both her anniversary and the anniversary of her funeral.

    For the past year I have mostly been wracked with guilt.....If only I had done this....done that....hadn't said this or that....

    However......would mum wanted me to feel like this?.....most certainly not!

    The outcome would have been the same.....but I know now that i gave mum everything I could......as you did too.

    Yes....I am still angry that mum was deprived of so much in her later years....and i think i always will be....but on the other hand i am so proud of her and so priveliged to have shared our time together....and most of all i am proud to have had such a lovely ....if at times.....headstrong....mum.

    Take care
    Love xx

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