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Self rescue after a crisis of loss

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,636
East of England
I find myself looking at TP again but my old thread has come to the end. ‘And so it goes on...’ is still the same because it does go on and on but that can start to be self defeating. So my first step on the road to rescuing myself from the aftermath of caring for a man with dementia is to accept and try again. So here I shall try because accepting that he has died and I am a widow is a big step. I am plodding on with the paperwork but I am going to take that respite I had booked and go before the funeral to try and reflect and recover. My children are suffering but they have their own families and dogs, a small thing but dogs are a wonderful help. Still they seem to need their mum so I must not let a broken heart distract me from that. A new chapter of life opens.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,563
Ireland
I remember I found it very hard to accept that word "widow" too, @Grahamstown . I think that, with something like dementia, we sort of adapt to the "normality" of our lives living and dealing with it. We know, in our heads, that the end will come, but still, when it does, our hearts are not at all prepared for it. When my husband died, I got through the first several weeks by sort of semi believing that he was in the nursing home, and I would be able to go and visit him. Just not today.

Wishing you much strength as you go forward.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,775
England
I’m here wishing you strength too. I lost my husband nearly 4 years ago and I’ve never used the word widow. I have ticked boxes on official papers as widow but never uttered the word. I cared for him for the 11 years he had dementia but never called myself a Carer, I was his wife, I still am his wife.

I think we all find our own way of dealing with loss, our own way of moving on. My lovely family and my wonderful friends got me through and I’m enjoying life again, it’s different and not what was planned but it’s good and I’m thankful for that.

I hope as you start this next part of life you find it easier than you thought it would be. Stay positive, there will be bad days, I get them now and I just sit them out, I can’t change them but I know they don’t go on for ever and it’s up and away again in no time.

My husband is still there beside me, he always will be.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,020
68
Dundee
Such a great post @jaymor. As you know I lost Bill not long after your loss. You’re post sums up everything I feel in the most eloquent way. Thank you.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,032
Scotland
Great minds. I too have never used the word widow to describe myself. My mother was “ a most respectable widow” in the words of everyone who met her but I’m from a different era. I’m back to being me and responsible only for myself. Not entirely true because if you have other family then you still have ties and responsibilities.

This though is a new challenge - how to shape your life ahead, how to keep contact with the outside world, how to deal with issues like home repairs, how to learn new skills.

One challenge I’m resisting and you TPrs might have an answer to this. On the whole people I came into contact with over the years of John Alzheimer’s were wonderfully supportive. Inevitably though there were those who rarely phoned or asked how I was coping. Now they want to welcome me to visit and I just can’t. I can’t feel the same about them knowing how much I could have done with their help when things were bad. How do you deal with that now after the death of your loved one?
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
10,881
Merseyside
@marionq If people didn’t bother with me when Dad was alive, I don‘t bother with them now. I’m polite if I bump in to them but that’s it.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,020
68
Dundee
I think that must be very difficult Marion. I’ve not found myself in that situation - thankfully. I think because I was able to keep Bill connected through the choir etc then my connections with people remained. It’s a hard one and I can understand how you must feel.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,775
England
I met wonderful new people on our journey. Two wives of two men who also had early onset dementia became very close friends and 14 years later we remain very close and holiday together. I have also made friends on DTP and see them.

My husband had Alzheimer’s for 11 years so it was a long time for anyone to stand back and there was only one and she has never surfaced to this day. I was the sole Carer for my husband so really had no time for anyone else so perhaps I should have accepted her silence and distancing herself. I’ll never know because as I said she never resurfaced. Others remained in contact either by phone or text and they were a great support and I’m back to meeting them and it all feels as it was before the break.

I think If I was in your position I would acknowledge them, be polite but not want to have them back as part of my life. There really is no right or wrong way, it’s what you feel comfortable with. All our situations are different. Now is your time so do what you are most comfortable with. If you are unsure then accept an invitation, if it’s not for you then you don’t have to do it again. Good luck.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,659
Kent
I`m another who dislikes the term widow. I still see myself as a wife even though my husband died 6 years ago.

It brings to mind a friend who removed her wedding ring soon after her husband died.

I still feel the connection with my husband so have no desire to remove the single physical item I have which is there on my left hand, the hand on the side of my heart, which I wore without fail since I married.

The only person I really took comfort from was our son. He grieved in the same way I did even though he had a loving family of his won to prop him up.

I remember just after Dhiren died Paul visited me much more often than usual in order to share our grief.

You will find your own way of self rescue @Grahamstown and whichever way you choose will be the best for you.

Those who thought themselves my friends but who had little or no understanding of our struggle through the dementia years, will have little or no understanding of my life now as I pick up the pieces. I do not need their platitudes.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,609
Dorset
When my husband died 18 years ago I was 56 and said to myself that I still had a life to live. It wasn’t the life I had expected but it was mine to do with as I wished. I could sit at home and mourn but at what point do you then go out into the world again? We cannot all be like Queen Victoria and wear widow’s weeds for goodness knows how many years. I decided it might just be easier to go out and face the world, try new things and make a new life for myself.
After the death of The Banjoman I am trying to do the same, although in some ways it is harder because the first time around I was still mostly a home bound housewife, now I have lost a musical social life that The Banjoman introduced me to and that we shared by ‘performing’ together. I wouldn’t do that with anybody else so again I am reinventing myself. Luckily I had realised this dilemma a couple of years ago and found something I can volunteer with which means I get out and about. Bats 🦇 aren’t that sociable but I know I am involved in practical Conservation and I am certainly getting to meet new people since I became a Bat Ambulance driver!🦇
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
I find myself looking at TP again but my old thread has come to the end. ‘And so it goes on...’ is still the same because it does go on and on but that can start to be self defeating. So my first step on the road to rescuing myself from the aftermath of caring for a man with dementia is to accept and try again. So here I shall try because accepting that he has died and I am a widow is a big step. I am plodding on with the paperwork but I am going to take that respite I had booked and go before the funeral to try and reflect and recover. My children are suffering but they have their own families and dogs, a small thing but dogs are a wonderful help. Still they seem to need their mum so I must not let a broken heart distract me from that. A new chapter of life opens.
((((Hugs))))
Nothing wrong with a broken heart, my daughter tells me; it’s a reflection of the love given & shared.
my darling daughter told me that I feel like this because I loved my Dad so much & so deeply.👩‍❤️‍👨l like that theory & it gives me comfort
So I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel at this moment in time
sending you lots of love & (((hugs)))
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
When my husband died 18 years ago I was 56 and said to myself that I still had a life to live. It wasn’t the life I had expected but it was mine to do with as I wished. I could sit at home and mourn but at what point do you then go out into the world again? We cannot all be like Queen Victoria and wear widow’s weeds for goodness knows how many years. I decided it might just be easier to go out and face the world, try new things and make a new life for myself.
After the death of The Banjoman I am trying to do the same, although in some ways it is harder because the first time around I was still mostly a home bound housewife, now I have lost a musical social life that The Banjoman introduced me to and that we shared by ‘performing’ together. I wouldn’t do that with anybody else so again I am reinventing myself. Luckily I had realised this dilemma a couple of years ago and found something I can volunteer with which means I get out and about. Bats 🦇 aren’t that sociable but I know I am involved in practical Conservation and I am certainly getting to meet new people since I became a Bat Ambulance driver!🦇
Daughter out in Oz - on holiday - & this evening she was bat watching fruit bats! Apparently they are huge! But very very cute!
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
Daughter out in Oz - on holiday - & this evening she was bay watching fruit bats! Apparently they are huge! But very very cute!
Great minds. I too have never used the word widow to describe myself. My mother was “ a most respectable widow” in the words of everyone who met her but I’m from a different era. I’m back to being me and responsible only for myself. Not entirely true because if you have other family then you still have ties and responsibilities.

This though is a new challenge - how to shape your life ahead, how to keep contact with the outside world, how to deal with issues like home repairs, how to learn new skills.

One challenge I’m resisting and you TPrs might have an answer to this. On the whole people I came into contact with over the years of John Alzheimer’s were wonderfully supportive. Inevitably though there were those who rarely phoned or asked how I was coping. Now they want to welcome me to visit and I just can’t. I can’t feel the same about them knowing how much I could have done with their help when things were bad. How do you deal with that now after the death of your loved one?
I supported many of other family members through their parents dementia / illnesses & yet nada! I ( think that’s the polite way of putting it!)
Let’s just say my Christmas card list is very much shorter & more significant!
Will I change my mind...... no I might be cutting of my nose to spite my face but I can’t forget their selfishness or ignorance, dementia has a further reach than many realise until experienced!
so sending you (((((hugs))))))
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
131
Great minds. I too have never used the word widow to describe myself. My mother was “ a most respectable widow” in the words of everyone who met her but I’m from a different era. I’m back to being me and responsible only for myself. Not entirely true because if you have other family then you still have ties and responsibilities.

This though is a new challenge - how to shape your life ahead, how to keep contact with the outside world, how to deal with issues like home repairs, how to learn new skills.

One challenge I’m resisting and you TPrs might have an answer to this. On the whole people I came into contact with over the years of John Alzheimer’s were wonderfully supportive. Inevitably though there were those who rarely phoned or asked how I was coping. Now they want to welcome me to visit and I just can’t. I can’t feel the same about them knowing how much I could have done with their help when things were bad. How do you deal with that now after the death of your loved one?
I got angry when I was looking after mum all on my own, and no-one from my " family" gave me the slightest bit of help. I didnt contact them afterwards ( I am not in touch with them anyway) and decided to have mum's carers at the front during the memorial service, in the place usually reserved for family. After all, they were the ones who actually helped me, not individuals with whom I just happen to share some genes. You could just say to those people that you are too busy dealing with the aftermath of your loved one's death.
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,699
We will all be behind you Grahamstown which ever path you follow.
I remember someone saying after a great loss that her life was was like a set of books, the cover may look the same but the content is different. Each to be enjoyed for its own sake but she still loved dipping into the others too.
No one knows how you feel or how you need to act, only you know in your unique life the way to go, although others will on similar paths yours is yours alone.
Sounds good to start a new thread too.
With love, xxx
 

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
790
Buckinghamshire
Grahamstown, the title of your thread (Self Rescue) makes me think that you are a very strong and positive person. One step, one day at the time is all you can do. There will be plenty of pebbles, rocks and boulders along the way, but there will also be snowdrops, daffodils and sunflowers. There will be people who walk alongside you, and others who cross the road to avoid you because they don't know what to say. Just be kind to yourself, do your own thing, practise a brave smile (it will get easier!), and allow yourself a few tears, too - they are part of the process, and they will make you feel better.
My husband was my 'other half', and that cannot be replaced. But I am still me, and my family, my friends, and above all my grandchildren help me to appreciate my different role. I try to make up for the time I missed with them while I cared for my husband, and I count my blessings.
Virtual hugs, thumbs up and 'good luck' as a new chapter begins.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,636
East of England
I have had to have a serious attempt to stop being maudlin over my poor dear sweet husband and my guilt over how exasperated I have been with him. I reviewed my blog on TP for this time last year and that was very sobering. What a terrible time and how I avoided another heart attack I do not know! That has cured me of wanting to return to the past even though this last couple of weeks revealed him in all his greatness and weakness. I feel a lot better now. The funeral is organised and I am going to have a break before and not before time because I don’t think I could carry on thanking and replying to the condolences. Self rescue in full swing because I really weakened during the past few days. I simply won’t put up with all the things people say, with the best intentions but which don’t understand dementia and what it does to you. Keep on keeping on!
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
I have had to have a serious attempt to stop being maudlin over my poor dear sweet husband and my guilt over how exasperated I have been with him. I reviewed my blog on TP for this time last year and that was very sobering. What a terrible time and how I avoided another heart attack I do not know! That has cured me of wanting to return to the past even though this last couple of weeks revealed him in all his greatness and weakness. I feel a lot better now. The funeral is organised and I am going to have a break before and not before time because I don’t think I could carry on thanking and replying to the condolences. Self rescue in full swing because I really weakened during the past few days. I simply won’t put up with all the things people say, with the best intentions but which don’t understand dementia and what it does to you. Keep on keeping on!
I think “quiet time “ aka maudlin is definitely allowed. I will be honest I channeled my inner hippo & totally wallowed for a while.... .... & a bit !
now clearing & redecorating as I feel I need to change something but not really sure what!
Sending love
💞
 

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