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Self rescue after a crisis of loss

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
199
I will be thinking of you at the funeral. A time for tears, but healing ones. After that, hopefully things will quieten down a bit. The immediate aftermath is always a blur.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,710
80
East of England
It is four months since my husband died and three and a half months since the funeral, three months since the coronavirus lockdown. This period has suddenly reminded me of the old days when people went into mourning for a year, and I can understand why. Lockdown has enabled me to get my life into a liveable rhythm, untouched by social obligations without having to refuse them. As the restrictions ease and it is possible to visit again at a distance, i find that this brings back a time when he was alive although ill, and a wave of grief has swept over me as a semblance of a previous life pushes me back into that time. The first year of bereavement does push you into a ‘this time las year’ frame of mind or however many years you like, and it’s still touches a raw nerve. My heart goes out to all those grieving and suffering bereavement during this isolated time. For me, it has been a time of healing the wound of his death, and re-entering real contact as opposed to virtual, has opened the wound. It will heal over again but now I know that after this period of unreality, it will be opened from time to time.
 

Pepp3r

Registered User
May 22, 2020
45
Hi Grahamstown, I understand completely what you are saying. My mum passed away during the lockdown and although I have had virtual contact with my work colleagues I know as soon as i see them the tears will come. When I venture out its almost like I don't want to see anyone I know! There must be many families experiencing this ....my thoughts are with you.
 

Philbo

Registered User
Feb 28, 2017
834
Kent
Hi @Grahamstown

Our timelines are almost the same - my wife passed away mid Jan and the funeral was mid Feb:(, thankfully (sounds almost wrong) before the lock down.

Although I was numb, I didn't seem to fall to pieces at her passing - I had effectively been continuously grieving since before she was diagnosed, 6 years previously. It had been difficult having to see her go into a nursing home in September (leaving her each day and coming home to the empty house). The finality of being truly on my own hit home when dealing with the registrar etc when they used the words "widower" and "single person".

With a close circle of friends and family, I pulled up my "big boy pants" and have been trying to work out what is next. Of course the isolation forced on us all these recent months has somewhat dampened (or squashed) what little motivation I had summoned up, plus the unwanted time on my hands means I have inevitably dwelled far too much.

Never one for self-pity, I have nevertheless made concerted efforts to maintain as much (limited) social contact with everyone as possible - the weather helping by allowing outdoor activities, like train spotting, collecting bottle tops, playing rounders ....... oh the joys of childhood.:D (though I do seem to still accumulate bottle tops;))

Regards
Phil
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
199
I have tried to keep busy during lockdown, but have just seemed to sink into a lethargy. I keep wishing I had been more patient with mum. She was never aggressive or anything but loving, but
I got frustrated when she soiled the chair or some such thing. I pass by an ad for carers saying something along the lines of If you can remind Sohaib patiently when he asks again what his son is called, why not become a carer. I always felt I was too highly strung to be a good carer. I know I was really fortunate because she knew me up to the end , but I keep wishing I had been more patient with her. I know that a week before she passed away she was singing my praises to the social worker, and she took my hand and kissed it onher deathbed. I know all that but maybe it's due to having too much time on my own that I keep thinking " If only..."
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
17
I have tried to keep busy during lockdown, but have just seemed to sink into a lethargy. I keep wishing I had been more patient with mum. She was never aggressive or anything but loving, but
I got frustrated when she soiled the chair or some such thing. I pass by an ad for carers saying something along the lines of If you can remind Sohaib patiently when he asks again what his son is called, why not become a carer. I always felt I was too highly strung to be a good carer. I know I was really fortunate because she knew me up to the end , but I keep wishing I had been more patient with her. I know that a week before she passed away she was singing my praises to the social worker, and she took my hand and kissed it onher deathbed. I know all that but maybe it's due to having too much time on my own that I keep thinking " If only..."
If your Mum was anything like mine, she’d be beyond sad that her precious Daughter is beating herself up with guilt over the care you gave her. She’d say “thank you for everything you did for me” and “why on earth are you feeling guilty for being human“? That’s what my Mum says anyway.;)
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
199
If your Mum was anything like mine, she’d be beyond sad that her precious Daughter is beating herself up with guilt over the care you gave her. She’d say “thank you for everything you did for me” and “why on earth are you feeling guilty for being human“? That’s what my Mum says anyway.;)
Thanks. I think I needed someone else to say that before I believed it. By the way, I am her son., but dont worry. People always think because I cared for her that I was her daughter. I am an only son. I know that if I hadnt cared for her at home, she would have ended up in a home. I also know that altho she loved going into a home for respite, she was always glad to see me when I collected her. "I knew you'd come".
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
17
Thanks. I think I needed someone else to say that before I believed it. By the way, I am her son., but dont worry. People always think because I cared for her that I was her daughter. I am an only son. I know that if I hadnt cared for her at home, she would have ended up in a home. I also know that altho she loved going into a home for respite, she was always glad to see me when I collected her. "I knew you'd come".
Oops, I’m so sorry! I shouldn’t have assumed. My bad.🤭

All the rest of it still applies, though. Take care xx
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,710
80
East of England
Thank you for all your replies and my thoughts are with you as we negotiate these days of mourning and grief, full of remorse for things we thought we should have done and regret for what we may not have done. But, and it’s a big but, we did our best in a bad situation. We saw our dear ones through and in real time you just have to do what seems right at the time. My daughter and I mull over what we did and didn’t do right and what we feel bad about and then realise the impossibility of changing anything. What we really want is that he didn’t get this horrible disease at all and that is not only impossible but ridiculous. We want him alive and enjoying his deciduous years happily, but he had some of those before the disease got him. This period of three months of lockdown has been a period of readjustment to single life and has been suspended reality. I am finding the easing up quite difficult as I am being asked to visit and go and stay with people. I don’t want to and had quite a violent internal rejection to the suggestion. I nipped it in the bud as being impossible due to coronavirus but that’s going to get more tricky as it eases. I have got a good quiet life established, not too onerous and now I wish for that year of mourning to continue. I think I can achieve it and regard it as part of that ‘self rescue’ I talk about. It’s being selfish for the right reasons not the wrong, except that I think some people are leaning on me now after seeing me go through the storm and coming out the other end. Baby steps, baby steps, it’s still very raw and the wound easily disturbed.
 

Herecomestrouble

Registered User
Dec 11, 2018
24
It is four months since my husband died and three and a half months since the funeral, three months since the coronavirus lockdown. This period has suddenly reminded me of the old days when people went into mourning for a year, and I can understand why. Lockdown has enabled me to get my life into a liveable rhythm, untouched by social obligations without having to refuse them. As the restrictions ease and it is possible to visit again at a distance, i find that this brings back a time when he was alive although ill, and a wave of grief has swept over me as a semblance of a previous life pushes me back into that time. The first year of bereavement does push you into a ‘this time las year’ frame of mind or however many years you like, and it’s still touches a raw nerve. My heart goes out to all those grieving and suffering bereavement during this isolated time. For me, it has been a time of healing the wound of his death, and re-entering real contact as opposed to virtual, has opened the wound. It will heal over again but now I know that after this period of unreality, it will be opened from time to time.
I cannot help but think of people like you as trail blazers for those of us who follow behind, showing the way, giving confidence that we will somehow cope, that what we feel and think and do is normal and that others have trod the same path and survived. Thank you
HCT x
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,710
80
East of England
I read this today that ‘the family’s grief is in lockdown limbo’ and I feel a bit the same which is why the coming out of it is having to face the world again. I shall need a bit more resilience to do that comfortably and I don’t want to, how strange is that?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,765
Kent
If you don`t want to @Grahamstown there`s no need to. Now is the time you can please yourself. It`s probably the only time in our lives when we can be thoroughly selfish.
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
199
When you have spent your time caring for someone, you are entitled to some " me " time. Be as " selfish" as you like.. You deserve it.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,035
I don't think it's strange @Grahamstown After the loss we need a bit of our own time even if it is just grieving time. The lock down has just made everything more difficult for us.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,710
80
East of England
I don’t know why I dipped into TP again, perhaps it’s because I had a bad week when I had to gather all my strength to rescue myself once more from descent into a morass of misery over my lost love. I found so much echoing my own time of caring for my husband, the frustration, the guilt, the anxiety, the anger, the sheer ridiculousness of how I had to behave to solve the problems, the pain and grief at losing my partner while he was still alive and now the grief and mourning that he is gone. Sometimes when I am overcome with remorse for not being more patient and loving, I look back at my entries of a year ago and then I know I may have done alright. When I read some of the posts written by people now, expressing similar feelings to mine I feel comforted that I am not an exception but the rule in caring for a person with dementia. Take care of yourselves everyone because you matter, Sue x
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,765
Kent
It`s surprising how many of us seem to be `doing well` after loss, only to come down to reality with a big bump. It`s too complicated an emotion to even attempt to explain but you are in good company Sue/ @Grahamstown

Look after yourself.
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
199
I don’t know why I dipped into TP again, perhaps it’s because I had a bad week when I had to gather all my strength to rescue myself once more from descent into a morass of misery over my lost love. I found so much echoing my own time of caring for my husband, the frustration, the guilt, the anxiety, the anger, the sheer ridiculousness of how I had to behave to solve the problems, the pain and grief at losing my partner while he was still alive and now the grief and mourning that he is gone. Sometimes when I am overcome with remorse for not being more patient and loving, I look back at my entries of a year ago and then I know I may have done alright. When I read some of the posts written by people now, expressing similar feelings to mine I feel comforted that I am not an exception but the rule in caring for a person with dementia. Take care of yourselves everyone because you matter, Sue x
One of the effects of lockdown has been to make me brood too much; like you, I keep thinking of the times I was impatient.Every day I pass an ad for care workers saying something along the lines of: If you can remind Sohaib sensitively of his son's name, why not consider a career in care? I remember how mum drove me mad saying the same thing again and again. " What time is it?" " Do I go out?" How she would open and close the fornt door again and again, or how she would once said: I love you so much but you hurt me. How I would get annoyed when she left her poo under the chair or on the floor and I would say You shouldnt do that! and she would say I want to be with Jesus, you dont love me.
I know, with my head that she was proud of me, the social worker said how she sang my praises, and how when she was in respite she was always talking about her son, but knowing it with your head isnt the same as knowing it with your heart. What does console me is the fact that on her deathbed she took my hand and kissed it, I took that as her saying I forgive you, I love you. I asked her then for forgiveness. I am sure she heard, since when she was in a coma in 1953, she head heard the doctors say: That poor woman, not got long to live.
In some ways, grief is worse now because after the initial relief, I find myself thinking of her before the dementia. Honestly, I dont know what I would do without this forum. Keep on posting when you need to, and take care. Be assured that what you type here will be a comfort to others.Best wishes Charles
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,710
80
East of England
Yesterday evening we had a get together in our communal gardens and the discussion came around to the horrors of Covid and dying of it. You would think that nobody ever dies in the normal course of events and the reporting of the death toll is frightening. It really caught me on the raw, yes it’s terrible but then death is terrible for many and a quick and painless release for many too. I commented that the horror of the Covid experience is the huge number of people all dying at once in a miserable way, when normally we go about our lives oblivious to death going on all the time. People are being made to face up to the reality that we do, in fact, die eventually and they are scared. Will it make people think a bit more about how they live their lives? I am not so sure.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,710
80
East of England
In some ways, grief is worse now because after the initial relief, I find myself thinking of her before the dementia.
Yes that’s so true and one keeps being reminded of happy memories. Perhaps that’s a way of ‘inoculating’ one to face those memories without the painful jolt to the heart.
 

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