1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. mickeyblue

    mickeyblue Registered User

    Sep 17, 2012
    6
    My Dad passed away recently after suffering from vas dementia for 4 years. I feel very calm, as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, I no longer have to watch that slow dreadful deterioration.

    Perhaps it hasn't hit me yet but has anyone else experienced this? For me watching my Dad suffer was worse than his passing and I did not expect to feel this way. We were very close.
     
  2. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    9,322
    Female
    East Kent
    Hello Mickeyblue.
    My Condolenses to you.

    Please don't worry, you are perfectly normal in the way you feel.
    The grief you were expecting may come later but it may not.

    When mum died I too felt like you, the tears did come eventually.
     
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    I think you have found peace, understanding and dignity. I hope this will be the same for me when the time comes. There is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of someone close.
     
  4. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,850
    England
    #4 Katrine, Aug 8, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
    Hi mickeyblue, actually I do understand your feeling of peace and calm. It is a blessing. Grief is natural and normal, but I don't believe that painful grieving is compulsory. At least that has not been my experience. Let me hasten to add that I claim no special insight, and am in no way wishing to minimise the sense of loss that anyone else feels.

    I can only imagine what it feels like to lose a partner or a child, but the loss of an elderly parent is different IMO. Their influence, and all our memories of them, are still part of who we are, but as we carry on living, very gradually they become part of our past. They lived a part of their life before we arrived; then our timespans overlapped; and now we carry on to complete our own stories. That is the natural way of things. In one way we become fully adult when the previous generation has gone.

    When my father died aged almost 89 he had been suffering physically with osteoporosis and a failing heart. He was in constant pain, although mentally still very much with it. When I heard the news that he had died suddenly it was of course a shock. I cried that day because I knew I would never see him again in this life.
    I was crying for my loss. I was also glad that he had a good death without suffering, so part of my tears was relief that he was not in pain any more.

    Thereafter I don't think I have ever grieved in the way that most people describe grief. I was happy that he was relieved of suffering. I know that he was ready to go; he had got all his affairs in order and had made good provision for my mother. He had a long, interesting and fulfilling life, and I am so proud of all the things he achieved. He left us a legacy of self-published memoirs. Reading these books brings me close to him and I have carried out a great deal of family history research, building on the foundations he laid.

    I think about my father every day; I miss him, I love him. I seldom feel sad when I think of him, although there are times when something happens or I find out some information that I would love to share with him. I know he would find it interesting and I miss having his reactions and comments. I am now legal Guardian for my mother, who has dementia, and I constantly ask myself what Daddy would have wanted, would he approve of things I am doing, would he think I was doing my best?

    I think my father is so much a part of me. I know he is still present in his children, both in our looks and genes (obviously) but also in our values, knowledge, manner of speech, sense of humour, and so on. Daddy is still with us because he will always be our father. Does that make sense?

    Feel free to remember and honour your dad in the way that feels right for you. If there is no 'unfinished business' in your relationship then perhaps you will also be spared the most painful stage of bereavement, as I was. People said to me that it would arrive some time and could not be avoided. Well it's been 8 years and hasn't happened yet, so I don't think I am going to feel it. Just occasionally I have a good cry because I really miss him, but I am sure that he knew how much I loved him, so that is good enough for us both.
     
  5. ma120990

    ma120990 Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    14
    Southampton
    I can relate to this very closely

    Dad died only recently and we all feel similar to how you do. The person we said goodbye to was not dad, but some person who looked like him and spoke like him but wasn't the man we knew.

    We all feel very calm and can't relate to normal perceived grieving. We all admit to having one or two weepy moments when we knew that he was not going to make it but that's about all.

    It feels very strange tho as this is a different bereavement process and I think it is that which has us all in bit of a quandary. When I spoke to my mother, I said it feels like I am behind glass, slightly removed from reality at present. I see and do all the normal things in life but somehow things have changed and I don't quite know how.

    Time however heals and I believe we merely need to talk openly about how we feel and what we miss and by doing so this will in time allow our minds to put the house in order. One thing I do know is bereavement and grieving are things personal to each person and it will take as short or as long as nature intends.

    My best wishes to you.
     
  6. mickeyblue

    mickeyblue Registered User

    Sep 17, 2012
    6
    Thank you for the responses. I have found them very helpful.
     
  7. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    124
    Hi, Mickeyblue I have just read your post and at moment I feel the same way.
    My mum passed away 4 weeks ago after suffering with vascular dementia for 5 years. Watching the deterioration from each stage is so heart breaking. Although it was tough as I held my mum as she took her last breath I now wake up relieved knowing she is at peace and is dementia free. I don't feel guilty for feeling like this because I know I have definitely been grieving over the past 5 years for the Mum I knew had been taken by the dementia in so many different ways x
     

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