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When Grief Comes Back

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,284
Essex
Hello Everyone.

Just letting you know that the grief came back earlier today when looking through old documents but I am feeling better now after having spoken to a couple of friends.

MaNaAk
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,934
South coast
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))))
The grief monster hides and you think it has gone, but then, when you are not expecting it a song, a photo, something written or a sudden memory will make it jump out and slap you.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
417
I'm not sure grief ever really goes. We just learn to live with it and it becomes part of life.
A little cry now and then is almost certainly a good thing.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,284
Essex
Thankyou, you two finding my own records of keeping track of dad's sugar levels was a help. We carers have a lot of extra memories.

MaNaAk
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
1,944
Thankyou, you two finding my own records of keeping track of dad's sugar levels was a help. We carers have a lot of extra memories.

MaNaAk
@MaNaAk I know what you mean. It's just over five months since dad died and it is like it is yesterday to me. Nothing has changed except dad is not here anymore. My purpose has gone and I do a lot of nothing. I suppose if life was normal we could do other things but there is only so much cleaning and tidying we can do.

Like you I am clearing things out, most of the furniture has gone and smaller things are starting to go to charity shops but I have the bulk of the memories in my house now. I have a small suitcase of photo's to go through and I know I won't get rid of any of them. I have all sorts of bits of paper that dad had written. I have dad's log of his ocean adventures (a real piece of treasure) and some very old postcards that he sent to his sister who was very young at the time (I don't know why he had them) which I will take to her as soon as it is possible.

I feel like no-one has really noticed that he has gone although he had one old friend who is still alive and I must ring him again soon because he was very upset at the funeral and he always used to visit dad often.

I have his clock on the wall in the dining room which I have to keep winding up every week and the ticking is the same as when it was at dads house. I will never part with it.

Carry on with the sorting @MaNaAk but do it in your own time and if you find yourself shedding some tears it just means that your dad 'was a good un' as my dad would say.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,699
80
East of England
Most days something makes tears spring to my eyes. For example, I was watching a film and there was a beautiful scene of a city we had visited when he could still go on holiday only two years ago. I thought we would be able carry on for quite some time because this disease can go on for a long time. Also his niece is 50 next month and her husband has asked for some memories of her for a photo book. I looked through some old slides which I haven’t seen for years and there were photos he had taken 47 years ago, when she was 3 for me to send. Those memories were easier to deal with than the holiday one, so perhaps that’s the answer, to go back a long way when we were all different people. I haven’t cleared anything much yet, and I have got used to having his things around me and I feel comforted. I can’t believe he will never wear his things again, he always looked so smart even in casual clothes. No one to share things with any more, I am alone but I don’t feel lonely if that makes any sense.😢
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,284
Essex
Thankyou, you two and @Grahamstown I know exactly what you mean. You both have have a treasure trove of stuff and @Duggies-girl I can imagine your dad's adventures. What a life! We did the best for our loved ones and the memories are a comfort. I have a lot of hoovering to do after the clearing.

MaNaAk
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,699
80
East of England
@MaNaAk I know what you mean. It's just over five months since dad died and it is like it is yesterday to me. Nothing has changed except dad is not here anymore. My purpose has gone and I do a lot of nothing. I suppose if life was normal we could do other things but there is only so much cleaning and tidying we can do.

Like you I am clearing things out, most of the furniture has gone and smaller things are starting to go to charity shops but I have the bulk of the memories in my house now. I have a small suitcase of photo's to go through and I know I won't get rid of any of them. I have all sorts of bits of paper that dad had written. I have dad's log of his ocean adventures (a real piece of treasure) and some very old postcards that he sent to his sister who was very young at the time (I don't know why he had them) which I will take to her as soon as it is possible.

I feel like no-one has really noticed that he has gone although he had one old friend who is still alive and I must ring him again soon because he was very upset at the funeral and he always used to visit dad often.

I have his clock on the wall in the dining room which I have to keep winding up every week and the ticking is the same as when it was at dads house. I will never part with it.

Carry on with the sorting @MaNaAk but do it in your own time and if you find yourself shedding some tears it just means that your dad 'was a good un' as my dad would say.
I know that my daughter misses her Dad every day just like you do. We talk about him often which comforts us both. I can finally go over to see her and her family this weekend although I am not feeling as robust as I did a couple of months ago. It may galvanise me because with all this lockdown I feel as if I am going through the motions. The coincidences between our two boys continue because my husband loved grandfather clocks, He used to wind it up every week like you have to do, and it was when he could no longer do that that I knew things were bad. Such small things which you forget until your memory is jogged and I still have one ticking away here, very soothing.
@MaNaAk You are so right. We have to live for them now which I think is quite a lovely thing to do, take pleasure in the things that they did. My friend’s husband fell off a ladder and fractured his pelvis and she has wanted to talk, and yesterday she said she realised for the first time what I and another friend whose husband has vascular dementia have had to go through. She said it hit her because of course she now has an incapacitated husband of 80 (no dementia but climbing a ladder at his age sounds a bit silly) to get through the recovery. As we always say, you don’t understand until it happens to you.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,284
Essex
Dear @Grahamstown,

It's good you can talk to your daughter about your husband. I can't really talk to my
brothers about dad although I hope to resolv the issues with them but I can talk to other relatives in Malaysia on messenger and I have a lot of friends. Like you say it's the small things that you notice at first in dad's case things put in strange places and eventually seeing people who aren't there. Each symptom was frightening but eventually we learnt to live with it until I could no longer care for dad. Somehow us carers get the strength to get
through this and that makes us superhuman and extra special.

MaNaAk
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,284
Essex
Hello again!

I did some gardening this morning and this is very therapeutic especially when neighbours come to chat and pay complements. One thing I didn't like to see when I was caring for dad was his gardening hobby disappearing and as I found it difficult to care for him and garden I employed a gardener.

After the first visit dad's interest in gardening was rejuvenated and he did his own gardening the next day. As dad slowly declined the gardener's visits provided him with company and allowed me to go out shopping but now I have my own interest in gardening and beside doing teaching, housework and clearing I put by one morning a week for the garden. I wouldn't have been able to bare seeing turn into a jungle whilst caring for dad.

This afternoon I have one Piano pupil and the hoovering to get on with.

MaNaAk
 

Philbo

Registered User
Feb 28, 2017
827
Kent
My loss was only in January but in may respects, I feel I have coped fairly well (as have my sons), despite the added challenges due to the pandemic.

The restrictions and resulting isolation certainly meant there were more times than I would have liked to reflect, regret, despair and reminisce.

I was only thinking recently that the lock-down has left me with 2 tasks still to complete (there's probably others that I will come across?).

Firstly, though I had cleared most of her things before the charity shops closed, I hadn't done my wife's wardrobes, so that lot ended up in several old suitcases in the loft (made me cry).

Secondly, her ashes are still at the funeral directors - my boys and I still have to decide where and when we will scatter them - make me upset every time I think about it.

I must make an effort to get both of these attended to before much longer.

Phil
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
1,944
@Philbo Dads ashes are still at the crematorium and I need to phone them soon. It's sad to think that they are still there and I can see why that upsets you. We know where dad wanted to go and that will happen but I don't know when. I really must phone them soon as well but then it really will be final.

I am forever thankful that dad had a funeral and everyone made their best efforts to get there, even cousins from distant parts of the country. Saying goodbye like that was so important and my heart goes out to anyone deprived of a final goodbye due to the covid problem. I don't think I could have coped with that so I am truly thankful.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
1,944
@Grahamstown Dads clock is a ships clock so it thankfully doesn't take up too much room and it is now screwed to the wall. Dad forgot all about it in his last year as it was in the back room and he rarely went in there because he didn't recognise it anymore so I used to wind it although he had wound it every week for years and years before then. Yes the similarities are remarkable.

I hope you have a good visit at the weekend with your daughter and her family. It will be nice and probably do you good.

@MaNaAk I have started working in the garden at last. I have treated myself to a brown bin (I know how to live) so all the garden waste will be taken by the council. I trimmed an overgrown pyracantha this morning and I am very pleased that I don't have to put all of those lethal thorns in a garden bag and drive to the tip getting myself all scratched up in the process. I have almost filled the bin today but I should be able to squash some more in. I cut the wisteria down too as it does nothing except invade the garage. It was in the wrong place really and should never have been planted. Next year I hope to have a nice garden with some flowers.

I have a lawn full of weeds and the sparrows and goldfinches are out there en mass amongst the dandelions like a herd of wildebeest. They must be eating insects or something so I can't cut the grass for the moment. Cutting the undergrowth back is a good enough start anyway.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,284
Essex
Dear @ Duggies-girl,

When I first started mowing the lawn in spring I noticed that the birds were waiting for me to finish before swooping done and gathering nesting material and insects. I am now fully satisfied having done gardening and hoovering. Sometimes it is good to have a break from clearing.

MaNaAk
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,699
80
East of England
I too thought it was time to sort out the final decisions over the ashes; the funeral director brought some final documents this morning and the crematorium is storing the ashes until the family make a decision on memorial etc. It has opened up the wound though, which had healed over during the past few months and I feel it all afresh. I read a bit of Virginia Ironsides book on bereavement which had some truths to tell. We are all feeling our loss here very much.
 

Toony Oony

Registered User
Jun 21, 2016
570
Just to butt in - my Mum died early in February this year.
In some ways I was grateful that her awful ordeal had come to an end and I got on with everything I needed to do. I was sad and missed her so much, but it was something I was prepared for.
When Lockdown happened, I was even more grateful that Mum (and selfishlessly myself) had been spared the separation and isolation that Lockdown brought to so many poor families.

Mum was buried with Dad, and I am now getting cross having written to the Funeral Directors 3 times without reply, about the amendments to the joint headstone. Grrr .... not sure if they are being slow or if it's the Stonemason who's dragging his feet, but I need to get things sorted. Strong phone call on Monday methinks.

So, 5 months later I keep having constant dreams about Mum ...... she's always poorly and confused in the dreams, and I always lose her somehow. In last night's one, things kept disappearing from her room in the Care Home until finally the bed and Mum disappeared and there was just the empty room. Why now??
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,284
Essex
Dear Toony Oony,

I'm sorry to hear about your mum and like you I am glad that my parents never saw the lockdown and that I don't have to worry about visiting dad in the care home. When dad passed away I had lots of dreams of him, mum and nana and then I dreamt that mum and I were caring for him with Alzheimers but now I am pleased to see that I have other dreams of him without Alzheimers.

You did your best for your mum and you are selfless. I think you are entitled to some me time now.

MaNaAk
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
186
When mum passed away, I felt relief at first. I had been so anxious for her, worried she would fall down the stairs, that something would happen while I was at work. I only felt relief when she was in respite, then I felt guilt that I felt relief. When I picked her up from her respite home, she was always glad to see me, while I felt guilty thinking: Here we go again, toiletting issues, everything..
Over time, this has changed, and I think of her before the dementia more now. I still have her ashes hidden away ( I don't feel ready to actually see the urn yet), and a lot of her clothes are still in the living room ( I always lived at home; the only time I considered leaving was just before dad passed away and I couldn't leave her her then).
When lockdown started, I felt relieved that she wasn't around, either in a nursing home or at home with me. I can't imagine how that must have been.It has been a very unreal experience, the whole situation.
I had ideas about re-arranging the living room, but, irrational as it is, I feel that by doing that it only confirms that she isnt here any more, like getting rid of her, almost. I know she has gone, but at some level I don't know , it seems unreal. I had been mentally trying to prepare myself, but at the end everything happened so quickly, her catching a cold, in and out of hospital, and in a month and a half she was gone. She was always singing to herself; she only did so after going to daycare where they used to play music. What does console me is that she was happy, in her own little world a lot of the time.
It's been nearly 8 months now, but some days I still feel stuck, neither able to go back or to go forward. I will have a think again about counselling altho' I am worried in case it just unleashes all my grief again. Thank goodness for this forum; it has been a lifeline at times.