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Mom passed away a month ago after battling dementia for about 7 years. I have cried very little. Yes, I miss her; but I am relieved this is over. For the first 4 years of her disease, she lived alone in her home (60 miles from mine). An aide & I shared primary caregiving duties, with assistance from a sister & brother. Then Mom moved in with us for 2 months and it was a disaster. We moved her to an ALF, and her aide continued to help 4 days a week with the 3 siblings each taking another day. That was all good for 18 months until her stroke. After the stroke, she was moved to a NH 75 miles away & was there for her last 18 months. I visited her every Saturday, and now I am questioning if I did that out of obligation & not love. Also during this time a single older brother battled lung cancer & we (3 siblings) did what we could long distance to help him (he was 600 miles away) & his busy daughters. In the end, 2 of us would go down for about 5 days at a time, which meant that every 3 weeks or so I’d be down there. Now I am facing the caregiving issues with my in-laws — she has dementia & he, the primary caregiver, has lung cancer. I am trying very hard to back off & let the more local SILs take the reins. But that shouldn’t affect how I react to my own mom’s passing. She was a wonderful woman and I should be grieving more. What is wrong with me? Am I really that cold hearted?

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I think you are still in shock.

An indirect example of what I am saying.  Is that a good online friend nearly died in 2012.  She lives in Alberta, Canada; I live in the DC-Metro region.  Up to that point, I had known her since 2002.  I had emotionally supported her through several personal trials in her life.  Including the death of a fiance who was killed in Fallujah, Iraq; And an (ex)husband who 'came out' after the birth of their daughter.

It has been five years since she almost died.  But since then, I have been crying 'at the drop of a hat'.

Like when your mother died a month ago.  One of my younger cousins died from a stroke in June 2016.  She was only 40yrs.-old.  I still think about her, and fall apart. 
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To kdcm1011,
No, there is nothing wrong with you, there is a SILENT MAJORITY of us share the heartbreaking , painstaking dilemma you feel and the emotional wound that would remain forever. Us, who loved our parents . cared for them, had no support from outside. Lack of public awareness , politically driven and financially motivated agencies who would demonized someone in order to take possession of their assets. This conservatorship business had unlimited power in almost every sector and programs for financial gains. Since Oct. 2015 , my husband and I have faced ordeals no one would ever believed. Seniors with Alheimers are being medicated with numerous antiphsychotic drugs that make them worse. I could go on with these, and if you feel , you need a shoulder to lean on , please send a message. Take care. Christine
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Yesterday was Christmas and not one (l is in prison) called to say Merry Christmas. Not even my grandchildren. (10) Yet a memory came up about my mother: (she was deaf & blind in l eye) Mother (RIP) called every Christmas until she no longer could pick up the phone. I would laugh Everytime hearing her gibberish but it truly perked me up. I'm joyful that I took care of my mother b4 she passed away. A mother's unfailing love, I didn't learn until 10 years b4 my mother's death and I know, I'll never be the woman my mother was and she wasn't a saint, but she knew love. We all fall short. I want to be a good caregiver, but I get tired too. If you know how or still can, cut off the lights or turn the TV off that you turned on. Pick up your tissue lying around. This is your home and I'm not expecting you to do everything or remember everything BUT I don't want you to expect me to wait on you hand and foot when some of these things, I see and know you can do on your own. Can any live in care giver understand this? I'm here 24/7, I do most of the work, but you have a few chores while your still able, (folding towels, pillow cases, underoo's, wash 6-9 dishes, tie your trash up and make your bed) but because you took total care of your relatives, You expect the same from me. I not made that way. Help yourself while you can.
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I see various comments to the effect that "you will grieve later" and that's okay. It's also okay if you don't.

It can be strange sometimes as to what sets off grieving or crying. I mentioned earlier that I've never cried as a result of the death of a family member. However, about a year ago I was reading about WW II (in which my father fought as a fighter pilot in the South Pacific) and about the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, and I started crying when it occurred to me how many young Japanese women would have been killed (but I'll have to admit I have at least a mild case of "yellow fever").
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my mother still has her (ailing) physical body. she also has alzheimers. My mother actually died several years ago. I get glimpses of her occasionally. I have already grieved.
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I think you’re not grieving right now because it’s been a relief from all of your duties you had to do. I think grieving will come in time.
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well after posting what i did ,,i thought here might be a way to get your self to do it ..so my thoughts = right before going to sleep think of the good things of your mom & have pictures to to look at ..i do not know if you should get a sad feeling or good feeling & maybe can try melatonin they sell it at walmart look for purple & green trim purple cap 5 mgs i think it helps to get deeper sleep ..so i think having your mom in mind but good times i think then just go to sleep & hope you get a dream that will let you feel right for your Quest of relief ..like i said i miss my mom the way she use to be ..so maybe that will give you what you want try to keep doing it till it happens ..i had a dream of my dog that passed i didnt have a dream about her till a month later but i did not think of her as far as i can remember so good luck
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With long term illnesses that end the suffering for a loved one, you ready shouldn't grieve for them because you really have pre-grieved already - I don't know if that is a real word but it needs to be included - the pre-grieving is a bit some days & more other days - there is no formula or set 'amount' on how much you will grieve

Sometimes the length & manner of death can be a factor but long term dementia means you grieve each time they loose a milestone - like the first time they can't recognize you then you will grieve that issue - each loss of a person's personality or character is a small grieving that is done at the time - it is accumulative so even when they are still with you then you have grieved the passing of those milestones

I hope this makes sense - if your mom was 62 with long ALZ you may grieve her lost years but if she was 96 then she probably lead a good long life - each person is an individual so don't worry about not crying & grieving after they die because I'll bet you did lots before they died
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Hi, as others have said, everyone grieves in a different way. Don't feel bad that you hardly cried, your grieving was very probably done while your mother was alive. I remember shortly after my mother died, I burst into tears at hearing her favourite song. It came from no where. Someone once said to me, grief comes in waves, when you least expect it, something will remind you of your mother, like for me it was music.
Be strong, your mother would have wanted that, All the best, Arlene Hutcheon
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I agree with everyone here.
Try not to judge yourself so harshly..
It sounds like you've been (and continue to be) completely overwhelmed with caregiving hell, essentially. Having to focus on everyone else's problems may be putting you in a place that's hard to actually feel much of anything as you bounce from one crisis to another.
Give yourself some time alone in the car. Take long drives. You'll be amazed at what may surface if you let all of the demands on you fade away for a bit.
In the meantime, it's entirely possible that you've already grieved for the loss of your mom years ago when she stopped being the mom you knew. Frankly, dementia makes death a welcome thing in many ways, considering the emotional toll it takes on the families and caregivers.
I'm in a very similar situation: I cared for my beloved sister for 10 years as she fought breast cancer, then segued into my father's illness and death and have been at the helm of my mother's battle with dementia since 2010. It's exhausting. I love all of them deeply, but watching them all slip away slowly has been a slow form of torture over the last two decades. I'm not sure how much I'll cry either.
Be kind to yourself. I hope you'll find some time to process all of the stress you've been through and realize how strong you've been.
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What you may be experiencing is shock. Give it some time. Losing a mother is difficult.
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My mother was also afflicted with dementia and she was quite cruel in the things she said to me and about me. Even though I understood that she was not in her right mind her accusations hurt my feelings. When the nuns told me that after Mom died, I would not remember the person she had become but the person she was before her dementia, that is not what happened to me. It was ten years before I could truthfully agree with people who told me what a wonderful woman she was. It was ten years before I could think of her without thinking of the way she treated me at the end of her years. So, you are not alone. Some of us have been feeling guilty much longer than you have. I wish I could have given myself permission to forget and forgive but I didn't so I am suggesting that you should do it to save yourself what I have put myself through these many years. Several of my close friends have had the same experience with their loved ones. I do grieve for my mom now and for things in her life that she could not control.
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I'm in the same boat as you. My dad just passed on November 2, 2017. Also, my mom passed a year ago. Everyone thinks I would cry a lot. Actually, I was crying more when they were alive because their demeanors and personalities that remembered have died a long time ago.

So, you are not cold-hearted. You just feel relief that your mom is not suffering anymore... and you are probably that her spirit is in your heart. That's what I feel with my mom and dad.
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Taking care of all those relatives is not easy, especially when they have dementia. Be kind to yourself. Go easy. You have had to maintain tight control of your emotions, I imagine, when dealing with this mega-caregiving. Your mourning may come little by little, or something will set it off later on. Or you may have mourned the mini-losses as you have watched your relatives slowly slip away. Take good care of yourself. I'm sending you hugs.
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I would like to add one more comment. My girlfriend said about losing her husband, she not only lost her husband, she lost her job (as caregiver). So she and you lost two major parts of your life at the same time.

Take good care of yourself as you transcend into the new life. Get some grief counseling if you feel you need it.
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My sisters and I took care of our mother in her home for 8 years. We were fortunate that we all lived nearby. We had some daytime help because we were all still working. We took turns spending two nights at a time. It was less stressful than what most people have to deal with, but still it took us away from our husbands, children and grandchildren. After my father died she thought she would die, too, so she did nothing but try to for the next 8 years. She had nothing wrong with her and lived to 97. I don't think I ever cried except, like some others said, when someone told me they were sorry or they knew I missed her. The thing I hated most was when someone said how wonderful it is for someone to live that long. It is not wonderful unless they are able to live at home independently and have good minds. Her death was a relief for me. I know it sounds awful, but the ones who have been there know how it feels. Two years after she died, we are now back in the same situation with my mother in law who is 97.  She fell 2 years ago and broke her hip. Would not do rehab because she, too, thought it was time for her to die. She has no medical problems, just dementia. She thinks her sons should come see her every day. As well as my sister in law and me. So here we go again. I won't cry when she dies either. We are all in our 70's and want our lives back! She is in a great nursing home, but she won't be friendly with anyone. if they wouldn't  go so often she would probably try to make some friends.
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It's OK that you haven't cried, don't worry about it. Everyone grieves differently so just cope with the loss in your own way but don't dwell on it. Don't let the grieving take over your life, just remember your mom as she was to you. You can start by being thankful for having such a good mom because so many children out there never know the love of their own parents and I was one of them who barely survived childhood whereas my only bio sister was killed. Be thankful you had a loving mom but at the same time please try to remember and sympathize for those of us out here who had to grow up unloved by hateful parents. There are so many children out there who are killed by their parents or caregivers. Please sympathize with those who are not as blessed as you when you remember how loving your mom was. Try remembering the good times with  your mom. When you do, remember those of us out there who were damaged by abusive parents through no fault of our own. Also remember those who were killed by their parents. Be thankful for your mom but also don't forget about us out here as some of us must deal with having lost a sibling at the hands of an abusive parent. My sister is gone but I'm her only voice and those of us who survived must be the voice for those we lost because those we lost our no longer here to speak for themselves and they need us to speak for them. On behalf of my  deceased sister, please remember abuse survivors and those who died when you remember how good you had it with your own parents because not everyone had it as good as others
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I always think with something horrible is happening to the person that I love when they go home to be with the Lord I am joyful and know that they are at peace
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My Mom passed in September. She lived with me 20months then I made the decision to put her in AL. When money ran out, NH. Her Dementia got worse each month. Finally her body started shutting down. She was 89. The only regret I have is being impatient but then it was just me. I had a hard time dealing with it not being Mom anymore. I grieved then because in a sense the personality that made my Mom was gone. My Mom also believed she would go to heaven. She was ready. I try to remember the good times. I tear up when someone expresses their sympathy. But I feel she is in a better place. Whole again. I did for my parents my whole life. I gave them no trouble growing up. So I have no regrets. No she won't be at Christmas dinner. But as I bake I will think of all the cans of cookies she made for everyone. All she did "for us". Years after I grew up she told me how she hated decorating the tree.
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I am so sorry for the lost of your mother. I have had the same issue. I want you to be released from that guilt, and it is absolutely NORMAL to feel relief. The mother that you knew died a very long time ago, so you have already started your grieving process gradually when that decline in health started a while back. I will continue to pray for you!!!!
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I felt exactly as you do when I lost my mom to dementia. Someone told me something that made so much sense and I now try to pass it along to others so they may feel peace as I did, finally. At first I thought I was in shock and on auto pilot with funeral plans and all that goes with that. What the person told me is, I had already mourned her before she passed away. And as I thought about it, that is exactly what I had done. I would sit and watch her as she would stare blankly out the window and cry because I could no longer visit with her as my mom, her behavior was no longer the mom I knew and longed to have. I loved her so much and had been mourning the loss as she disappeared over the years she lived with dementia. Nothing is wrong with you. You had mourned over time and at the end was like me, consumed with the thought I should be falling apart and wasn't. HUGS!
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The grieving process normally occurs at the time of loss, which may not coincide with the death. My mother had a massive stroke in July 2014. She had brain damage which caused a loss of memory, very little cognitive ability, and propelled her to late state dementia. She no longer knew that I was her son. Within the next 6-8 months I would sometimes cry without notice at inappropriate times such as talking to doctors, nurses, or therapists. We used to cook together a lot. Sometimes I would be in the kitchen cooking and I started crying because we used to do those things together. Eventually I researched how grief works and realized that I was in the grieving process. I am still my mother's 24/7 caregiver. I don't know how my emotions will respond to her death when that day comes. I just know that I have done a lot of grieving already.
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When my husband died three years ago, on my Birthday...I couldn't cry. I was so happy that he was saved and was in heaven with Jesus. Only now three years later, I am finding my self crying for him often. I have health problems that I wish he was here to take care of me...My three grown children are fighting with each other and only one is helping me...they hate each other and are jealous of each other. I miss my husband more than ever now...I even find myself crying for my mother at times. I think you 've been wonderful to you mom and family. God bless you for all your efforts to love and take are of them.
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wow - a popular topic - many comments!
apologies, i did not read everyone's thoughtful supportive comments as i usually do.

i am thankful for kdcm's unique question - it gave me 'reason' to express my reaction to my dad dying [july, 2015]. at his memorial i was overcome by 1 brief volcano of a cry - no more than 6 seconds! never cried 1 tear since. ironically tho - i loved my dad - identified / shared with him - and not with mom [still, and dealing with her progressing dementia..] i believe he knew i loved him, and i visited much more frequently than i visit mom now...
soooo - the irony? - - dad's passing was natural, no frayed ends of feelings. no crying. i predict that when mom passes, i will cry the 'normal expected' amount - as i have issues with her - no need to describe - suffice it to say, the loss of mom will be felt more as that relationship never grew...
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I think those here who have indicated you've been grieving for some time, are right. I live with my mother and she also has dementia. It's still pretty early. It mostly presents as forgetfulness and short term memory loss. But she is becoming increasingly dependent upon me. She has always been a loving and nurturing mother. I'm sad that I'm now becoming the mother and she the child. And I feel guilty because I feel that way. I want my mom back. How selfish, right? I'm finally facing the fact that she is declining and I'm losing her and it makes me so incredibly sad. I'm finally starting to grieve about it. I don't know how long this will go on or how well I'll handle it. All I know is she deserves loving care, kindness and understanding. I can imagine though that when she finally passes, it might be a relief while also very sad. But I think my real grieving is already happening.
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Hello kdcm1011,
Your concern was the same concern I experienced after my mom passed in January. What I came to realize is that we as caregivers for our loved ones are grieving through the care giving process. You have had 7 long years of doing your best yet knowing that your mom was declining. We can't help but grieve as we witness this process. I still have not cried like I want to or like I feel I need to. I think it's time alone that's needed to reflect on my mother and my life with her but in fact I may have grieved all that I am capable of. So all I am trying to say is that your lack of tears does not mean that you are a heartless daughter. You have been there when she needed you most and I truly think that you have grieved quite a bit before your mom passed. Please take comfort in the care you provided your mother. I wish you peace and wonderful memories.
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I have a feeling, that like me, you grieved while things were happening. You were most likely overwhelmed and constantly busy so you didn't know you were grieving - but you were. Now it is over and you are relieved - the person is finally in a state of perpetual peace. You have done what you could so you deserve blessings for that. You may or may not cry - sometimes this happens months and years later and then just let it happen. You were loved and you loved. Maybe your gift is peace so you don't have to cry all the time. Good luck.
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I totally understand how you feel. And I am a crier. I'm feeling extremely numb myself. After 6 years of caring for both of my parents (father, heart disease, mother, Alzheimer's)... I find myself numb. My father died in August, and three of my Mom's sisters have passed (one just yesterday) since he died. I cried over my beloved Aunt yesterday for a few minutes and then it was done. I just can't seem to feel anything. My mother has been in pretty severe decline since my father passed. And is now in a care home. I visit her as often as I can. Haven't been able to tell her about her sisters... She's grieving severely over my Dad. I don't expect her to last long. (Now that made me feel something...)

Sorry, didn't mean to take over your post. ❤ I believe you are indeed grieving. Everyone is different. My hospice grief counselor explained that grief can be like an onion peel, it will come off in layers. In each person's own time and way. Don't be hard on yourself. You are a beautiful person who loved enough to make sacrifices to care for your family members, and still do. Give yourself time and permission to not worry about it. You will gradually grieve. It takes time.
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Everyone grieves differently. There is no set pattern or time-frame, in my opinion. I'm not an expert, but I found that my grief for the loss of my mom was a process over several years. My mom was diagnosed with Parkinsons and after a hip fracture ended up in assisted living for over a year. Eventually she required more nursing care and moved to another facility. For me, my grief was a gradual "letting go." I think because my mom was physically changing over time, I was able to slowly grieve with each change and "loss." I grieved when she started having health issues that required more of my time and care for her, I grieved when she fractured her hip and we had to move her from her home, I grieved when she had new loss of motion and became more expressionless, and I grieved when we had to place her in a nursing care facility. My mom was also a wonderful, caring mother. The care staff for her during the most difficult years of her health-loss, were fantastic and so loving. I couldn't have provided nearly the level of care she received. My mother has been gone for 6 years now, and hardly a day passes that I don't miss her. There are days or even moments when I am overwhelmed with the loss of her presence, but for me personally, I know that my mom is whole and that I will see her again as God's Word promises.

When you are as busy and helping so many others, as you're doing right now, you don't have time to respond to your own needs, much less some of your feelings. I would encourage you to take some time for yourself and don't worry about not "grieving more." Your expression of grief may be entirely different from someone else's. Perhaps your grief is turned into wanting to help others more.
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I will just say I had a dysfunctional family and never had a real relationship with my father. He was a good man, but had no idea of how to be, or desire to be a good dad like you see on tv or in the movies. Oh, he did his duty and lived in the house and paid for our food and clothing, and he took us on trips - he wasn't bad, just disconnected. When he passed away I shed a few tears. I was sad I never had a loving father, and he didn't appreciate being a father at all. Why should I grieve, to put on a big show? RIP, his suffering was over, he did his best, that was all........My mother, the same. I was a reluctant angry caregiver going through absolute h*ll all alone during her long decline, and when she finally went into a nursing home, I was beside myself with joy....Now, when she died, I didn't grieve much, as she was 'dead to me' long before. She wasn't the same woman I had known all my life. but that doesn't mean I didn't care about her, or miss her, or think about her. I did, all of these things. We never had much of a relationship, and she was a cold, self-absorbed twit all her life, again, why should I grieve just because I'm 'supposed to'? I shed a few tears when she died, but RIP mom, your suffering is over, and at least I've learned to not be a mother like you...But life is funny, there is a certain song I can never listen to again, associated with her passing. I start sobbing helplessly when I hear it. Last Mother's Day was unexpectedly kind of painful, I felt weepy all day. Parents are part of us whether they were good or bad, and there are holes in our hearts when they die. Maybe we are sad for that, what their loss means to us.  
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