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I found this site a few months ago and have found a lot of support in reading about other experiences and getting responses from others. I wanted to let everyone know that last week my father lost his battle with pneumonia. If anyone would like to hear about any details, just ask. It's almost time to sleep here now, and I cannot describe how it aches me to not have him coming out of his room to give a little wave and say "goodnight."

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What wonderful reassurances from our loved ones gone on before us. We can treasure these brief visits forever. I've had a little visit too. There is no doubt; in our hearts we know we are blessed.
Not something we would redily admit to just anyone, but they are obviously more common than any of us thought before.
Thank you all for sharing and reafirming each other.
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Twinkle, twinkle....Since my dad passed away back in May, three months ago yesterday (5-23-10) to be exact, Since his passing, I've seen a star up in the sky, all by itself shining brightly down on our home. My mom first mentioned it to me and then I told her yes I've seen that star a few nights, but it's not out every night and we decided it was my dad shining down on us. He was 82 years old and died of kidney disease, failure to thrive and severe dimentia, at least that's what was listed on the death certificate. This is my second post on this site!
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Robert, Sorry for your loss! Memories of all the special times will be with you forever.
My dad passed when he was only 54. He had heart disease and was no longer supposed to smoke. Occasionally he would go down to the cellar and light up. I was in the cellar one day getting laundry, and smelled cigarette smoke. At first it freaked me out! Then I realized no one was there, and decided it was Dad sneaking a smoke! It was nice to know he was still around looking out for us.
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Sorry, I did not understand your question. During the week there are 2 people who help me, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. I stay with my mother in the evenings and during weekends. In August I am most of the time alone with my mother, as the two helpers go on vacation. It's hard and I'm very tired... because I have to work in the same time. ( I translate so I can work at home, but I work anyway!)
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I am alone with my mother all the weekends. (except from 2 hours that I keep for myself). My mother is not in the beginning stages. She does not know who I am, most of the time I am her sister. Today, she asked me a hundred times: "Where is my daughter? Where is Rossella?" I am used to it now, but the first times it was hard... The fist signs were about 5 years ago, so we made a long way!
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I couldnt agree more, same with my dad and it was sudden. Do you have weekend time off, are you alone with your Mom? Sounds like your mom is in the beginning stages, its a long hard road but they are SO worth it.
Luvmom
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Luvmom, I guess we have no choice... When I lost my father, he was only 70 and his head was very sharp. I thought it was terrible to lose him, at that time. Now I see the opposite, an 84 years old woman still in good health (as a whole) with her mind fading. I could not choose then, I cannot choose now. (in which way I have to lose my parents, I mean)
I guess we have to live day by day and that's all!
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Thanks, I understand that it does give us hope. It so difficult with my Mom at times and to think Dad knows I am taking care of her is great. Lifes tough with her but we still have out laughs. I went away finally and she thought the caretaker was me, how sad. I love her so much and am losing her right in front of my eyes. Hugs to all you caretakers who are putting their lives on hold taking care of their parent, spouse , or child.
Luvmom
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Not "at last". "at least".
Sorry
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It's unrealistic, but if you follow this kind of stream you live much better... You really get help. This is my experience, at last. I like to be opened to every possibility!
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So unrealistic, but I so want to believe. I was told I would find a feather from my dog that died and I thought "ya right" and sure enough, it happened ! Found a black on from my black dog and a light one from my other dog that died also. I am not /was not, a believer in this things. Still make me think.......
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I think we should be more attentive to these signs
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Oh my goodness I am really impressed now... Great! Wonderful! AMAZING!
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Rosella, I just got good bumps reading this post. I lost my Dad also many years ago this month and also had a little bird who kept pecking at the window. The window is my moms room who has alzheimers/ dementia and I take care of her. My son kept telling me to come see this bird who was right on the window pecking like a litlte knock knock RIGHT in front of us.Because we had a bird feeder outside her window, I just thoght it was one looking for more food, and we laughed it off. Well, come to think of it , it did go away and it never happened again. My mom cannot see the birds any longer as her eyesight is so bad, but she can hear. Hummmmm? Could it be my Dad sending a message, they too were married over 50 years very happlily and she wakes up calling his name all the time .
Thanks for sharing.
Luvmom
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Godshelpsus, I am sure it was not a visit of a normal bird who wanted food, or shelter. The lady who works for my mother was amazed too, because she had never seen a bird do a thing like this, and for such a long time (3 days!). At first she thought he was looking for insects on the glass, but after 3 days there were no more insects! He did not want to come in. When I opened the window he flew on a tree and when I closed the window he came back again! What impresses me more is that my father loved birds because they could fly. My father wanted to become a pilot, but he could not, because he was shortsighted.
Another incredible thing of this kind happened to me: a very loved kitten who died exactly 10 years later, the same day, the same hour, of a person I had loved a lot.
Coincidences? Strange!
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Rosella, Thank you for sharing that treasure. Extraordinary indeed, and wonderful!!!
Yes, we have blackcap chickadees here too. They are greatly loved and can be very friendly. They really like black oil sunflower seeds. Maybe next May he will bless you with another visit & stay for some sunflower seeds.
It's good you can recognize these things as special gifts for you and your mother. They are.
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Dear Robert, I write from Italy. I read your post just now. The fact that you put out your dad's potato chips and so on, it is so tender! You made me cry. I'd like to tell you a very strange story. My father died in 1995, on May 9. This year, (so, 15 years after his death), on May 8, a blackcap (I don't know if these little birds are common in US, the male of the species has a black head) started to knock at the living room window, where my mother spends most of the day. He knocked and knocked and knocked all day long. I did not understand why. I tried to let him in, but he did not want to get in, he just wanted to knock on the glass of the window. The following day, the same thing. The following day, the same thing, then he disappeared. He knocked constantly on my mother's window on May 8-9-10.
My father had black hair.
It is incredible, because such a thing has not happened, before or after. No more blackcaps, no little birds of any kind, came to knock on our window. Just those 3 days. The most poetic guess is that my father wanted to show my mother that he is still here... Was he calling her? I will never know, but it's very strange. They had 40 years of marriage (quite controversial, at times) but they loved each other a lot.
I feel the presence of my father, anyway. I talk to him, sometimes I get angry at him. After 15 years I am sure there is not a single day when I have not thought of him, even if only for 5 minutes.
A big hug to you. Please don't think I am crazy, my life is full of these extraordinary coincidences...
We keep them alive with our memory.
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7 DAYS - Thanks everyone for you support and comments. There's a custom that we go thru where after seven days, we place out some of the deceased person's favorite snacks, and in the evening their spirit comes by to take a look around, gather up their things and make the final pilgrimage.

So we put out my dad's favorite potato chips, cookies, and coffee!

I'm going to select the "do not notify" checkbox this time around, but will check back in on everyone after a while. One day at a time - and let the days build up.
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A book is a wonderful idea. It helps in the grieving process.
I wrote my Dad's eulogy & made a photo book for his funeral that went all the way back to his childhood. It was a tremendous help to me & mom still goes through the photo book often. It gives her comfort too.
GOD give you peace.
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Robert, as I sit here in hysterical tears from your email, I realize how darn lucky I am to be taking care of my Mother. As much as I complain and as much as its turned my life upsidedown, you hit the spot when you said your Dad said "thank you." If only all parents could say it, they would, and they would say it alot. My Mom is in later stages of Alzehimers and still thanks me when I wash her after her bathroom episodes, even after she screams and yells at me, when she calms down. We who take care of our parents are so special! You bathing your Father, as I do my Mother, we do everything for them and after reading your letter, it made me take a step back and think more -- we are SO good to take care of our parents. Shame on the siblings that disappear or show up once in a while! As hard of a job it is, I certainly hope my husband and I are as lucky some day as my Mom is, living with us, and being spoiled as much as we can. She waited on Dad his whole life, its her turn. Thanks and I am so so sorry. I lost my dad years ago and nothing helps except time and talking about him. I wrote down things he used to say every time I thought of him for years and its called "What Dad used to say" book. I hope my grandkids read it some day. Thanks and hang in there, take pride in the fact YOU were bathing him and he left so comfortable in your care and in your arms, thats very special.
Hugs
Luvmom
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Are you able to sleep?
I can't imagine but know our time is coming ....

Please stay with us?
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I am sorry for your loss as well, but that is the nature of it. We are only here for a short time and what we make of it with each other in that time counts. I just wish more people would realize how short a time we actually have here and to make the best of it with all of us. At least he is no longer suffering, it is us who are left that do the remaining suffering. Just hang on to all the wonderful moments and the the things you acheived with your father and most importantly if they were a loving, nourishing parent, you have rich memories.
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Robert, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. I can remember the newness of my dad's passing, the sadness, the awful aching in my heart, the disbelief that he was no longer here to hug. I really understand how you're feeling. I hope you will take time to grieve, I believe it is a favor you can do for yourself. You're always going to miss your father and as GodHelpUs said, your sweet memories will become priceless. I also agree with Pamela, you have shared your experiences and knowledge with us so please don't stop.
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Robert I am sorry for your loss but I rejoice in the help that you have supplied me. You've been an inspiration to us all. Stay with us as we still need you here for guidance.

Your dad was a lucky fella to have you.
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Your heart ache will turn to sweet memories eventually.
GOD give you comfort in your mourning and peace in your pain.
Your father has gone on to be with his father and our FATHER.
They watch over us now.
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I'm so very sorry for your loss, Robert. Thank you for the words of wisdom you have shared in answering folks' questions and hearing their vents. I'm told that the very memories that bring pain today will bring peace one day. I hope that becomes truth for you.
Take care.
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ROB:

In my family we don't mourn someone's passing. We celebrate their life. Still, I can't hold back the tears back when I remember Dad slowly going to sleep in my arms as I bathed him 13 years ago. The last thing he said was "Thank you."

I'm letting them flow right now. They cleanse me and help me cope with the pain of not having him around. Yet his memory is that extra source of strength when I feel weak. As Celine Dion said, "I'm everything I am because [he] loved me," and all I can do is share that love with my sons, the grandkids, ... and you.

Stay strong my friend.

-- ED
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Thanks, I'm new to this site I just signed up today.
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my heart aches for u guys . i still have my dad . it would just kill me when his time comes and am not lookin fwrd tothat .
god bless you guys for heart aching for ur pa .
sorry for ur loss . xoxoxo
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I understand. I lost my father back in two months ago and it is rough. He had his leg amputated about 3 or 4 years ago and he was really depressed after that happened and then as time passed he seemed to be better with the amputation. He was also on dialysis which I believe took a toll on his body and for the last 3 months before he passed he was in and out of the hospital and basically had given up on life, they called it failure to thrive. I was so used to seeing him roll out of his room in his wheelchair. I miss him so much but he was suffering so bad.
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