Grief- Have you felt like you arent going to make it?

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My caretaking journey ended August 13th, 2016 with the passing of my dear father. Before that I cared for my mother until she passed. My father slowly decided to go along with her. Dementia was the cause of death. The first couple of months I had hope for life after they were gone. I threw the funeral of a "lifetime", I did everything perfectly. Then the holidays hit and here I am. Alone. The last in the family. Seemingly the last person on earth to me. I dont know how to find my fire again. I dont know how to stay here on earth without them. My love all left me here. I am an artist and I cant find anything in my soul to inspire me to work. I feel like everyone is avoiding me. Nobody wants to hang out with grief. I need help.


Diane, everyone grieves differently. What I found great that helped me get back with my life was doing volunteer work. So many people could need your help. Pick one were your expertise would be needed. It will give you reason to get up in the morning, and you are around a lot of interesting people.

Example, you mentioned you are an artist, many Independent Living facilities offer art classes to their residents. They would enjoy having a professional artist to help the residents experience the fun of drawing or painting. You will go home with a big smile :)
Thank you. I have been volunteering. In fact I give - a lot. As far as pick where my expertise will be needed - I have done that too. I appreciate your kind response. It is tough to start to find your own way and I think the holidays were what prompted the additional sadness.
Dianemarie I have been where you are and I know it's a tough road but time helps. I think finding a goal, something to strive for can help. Think of something you've always wanted to pursue. Whether it be a hobby, job, project of some kind.

For me, if I don't try to keep busy I get lost in my sadness. Someone told me once that you have to compartmentalize grief. I personally hate those little catch phrases people use and at the time I just rolled my eyes but you know there is something to that. I've got this filing cabinet in my brain now and I open the door to the grief occasionally but try to keep it locked most of the time. It's like that closet you have in your home where all the junk is kept and you know you need to clean it but just don't have the heart to. Well, that's where I store my grief for now and when I get stronger maybe I'll open it up and deal with it but for now I'm content to just leave it there.
Hope that helped. Best of luck to you and keep posting cause there are so many on here who have been where you are or are going to be. We're a helpful little community on here and we want to give you our support.
Anyone ever have their loved one wish They'd die first??? Let me know. Thanks.
FF's suggestion of sharing your art talents is a very good one. The oncology center where my sister got radiation and chemo has free (except for materials cost) classes in claywork, art and other nonmedical therapies. The art sessions were especially helpful.

Concentrating on any of the art or crafts activities can "take you out of yourself" to the focus on the project you're working. It's a good way to start transitioning out of grief and into therapeutic activities.

Although it's too late to teach adult ed classes for this semester, it's something to consider for next semester. You could teach at a children's level or adult level.

After the first few quilting classes I taught, I enjoyed it so much I began checking with several of the local communities so I could teach more classes. Not only was it rewarding to share interests, I met some very accomplished women, creating some friendships that lasted for years.

You could also check with librairies; they're expanding their services and might include art classes, as the references you use might in fact be books on their there is a link from the classes to their inventory.
Those are lovely ideas. Yesterday was the first day in so long that I didnt think about my parents and wanting to be with them all day long. I think that you make valid points in serving or bringing joy to others can help us to start to see our own light. Hope. Thank you
Dear Dianmarie,

Losing both parents is a big shock. Our whole identities are wrapped up in their care. Its almost 6 months later and I still ask myself, am I going to make it? Some days I am loathe to get out of bed. I don't know why I am still here without my dad. Its been a tough road.

There have been so many wonderful and kind suggestions. But I have yet to find that "something." Maybe with more time. I still try to get up early and at least go to work. And try to do a few errands if I am up to it. One day at a time my friend.
For me, caregiving was joyless. Mom was not crazy-needy or combative, but her personality and abilities had changed enough that.....she was "not my mother."

My love and duty and exasperation and fear and resentment merged into a parasite that became my constant companion.

While I in no way wished for Mom's death, I viewed her death as the only viable way to regain my balance. Ha! I was so wrong.

Complicated grief, as they say. I get better all the time (it's been 15 d*mn months). But so bumpy.

When I experience glimmers of my old, pre-caregiving self, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Who IS that carefree doppelgänger? And do I really want to revert to someone who was so naive?

Old self isn't viable. New self is a work in progress. Gotta find a way to drum up some consistent enthusiasm for the here and now. Because I've seen old age up close, and it's nothing to look forward to.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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