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Time flew by this year. It seems so fresh in my mind and I can't get the picture of her last days out of my head. Now I am looking back and wishing I had been more understanding, more accommodating, held her hand more and tried harder to make her laugh and smile. But she was so difficult up until the last 3 months, it was hard. I miss her more now than I did a year ago. My sister and I are now the "oldest generation". All parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents gone. Now I am unhealthily focused on the fact I will be my mother in a few years. I can already identify with some of her complaints. I find myself slumping, aching and getting tired when I do anything physical. So I feel like I am walking at least 1/4 mile in her shoes and I understand now what I didn't understand well over the past 20 years.

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Yes I know what you are going through. It will be 4 yrs my mom passed away in April. The first year was the hardest. After that I came to realize that she was in s better place, with all her 12 siblings & my dad. Now I still think of her every day but for the most part am used to it. But every 3 or so months I go through the whole grieving process over and I can cry for days, then it subsides. We had a lot of good times but some not so good at the end when she would literally curse me out, but that was the disease not my mom. Her dementia made her an entirely different person, and I am pretty certain she didn't even want to be her at the end.
Good luck to you!
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You sound like a loving daughter. Try to take care of yourself. Cargiving is exhausting. It can cause sadness, resentment, and even relief when our loved ones pass that required so much care. Don't feel guilty as I know you did the best you could under the circumstances. Try to remember when your loved one was healthy. I know it is hard to remember, but remember the good days, simpler times, play their favorite songs, maybe revisit places you enjoyed going together. I spritz on my dads cologne or curl up in his old sweater, to feel close to him. Going thru the first of every holiday is hard. Your loved one lives on in you remember that. You will always be a part of them, a living legacy to continue on this harrowing journey. I hope this helps prayers and hugs
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I know how you feel. I was so busy taking care of Mom after Dad passed I sort of skipped the crying/grief part. It will be two years on the 28th. But today we went to a valentines part at the NH for my MIL, and they had a Karioke singer, and one little old guy so reminded me of my dad,, dancing and singing. I really started to cry and had to go to the rest room and get myself together. Tried to pass it off as allergies.. But it was hard! Thank God my hubs understood.. my FIL and BIL were a bit confused... It hits at the strangest times.
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((((((((((((((AmyGrace)))))))))))))) You did a great job of looking after your mum!
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Dear AmyGrace,

My deepest condolences on the passing of your mother. I can relate to so much of what you wrote about. Me too. It seems surreal my father passed away. I'm like you thinking about the last days of his life. Wishing I was kinder and gentler with him. Wishing I had more patience. It was a terrible situation. I was worn down and had so much anger and resentment about being responsible for all his care.

Everyone keeps telling me it will just take more time. And sometimes people think I should be relieved I don't have to have do anything anymore. I can finally have a life. But I miss my old one. The one where I had my dad. I'm so sad I had taken him for granted.

One grief counselor suggested instead of focusing on his last days. I should go back and think about some of the happier or funnier moments in the relationship. I thought about my dad teaching me how to ride a bike. My dad picking me up from school or work. Or being proud I had learned to drive. I was so fortunate to have a good dad. I shouldn't let the last painful days define our whole relationship.

Grief is a terrible journey. I still wish I never had to experience it. I wanted my dad to be 100.

But I'm going to do as Sunnygirl suggested and try to do some random acts of kindness. And remember if we are fortunate to live a long life, that people will spare us some of their time and kindness.

AmyGrace your parents were so lucky to have you. Only a kind, caring and thoughtful daughter would still ask these questions one year later. We cared deeply and our grief journey will be longer. Take care.
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I can't imagine your pain. It's almost impossible for me to think of the loss of a parent, though, I know I will have to. It just upsets me so much. I hope you can find some peace, since you sure do seem like a wonderfully, loving and caring daughter. Please try not to punish yourself. We do the best we can and dementia does cause us to venture into unknown territory.

Aging requires a lot of courage and stamina. I'm feeling it, that's for sure. What I've decided to do is to try to share as much as I can with others right now. Just trying to give that extra smile to a senior, send a thinking of you card with a sweet note, or offer to take a senior to visit someone or out to lunch.(You'd be surprised at how many of my parent's friends who have adult children nearby, but can't get them to do ONE thing for them.) I hope that little things will bring them some sunshine.
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AmyGrace, for me I haven't though that much about my Mom, I think I was just too emotionally and physically tired as I had needed to be there for my Dad the following year.

The only time I noticed that I missed my Mom was this passed Christmas season as Mom so enjoyed the holidays and birthdays.   Buying special greeting cards was limited this past season since my Mom, then my ex-mother-in-law, and my Dad had passed.   It just felt so strange needing to bypass those sections in Hallmark :(

I know the feeling about feeling like my age.   When tending to my elderly cat who was having trouble walking so I had to carry her about, my gosh I could barely pick her up and stand up straight.  My age was showing.   The cat now, even with her limitations, has learned how to walk again, even though she is terribly ungraceful she does get from point A to B.   She has figured out how to do other things on her own.   My gosh, in people years she is probably 100 and nothing is going to stop her now.   I need to learn from her !!
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The first anniversary of a loss is always the hardest. You are at a crossroads where you choose to either obsess over it, or redirect your own thoughts to a better place and time. It really is your choice.
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