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I have been on AC for a number of years. I was a full-time caregiver for my down syndrome brother who had alzheimers.
At the end of July this summer he passed away. He was in hospice at home for two months. Like everyone else it was a long hard journey. He was my whole life for years. I'm retired have no husband and no children.
Since his passing I'm doing awful; cant pull myself together == crying all the time, not moving on. I'm praying, listening to music, trying to make friends but this emptiness and loss is unbearable. I'm at a loss and need guidance.
I dont think a pill will ease this pain. I'm old and tired of trying. This is the darkest time in my life. I've been going to the senior center but there is no relief. Are there any suggestions -- words of wisdom that might help me.

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Alice,

I'm so very sorry for your loss!! And I'm sorry that you're having such a difficult time. I understand; I lost a very close family member 3 years ago, and it was almost unbearable. All I can say is that slowly - very slowly - the hurt started to ease a bit. It hasn't been very long since you lost your brother, so it's completely understandable that you're having such a rough time right now. Be kind to yourself; you don't bounce back from something like this quickly. Feel whatever you need to feel. I agree that a grief support group might help.

Something that also helped me was photos - I put together a nice album of some favorite family photos. Just a thought for you.

Take care.
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Dear Alice,

My deepest sympathies and condolences on the loss of your dear brother. I am very sorry for your pain and sorrow. I know its very hard right now. Grief brings forward so many raw emotions.

Please know everything you are feeling is natural and normal. You poured your heart and soul into caring for your brother. And it is only natural to feel lost and raw right now. Try and be kind and gentle with yourself. And don't be afraid to reach out for help. Everyone is so different but maybe a grief counsellor or a support group might be worthwhile.

I also find these websites helpful in helping me understand my grief and loss:

What's Your Grief
Grief Healing Blog.

Sending you love and hugs.
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Dear Alice
I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. I think for some losses it just takes a lot of time. I'm sure you have had losses before in your life. Some we accept as the person's time to go. Perhaps they were suffering. Perhaps they were very old. It's not that we didn't love them or care about them. Some we are just better able to go on without. Others just touch us to our core and it is so very hard to go on without them.
I lost a brother in 1972. He was 19. It took me years to let him go. Golden gave you very good advice. Take extreme care of yourself. Be careful with your diet. No extremes. Join a group even if you don't participate. Just breath in. No big decisions.
Try to get out with people. Volunteering is good. Come to this site and help others. I'm sure you have good advice to give to all of us struggling with care giving.
One day you will catch yourself singing. One day you will enjoy the sunshine. One day you will find that there is someone new in your life that you haven't told about your brother. When that happens you will know you are getting better. Not that you have forgotten him but rather that you have picked up the rhythm of your life once again.
He will always be tucked in your heart and be your constant companion.
You are still here. You have work to do. In time you will feel like contributing.
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My deepest condolences on your loss. You are experiencing normal grief, It takes time to process. July is only a couple of months ago.

I lost my youngest son over 15 years ago and still have bad moments. I would say without having a child you are experiencing something similar to losing a child as you were your brother's caregiver and it sounds like you were very close to him. You can expect to grieve for some time - well over a year. It will get better in time but right now give yourself a break and take care of you in any ways you can. You will find there are triggers to your grief - certain dates like holidays and birthdays, foods that he especially enjoyed, people that look like him and so on. Reacting to those is normal. Three months after, 6, 9 and 12 months after usually are hard times too.

You may find yourself more tired than you think you should be - make sure to get enough rest, eat properly, sleep and get some exercise.

It may help to do things in memory of your brother. There are many good ideas on the internet and also information about the process of grief, It can be very physical too so you may have symptoms like difficulty breathing, loss of appetite or comfort eating, finding it hard to sleep or fear of sleeping, muscular aches and pains...

When you are ready, it may help to join a grief group. Hospitals often have info about them.

Again, my condolences on the loss of your brother. I know how it hurts when you lose a loved one. (((((((hugs)))))))
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