I feel like I am falling down a well of fear and grief.

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I won't repeat the details, as some of you already know them, but my mother had a stroke 2 years ago, followed by numerous septic UTIs. Every time we think she's down for the count, she pops back up. She has 24/7 caregivers at home and about 6 weeks ago we put her on hospice (at home) bc she had another bad UTI and didn't want to go to the hospital. She rebounded from that with oral antibiotics (has required IV ones in hospital before) and was eating and drinking and doing great (considering that she's bedbound and half paralyzed).

She became short of breath on Sunday and it was very alarming and scary. Turns out there is fluid in her lung - not pneumonia, but fluid. So she is taking Lasix and getting oxygen now. Her vitals remain good and she is eating and drinking a little, but she sleeps a lot and is increasingly confused.

I'm her only child and I feel like I am falling down a well. It's so scary. No one's said her days are numbered right now, but this is as bad as she's been. What makes it all scarier is that my daughter is graduating from college in 10 days and I can barely focus on that. I am also taking her on a trip to Europe mid-June as a present. I am worried we won't be able to go. I am on depression meds, try to exercise, am taking a mindfulness meditation group, but I'm really feeling as un-hinged as I've ever felt. I hate that my girls are seeing me so depressed, though I do my best to pretend I'm not in as bad shape as I really feel.

I am also unemployed-whoopee! I have some freelance work but it's hard to focus. I'm not even sure how I could manage a full time job right now, as I spend hours per week, it seems, talking to doctors, nurses, home care agency.

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Breed dachshunds! Perfect idea.

I'm doing some freelance work, but I really need a full time job.

Maybe I won't come home from our Europe trip and move to Sicily...
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Xina, starting over is terrifying. I know. I did it. After my 24 year marriage ended and my last kid left for college, I spent weeks imagining a new , tolerable life.

I decided I was going to leave Brooklyn, buy something upstate. And breed dauschunds.

It was totally crazy, and when I announced my intention, my eldest said "mom, that's a dumb plan". Eventually, I moved on.

I guess my point is, make a plan. Take one thing at a time.

How long can you afford to be out of work? Can you take some time off to take a class, learn some new skill and meet some new people? Practice being Xina? Not Xina who just lost her mom, but Xina who is learning to knit, or design Access programs, or code?
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Oh, boy, I am struggling now. After the initial frenzy of having to clear my mom's apartment (still in progress), go to my daughter's graduation, receiving calls and cards from loved ones, things are settling down. I am less distracted and numb and feeling just miserable and lonely.

I am going on a trip to Europe w/my daughter on Saturday for 9 days an I am excited about that, but dread coming back - not just because of my mom's death, but because my life is pretty empty at the moment in general. I was laid off in February, my younger daughter is graduating from high school next year (ie, empty nest), and I am single, not by choice.

I feel like I have to build a life for myself from the ground up and it's too much to imagine. I do have good things, too - a wonderful network of friends, daughters that are doing well, my health (as far as I know), but still, I'm terrified.

I know, what can anyone say or do, aside from say you're sorry and offer hugs? That's the scary part too - no one can fix things for me. I feel so pathetic.
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((((((Hugs)))))) Xina. You said all.
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xinabess, your last paragraph describes exactly what my dad has so often stated are his longed for wishes. He very much wants to die in his home, peacefully and quickly as your mother did. What more could anyone ask indeed? I hope your trip is a time of refreshment and renewal. Blessings to you
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Thanks, all. I attended my daughter's graduation on Sunday, and we are definitely going on our long-planned trip on June 9.

With the help of friends and family (and my mother's incredible aide), we have accomplished a lot in her apartment, though there is a ton more to do. I have until the end of June (because they will "pause" the allotted 18 days to empty the apartment while I am away). It keeps me running on adrenaline and almost too busy to feel sad. I also think I have been grieving and anticipating her loss for a year or more now, and when I visited her in recent weeks, she hardly spoke and looked so done (though she always knew who I was, as well as my girls and any other relative or friend who visited her. I know many people don't recognize their loved ones, and that was not the case here.) She made some funny and spot-on comments until the moment she died. She told me 2 days before she died to write my daughter a check from her for her graduation and said "don't be chintzy," and also told me to "sit down and shut up," when I was milling around, asking her constantly if she needed this or that, wanted this food or that, wanted me to stay or go, etc.

It was the best possible scenario-dying in her own home at 85, with wonderful aides and a hospice nurse there. (I was at my home when it happened, not close enough to get there in time.) She had a lot of health problems for about 4 years, but, ultimately, she was not in pain or distress, and died peacefully and quickly. I don't think anyone could ask for anything more than that, so I am at peace.
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xinabess, it's possible to clear out an appartment in three days if you get in enough help and work from lists. I did this for an aged friend of mine going into full time care after living there 45 years. She couldn't even think about it.

After your various trips, go over to the appartment armed with several packets of different coloured post-it notes, just to make lists:
1. what to keep as vital family docs/photos/keepsakes/souvenirs for you and your family (think of younger generations too. Pack them up in clearly labelled boxes and bin bags ASAP if you can. These should be the only items that get taken to your house.
2. what is saleable (furniture, pictures, books, ornaments) by auction,
3. what could go to local charity shop (they should agree to collect), or do a garage sale if you really have the energy - most people don't; sort out what needs to be washed/laundered first,
4. what is broken/chpped/torn/stained that could be binned straight away - be firm - don't forget recycling.
5. Make "Don't know" pile for decision later.

Have a different colour post-it note for each of the categories above, and slap one on each item that you are sure will go into one or other category (even the 5th).

Tell the appartment landlords that you are arranging for an orderly clearance, and your way is the quickest way. Then get friends (bribed with cake, pizzas or takeaways) to help you get all items into boxes and bin bags heaped together by category, and when this is done, get vans/trucks to come one by one to remove stuff, starting with biggest items eg beds, settees, etc furniture. As the flat gets emptier, it's easier to take out boxes and binbags full of stuff. And you can decide on Category 5 items. Last bits and pieces get binned while you close off meters, inform post office of change of address.
Finally, you could think of hiring a couple of cleaners to come and hoover/wash everything, including windows, hoover curtains and leave the place empty and respectable.
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So sorry for your loss.(HUG)
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I am so sorry for your loss!
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Thank you everyone. I am definitely attending my daughter's graduation tomorrow and definitely going on our trip!! It's in 2 weeks. I think it will be just what I/we need and it's not like I need to visit her anymore.

She lives in a rental apt and they have pretty strict rules about clearing things out fairly soon. It's so weird. She lived there for 40 years. My heart is hurting so much.
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