I have had a hard time deciding to share this...I am having a hard time in general.
On Feb 7 I lost my mom. I am in deep despair. My mom was a lovely Irish lady and was always smiling. I was adopted...she chose to have me in her life and I am so grateful for that. Even when I was being a rotten kid, she did the best she could.
She (and my dad) had all of their funeral arrangements made and paid for ... as she was thoughtful throughout her entire life, even into death.They carefully planned for their future, saving enough money for top of the line care if it was needed. She even had long term care insurance...something unheard of for her generation but she thought it was so important. I had to make only a few decisions...I had to write the obituary, give the eulogy, choose the flowers and plan the reception. Every single other detail was completely taken care of and paid for.For the obituary, they even had left some biographical information with the funeral home so that I would know all the spellings of relatives names and where they lived etc. This was truly invaluable.
She had been a bit ill over the past year. She fell last Feburary and broke her pelvis, back, and cracked her skull. She was literally back to her old self in less than three weeks...not exaggerating. However she had this lingering problem with dizzy spells, falls. The doctors found multiple bleeds in her brain that they couldn't explain and that would resolve on their own. They spent the entire year running tests, scans, etc. and found nothing. On the day of her death she woke my father up very early and said "I have to go to the hospital" and those were her last words. She had a subarrachnoid hemorrhage and went into a coma. At the hospital I was told that the brain damage was severe. They could save her but she would never speak, understand words, swallow and most likely never breathe on her own again. Thankfully she had her living will in place, and my MPOA. I asked for the breathing tube to be removed and she passed, peacefully and gracefully, shortly after.
Despite knowing I did the right thing, I am experiencing horrible guilt for the decision...even though I know its what she wanted. Her best friend died a week later, she had been in a nursing home for several months suffering from CJD unable to speak, understand, hold her head up, etc so we had MANY conversations about how she never wanted that for herself...and thankfully she never had to deal with that.
I know I should be grateful that she didn't suffer, but I never expected to live in a world without her (so stupid, I know). She was only 78. She was my father's caregiver (he has early stage Alzheimer's). I am now in that role.
Thankfully my dad is a very kind, compassionate and happy man, and is still safe on his own though I see him every day. He goes to the senior center where many of his friends are widows/widowers and have helped him through this time. He sees his best friend once a week, as well as his youngest sister. And I see him for dinner every day and on weekends for longer. He is keeping himself very busy and though I see him mourning, he is moving forward as my mom would have wanted.
I read all your stories about parents who refuse to plan for their future, plan their last expenses, refuse help from others or that they can't live on their own. I don't have any of those struggles with my parents, they are/were simply amazing. But it still hurts. I am suffering so greatly. Nothing will ever be the same, ever again. I miss her so much.
I pray for all of you and that your issues are resolved, that your parents soften and decide to plan for their demise. I can't even imagine if I had to face any major decisions right after I lost my mom...I'd lose it.
My main worry now is losing my dad. He is now all I have. I have heard about "broken heart syndrome" and how people who have been together a long time (they had 55 years of marriage) sometimes die within close time-frames. I will have to be hospitalized if that happens.
I don't really have a question but hope someone can understand my worries and fears, and my regret about the decision I made to remove life support.