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Is losing a parent after providing care for years harder than moving them to a facility? I had a thought last night, that almost felt like a light bulb, one of those AHH HAA moments. I know so many that have had a very difficult time processing the grief of losing a parent. That parent has become so dependent on the child caregiver that provides everything, does everything, and often without any sort of support from other family members, nothing but criticism and suspicion. Why do they have such a difficult time? Could losing a parent after providing for their every need be similar to losing a child? I think it may. I cannot imagine the pain of losing one of my children, would it be similar to lose my mom after providing for her every need for years before losing her? Maybe I am fortunate that I did not provide the care until then end, it is hard enough to try to regain my life. But what if it had been until she left this world? I am sure, it would be absolutely devastating, and crushing even if there is a relief that the parent is now free of their disease. What are your thoughts?

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HONK!! I resemble that remark!
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CM, LOL! I have this image now in my brain of a goose struggling to get in the air but cannot because of the lead weights on its legs! LOL!
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VS, my brain is definitely not in gear - I read your description of the goose as lead (as in the heavy metal) instead of lead (as in front)! But even worse thought, yup, that's exactly how I feel... lead goose is me all right...
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The changes are so hard churchmouse as you mention.Everyday people came for the last 3 and a half years straight,the nurse,chaplain,compassionate touch,the oxygen man,the bathaid,social worker,Etc. and then No one.I'm not good with any change and everything is always changing.I got so used to sleeping on the couch beside Mom,I'm still sleeping there.
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And even more if they weren't. It's just hard. Grief becomes part of you and does not hurt as acutely after a while, but that's not quite the same as "getting over it" whatever that means!

You just take over the position of lead goose and keep flying though. And realize as hard as it is, it would have been worse for them if they'd outlived you. Such is life on this earth. I do believe a better world awaits, a world made new and the people in it all made whole. We had a beautiful funeral for a very young 65 year old and very beloved parishioner today...last week on the prayer list unexpectedly in CVICU and the next thing we knew,she was gone. Total shock. One of the priests sang Goin' Up Yonder and we did Soon and Very Soon... "No more dyin' there!" And right after, the trauma helicopter from the hospital where she was coordinator did a flyover right over the church. The padre who did the singing used to be our patish priest but had an incredibly hard time after losing his mom, hard time facing his own mortality, just like most of us do...it was awesome he could sing about it and added a little about meeting up with his own beloved family again as well as seeing Jesus face to face. No, no lessons to be learned that we did not already know. Just worship and tears and gratitude mixed together.
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You never get over losing your parents. especially if they were great ones.
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After having such an intimate relationship with my parents to where they both called me Mother and I felt them as my children.... having them go into a home provided me with a needed slow separation. Separation of my empathic spirit who felt everything- all the pain and confusion...
it was and is a sad situation ...
I am convinced it was better for me not to have seen my dad die, I am traumatized enough by seeing him the days before, and the loss of him.
not sure where i was going with this comment ...
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CM put it so well, it is the strength of the bond, not necessarily the setting. There are those who have a loved one in care that are still intimately connected, visiting several times a week or even daily for hours at a stretch. When your life's routines become so intertwined with the person you care for and they are suddenly gone it is only logical that the loss must be compounded by the changes in your daily life. Is there life after caregiving, and what kind of life will it be?
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Between hospital rehab and now memory care facility, mom has been away from for 10 months now - I cried for days when I placed her in memory care and it pains me to put her to bed there knowing she thinks i live there too and will be there when she wakes up during the night - still there is a small still voice telling me this separation might make the final transition a bit easier although I know I will be grieving mightily -

Luckylu, we know what you went through with your mama but you were blessed with a sense of humor too so tomorrow go buy yourself a little treat perhaps an ice cream cone to celebrate the end of summer
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I don't think it's the setting that makes the difference to how one feels about the loss itself. I think it's the strength of the emotional bond. The Queen, much quoted, said at her mother's passing: "grief is the price we pay for love." Which is so neat it almost risks being trite, but actually I think is just true.

What might be tougher for hands-on caregivers is the abruptness of the change. I went overnight from providing 24/7 care to zero. What was the point of me?

I hope and pray that I will never be in a position to compare this experience with that of losing a child. But I imagine there is no comparison.
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There are many good reasons for placing a loved one in a care center. I'm not sure this is one of them. My mom died 3 weeks ago. It is much harder on me than I expected. Would it have been even harder if she'd been in my home instead of a nursing home? Who can possibly know?

My husband died at home. That was hard ... is still hard for me 4 years later. Would it have been easier if he'd been in a care center? Maybe. Who can possibly know?
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Well I have been in this group for a number of years but just mostly reading. I dont exactly fit but I am a caregiver for my downs syndrome brother with alzheimers. He is now unable to walk well enough,dress, brush his teeth etc. He is like the baby I never had. I am 71 now and worry what life would be like without him. In the morning I am seriously afraid to go in his room because I might find him gone.

I admire all of you that cared for and lost a loved one and hope I can be as courageous as all of you.
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Lucky, I am so sorry, I cannot even imagine! It will happen, you will find you again. Be patient, do your grieving. Unfortunately, I do not think there is a short cut.
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gladimhere...You nailed it on the head with me.I provided ALL the care and Mother was my purpose and priority every minute for close to 10 years and now that she's gone,I am totally Lost.And she was kind of like my child,in a way.I fed her,medicated her,changed her diaper,walked her,lifted her,ETC. and a lot of times,she held my hand like a baby when she took a drink from her cup,and she slept with 2 stuffed bunnies,and she talked like a baby sometimes,etc.I Wanted to protect her.I loved her SO much and knew our time was running out then and I was always so scared of loosing her and now I have and it's been so awful.I am trying my best to move foreward but everything changed and more losses have come so it's been really hard.I never dreamed it would be like this.
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I really think it would be different if the parent became the child. And one provides the care for that parent. It is their purpose in life, it consumes them. They do not know how to go on without that parent that they did so much for.
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It is difficult to lose a parent regardless of circumstances. We have but one mother and one father. We are forever connected with one man and one woman. I think it hurts like a sonofabitch no matter what.
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