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You have been through the pain of caregiving a loved one and they have passed. So as not to relive the recent pain of caregiving those last days, THIS THREAD IS FOR YOU. To express yourself; be supported by others who have lost their parent, spouse, friend, loved one. A caregiver's grieving and recovering post. If ever you just want to sign in without saying something, put three xxx or three ..., then click post, someone will know you were here, on your special thread, it's yours to say whatever you want. You can even honor your Mom's memory by posting about her.

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Dear Shelli,

Good to see your post. Thank you for updating us. I have to agree with you, music makes a huge difference. Day by day, moment by moment. We all just do the best we can.

Wishing you a happy holiday season as well. Take care, my friend.
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When my mother died, we found a booklet that she had marked "Funeral" on its cover. Inside were the instructions to what she wanted incorporated in her funeral.
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Thanksgiving was harder than I expected but at least I remember it, unlike last year's. I am really missing my mother but I am doing things to honor her and her memory is a presence I find is supportive. I talk to her and even if her responses are all "in my head," I am helped by remembering how she spoke, what she would say, how she would look. All of it. It hurts no one and helps me celebrate her while I continue to assimilate my loss.
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Hi cdnreader, sendhelp and all,

Wow, this came at just the right time. I was just thinking about this post, but not sure I was quite ready to post. Guess I am (sorta :-)!)

Trying to get into the holiday mood, but it is so hard. I am so thankful that we had last Christmas and New Years to celebrate. My town has really spectacular holiday light display and we got to see that. My mom was not sure that she would get much out of it due to the macular degeneration, but she kept marveling at how beautiful it was.  She kept talking about it.  I truly believe that she was holding on until the holidays were over.  She went into the hospital on January 7 and was gone by the 11th.  

So Christmas is not going to be easy.  I just miss her so much.  There are times when it hurts so bad.  Yes, I get through.  Music is my savior.  Sometimes I need soothing music and sometimes I need something crazy loud!  

Haven't thought about any new traditions, yet.   Will be carrying on with the old traditions.   Thinking about decorations and maybe something special to honor her memory.  Hopefully, weather permitting, we will be able to get the cemetery (it is a bit of a distance, so we have to plan for a good day).  Would like to take something special.  Not sure what, but now there are these pretty solar stakes with angels that light up. 

So guess that is where I am at right now.  Once again, thank you all for being here.  It helps to know that there is a safe place for me to come and let my defenses down and let it all out.   

Merry Christmas to all and take care!

Shelli
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Dear Send,

Thank you for bringing this one back up.

It is definitely a year of new traditions. My grandmother passed in October so its the first year we will not spend Christmas Day with her and my extended family. My aunt has decided to host a gathering on Boxing Day instead.

My mother is now cooking dinner at her house for our immediate family. My new tradition includes going to the cemetery to bring a Christmas plant to my father. I wish it wasn't so, but I guess I have to learn to adapt.

Dear Shelli,

How are you? Everything you wrote really resonated with me. I know its not easy. Please know if you ever need to talk, we are all here.

Take care. Thinking of you.
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Shelli,
and others,
Holidays are the times when the memories will be hardest because Mom or Dad are no longer there.
Will you be carrying on traditions, or creating some of your own?
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Bringing this back up to the top.....
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Reading your posts, all....
to support and pray for each of you.
Love,
from Sendhelp.
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First I want to thank everyone who has given me encouragement. It helps.

Shelli60, you are in a horrible situation: grieving and still caregiving. I don't know if your mother or father had or have dementia, but you might want to consider calling the Alzheimer's Association's 24 hour support number. From their site: "The Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline provides reliable information and support to all those who need assistance. Call us toll-free anytime day or night at 1.800.272.3900"

Ask for a counselor. Another thing to try is a calling a local non-profit hospice and asking if they have a bereavement department. If so, they can help sometimes. Find support groups. Sometimes you just have to ask. Do you have any family that could be supportive?

Hugs! You are doing the very best you can. But please also don't get burnt out.
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I just don't know how to keep doing this. Some days are just so hard. And while I know there is no "timetable," I guess it is hard to understand that. Yeah, I know only 10 months have passed since my mom is gone. But I don't have anyone to talk to who seems to understand that I still am trying to get through this. Plus I am still taking care of my father, and that seems to be a full time job lately. And while I am ashamed to say this, I sure don't feel appreciated for all that I have been doing for him lately. I feel so petty for wanting him to say thank you once in a while. We just had some work done on the house and who was it who did most of the preparation so that the workmen would have access. Who is it who cleans, washes his clothes, takes care of a million mundane daily things so that he can still be living here in this house.

I just miss my mom so much. She was the one who kept the family together. I just sometimes find it hard to accept that she is gone. We had our moments, but for the most part, we got along and she made the caregiving easier.

So I don't really know where I am going with this. Just that it has been a really hard week and I guess I just needed to vent. Yeah, I know I will make it through...I have up to now in my 62 years on this earth. I never realized, though, how hard it would be to lose one of the people who was so precious to me.

Thanks for listening and best wishes to all who are going through the same ordeal.
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Dear Dad,
I will never forget how you rented a moving truck and drove all that way to save me from my (ex)husband. You packed me up and unpacked me at your ex's house.
I didnt ask you to do this, you just jumped up and came. Thank you and bless you wherever you are .....
I wish you were here to do it again for me now :'''(
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Dear PCVS,

I think grief can be a long and lonely journey sometimes. I hear that too, that the second year is tougher than the first. The reality of our loss starts to set in. I am trying to prepare myself but realize sometimes I cannot avoid my grief attacks.

Dear Gershun,

As always thank you for your kind and supportive words. I am still looking for that peace but I do hope it will emerge soon.
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I just reread this whole thread. The tributes to our deceased loved ones are so touching and heartfelt. God Bless everyone on this thread. May the peace that passeth understanding dwell inside all of you!
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One person told me that sometimes the second year can be worse on those occasions when we need support but almost will think we should be "over it."

Grief is exhausting in its own way. Less drawn out exhaustion than caregiving's exhaustion, but certainly quite intense at times.
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Dear Shelli and PCVS,

I'm here too. It's been 11 months and there are still hard days. Talking to the counselor and she says there is no fixed timeline but sometimes around 18 to 24 months things start to ease a little.
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I'm here. Sunday (tomorrow) is the unveiling of my mother's headstone. It will have been just about 10 months since she died. I thought I would never lose the most horrific agony but that pain has dulled. It's there but it's no longer unbearable. It is bearable and I am ready to live, though I'm not "over it." I never will be.

I'm ok with that.
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xxx-more later. just need to know y'all are here.
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Dear GardenArtist,

Thank you for your kind words, it is deeply appreciated. Writing those words made me tearful because I wish so badly I could go back in time. I want to put a memoriam in the paper in October for the one anniversary. I've been thinking a lot about what I would want my dad to know. Thank you for your reply.
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CDN, your tribute to your father brought tears to my eyes. It's quite sensitive, emotional and poignant.
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xxx
I am not ready to post, but I really need to.
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Dear Dad,

Its been 10 months since that awful day. After I fed you lunch, I should have taken more time to sit with you, but you were so tired. I never thought that would be our last today together. Never. I miss so much buying you coffee and all your favorite foods. Miss having you in the house. Sorry for all the anger and impatience. I hope you know much I tried and wanted you to be happy. Want to you know we're all OK. Doing our best every day to make you proud if we can. Please know we love you and miss you every day.
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Love Note
Hi Dad
I think I can make things right,wouldnt that be great?
I felt you with me i think.
I cannot miss you because that would mean what i cannot accept... maybe thats why my heart hurts... anyways here's some chocolate, I love you
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Dear Shelli,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your mother. I'm so sorry. Your father is so lucky to have you in his life. Its always so hard to be the strong one. Us daughters go through so much caring for our parents. Like you said it would be nice if someone else would be able to carry us once in a while. I hope you can get some respite care for you dad. Try to be as kind and gentle with yourself during this time.

My dad passed four months ago. I'm still struggling with my new normal. Hard to wrap my head around that my father is gone. And that the only place I can visit him is the cemetery. I know death is a part of everyone's life but I had hope to put it off till my dad was 100. Because I was his primary caregiver, I feel like I didn't do enough to save him. If only I did this or that, then maybe he would still be here. I guess I will keep giving myself time to process what happened.
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It has been one month since my mom is gone. Good days and not so good days. What I find the hardest is the "being strong." Sometimes I just want to NOT be strong. Does that make sense? I am still caring for my dad and I know I have to be there for him. And I know I will get through this, but sometimes I just feel like I need to be weak and have someone to "carry" me. I don't know if this makes any sense or not. Just needed to say it.
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I want to thank AgingCare.com for the newsletters,info,etc. About dementia. Just lost my mom to the disease. And if weren't for the hel pful info.that got my brother and i through.this disease. I wouldn't know what we wouldn't have done. Again thank you
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xxx
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When I finally arrived home after caring for my late mother out of state, my husband had discovered this little box in her basement. She had saved virtually EVERY greeting card that I had received!! What a treasure that was to look at them now, after she has deceased.
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Holidays are the worst for me and here's why--
#1 I lost my father when he was only 50 on Good Friday, which was March 24, 1967.
#2 My maternal grandmother's birthday was Independence Day.
#3 My mother's birthday was Halloween.
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Such beautiful memories you all have, and I love reading them!

Daughterof1930, hey I am too, a daughter of a 1930! I have some of those baby daffodils, coming up in my garden. They were a flower gift, gift, given at my Dad's funeral, and every year they come up, I sigh of relief! They remind me so much of him, and all the wonderful memories I have of him.

Isn't it a wonder, the many triggers we have of our LO's?

I also have in my garden, loads of the cacti, CHICKEN AND HENS, that were originally in my Grandpa's garden, then cuttings went to my parents rockery, then to my first home, and now in the garden of my second home, for all of these 20 odd years now! Those things never die, but one year, drought, cold, and the squirrels had gotten them down to only 2 crowns, only to have flourished the very next year, and now we've got loads of them, scattered allover the yard! Life and plants ar amazingly resilient, waxing and waning over the years, but should we ever leave this house of ours, those are the two plants that we would bring with us to our new place, those and the Easter Lily, my husband gave to his Mother when he was a boy, and has survived all the years too! Once white, now blooms in a bright Yellow! Must be the Ph of the soil, or a miracle to say, "don't forget me"!
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This week I have snowdrops blooming in my yard. They are lovely little white flowers, noted for being the first bloomers, a first sign of spring to come. They were my mothers, I took them from her yard, and have moved them with me wherever I've gone. When I saw them blooming I burst into tears and said a quiet, I miss you mom.
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