My mother died 8 days ago after a 15-year journey with early onset Alzheimer's.

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My mother died 8 days ago after a 15-year journey with early onset Alzheimers. She was only 69 years old. I've posted on here a number of times so some of you may know that her whole life was difficult. She had severe mental illness before and after the Alzheimers, and that made being her daughter a trial in my own life. I have said most of my life that I didn't have a mother, instead I had a mentally ill woman who lived in the same house with me. So, with her passing, I don't think I mourn her loss really because my only childhood memories of her center around her locking herself up in her room and crying or raging with anger at us. I do however, feel intense sadness today with thoughts of her death. This disease is so cruel. I did not feel any warm fuzzies for her but I never wished ill for her either, and I sat by her bed for 3 days watching her die, and it was horrible. I'm sad that a fellow human being had to endure this disease. I'm sad that a fellow human being's life was ended so early. I'm sad that for 15 years she had no ability to form real, meaningful relationships with her grandchildren because her mind was slowly dying. I'm sad for what caregiving did to my father and to me and to my own children. Oh, how I hate this disease! For everyone out there tonight at the brink of meltdown trying to take care of a dementia patient, know that I feel your frustration, I feel your anger, I feel your pain, I feel your sorrow. I have faith that she is finally free now, and I guess I just have to hold on to that hope and belief.

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I'm so sorry for all that you've been through, and now for your loss. I hope this painful experience leaves you with positive lessons learned, and in reading what you expressed so well in what you wrote, it seems you've gained much insight despite such hardship. Grace and peace to you going forward
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Dear threeboys,

My deepest condolences and sympathies. I'm so sorry for all the pain and sorrow you went through. I know this was a long and difficult journey with your mom. You did the best you could. But you are right it does take a toll on the entire family.

I hope you will take some time for yourself now. And if need be seek out counseling or join a support group to cope. Please try to be as kind and gentle with yourself. Take care. Thinking of you.
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When we lose someone with whom we had a poor relationship (but wanted a good one) we lose the chance that it might improve someday. Even if we know that is a totally unrealistic hope, I think it can still be there in the back of the mind. So this fantasy chance is now gone. Sad.

Dementia is a terrible, terrible thief, robbing not only the person who has it, but the entire family.

And now you move on, to a new and healthier normal. Be gentle with yourself.
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I am so sorry, threeboys. I know that you have a mix of feelings. We can't blame them when they are mentally ill or have dementia, but it tears at our lives so badly. I hope you're able to pick up the pieces and have a good life from here on out. Big hugs for you, your children, and your father. You've been through a lot.
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Yes, she is free. Time to free yourself too. Try to focus on the good times, only the good times.
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