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.