My father died at his home with me holding his hand and Mom in denial making her lunch as if nothing was wrong, My Dad had hospice 2 times a week. I had to brush his teeth, shave him, get him in and out of wheelchair to use toilet cut his fingernails. Hospice checked him day before he died and said call them the next day but calls to hospice were not returned. It was a terrifying experience to watch my beloved Dad die. Now mom needs care several days a week due to mobility issues and falls and I just can't shake the sadness even when I'm not at their house, I have a husband a single divorced working daughter and 2 grandsons living with me in a big house and want to enjoy them but feel like I am always waiting for phone to ring and another emergency. Mom will not hire help and will not move but is being really sweet to me. Sister is no help even though 1 hour drive away. My husband and daughter and son help out but work full time so the whole situation feels like it is on me. I am on antidepressants but this is just so sad I can't go one day without crying. Maybe this is normal. It is not the way I thought my life would be that is for sure.
I don't even know normal anymore.

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Amamgy, my mother-in-law was in total denial that her husband, my father-in-law was dying. Her brain just could NOT accept that fact, so she didn't. Looking back though, I have to admit that none of us actually talked face to face with her and said he wasn't going to last the month. I'm not sure if we were afraid, or just thought she knew it. It wasn't till the hospice nurse asked her if she could be perfectly honest with m-i-l about her husband's condition. She was the one that told her point blank, and boy did the sparks fly. My mother-in-law was so mad, that I thought she was going to spontaneously combust. She absolutely did NOT believe that nurse, it was pretty bad. Some people just can't or won't accept things that are bad, and you can't make them. About a week after we buried him, we started seeing just how much he had done for her and we hadn't known. She has macular degeneration and dementia, so he had been her eyes and her brain/memory for years. Now suddenly the family was having to pick up the slack. That wasn't so bad at first just having to put her pills in organizers, get meal-on-wheels to come in, take her shopping, wash her hair, take her everywhere actually, get an emergency necklace etc. But when she started stumbling around and fell, first breaking her foot then later her hip ( x's 2) she had to go into asst. living. After that first hip got broken, all the doctors that had evaluated her told us she could no longer live alone, so that was it. Maybe it's time you and your family had an intervention for your mom and told her ALL OF YOU have decided she can't live alone anymore. Sorry it's gonna be bad, I can guarantee you that, but most likely necessary now. Bummer.

Maybe this is normal, for now. How long ago did your father die? Not that there is a timeline you are supposed to follow, and you will always miss him, but the loss should become less painful over time.

In addition to being on an antidepressant, are you seeing a talk therapist? The two are more effective together, especially during periods of high stress. If you aren't seeing a counselor, I recommend it. There is nothering "wrong" with you, and you don't need to be "fixed." You simply deserve help to deal with this especially difficult time.

You know what caregiving is like. You've done it. Now you need to assess how much of the caregiving you are able/willing to do with your mother. You are not a bad daughter if you decide to put some limits on it. Then it is a matter of figuring out how the rest of her needs will be met. Come back and post again if/when that is your issue, and people who have gone through it can give you input.

I am truly sorry for your loss. Although it was frightening, it is wonderful that you were able to be with your father at the end.

This sounds like a very trying time for you-I pray things work out. I would thank the Lord for being able to be there when your Dad passed. He is in the arms of those who love him above and I am sure it meant more than words can say that you were holding his hand to him. Have you spoken to other family members about setting up another arrangement for caregiving for your Mom? As hard as it is I feel you need to sit with pen and paper and look at the whole picture (step out of your involvement momentarily to better assist you in this) -- note what you think are the most important things that need to be done for her care in order of their priority. I do not know the situation but it sounds like you need a break for a few hours at least every other day until something can be established. Have someone go with you a few times to your Mom's while you are there together. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying out different ways to assist her and yourself. I understand how important it is for you to be there for her, but for you need to take care of yourself also so you can take care of her. God bless you and I pray you get the help you need.

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