For some reason, I chose today to vent, to release my feelings to strangers. My husband died 7 weeks ago. My mother, age 95, has dementia and until my husband became ill four months ago, I was her primary caregiver. When my husband was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer, it was a shock to us both. Healthy one day; dying the next or so it seemed. No indication that this disease was growing inside him for years; no symptoms. When my husband was released into hospice home care, the childen and I took care of him until the end. I am stilll saying "this just can't be happening." A form of denial I suppose. I have flashbacks to his pain and suffering; his decline; his growing dependence on me to help him do everything. This, from a man, who was so strong and vital. Reduced to being bedridden in two months time. Now that he is gone to the Lord, the family has returned to their own lives, I am alone in the house, trying my best to manage all that needs doing. My income has been severely decreased. I must sell the house. OK. I have accepted all that. My faith is strong and I have accepted that God called my husband home. His will be done. Now I find myself not wanting to return to caretaking my mother. I have enough to do to take care of myself, my house, my finances, etc. I am tired of being her "everything" and I just don't want to do it anymore. HOW SELFISH IS THAT? I feel so guilty. My mother has dementia but is in IL. Soon she will need more help than I can provide or she can afford. She is stubborn and won't allow anyone to do anything for her. She insists she is capable on her own. The facility doesn't recognize her limitations (legally blind, dementia) and they believe she is doing just fine. I recognize that something awful will happen; she will fall, break something, end up in rehab and then a nursing home. She says she will accept whatever happens. I force myself to be with her but it is very difficult.
She doesn't hear me; I have to shout. She has no short term memory. I could go on and on. What I really want to do is sell my house and move near my daughter and grandchildren -- six hours away. Everyone tells me don't make a decision like that for at least a year. I've spoken with a grief counselor from Hospice a few times. She doesn't tell me anything I don't already know. I just have to work through this myself. But it is so hard. And I have so much to do that I sometimes face "analysis paralysis" -- not knowing what to tackle first, have trouble prioritizing, and feel stressed that everything isn't under control. I function fine when I am with others but at dusk, when I am alone, I miss my husband terribly and I cry, and I pray: God help me. And that's about it. If anyone reads this, I am only venting; not asking for advice, but maybe some understanding and compassion. Thank you.