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.

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Emily, I know it sounds trite, but at this time, you need to take care of yourself.

IL is coping with Mom; LET THEM. Do what you need to do to settle your housing/financial situation and visit mom once a week if it can be done.

Try to find some time to relax, meditate (there are good free online apps) go to the library, walk in a public park.

To those who have read my post and responded with kindness, I thank you very much. Very much. I don't even know how to use this website to its fullest advantage though I've had some connection to it for years. I am dedicating the next several hours to learning how to use ebay and other sites to sell some of my possessions. I can't afford to just donate them. I need to slowly prepare to relocate, though it terrifies me. But I will manage because I have to. TY again and hugs of gratitude to you.

I agree with others -- if possible, go be with your daughter and grandchildren for a bit of comfort time. Love on those kids, and let them warm your heart.

There are no words to make you feel better Emily, only time will fade the pain. The memories will never leave but you will gain the strength to deal with everything.
The advice you have received about not making life changing decisions at this time are very valid. You have recognized that staying in your home is not financiall possible. Are you strong enough to start sorting and preparing for a probably smaller place.
Maybe start with non threatening spaces like the basement or attic or your own clothes. don't be in a rush to clear out hubby's clothes especially. if you have a good friend who will dispose of them for you it might avoid a lot of pain.
It will get better Emily but for now love and hugs

Understanding and compassion coming your way in bucketloads, with a big hug.

Let the IL deal with mother, as they seem confident with and happy to do. Looking after yourself at this time is not only not selfish, I don't see how more could possibly be expected of you. You have shock as well as grief to recover from. Daughterly visits only for now, no more caregiving until your world has at least started settling back into place. Could you go and stay with or near your daughter, perhaps for part of the school summer vacation, to keep pleasantly busy? Hugs and hugs.

Emily, I'm so sorry for the sudden loss of your husband! How terrible!

I can certainly understand your instinct to pack up and move close to your children. If you have to downsize, it makes perfect sense to me.

It may make me sound awful, but I have no patience for seniors who "won't hear of" and "refuse to consider" solutions that would make their adult, senior suffering children's lives a bit easier.

I would cut back on commitments to your mom and take care of yoirself! Go for a visit to the area you intend to move to. Look around at rentals, but also check out senior centers, ALs and the like.

Consider moving mom to that area as well.

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