2 days after my mom died - hearing from others further along in dealing with grief at the loss is much appreciated. I took care of my mom a very long time - eventually having her at my home for 16 years. It seems like she is still here but isn't. Please share what you went through or are still going through

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Hi Cat. I am sorry for your loss. I am reading this partly in anticipation of how others are coping. My dad is in nursing home and failing and mom is just a bundle of nerves. Both were good friends but in some ways that friendship was lost a couple years ago. They are there in body but the vital person I knew has withered away. So in this sense I have felt the loss.

When I first realized this there were tears and then great unanswered questions like what would I do with my life. Now I see how much they are suffering every day so I think there will be some relief to know they are finally out of pain.

We never imagined it would end this way. It has been so tough.

I have had to look at my life and reinvent myself. I have got more involved with helping and supporting others. I do daily exercises and eat a better diet. I bathe daily not because I must but because it feels good to wash all those troubles down the drain. I stay in touch with those that support me through this. They are some of my best friends.

I have read many books about death and dying. One of the most influential was Life After Life by medical doctor Raymond Moody MD. He relates stories reported by his patients who were medically dead and then revived. This helped me to understand death in a new way. If you cannot get a copy there is a pdf here: selfdefinition
Our hearts reach out to you.
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Cat, I never had hands-on care where I needed to live with my parents or them with me. Even in their mid-to-late 90's my parents still lived independently in their home. I know that could cause a different mind-set when a parent passes on. I also never fell apart or became inconsolable.

My Mom had died at the age of 98 and was only in a nursing home for 3 months. It was a serious fall that caused a spiral downward. I had learned so much on these forums here on Aging Care that the different stages Mom went into I took with ease. I was at peace knowing I did everything I could to make her final 3 months comfortable, along with the nursing home and Hospice.

My Dad and I were angry for a few weeks after Mom's passing because my Mom was so stubborn. It was she who refused to move from that big house, it was she who refused outside care. If she had outside care, chances are she wouldn't have taken that serious fall. Couple weeks after Mom's passing, my Dad said it was time for him to move into Independent/Assistant Living, and we found a place he really likes. He is so relieved to be away from that big house as at 94 he just couldn't keep maintaining the house, and my Mom was in denial that he wasn't young any more, and still insisted he climb up ladders, etc.... [sigh].

I miss my Mom, but I need to admit the last few years she couldn't hear and that make it difficult to communicate, thus our telephone calls and visits were very short.

While helping my Dad move, I found photo album after photo album and photos of people I didn't recognize..... I regret I didn't know about all these albums so that back when Mom was around and could hear/see that she could have gone over these albums with me... photos of her very younger years she looked so much like me which took me by surprise. Hopefully my Dad might know the people in the pictures.
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My condolences on the loss of your mom.

The first week? The first week I was just numb. Taking and making phone calls. Getting the memorial service ready. There was a lot to do that kept me busy.

My dad was very ill when he died. His last conscious day he was mentally altered and very scared. After he died I was relieved that he didn't have to go through that anymore.

And if I'm being honest, I was relieved that the caregiving was over. I was exhausted. But it still invaded my subconscious because I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking that I heard my dad calling for me. This went on for quite a while after he died and though he died 3 years ago every once in a while I will sit up in bed in the middle of the night thinking that I hear him calling for me.

I never fell apart or became inconsolable but a sadness settled in over me. I loved my father, he was the best man I knew and I missed him very much. I still do. And when I look back over the time I cared for him as stressful as it was at times I am glad that I got those years with him.

Now when I think of my dad, which is almost every day, my heart gets a little pain in it. Like now.
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