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My Mom died 6 months ago. At first I was consumed by organizing the service and then handling her estate. Recently I've asked my siblings to step up and it's almost completely done.

My struggle now is how to move forward effectively. I've tried all the good things... going to the library, going to yoga, making a list of all the doctors and car appointments that I neglected, calling on old friends. I feel like my grand purpose in life died with my sweet Mom and I'm struggling to find another that will be less destructive to my own health and finances.

It was so easy to see the path forward when it came to caring for Mom. She was always the priority. At this point, with children grown and gone... it's difficult to know how to set life on a path forward that is constructive, healthy and gives back to the community. I am VERY reluctant to sign up for anything that would drive my health and personal finances back into trouble and I am still working to get healthy again. Struggling to sleep, imperfect eating habits and doing well with exercise (walking, weights and yoga).

Has anyone found a path that is reasonable, intellectually challenging and yet not too taxing after being completely exhausted by the caregiving that ended?

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Hi Soozi,
Mostly, we need to overcome our grief in our own way, often with the help of friends, a spiritual leader or counselor. Then we remember the good, if we can, and while not forgetting the tough times, we gain perspective.

This article may help a little:
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/caregiving-ending-after-death-148071.htm

Take care,
Carol
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I have not crossed the bridge of my mom passing yet...time is at the end...she is in a home as of now...but I have found that many there are very lonely and just need someone to come by, give a hug, bring a little gift of some kind...read to them, or just listen to them ramble on about the life they had. I don't know what I will do when mother is really gone...her body is still here but her thoughts are in her on little world. Yes she still knows me, but there is no conversation, no understanding....so I sit, I listen, and I love. Then I make sure I give attention to others who are there too, in that same state of mind. Give yourself the gift of helping those less fortunate...this is always a rewarding fulfilling life. Become a mentor for a child who has no one to care, there are 100's of them everywhere, just need someone to say, "I CARE"...the best healing agent in the world. LOVE is so needed for each one we come in contact with. blessings to you....I find myself missing my dad so much sometime....but he is well now, and I know he is watching over Mother too...enjoy the journey, life is short, make the time worthy by helping someone else. hope this helps...in my prayers.
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I lost my dad on Dec 12, 2007 and my father-in-law on May 5, 2013. I was caregiver for both. The best thing for me was to get out and take long walks. With summer upon us, there is new life everywhere. Our loved ones would never want us to "die" with them. They were grateful for all we did for them, and now they want us to go forward and have the wonderful life we deserve after the long years or months of loving care we gave them. I heard it said once concerning the loss of a loved one, "You don't get over it. You get on with it." Truer words were never spoken. There will be times you wil cry, and times when something said innocently will hit you like a ton of bricks, but there will also be times when you will once again be able to speak their name or title, and smile at the memory it brings. I will keep you in my prayers for emotional healing.
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My girlfriend said that when her father died, her mother looked and felt 20 years younger. That made me predict that when my mother died, I'd get "carded" again when buying alcohol. Mom passed away when I was 39. On my 40th birthday (amid constant reminders of such because it was within days of Super Bowl "40", I bought a small keg of beer.

The woman from behind the counter asked, "May I please see your I.D.?"

I had to keep from laughing. Mind you, my mom's death is nothing to ridicule. There are things I miss about her. Her controlling personality isn't one of them.

Have a cold one (it doesn't have to be alcohol) and celebrate the gifts your loved one gave you in life and toast the future and your own healing. (I also believe one's wounds are healed when they cross over, cheers to that too. Substitute customs appropriate to your own belief system here.)
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I worry about that, too. A few years ago, I quit my job and moved to another state to care for my Mom. Now I am so wrapped up in taking care of her, I worry about how my life will unfold when she is gone. At this point, I have lost my friends, my identity, my interests, etc. I want to be proactive and start making changes in my life, but it is easier said than done since my Mother is in late stage Alzheimer's, and she requires so much of my time. I like others in my situation do not listen to the advice of taking care of my needs first.
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Whitesage: I have one suggestion: no one should have to quit their jobs, especially during this terrible rescession. You need to take care of yourself. Can you afford to be unemployed or retire early?

I for one cannot; I am only 57, and during last year's unemployment, I took care of my 93-old mother after her back injury. If she could not walk, the family and would have placed her into assisted living sooner. This year, however I have at least a tempory job, a week into my new job, my mother got injured again. The family and I are looking into moving her from a nursing home into a board-and-care home. Mom worked and saved her money, so she is responsible for paying for her care that the family and I cannot handle anymore. If you do not set boundries and schedules to have a break and some fun for yourself, you are at risk of a burnout from the stress. We care for our loved ones but not to the extent that we must sacrifice ourselves to death. Take care of yourself, first. Do you have any family contact available? Please ask for help now before your mothers' condition gets worse. Does she have a revokable trust? Now is the time to help her set one up while she can still make some decisions and that you can get POA to carry out the financial tasks on her behalf. Please see and attorney for advise. All the Best to You!!

PatatHome01
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I hope I can answer this in 6 months or a year. My husband died 6 months ago and I sure haven't got a handle on it yet.

One thing that helps some is having things scheduled. I have plenty to do -- that is never an issue. But if I don't get my papers organized this week they'll still be there next week. I can do laundry anytime. I'm much better off if instead of saying "I'll come over sometime next week and help you with that," I say, "I'll come over Tuesday about 1:30 to help," and put it on my calendar. Making dates to have lunch with friends is good, too. My mother (dementia) stays here once a month for a long weekend and that is hard but it also gives me some deadlines for certain household chores and a schedule (hers) to keep to for a few days.

As much as everyone says, "Give yourself time," I really didn't expect it to take this long!
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Could you maybe allow yourself to just rest for a bit?
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Why not volunteer at a Senior Center or local nursing home. There are plenty of areas you could help with. Bingo, reading books, running errands or just visiting with a lonely resident. So many of our residents don't have many visitors and they love when someone comes and chats. It can be as simple as that!
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I lost my dad almost a month ago and I'm still trying to figure out what my life is supposed to be like without anyone to care for. While he was in a nursing home the last 6 months of his life I cared for him at home for 5 years. What no one tells you is that once your loved one goes into a nursing home the caregiving doesn't stop it just gets different. My life has revolved around my dad for years and now there's a huge void where that responsibility/obligation/priority used to be and I don't know how to fill it. But I'm not really trying, I guess it will fill itself in in time. I have been trying to appreciate having more time on my hands now, when I wasn't working I was visiting my dad at the nursing home.

I keep reliving the last 4 days of his life. They were horrific and when I think of my dad all I see is the way he looked that week. I can still hear his voice, whimpering to me, begging me to help him as I tried to calm him by stroking his head. He was like a child.

I wish I were 6 months away from this. It's still so new to me. I still cry.
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