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My dad passed away Monday. My routine for the past 4 years was a short visit to dad at least 5 days a week. Yesterday I took a mental health break and when I was driving home I glanced at the clock and thought I’m going to visit dad a bit late today. I realized then that I won’t have to do that anymore. How do I stop this thought process. I’m sure it’s part of the grieving process.

This would not work for everyone...As my sister tells me... I have resumed eating the evening meal at the AL where my folks we at.  I spent most every Tuesday evening meal with them.. first at their home and later at the AL.  Close to 4 years....  I guess in watching the facility grow and the clients change, I saw those who had no one come to visit them..  So I arranged with the staff to come in and spend a meal a week with those whose family is too far away........... Yes, I waited several weeks before doing this.  But it just seemed natural to go and do this.   It takes my mind off of my own loss.  The ones that light up with a smile, Just Like Mom, are the ones I really enjoy being there for!
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Reply to vicky64
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Caring42 Jul 20, 2018
You are a hero, with a huge heart.  I am sure your visits are healing, for you and each resident.  Thank you.
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Spent twelve years visiting MIL, I like to think of her now away on a trip with her old friends enjoying her freedom and having fun and her wishing the same for me.
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Reply to GAinPA
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I’m sorry for your loss. I think you’ll find many here that have been on the path you’re traveling now. When I lost my mom I can’t tell you how often I’d think of something I needed to tell her about, my kids would do something and I’d immediately think of letting her know, or there’d be something in the news or of local interest and I’d want to reach out to tell mom. Then it would hit like a hammer that I couldn’t do that anymore. The thought process doesn’t change quickly, we’re ingrained with sharing life with our family members. The old saying about time healing all wounds is somewhat true, time does help. You come to a place where you less often think in terms of calling or visiting and more often think of memories of the good times. I wish you the best as you adjust to this new normal, it’s not easy, but let the good memories come it and be of comfort as you can
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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A dear friend whose parents both had died, when my mom passed, said to me, "It takes a long time." Whenever I felt that hurt, I remembered that, tried to honor and respect their memory, and waited for it to get better. It does get better in time.
My dad died 23 years ago. I couldn't even go into that NH without bursting into tears for years.
Still, there are little things--questions I could have asked them about family and how to do things-- that will always come up, although less and less as we learn other coping mechanisms. That's why it takes time.
I always got my dad a big peppermint stick for Xmas. Now, when I see them in the store, instead of crying, I buy one. When I see an older gentleman alone, I ask him if he would like to have it in honor of my dad.
God bless you in your time of grief, and give you faith for your future.
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Caring42 Jul 20, 2018
Dear Sweet Agingmyself,

You said so well how I fell at 8 months out.  Time.... I hope so.
Thank you
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I honestly don't see anything wrong in the daily visits while you adjust to his passing. It's a part of grief. And it's still quite fresh and painful.

What I began doing, and found it very helpful, was to record my "conversations" that I might have had by journaling. So instead of calling and discussing something, I type it on my computer.

Thus far it's been easier to type it, but I'm thinking that at some point I'll print it out and save it in a lovely journal decorated with photos and/or mementos relating to the various thoughts I've cherished.

We used to frequently stop for a Dairy Queen after medical appointments. I might glue on the medical appointment card, and add a photo of a DQ blizzard.

When it really helps is when the loneliness becomes overwhelming, or when I have to research a question that I could have asked him and gotten an answer from someone with experience in so many aspects of life.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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I have had the same experience. Little things can trigger that impulse. I used to bring mom grapenut pudding from a local restaurant when it was fresh out of the oven. I walked into the restaurant the other day, could smell the delicious cinnamon, and found myself thinking I should bring some to her.....Since I have been going to the nursing home to see my dad 2014-2017 and then my mom for 2017-2018, visiting them in the nursing home has been a significant part of my daily routine. During that time, I became friends with other residents there and staff. I have found it helpful to go back occasionally to visit dad's roommate, and a lovely resident and her devoted husband who spends every afternoon with her. They still need a little tlc and my quick hello is a way for me to adjust to my parents absence.
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Reply to lynina2
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Very sorry for your loss but things will get easier over time. Lost my 94 year old mother 2 years ago. Sharp as a tack but in nursing home the last 15 months. I usually called her on the way home from work and it was really hard for about 6 months as I often grabbed my cellphone to call her. Takes a long time- often when things come up my brain thinks to call her to get her thoughts. Still hurts like hell when that happens.
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Reply to FriendlyBedGuy
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I am sorry to hear that your Dad passed, you have to be gentle on yourself now and realize that your routine was a gift to be able to spend quality time with each other. And so you will probably still be checking back when you are distracted. I would do something like leave a plant there for the others and when you find that you want to go or accidentally turn up you just water the plant and greet the staff or residents. Be strong, hug someone today and thank God for his life. And maybe you could start yoga or some activity at the same time for a while.
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Reply to Misha43
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Sorry about your loss. It is a normal part of the grieving process and the thoughts will fade away in time. I wouldn't try to force it. Even three years after my son died, I saw a young man, who resembled my son, in a car with another province's license plates. My first very quick thought was "Oh that's where he has been all this time." followed by releasing it wasn't him at all and this was one of those brain tricks, . For the first year I had a hard time in the grocery store seeing the foods I would have bought for him. Once in a while now, 16 years later, something can still trigger the grief. Be kind to yourself. Grief is a difficult journey. (((((hugs))))
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Reply to golden23
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Is your dad buried in a cemetery or are his remains elsewhere? Perhaps visit his final resting place during this adjustment phase. Personally, I would send a food basket to the staff with a thank you card and then I would stop going to visit your friends while they're working. Have you thought about throwing a celebration of your dad's life at a nearby restaurant and inviting the staff?
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