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GM All - I have been a caretaker for my 93 yr old mother for the past 7 plus years. My mother is the only immediate family member I have now. My dad, and 2 sisters have already passed within the past 8 yrs. My care-taking days actually started 10 yrs ago when my sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Then my dad fell ill and died of a broken heart after my sister died, then her husband died of colon cancer and then my other sister died a few years later of terrible health problems due to alcoholism. So for a decade, it has been caring for those who died. And now my mother is diagnosed with stage 4 chf and is not doing well. Every day is up and down. But I don’t see her lasting a year at this point.


My point is is that I feel I am developing PTSD from it all and I haven’t been sleeping. The cloud of death is hanging over me everyday - as it has for the passed 10 yrs. I have a good concept of death, as I have done a lot of soul-searching throughout the years and I believe we never die. We simply transition to life beyond this realm. But it is the act of dying that I am having a difficult time with for my mother. I feel this is going to be “the long goodbye” and it is starting to affect me. A year doesn’t seem like a long time, but it’s every day for this year that will be the most difficult for me to handle when it’s broken down.


My husband and daughter are very supportive. So I have support. And I am working on the care for my mother too so she has support outside of me.


I wish I could look at life again through different lenses. It’s been a long 10 yrs of saying goodbye to everyone. I really want to help my mother on her journey, but it is taking so much out of me. Going away for a few days may help, but then I’m back in the thick of things again. My mind and heart are so weary.

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I almost feel like I was in the same boat. And the other part of it, you too will be an orphan. :( that's how I feel at times. It still hurts to think about their suffering. ALZ is the long Goodbye.

I cried my dad's death the day I found he had cancer. He was always afraid of cancer, then one day he gets it.

It is always hard to see your loved ones go. But it is also a relief that they are not suffering anymore. We suffer afterwards.

It never gets easier. We are at that age, when more people we are close to pass away. I talk to my family on the other side, ask for a sign or something. Most times I will hear a song, or something..

I told my hubby I didn't get a sign from mom when she passed. He did. He was driving home and this heart shaped balloon red and silver lining( I found out a bit later) was happily skipping along across the road. Mom was fun. When he talked about the balloon, I immediately brought up a pic of mom, wearing a red blouse with her shining gray hair...He didn't tell me thinking I wouldn't believe him.

It helps to talk to your loved ones. They will answer. Take walks, and breathe. You tube breathing exercises. Breathing tips. They may help you to relax a little.
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nymima Mar 29, 2019
Awww - You’re so sweet! I do talk to my family members in spirit all the time! I know they’re around and helping me through this time with my mother. I wish they were here to help me with my mother. I just have to believe they are there in spirit holding my hand and my mother’s hand.
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I have no advice as I can't fathom being in your position. Your mind and heart are so heavy and weary. I am sorry. Wishing you strength to go on and recover when all this is over.
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Reply to polarbear
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Please see a therapist to start to heal. Your needs must also be met. Best to you.
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Reply to ArtMom58
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Hang in there. It sounds like you are taking the right steps but it’s never easy. There will be good days and bad. Make sure you have care for your mother outside of you and that you work with a therapist to have self care for yourself outside of your husband and daughter and ask for help when you need it. It can feel selfish to do those things but the bottom line is that if you’ll end up losing yourself. ❤️❤️
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Reply to BillieWO
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I'm holding your hand too.
Another short story: My parents have been divorced as long as they had been married. My mom made great chicken soup... Ok 2 stories.One day, she started making chicken soup. It was almost time to leave to get her hair done, so she turned up the electric stove to High, and forgot about it. I came home to an apartment full of smoke..I opened windows to the balcony and the front door, ran out, got a breathe of air, ran back in and turned off the stove; grabbed the cat and put her in the car. Wrote a note to mom that the cat and I were taking a drive, and P.S. I think the chicken soup is done :). Later we found out, after the stove cooled, she melted the aluminum pot, and the chicken... was basically burnt to a crisp. :) The apartment smelled of smoke for weeks.Oh well. story 2: when dad got cancer, and was going through chemo, etc, he would go over to moms for company, whatever, they were family after all.. He would demand everyone to be quiet while he napped. My dad did not want to be alone, and I don't blame him. MOm would make him her famous homemade soup every day, ok, not so famous, I did catch the catastrophe before it burned anything else. After work one day, I stopped at this nice lil mexican restaurant and got him tortilla soup without tortillas or cheese.. chicken soup - right? So you would think.. He was almost in tears when he saw I didn't drive 8 miles to moms, to drive back another 8 miles to give him Moms famous chicken soup. Dad was upset, and then when I told mom, she yelled at me. She just made a new batch of soup, and why didn't I come by and pick it up and take it to him? And you are thinking what I thought... SOUP is SOUP. I was wrong.
Okay these stories have no correlation to the topic at hand, it does say we try to do our best with the energy we got..WE are all human. We get tired, and get up and try doing it again. One foot in front of the other. To my parents, I didn't put the energy in that I needed to. Yes, they were right. They forgave me, I hope :) They are up there now laughing at me, and my brother too.
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I’m sorry you have had so much loss and grief. Please get hospice involved if you haven’t. And use their spiritual support from their chaplain. They know how to help family members through this. It sounds to me like even though you have a healthy look at death and afterlife, you need some outside support from a professional counselor who can help you deal with the PTSD and grief. I hope you do so as it can make a world of difference. Hugs.
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Reply to Harpcat
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Can you find a grief counselor? You’ve had a lot of bad experiences the last decade. Maybe a fresh viewpoint would help.
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Reply to Jannner
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I think that going to a grief support group might help you to weather the storm and process all you have been through with others who have walked in your shoes. I too have lost many family members and friends. My aunt and uncle who have been my surrogate parents since mine died, are now facing dementia and other health issues, and my husband And I are primary care takers for my MIL and FIL, who have dementia and Alzheimer’s. I understand the weight of grief and stress. Yes, you probably do have a form of PTSD. I good counselor might also help you unpack and cope with some of those issues. Prayers and blessings for you.
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Reply to DILKimba
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I was talking to one of my best friends for 50 some years. She is now going through what we went through, just a bit slower at the moment. Well her sister, lost 10 loved ones, family and friends, in 8 months.. so.YOu have to be tough to grow old.

Both of our dads died of cancer. After seeing what I was going through with mom wiTH ALZ, she said she would rather go through cancer with dad, than go through ALZ like I did with my mom. When my other girlfriend had to find a place for her mom, her mom became my mom's roommate. That helped me out so much. She would call, and say, come over I got the strawberry shakes and In n Out burgers, come over and have lunch! I would stop by, she would have music playing, so after lunch, we would dance with the moms or take them for a stroll or a walk. I was really saddened when they move her to the other sister's area... Having a second set of eyes helped ease my personal stress, knowing someone I dearly trusted was watching her. Her mom was really cute!! I mom would smile and laugh, she stopped talking. Watch that with your mom, Keep conversation going, do not correct her, if she talks about the same story, just act like you havent heard it before, listen and ask questions about that time. Keep her talking, trust me, you will miss it when she stops... If she ha special treat you know she likes bring them in, and let her have a taste. You are a wonderful daughter who loves mom as deeply as Ido.
Here I go, talk to doctor about hospice, They may even give you palliative care - they go to house on a regular basis. If it's nice weather, check out the farmers market if it's good weather. It may be a fun thing to do;..!!
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Reply to MAYDAY
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I went through this with my mom all the while watching other family members go. I went through this one day at a time. Once I got hospice on board it really helped. I felt I was no longer alone with people that didn't seem to be much help. They sent a chaplain and social worker to talk to as well as nurse practitioner, nurse, and bath aides. I would offer coffee and cookies to the bath aide afterward and we would always have a nice chat. This was a nice break for her and some of the only socialization I had as all the "friends" disappeared at this time. Please take it one day at a time and do little things for yourself when you can. Even a good cup of coffee or watching birds in the yard, a pretty sunset, etc. helped me get through a rough time. These little things add up. I wish you all the best at this time, {{Hugs}}, Katie.
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