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My dog died in 2017, had a cancer diagnosis, then the treatment. . . parents began declining, and on it goes. This is part of life, but it's happened so quickly. I'm heartbroken.

A change and the end are not the same thing.
To paraphrase what an author said...An end is a beginning ..we just don't know it yet.
You take one day at a time.
You look ahead not back
You be kind to yourself
You take care of yourself
You do the best you can
You make the best choices possible given the information and knowledge you have at the time. (If your information changes or knowledge changes you can not beat yourself up for a choice you made previously)
Only YOU can make yourself feel guilty. ( if you do all of the above you have no reason to allow that feeling to reside in your mind)
And a difficult one..Accept that you can not do everything and you will need help and if that means having someone come in, do not allow your loved one to say they do not want help. If placing your loved one in Memory Care or Skilled Nursing is what needs to be done for their safety then it has to be done.
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Nanabinx Aug 2, 2020
Thank you for such an encouraging post! I was blessed & reminded by your very positive words. God bless, keep you well & safe.
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Dear "Village,"

It is very difficult not to feel sadness when things as we've known in the distant past are no longer as they were - times that were fun, happy, loved ones and pets were healthy. That's the risk of loving and living life. You yourself "honed" in on the fact that "it happened so quickly" and I think that has a large role to play in what and how you're feeling in your circumstances. A lot of us who don't like change to begin with are often taken aback by things that change rapidly as we feel a loss of control. In reality we aren't in control anyway but, we'd like to think when things move at the pace we like or are at least ok with so we can catch our breath, that we are.

I'm sorry for the loss of your dog dying in 2017 - they are like a family member to those of us who have or love animals. When my dog died in my early 20's, I never thought I'd own another dog but when I lost my dad in 2004, my husband wanted to buy me a puppy. At the time I told him no because I was in no condition to take care of a puppy while grieving my first loved one/parent who died. In 2007, we got a puppy who unbeknownst to us was very ill. We had to nurse her back to health for her first nine months of life which was difficult at best. Now, she is almost 14 years old and newly deaf which has it's new challenges. I dread losing her especially now that my 95 year old mother with Alzheimer's is under hospice care at her new facility after contracting COVID and is in the memory care unit. When both these things occurred simultaneously, I had this overwhelming feeling that I would lose them both at the same time. In other words, being heartbroken, sad, depressed is normal under such circumstances. Try not to beat yourself up over it and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling because denying it isn't going to help. Just find a way not to let it swallow you up and be your new norm.

How I've been dealing with it for instance with our dog, Chloe, who is a Dachshund, I've been really pampering her. I bought her some really soft blankets, buy her a new toy for Christmas and her birthday even though she doesn't play with them for very long. She loves to get it when it's new. I give her more treats than I ever used to and I feel more joy when she's enjoying all the goodies. When I "window visit" with my mom, anytime she laughs or smiles I take it all in and when I leave I give her a "thumbs up" sign and she gives it back. I think it's just taking in those "special" moments no matter how small, is what helps me to carry on. Plus, I know that God's plan will always supersede my own and there's no point trying to circumvent it.

So if you can find something, even if it's just one thing, to get you started thinking in the direction of what you can implement into your life to start adding a little good mixed in with the bad or unpleasant, that may help you to carry on during the bumpy often tumultuous road we call "life." I wish you well going forward!
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Reply to NobodyGetsIt
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Me too, brother passed 4 years ago from cancer, my dad passed 2001, mom is declining and I feel so stressed and sad. I am heartbroken too. Understand completely. I try to put my cares into Gods hands, it helps me cope. I feel numb sometimes. It seems when things start to get better, another health issues arises. I never felt so much stress in all my life. We need to take care of ourselves in the best way we can. My dog died years ago and I loved him so much, I still tear up with the beautiful memories of long ago. Hold on to those precious memories. May God give you peace and strength.
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haileybug Jul 30, 2020
"I try to put my care into Gods hands, it helps me cope." I love that. That's all we can do.

We go through some hard times but we got to lean on him. That's where I strength comes from.
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Do you have sources in your life that bring you joy? I understand what you are saying but it is the reality of the aging process. My mother is nearing 90. I am her only child. She is in AL and has been on lockdown since March. My grown children who all live far away came this summer and she could not see them or her great grandchildren. I felt awful about that but there was no other choice. I talk to her on the phone but there is not alot to say as she is remembering less. I just turned 64 and she couldn't remember what day my birthday was.

I suggest you do whatever you can in a positive manner regarding your aging loved ones as well as find resources to make you happy even if at times that may be hard to achieve. There will be difficult days but hopefully also some that bring you some happiness. In a sense one might feel a little gratitude that you are at this point. It means that a life has not been cut short. I will hope you find some inner strength to cope.
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I’ve lost my whole immediate family during the last 8 yrs. I think of the good times we’ve had and the amazing life we all had growing up. Good and bad. It’s life and nothing stays the same. We were a family. We still are and I’m grateful to them all for being a part of my life. Memories are what it’s about now. A little different, but it’s what we have to help us.
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Reply to nymima
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It's a tough tough time. My Mom passed away a few weeks ago and my life has been looking after her 24/7 for over 24 years. Watching my best friend decline was the most painful thing until she passed away and that pain tops it all. How do you deal with the sadness? I don't know that you do. It is always there...and at the end of every day in the last 2 years I would cry my heart out and pray. The next day strength would be there to keep going along with the sadness. I read a quote about grief once that said "where there is great love, there is great sadness at losing" something to that affect. It's the price we pay for having had such wonderful parents. You'll find another hard adjustment when they pass on, but you will get through that too. Hang on. Appreciate every moment you have with them, even the sad ones! Thinking of you and sending hugs.
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My parents were always so active and independent I daydreamed that when I was old we would do Things together. They died recently within 8 months of each other. I still am in shock. I go to their house and lie on the bed just for the comfort of it. This is life. It is fleeting and death is forever. I don’t know why I’m struggling to this extent. This is the worst event in my life. I guess it’s that we all are individual with different relationships with our family. My way of coping is to accept the pain. I’m getting by and thats ok.
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dlpandjep Aug 2, 2020
God love you Susan. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you're hurting terribly and having lost a brother and sister, I empathize; but trust me - it will get better with time. Spend time with friends and try to stay busy. Sending hugs and prayers. 🤍
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My LO was my mentor, guard, and life guide. My Mother was my heart and soul. I looked at Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as GOD’s way of slowly taking them away from me and everything I knew and had with them. I found that it was a little easier to deal with the situation by learning to love and treat and enjoy them in a different way than before the illness. I began by loving them more like my child. I still ask myself where did all those years go?
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After my mother passed, a friend gave me a copy of 'The Parable of the Twins' in German. I found the translation in Wayne Dyer's book, "Your Sacred Self" as there are several versions on the internet. It comforted me immensely. (I have it on my blog, but I don't think I'm allowed to put a link here.) So Google the title and look for the Wayne Dyer one.
And PS, for about two years after Mom's death, whenever I felt that I wanted to be with her, I'd go into my 'Morning Room' where her picture was nestled between all family members, and I'd feel her (their) presence around me as I had a cup of tea or read a book. I would actually say good morning and good night out loud. I didn't care if anyone thought I was 'daft;' it gave me comfort. There are too many incidences in my life that lead me to believe that this is not all that there is. I hope you find peace in your sadness.
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Reply to Musicismymuse
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Not that this will help, but you’re normal. You’re going through anticipatory grief. There’s already a “death” because the relationship is no longer what it was. You’re experiencing the ambiguity of their being there but being “gone” at the same time.

Having lost both my parents in the same way, I have found several ways of coping with this. Talking helps but you will easily burn out your listeners if you overdo it, partially because they are experiencing grief in their own life and they can’t cope with theirs so they can’t hear yours. Seeking a professional grief counselor can help. Selected readings such as The Grief Recovery Handbook,” gives you exercises. Massages can help release tension but likely you’ll find your tears through your cell tissue. There’s also a book called Biospirituality where you learn to sit with the kinesthetic experience of loss, and allow them to be there, using your breath to help relax and receive them instead of resist them and they will pass through you. Journaling will reacquaint you with memories and you will find their presence through your memories. I led grief groups in simple yoga exercises that everyone can do to release the grief in your body. Grief is a physical experience because feelings are in your body. The last thing to remember is that our minds are tricky and the pay want to “undo” magically all of the unpleasantness and return to “normal.” We never get over grief. We adjust to the changes and loss.
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