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Now take care of you as well as you did your mother. Do her proud and carry on with your life.
The fact that you are writing is a good sign, you are taking action.
You are so busy when you are caregiving that it's almost like being at a command post. Your routine is ingrained in you. You're centered and have your "list of things to do" and then just crash in a chair once Mom is put to bed at night.
For those of you who are new to this forum or new to caregiving, read and re-read this honest lady's cry for help. We can help you Jaxzee.
Jaxzee first of all, I think you are wonderful to do what you did, caring for your Mom. It's undervalued today.
Basically, a new normal needs to be put in place, for example--how about the following. Buy a pair of walking shoes, the good weather is right around the corner. Get outdoors, walk in your neighborhood. You would be surprised at the people you meet.
Get yourself a library card and check out the calendar of events for the month and choose one and ask someone to go with you or if you have to go alone and make yourself talk to someone--lecture, movie, book signing.
Join a Church--often a lot have groups for the grieving. Join one committee at the Church and after services see if one parishioner wants to go for coffee.
Volunteer work--there are so many wonderful organizations.
If you are able to work part-time or seasonal. Something fun, maybe work at a flowers shop for Easter. Start small, with little changes.
Honestly, some days I feel like I am going to War because you have to go up against the list of things to do in 24 hours per day. I just finished reading the book the 36-hour day.
But, you need to have some fun. If you can't afford a cruise how about a ferry ride somewhere or a retreat center. A lot of denominations have Grief retreats, you don't necessarily have to be their particular denomination.
When you depart on the retreat ask (2) people is it alright if I contact you and exchange cell or emails. In other words, start building a new group of friends that are not the CNA, Visiting Nurses, Doctor's, the tech at the blood draw lab etc. You see what I mean. This is really how we all live when caregiving. This is who we meet.
The local Y or some type of pool in your neighborhood will get you moving and out of the house. I have a great support group from a pool. Last week one of the ladies lost her husband. We all got out of the pool and when she entered we all hugged her gave her a book, had her over for coffee, sent cards. I told her you are not alone here, you have us. I know you have family but you have us here too. You can make a little family in an apartment building, your Church family and exercise family.
There are a lot of travel groups that you can join in on. I know it's hard. I am in it right now but I bought a violin, am studying Italian, work at night and make sure I write a check each month to my pension so I won't be living on popcorn in my old age. My siblings are literally traveling the world--I am not supposed to know, while I do all of the work. I honestly think they are hoping I will crumble after Mom passes because then they can say it was too much for me and that way they won't feel guilty for not helping out. There's no big estate so it's not like I am going to cash in.
But I have a plan afterwards. I am NOT going to be the girl in the market who took care of her mother and when you meet her she shows you a picture of her cat. There's a whole big world out there and our Lord will always be with you.
But, we need people too, and not online. The technology has its place.
You have to have a balance with these grief workshops too. Buy some flowers, a chocolate bar, turn on Kenny G, usher at local theater group to get in for free. Just get out of the house...Enough said!
Sending you PRAYERS and HUGS Jaxee.
Add previously untreated medical conditions which exploded into the mix, having no family left for support, nor a spouse, and .... it's all very sad. When you're ready to cry the minute you wake up..... Well, it's hard. That's where I am today.
My heart goes out to you Jaxzee. REALLY. I've been through so much in recent years, just one thing after another,...as loved ones and family were all taken, an awful car accident left me unable to walk for nearly a year at one point. I can honestly say that my compassion and empathy for others has increased exponentially as my formerly very happy life became more and more sad.
I definitely get what you are saying. Esp after a multi-year whirlwind of being there, caregiving and looking out for someone else, at the expense of your own health and life (no complaints from me about that though...I'd do it all again and would do anything to still have my mom like she was when 2020 began)...... I suppose I'm just tying to let you know I feel for you and I DO understand!
How you're feeling is especially normal after the loss of someone SO significant!! No doubt. Grieving is a process and there's no way through it,..except through it!
The time-frames and order of going thru grief's various stages are different for everyone. A grief support group or grief classes may be of great help. I know it was for me going way back to when my only sibling (younger brother) tragically lost his life right before his 21st b-day. Can I ask if you're a person of faith? Because I can absolutely say that God has helped me through everything in recent years. Sometimes in surprising ways I didn't expect. And I'm trusting He will do that again. If you're not a person of faith, this may sound crazy, but I truly KNOW that God has my life in His hands & will never leave or abandon me. I don't just say this in theory. I've lived it and seen some amazing ways He's worked.
Does that bring me comfort when I wake up so sad,...and feeling miserable like today? Does it stop tears from silently flowing down my cheeks as I type? No. Because I need to do better at reminding myself of the things I just told you,...and explaining to you is helping to remind me.
Bottom line, It's hard to feel alone in the world. Everyone has family, or someone. I have God, and that's a BIG thing. And I'll have whatever angel's He plans to send my way to get through what I need to now. Give yourself time Jaxzee. Try to be kind to yourself. This season will pass. Feel free to direct message me if you would like.
May The Lord give you grieving mercies, peace, strength and comfort for this new season in your life.
I just lost my mom and I don't think anyone can imagine the struggles of losing your mom, until you have lost your mom.
I think it is the most complicated relationship a female will ever have and it takes time to process all the emotions tied to this human called mom.
Great big warm hug! You will get through this difficult time. Be kind to yourself and spoil yourself a bit right now.
Someone told me once that there are events that we have in our life that are milestones. Those milestones become a moment in time where we use it as a benchmark. "That happened before mom died or that happened after mom died". We gauge our life by using that moment as a benchmark.
That is the way I feel. I did end up utilizing the expertise of the hospice counselors and I am not, by any means, saying that I have found my new normal. I am still wrestling with "should have, could have"....I am still flinching at 3:00 each day since that is when I went to visit her.
But every day I get just a little better. I am forcing myself to reach out to others. I am engaging in new things (Ireland has great suggestions).
This is not a quick fix. You can't snap your finger and be back to where you were before you were a caregiver. That experience will always be apart of you. What you have to do now is event what that new person can become....and allow the caregiver experience to be part of that new person. Sounds complicated but we are all sums of our past experiences. We learn and grow from bad and good.
Stretch yourself. I am doing that....not easy but can be done.
I sure did sleep a lot at first. You need to give your mind, body & soul lots of rest. Think of the good memories & yes journal. Let go of the wishes to have done things differently. Love and forgive yourself. No one can change the past and I feel sure you gave the very best care. .
I am now recovered from my health crisis and setting small goals for myself. Getting back to a simple yoga routine, getting green time everyday & eating healthy/clean.
Working on spending more time with husband & projects for our home. Reconnecting with a few friends. Seeing more of our grandchildren. This is a new chapter in my life but we still have his 94 year old aunt that needs care. She has everyday sitters so it does not feel as draining.
It does take time. Be patient with yourself.
Suddenly, I had no daily routine. Funeral arrangements, and finalizing the estate kept me busy over the next month. I also had to deal with the fact I needed to start earning an income again. Through luck, I was able to find a job in the field I worked in years ago. At my age, I thought I hit the jackpot. I would be able to retire from this position and had a daily routine again. Well, to my surprise, I was let go for not being a "good fit" (I may never know the real reason). I am back to looking for employment and am experiencing the same feeling of exhaustion I had as a caregiver. What a roller coaster year it has been!
Mom was my number one advisor. She supported me and my siblings (who were not involved in her care) through life's ups and downs. I still say "good night" to her portrait and whenever I feel down, I look at a video I keep on my cell phone of the last time she had her hair done (Two weeks before she passed). She is smiling and when I ask if she enjoyed the visit, she replies: "Absolutely!"
I concur with many of the comments already provided. We will always grieve for the loss of our loved ones, and the process of moving forward will be different for everyone. Just knowing there are others who have experienced the same helps as we move forward with our own life journey.
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