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I cared for her after her Alzheimer's diagnosis.

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Dear mlc888: First let me tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I lost my mom four years ago in August. Sometimes it feels like yesterday. I still have a hard time when I go to her favorite store (I would take her for her weekly supplies every Tuesday). Before she got real sick, I took her to her doctor's appointments.Sometimes I hear a song or see a T.V. show and it reminds me of her. I took care of her for many years before I had to admit her to a nursing facility in order to get her the care she needed 24/7. She had dementia and couldn't walk anymore. It was very difficult, but the people there were fantastic, and I was blessed by the staff as well as visiting with some of the other residents. I was by her side when she left this world and her suffering ended. I try not to remember her at the end of life, but rather all the other good times we had. It takes time to grieve, so let yourself heal, recharge. It gets easier over time to remember the good times.
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I am sorry for your loss. I can tell from how you explain the loss of your mother that you are in deep pain. I might suggest grief counseling. Having support of someone to walk along side you in your pain will make you journey through grief more tolerable. It sounds like you were very close to your mom and she would want you to have the support of a grief counselor. Prayers for you.
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Oh my ~ i am so very sorry for your loss. There is no benchmark for "normal." Your pain is your pain, and your grief and recovery will be just as unique. i find myself still "hiding from Time." It's so hard to start the day - harder yet if you're alone or have no social network.

If you feel you need to speak with counselors, support groups or clergy, please do so. It's said that we 'remember moments, not the years." Oh how true.

i find it's hard to stop buyng Mom's favorite foods at the grocery store, and i still find myself doing similar thngs on 'autopilot." Even buying her flowers, or clothing -- and i get home and realize once again she's not here.

You will find a balance. Give yourself the time and tools for healing. There isn't a timeline for 'normal' - i believe it's different for each person. Blessings to you ~ namaste.
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Wow. I happened across this site from an email. What a blessing. My mother went to be with the Lord in August and I was her primary caregiver. She lived with me for 7 years. She had COPD/CHF. She was a trooper. I was always encouraging her to do more, and she would push back and say I'm asking her to do too much. We always had that kind of relationship. My pushing her was my way of encouraging her to keep going. In January of this year she went in the hospital with COPD exacerbation and I believe the breathing treatment was too strong. She began to have atrial fibrillation. She made it through only to return again. When she got out the 2nd time she went to nursing rehab. I quit job and cared for her. I prayed with her and she was determined to get well and she did. She came home end of May. In Aug she got a touch of pneumonia and returned to hospital. I didn't want them to keep her but they insisted. They started the breathing treatments and she went into respiratory distress. She called me and told me she was too tired and wanted to go on home. The next morning she passed. Talk about loneliness. My brother leaves 1000 miles away. He came and he was close to my mother in his own way, but I think being there and going through it all with her left me with a feeling of emptiness. Now I am trying to figure out how to fill it. No mother, no job, no family of my own. I know GOD is able and I press on. Finding this sight was good as I realize there are others who truly UNDERSTAND.
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I know I will. I don't have a child. I'm my mom's only child, my dad was class A a-hole who walked away when I was 3 because she was supposed to take his philandering because she was Hispanic and well most Hispanic women do but my mom has/d a feminist streak and she's still very independent which becomes an issue in the home. She hates that these people have to take her to the bathroom, bathe and clothe her.

I feel like I am slowly watching her die right now. The woman that raised me is more or less dead. She's never going to make her special enchiladas anymore, She will never tuck me in again. She will never help me make decisions and I need her for that now.

I never wanted to raise children. I didn't even play with baby dolls as a child. I feel like I have one now. A toddler or a pre-schooler. Her 100 days of medicare are up and actually I'm going to post that separately as I need opinions. But lets just say I feel like my mom is dying now and I hate it. She's so vulnerable now, it's just horrid, yet the last thing I want is for her to die. That will be the worst day of my life, I'm single partly because I was my mom's caregiver for most of my 30s and half my 40s but also because I have social anxiety and gained weight so men would leave me alone. I guess I should start dating now but the idea is just so horrible to me. And I can't imagine I could love a man as much as I love my mom. It was always us against the world, now its just me. I'm so sorry for your loss.
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Death my friend is an inevitable chapter in our lives. Death is one of the things that are not changing and will always remain true in life. Though this reality does not affect the fact that dealing about a lost love one in your life is really a very hard and painful thing to do.
Hopefully these tips could help you be in a better situation than what you are in right now.
1. Understand that the emotions that you have right now are all normal.
It is ok to feel cheated, left alone and sad. These are just natural reactions to the pain that you are experiencing right now. Never feel guilty about the things that you are feeling right now. Cry if you need to, stay away from people if you must. If all of these things sums up to you being able to pick up the pieces once again, then entertain these emotions in your life. Mourn as long as you can, but never forget that you are still alive and have to live a life of your own, even without that one person that you care about the most.
2. Think about the positive
Look on the brighter side of things, no matter how dark your feeling is right now, there is still a glimpse of positive thing you can look at. Your love one is now finally free from all the hurting feelings both physically and emotionally. This may sound like a cliché but the truth is, they are really in a better place right now. Keep the great memories that you had with them together and use it as something that could push you in doing great things in life. Always use their memories as an inspiration, not something that could pull you down.
3. Do something that stimulates your mind.
Yes you are entitled to mourn and feel grief over the death of someone dear to you but you should learn to divert your attention and emotions to something else. You can learn a new sport, try out a new hobby or be involved in a charity or group. Knowing that you are in a much better situation compared to others and knowing that you are capable of helping despite of the hurting you have inside makes you a better person and help in moving on with a love ones death.
The fact remains that getting over the death of someone dear to you is truly heart breaking. It is both emotional and stressful, but as the saying goes, life goes on, thus moving on is something you should work on. It really takes time, but you need to begin somewhere and somehow to make that move towards a better and a more positive situation.
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I so relate ... helpful.
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I've been thinking that same way, she is like my kid. I mean this will be LARGE for me, so I know what your mean when you say " is it normal? " I feel things are getting closer to "the time" as she turns another corner of this crazy alz. disease. The well starts to fill and the waterworks just start pouring down, like now....and I think I'm strong. My siblings pretty much just stay away and as we get even older after shes gone, that's something I'll never forget and will have to do some soul searching. I know how sad I'm going to be. I mean Ive been preparing for when that happens for years emotionally and I feel like Im right where I started when I think of loosing her. I already know Im going to wish I did more and all that...I try to rationalize, everyone looses parents right? How do they cope? Ive watched friends ask questions. Some steadfast " you never get over it" and " it was their time" (so accepting, busy living their own lives). So I know Im going to have to live with the grief....Im thinking more that I may take a trip when this is over, and just be alone.Then what I say to myself? try to relax, enjoy? I'll be sad and wish she was with me and on the flip side I do hope I feel a sense of peace knowing she will be with me on that trip and calming all my crazy thoughts. Well, Im glad I clicked on and read your posts. I guess little by little, with shared thoughts from people who have been there, has put a some ease in my night. appreciate it~
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It's perfectly normal to feel that way.
I'm sorry for your loss.
I was a caregiver to my Mom for 14 years.
On the day she passed away, I felt completely lost.
All my activities and purpose centered on taking care of her.
Now, that was all gone, and I had no idea what to do with myself.
She was the best Mom anyone could have asked for.
I know she's still watching over me.
It took around two weeks for me to start getting back to my former life.
Don't take too long to get back to your former life.
The longer you take, the harder it is to move on.
I know your Mom is still watching over you, too.
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I am suffering the loss of my mom since her passing July 3. It is hard to let go because we were so involved and close to them. With their passing there is an emptiness and loss of routine. You have to remind yourself that they lived a long life and that life does end. I know that my mom would not want be to grieve to long. She would want me to enjoy life with my family. I know that she is in heaven and being cared for there. I am working on letting her go and enjoying my life. I loved her dearly, but now she is gone.
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So sorry for your loss. I can even imagine how difficult this is for you. My mother is in a long term nursing facilitie due to a stroke. I cared for her for 13 years which 7 of them I lived with her. After her stroke it was very difficult to care for her at home . I grieve every day that the mother I knew and loved is now a completely different person than she was pre stroke. I can only imagine what you are feeling after your mothers passing. Know that in your heart you loved her and she loved you. You did everything you could possibly do for her and she is at peace now. God bless you!!!
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Look, there's no free lunch: meaning, if you had a good relationship you mourn losing it, if you had a terrible relationship you mourn never having had a good one, if you watched someone suffer you mourn that, if they slipped away peacefully, you think they could have had longer. We can do a lot but ultimately we are helpless in the face of mortality. Watch out for despair ("I am worthless now!") and for anger ("Whom can I blame for how bad I feel?") since both of them are substitutes for reckoning with the reality of those limits on our powers. Make good choices about whom to be in the world, how to behave in the world -- I mean add goodness to the world, not poison -- and that will help you to move forward in your life as well. That's what your loved one would have wanted, too.
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Good for you! Feel angry enough to fight for your mother because you know she would fight for you! It is very hard to be a caregiver by yourself. We had a totally of 5 people working with my grandma in her own home with 24 hour care. It takes a toll on everyone. since I did the night shift I was always the tired one. because I worked during the day with kids, and then came home to a 100 year old who wanted to talk and sang all night! I she do miss her now but I feel good to know I did all I could. And you will too after your war is over May your Mom rest in peace soon. Good luck to you and God bless.
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I lost my mother less than a month ago and she was just buried last week. I think what you are feeling is normal, but who's to say what "normal" really is. For some it is being lost without them while for others it is a sigh of relief and thankfulness that God has heard your prayers.

My mother was basically killed in the nursing home she had resided in for just two weeks, therefore my sisters and I are dealing with guilt, wanting answers and grieving all at the same time.

I took care of Mom for 8 years and had to stop in April because I began having panic and anxiety attacks and was hospitalized overnight and told that if I returned to caring for Mom, I would be dead from a heart attack or would have a stroke....it had all become too much to handle alone.

My sister hired an in home caregiver for a while and then found that we needed to place her into a skilled nursing facility. I was placed on Zoloft to control the panic and anxiety and now along with everything that has happened my sister is looking at me and saying "I do not know who you are anymore!" WHY? Because the Zoloft is working so well, you no longer feel up and down emotions, I never even cried when Mom died.

Don't get me wrong, I am heartbroken that she is gone and especially the way she died, she was my best friend. I am at a loss as to myself the absence of tears and emotion frightens me a bit as I am wondering if these emotions are going to hit me in the future.

Now that she is buried, I am preparing for "WAR" because someone killed my mother, she died of blunt force trauma to the head, hematoma's on forehead and back of head, 3 brain hemorrhages, broken ribs bruise of right shoulder and elbow. Her male nurse says he doesn't know how "she fell" but thinks maybe "she rolled out of bed while sleeping." The bed is 15-18 inches off the ground these injuries were not sustained that way. They waited for 16 hours before they took her to the hospital for care, it was too late!

So now I go from feeling no emotion and shedding no tears, to mentally planning on beating every bush until I find out who did this to my Mom and seek justice for her.

It is a horrible feeling to see and know that some has injured your little old Mom and she has died from it and hospice sends her body to the mortuary and the coroner takes a look and determines her cause of death, and you bury her and that's it, everything is OVER..... no one cares that your mother was killed by someone, because they were old, they had dementia and they were expendable. If she were home and this happened to her, we would most likely wind up in jail for abuse, but that is not what has happened here. So now I am preparing for WAR, I will not let my mother's life end this way!
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I feel the same way. I do feel lost without my Grandma! it's hard to go to the store because that is what I use to do for her. It's hard going into a empty house knowing that she is not there. It's hard having that extra freedom that you wanted when she was around. and now you just don't know what to do with your time. But I know in due time this will pass. just enjoy the good times while you can. And know that being a caregiver is the best gift you could give your Mom. cherish the wonderful times you have together. and God bless you both.
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Bigguy1

I too feel your pain. My mom fell 3 months ago, had brain bleed and they operated on her 2 weeks later. I only saw her less than a month, before my family took her away from me. I have not seen her now for 7.5 weeks. She survived the surgery, but to what extent, I do not know. I guess I would be better off if I knew she passed as that is about where I am at, not seeing her. My sibs (esp 2 other brothers) are the ones I believe keeping me from her and have emailed some really awful comments and accusations to me.

I have cried daily since all of this happened and have tried to see her, but because she tells them she does not want to see me, there is nothing I can do. I think she was demented before and was told by the medical professionals she will have a continuous decline. With the sibs putting negative comments and accusations into her brain, I have truly lost. What I do have is that I got quality time caregiving her and know what I did was the best I could without sibs help. I do miss my mom lots and she is still alive. I have accepted I will never see her again and that is really painful. Not sure how long this will take to get over, but the emotions spring up when I do not expect them. Take care.
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This is what scares me. My mom lives next door. I sit with her an hour every day, I shop for her, take her to the doctor, the bank, hairdresser and out to eat once and a while. I will be lost without her.
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I'm so sorry for your lost. I lost my Grandma who made it to 100 years old last week. and I was her caregiver for many years. It's a different kind of lost because you physically took care of that person everyday. I also lived with her so I saw her everyday. now that she is gone. I feel lost and little things like going to the store can be very emotional because I use to shop for her. I miss her. I don't have children and I'm not married but without her I feel very lonely I'm looking for a second job so I can keep busy and stay productive. I've lost many people I loved. But this does feel like losing some one so close like a parent losing a child. I use to call her my Grandma Baby. Keeping busy helps me maybe it will help you too.
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I mentioned earlier that my mom passed July 3. I am trying to find a normal routine since being her caregiver. Being a caregiver is a selfless job and leaves no room for you. I am sad that mom is gone, but I am glad that she is not demented any longer. I grieve the person she use to be. It is hard to carry on with your life after being so consumed with theirs. I am sure it takes time to get a new norm. I am trying to stop thinking of mom so often, that it causes me sadness. She always told me that the saddest day of her life was when her mother died. So goes the circle of mother daughter. I have a beautiful daughter that is my best friend. I just need to refocus my attention to my daughter and our relationship. She loved her grandma and misses her too. Mom would want me to enjoy my family, so that is what I will do.
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Bigguy1, my Mom had the same thing only they called it a cerebrel hemmoragic stroke. I saw the xray and it was all blood in her brain, they told me the same thing, this is it. I took her home and its been over 4 years now, she stopped talking and walking but she still communicates a little and laughs a lot. Hang in there!!
I fear how I will be when I lose my Mom also as shes been with me 7 years and she cannot talk/walk, is incontinent , and mostly blind. I puree her foods and feed her over 4 hours a day, etc... but wont there be "some relief?" after a few months? God only knows I love her to death, but I have a husband and kids and grandkids that I miss desperately. I want my life back once mom has passed, unless she outlives me, which she might, lol. I love her so much, but I know she would hate living like she is.
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Hi
I hope this site hasgiven you some peace. I lost my mom in May and I am still hurting. I know she is in a better place and to wish that she were still here is a form of self-indulgence, as I loved her, but did not want her to suffer. I still don't have all of the answers. Mom and I did the best we could to take care of her, but she eventually had to go to a nursing home. I visited her twice a day to do as much as I could to make sure she wasn't neglected. Even so, things didn't always go the way they should have, but Mom endured for as long as she could.
The one thing that I think will help your grief is to get away for a brief period if you can. I haven't been able to do this yet, but it is a dream of mine. I think that removing yourself from the immediate scene may help you gain perspective. You will never forget the things that you and your mom went through, pain and all, but I hope in the end, it will be a source of strength, love and pride for you.
Best Wishes
Mimara
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Thank you for this dialog.
As a caregiver with 3 and a half years on the job taking care of 2 parents with Alzheimer, mom has Parkinson, too...I am hanging on to the idea that I will be the one that feels deep peace. It sounds like it is quite a big stage to shift gears, tho.
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I know that it hurts, but you should cherish that you miss her so much, that you had that close time with her for the last years of her life. My mom and I lived states apart most our lives and we never did form that bond that you had with your mom. When she died of Cancer in 2008 I mourned for her, but not as you and others in here have. I regret that we never had the closeness that causes one to experience that kind of grief so I say embrace the pain for what it is, a living reminder of the close bond you had with your mom in the end and take heart in knowing that time will lessen the intensity of your pain while retaining many of the precious memories.
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It is quite normal to miss your mother and feel oddly disconnected after her death. I found it took lots of time to accept the loss but eventually I appreciated the time I had with her (barely 21 years) and realized I would have a life for many decades after she passed. It has been over 40 years since she passed.

Once you get to acceptance of the death, it becomes easier. A couple of months isn't normally long enough, the death is an intense loss and pain yet.
Don't be upset if you feel waves of grief come over you unexpectedly, it will. The first year of holidays with them is painful, celebrate the holidays but the normal joy will not feel right, but eventually it does.

Hang in there, be proud that you were a good daughter to her. She would want you to try to move on.
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My mum has also got Alzheimers, it's absolutely soul destroying to watch. Like so many mother and daughter relationships ours has always been soo close. I dread the day she leaves me I will be destroyed even though, I feel I've lost her now. But if I could hold her tonight and let her die in my arms I would not hesitate because although I would be devastated, i think it would be better for her. So mlc888, although you are bereaved, and my heart goes out to you, try to remember, your mother no longer suffers. Keep strong. God bless
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I understand completely. As I sit here and type this, my mother is in the process of passing. She has brain bleed and the damage was so massive, and with her advanced dementia and age (Oct 11 would be her 83rd birthday), operating is not an option as she is no longer there, So now it is a waiting game as there is a DNR order in place and she never wanted to be kept alive by artificial means (thank goodness we had this very important, although not pleasant conversation). Right now I am feeling the loss greatly even though technically her body is still alive.

Yes, the feelings you are having is normal, and I feel as if there will be many many more feelings during this grieving process. As I am doing now, you just have to feel them ...... laugh, cry, get angry, exhausted, Fir me right now it is very very raw, and though the feelings will subside, you never truly "get over it". You just live.

I also want to give you a hug as I know EXACTLY what you are going through as I was my mother's caregiver for over the past 10 years.....

Big hugs and God bless you.....
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No, there's nothing wrong with you. I think it's normal to feel the way you do. I'm caring for my 86 year old husband who has Alzheimer's, has had a debilitating stroke and has multiple other ailments and terrible back pain that nothing seems to relieve. My children and I are all at the place where we pray that he'll go to sleep one night and wake up in heaven. Here's just the suffering shell of a vibrant man who we all adore...wonderful husband & father. We cannot wish for this agony to continue for him. It's truly selfish when one wishes to prolong that kind of life and should be a relief for everyone that their suffering is over. We know they would certainly not choose to continue life in that state.
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Since you cared for her in her "child" form at the end, it is natural to feel like she was your child that died. Know you are not alone and your feelings are exactly that - YOURS. Grieve in your way and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. It is hard to lose a mother, but all those good lessons you learned from her will stay with you forever. God bless you in your coming days. I still grieve for my mother and she died in 2002. This disease is not an illness I would wish on my worse enemy.
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There's nothing wrong with you. We all experience loss differently. I suspect you lost your mom long before she died...as did many of us. Oh, with my mom, I surely saw bits and pieces of my loving mom right up until her last night on this earth, but still, the loss was felt long before she passed. Sounds like you didn't even get bits and pieces.

I'd imagine you'd feel profound relief. I know I certainly do. Don't judge yourself with another's yardstick.

Bury her tomorrow. Celebrate her life. Grieve in your own way.
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I'm so sorry you lost you Mother and are having such a difficult time! I read all these posts about heart wrenching grief and I begin to think there is something wrong with me?! I lost my Mother September 17th. She had a long and happy life - 93 years and left behind my Dad - they had been married 71 years! I loved my Mom dearly and yes, I miss her, but I don't have an overwhelming sadness/grief nor have I even cried, other briefly the day she passed. She had a massive bilateral strokes that changed her from a longing gentle lady into a violent, combative person who hit and tried to bite my Dad and I. Her passing was truly a relief and a blessing, because I'm sure she would have hated what had happened to her, if she known. Tomorrow we bury her remains and are planning a celebration of her life and I wonder still if something is wrong that I don't feel more emotional?
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