My mother died after I cared for her for 21 years. What is normal grief?

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Mom died a month ago, today. I was her caregiver/roommate for 21 years. I find myself not wanting to do anything. I still haven't cleaned her bedroom. My entire house is geared toward her safety and comfort. I don't know where to start and I just sit in front of the tv. I need to find a job and haven't pursued that. Since Mom died, I have had a severe infected/impacted tooth as well as strep throat. I have no idea how a month has passed and I've accomplished nothing. Is this normal grief?

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First treat the infection as soon as possible. That abscess is sucking away all your strength. Ask someone else, a friend or cousin, to clean out the bedroom and put fresh paint on the walls, fresh curtains on the windows and a matching bedspread. Start one room at a time, take time to adjust.
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I'd get to a doctor to get treatment for that strep throat and a dentist to see about the impacted tooth. Both of those things likely are making you feel terrible. I'd also discuss your situation with your Primary doctor. I'd explore if your feelings are part of your grief or more than that and are depression. A professional should be able to figure that out and make some suggestions.

Once your health is better and you are feeling better physically, you might be in the mood to get up and about. If you have a lot of equipment and belongings of your mom's you no longer need, I'd make a list of who might benefit from them. There are a lot of needy people who would be overjoyed to receive them. You might check with your senior center or other local charity. (This is assuming there are no pending estate issues that would prevent you from donating her things.)

It's understandable that you have suffered a huge loss. Twenty-one years is a long time. I'd be patient with myself and try to treat yourself with all the things that you might not have been able to do for the last 21 years. A support group might help as well. And if your doctor prescribes medication, I'd expect that would help your mood too.
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It sounds like you need to be on antibiotics

Inertia is understandable but just do one thing at a time until you are feeling better - start with a short walk after breakfast and then take a shower and nap afterwards if you are tired

IN the afternoon try a quick trip to the market and buy some deli chicken noodle soup and make a grilled cheese sandwich

If you like yogurt stock up on your favorite flavors for a week

When I'm exhausted yogurt and raisin toast with peanut butter are my staples
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It is normal, you lost a loved one, you also lost a lifestyle that gave you a sense of purpose.
Get up tomorrow, shower, dress, makeup, dress up a bit and leave the house....even if you only got to walk the mall or the library. Call for your dental appointment and affordable a doctors appointment. Plant a tree, bake a cake, call an old friend, get away from the tv.
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I'm so sorry for your loss, Phrezia.

We all grieve at different rates, in different ways. 21 years is a very long time to do something, especially something as intense as caregiving someone who is in decline. I wouldn'tit worry about what's " normal".

However, are you taking care of your health? I'm going to assume that you've now been to the doctor and dentist. Have you taken care of other screening procecures like colonoscopy, mammography and all the things you've put off while caring for mom? Are you concerned that you might be depressed? Mental health is important to take care of as well. Maybe you would find it comforting to schedule an appointment with a therapist or counselor for a few sessions to see if that alleviates your fears.

I'm a big list maker, i find it cheering to check things off. Break the job search down into small steps and do one task every day,or every other day, whatever timeframe feels right to you.

Please let us know how you're doing. We care about each other here.
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It sounds like normal grief. But, grief is as different for people as dementia is. Have you sought out grief support? If not find a group.
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sounds more like exhaustion and shock to me . its ok to take care of and rebuild " you " now . some people hang onto mementos . i toss them on the fire . anything that triggers good memories can just as easily trigger bad ones . life shouldnt be one continuous drama . it is better just started anew time and time again imo .
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