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Tomorrow will be one month since my mom passed, it still does not seem real. I know I am grieving and my mind is telling me it will take time. I am really struggling with making decision as to what to do now. For the last few years all I did was take care of mom and now I don't know how to take care of myself and my own life. Is this normal?

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Tattoo, I already feel that way even though my mother is still alive. Sometimes people ask me what I'm going to do after my mother is gone. I hate that, since I have no earthly idea what I'm going to do. So much time has passed being here that anything I once had is gone now. When it is such a long time we have to reinvent ourselves. I know it will take time. It would be nice if there was a signpost with an arrow that read "Go That Direction." It has only been a month, Tattoo. I hope you'll find your way soon.
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Hi Tattoo, yes this is normal. Especially after an extended caregiving situation. Actually, they tell people not to make big decisions for a year after their spouse passes.
So is there a grief/bereavement group near you? Often churches/synagogues offer them, as does United Way or visiting nurses or hospitals. Seeing how others have handled situations can get you moving in a direction that works for you.
Get a notebook and start a page for things to do this week or this month. That's easier than what to do with your life! You will see that there are a world of opportunities for you to grasp --- and frankly you aren't limited to just one! Try baby steps rather than your whole life --- it will evolve.
Sorry about your Mom -- you helped her through this time, you did your best. Feel good about that and try to do something for you each day.
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Yes, it is normal. The first year is a year of firsts. The first Labor Day without her. The first Thanksgiving without her. The first New Year's without her. Your first birthday without her. It's hard. Be gentle with yourself during this time.

There does come a point after which grief can become complicated. If in six months or so you feel even worse than you do now, seek support. Talk to someone about your feelings. Even now, talking to someone about your mom in order to remember the good times will help you accept what has happened.

Find some new things to do. At first, you may not want to but your mother would want you to live life. Losing one's mother is never easy. May your mother's memory be a blessing to you.
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Yes, it is normal...my wife of 61 years died less than three weeks ago after a massive stroke in 2005.. She was paralyzed on one side, could not speak, was dizzy all her waiking hour, experienced basal carcinoma a few times, ingrown toenail three times, could not use a wheel chair, had 22 or so urinary tract infections in the past three years, and many more maladies...For 12 years I sat by her bedside in the rest home twice daily and hired ladies to sit with her at the supper hour each day...She was, however, very alert and LOVED life and all people..She indicated she had a happy life when asked if she did. Her optimism and happiness were really astonishing.

The morning after our kids and I looked upon her lifeless body, I awoke on top of the world. She was FREE forever from her sustained suffering...

I do sense the big change in my routine throughout the day.

There is no way I could be sad after her long, long ordeal of 12 years....I do plan to
attend grief counseling starting today....However, she and I, in a sense, grieved at her bedside for 12 years.

Grace + Peace,
Bob
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I don't think it's unusual. You've been through one of life's major traumas, any one of which could cause some indecisiveness. However, I often think that can be helpful because it's not wise to make decisions after a trauma.

Consider this a time to reflect and consider redirection, if you want it, but also to decide how to spend the rest of your life. What were your goals and life situation before you became a caregiver? Have they changed? Just think about that, but don't act on it until you're sure.

What relaxes you? Try to focus on those kinds of activities, but also give yourself plenty of down time just to acclimate before you feel it necessary to move on.
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It is NORMAL. I experienced the same thing after my mother died. I felt completely disoriented and confused. Its been a year and 4 months and I'm just starting to come around. I'm also in therapy. Just go slowly, no pressures. I went to Florida on the anniversary of her death which also occurred one week after my birthday. I thought it would make me feel better but I cried on the beach when gathering shells. But I also remember a wonderful large green salad we had after we left the beach and how comfortable our hotel bed felt and how pretty my shells looked once I had washed them and laid them out on a hotel towel. Keep moving forward..little things will start to creep back into your life that give you pleasure and remove you temporarily from the state you're in, then you'll feel sad again and you will struggle with the next decision . Get up, shower and get dressed, go slowly be gentle with yourself. Make plans if you want to but decisions require energy, focus and forward thinking. Don't feel bad if it doesn't happen. Try again. Grief has you in it's clutches and it has its own timetable. TIME is your answer. I wish you well, you are not alone. Losing a parent is a required course...and we are all learning how to go on without them. It's NOT easy but everything you're feeling is perfectly normal. Good book, The Orphaned Adult.
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Dear Tattoochick,

My deepest condolences and sympathies. I'm very sorry for your loss. Please know that everything you are feeling is normal and natural. You gave your all to your mom. Every day you were thinking of your mom and her care. It is so soon and only normal to think what am I going to do?

To be honest, its been 9 months since my father passed away and I am still struggling with these questions. I try to put one foot in front of the other. Like geewiz said its all baby steps for now. My sister insisted I focus on self care and I had no idea where to begin. I kept going to work. I would try cooking classes, painting classes, grief counselling, but every time I returned home, I would cry. Because it was so different then what I was use to. I keep hoping that the more I keep moving forward the more I will be able to come to terms with my new reality.
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Thanks everyone. I feel guilty for taking down time, and find that I just get even sadder. I am in counseling and she say they same thing. I guess I am looking for a distraction from the grief. However I have lost my purpose, I barely remember what I did before. I hate feeling lost.
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What a great topic. Yes, when they go the world certainly changes. 3-4 years taking care of Dad in our multigenerational family home where he had been living alone. Mom died years before. He died at 90 last year and I was completely lost. Not myself, not even sure who I was. Flashbacks, periods of crying, regrets and extreme gratefulness too, mixed emotions, nothing to do. Winter, dark and snowy ... really let myself go,but not wanting to let go of him and our life actually. Floods of memories, images of past years, his life, my life, the whole family history! Lots of TV. Drinking. No exercise. Put on lots of weight. Trouble sleeping. Pacing, mulling, not wanted to see anyone... I was executor - family conflicts, panic attacks over what to do with house and contents. Got into loops of thinking and writing same things over and over again... Thought I was losing my mind.
What helped: A little Xanax for the anxiety - only took a half when needed. Some counseling. Saw a very good hospice counselor off and on for a while. Lots of talking to people I trusted. (Too much self talk sometimes!) Finally made decision to have an auction and sell the house. Very difficult. Luckily had support of most siblings, friends and good estate lawyer. Moved out of the house and back to a sunny state. Started taking "Emergen- C", calcium and vitamin D- my Dr recommended vitamin D and I think it helped. Wasn't taking anything before, not even vitamins. Wrote a long goodbye letter to the house and a shorter one to Dad. Cleaned out closets and stuff in my own place - kind of as if I might go and didn't want people to have to deal with it. Also just to feel more in control and organized. Started walking, less or no alchohol and better diet. But it took time! A year and a half now but things are looking up gradually. Keep on!! Our grief is our own and everybody is different. It Is normal.
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I'm not sure if I have more to add to the good encouragement many have given, but I am at the same place. Today is one month since my mom died. Just realized the date. I too was a daily care-giver for over for 28 months, after a 10 year period prior of supervision, so my days are now my own. And I have so much I need to get caught up on but I move quite slowly it seems. I tell people I am doing well though for two reasons. One, my mom is in heaven with her long searched for ma and pa and brother and so many others. I know that. And I am happy for her that she is there and not here in that Alzheimers mind anymore. And two, I was getting tired and not able to give to others like I wanted to. Maybe there's a third reason; as everyone around me has said, I gave so much to my mom that I have no regrets. That is true. She had me as an emotionally stabilizing figure when others thought I gave too much. But I felt I had to be there for her. So there is no regret now that it is over. However, I still miss that she is not here. I cry easily at things that touch me about her. And I have the realization that is normal too. So I say, be gentle with yourself and not expect to quickly be different or productive or know what you are 'supposed' to do. It will come. I have goals and I know I don't feel like accomplishing them immediately. It will come to the time when feelings ease and I will want to again. Moms are special people and your feelings now are honoring of that.
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