After a parent dies, how does the caregiver move on? - AgingCare.com

After a parent dies, how does the caregiver move on?

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My beautiful Mom died 2 days ago. It's hit me so much harder than I thought. I've been with her and her caregiver for 10 years and now, I have no purpose. I don't have a family or kids..I can't think of any enjoyment in the future because she won't be here to share it with me. I'm going to talk to my doctor tomorrow. I also feel angry at others who are mourning because they barely came to see her and have no idea what real grief feels like.
I'm a mess and scared.

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Lisa, you're gonna be OK. Hugs and prayers for you again!
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Thank you all so much. It does sound funny now to try to plan my life two days after my Mom is gone. It definitely was on my mind while Mom was sick and I'm the type that wants things just to be over so I can move on. Not that I won't grieve, because I'm just so devastated. My parents were my life. I feel like part of my life is over and I have no idea what to do next.
Reading your posts has been very helpful. I know I don't have to rush into things. It's just hard. Thank you all again.
Lisa
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OMG, Eanne...you were worrying about "moving on" just 2 days after... nah, you're still in the middle of it now!! Let these days just go and get through them, they'll mercifully be a little bit of a blur later on. Don't deny the others their grief, though you are most certainly much more entitled for many, many reasons. Next spring will seem different than this one, that's for sure...and the one after that, different again. Find people to talk with about it and cry about it rather than drugs to numb it if you can. Heck, tell US more about Mom and what it was like if you want, and everyone else who could be a listening ear for you is either too busy or too out of touch with you for too long. You have every right to hope life will be good and meaningful again, once you have any strength and energy to rebuild it. For now if you build a Facebook memorial page, a collage, or even get the funeral thank-you notes done you are as on top of it as anyone could expect.
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Eanne - I cannot say what you are going through but I went through the death of my Mom 3 months ago tomorrow. I went through a barrage of emotions. A lot of anger most definitely. I know how you feel about people not visiting your mom grieving for her. I have a brother who lives close by but did not see or call her that much. That is where a lot of my anger was pointed at. It has only been days since she passed so do not be so hard on yourself. Surround yourself with the good memories of the time together. For the first month I would still get food at the grocery for her and them remember that she was not at home anymore. The thing that got me the most pleasure was give her the service that she wanted. The music that she liked and the bible readings she loved. I still miss her every day. I got in a grieving group right away and it took my mind off my grieving for a little bit. The best thing you can do for yourself is to take care of YOU!!!!
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Grief seeks its own level-it is a dark black hole we fall into, having with in the past 6 years, lost my oldest sister, my 2 daughter's Kimberly at age 39 , followed by her sister, Kelly , 15 months later at age 39 too & my spiritual advisor after the death of Kelly-I fell so deep into that black hole but I am now out of it. I care for my husband who had Solvent Dementia. I can just tell you to feel, feel, feel To get to the other side of the mountain but you will.
Keep on this site & keep talking. Your not alone. Not one of us are alone.
Blessing are all around you, we just are not able always to remember. Forget & remember always follow each other. Moment to moment...
You can only think one thought at a time. If your busy say, playing the piano, making bread or watching TV-that is all you can do. One thing at a time.
I had to stop crying. It was causing me not to be able to breath correctly as well as to tend to my work, my husband, my life. I PRAY A LOT....
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Eanne, I am in the exact same situation as you are right now. I feel you. I'm very sorry for your loss.

No matter the relationship someone has with a parent, it's very painful to lose someone that's been in your life your whole life.

I have my two sons who are in their twenties. As much as I love and value them for so many reasons, it's just not the same as having a sibling or a parent.

Sometimes, when I cook I think of my mom. My mom loved good food as long as I knew her and I can honestly say she liked my cooking. Sometimes, in the middle of making a dish, I'm reminded that she isn't around to enjoy it anymore. When I fill up the bird feeders, sitting right where they're at in front of the big window where she used to sit and watch them, I'm reminded that she'll never sit at that window and watch them again. So many little things that pop into my mind when I least expect it...

Right now I'm wondering what the hell my purpose is, too. I think my purpose is to bust my a**, take care of myself and try to build some kind of life filled with people and things that mean something to me and bring me peace and make me happy. I think part of my purpose is to try and live life the way I want it, to work to make that happen come hell or high water.

Right now I'm flip flopping between going back to work now or back to school. I hated school to be honest. I detest having to sit for hours. I loath memorizing. I'll get to class, determined to pay attention to every word, but half way through class it's like I wake up and realize that my mind was in another world and all I remember hearing is 'wonk, wonk, wonk' in the background...

And, like you, I took care of my mom for over a decade. I've basically been living under a rock for years now. The world seems like a big, scary place and sometimes I'm loath to get out in it. I want to stay where I feel safe, in my own surroundings. It's crazy. On top of it, being a major introvert, I dread all those damn job interviews with all those strangers...

I don't have all the answers, h***, I barely have any. I'm just trying to muddle through this one little step at a time. And all the while is this colossal mountain of pain I lug around all the time, always trying to suppress it, when that's been part of my problem for years.

Finding a way to channel all that into something productive is the bottom line I guess.

I wish you all the best. And you're not alone. You have us. Thank God for all the good people on this site. *squish!*
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I am very sorry to hear about your mother. You must be such a dedicated and caring person taking care of your mother such a long time! It must be such an overwhelming feeling for you without her…your mother was not only your parent, but also your friend and all whom you could trust and nurtured. All of a sudden, your routine was broken, and feel so empty ...All those years you took care of her. How was she when she was with you? How was your day-to-day life while you were with her? Were you scared? Did you get any help from someone when you needed? A friends of mine who took care of both parents at home one time told me that she went out for farming whenever she wanted to vent out. She said heavy labor actually helped her taking care of her parents. I am sure you had been so many things sacrificed in order for you to take care of your mother. Yes, you need to talk to someone who listens to your inner voice what you really feel. My husband often says whenever I wake up, it’s a good day. He used to scare of his own death. He thought no one would come to cry when he dies. Both he and I lost our parents, siblings, and close friends. And we sometimes talk about them, but it took us such a long time to freely talk about them. Take care, and I hope you will write here again.
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eanne5 -

I would encourage you to grieve and allow yourself to be angry, sad, upset...these are all very normal emotions. Don't rush it. Everyone grieves differently, and don't let anyone tell you you should "get over it" after a certain length of time. There is no time limit on grief.

Definitely talk to the doctor, as you mentioned, and let them help you the best they can. When the time comes that you feel up to activity, perhaps you could look at volunteering in a place that makes you feel needed and loved. I see myself volunteering at the local animal shelter. They need the help, and the animals are always appreciative!
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I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, eanne5.

You don't have to plan the rest of your life today. Or tomorrow. Your mom just died within the last few days. Allow yourself to feel it. Don't worry about what you're going to do next, get through this first. You're going to feel lousy and depressed and scared and you're going to be a mess. All normal feelings right now and appropriate as well. Your anger is normal too.

I lost my dad almost a year ago and it still hurts. I walked through those days after his death like a zombie. Every time I felt the pain well up I'd somehow smash it back down. Death of a loved one, especially a parent and ESPECIALLY if we were the caregiver is extremely painful. That's the way it's supposed to be.

Allow yourself to grieve. Come here and share your grief as you have already done. Don't expect too much from yourself right now, you're in mourning. Be gentle with yourself and don't make any big decisions right now.

Today, just do what you have to do today and don't worry about tomorrow until you wake up tomorrow. You will get through this. My dad has been gone almost a year now and I still get a pain in my heart when I think of him. But life will go on.
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So heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you. Be strong if you can.
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