My Mom is 72 and is having a terrible time getting past our having to out out dog to sleep after 9 years of being together 24/7, We both loved that dog like family and it is hard on both of us but Mom can't sleep and she hears and sees him at night. I think she feels guilty in a way but I know deep in my heart we did the right thing it just doesn't seem like it.
She sates to be in the house and has been taking antidepressant elavil 25 mg, occasionally a valium when things get really bad.
She is worried that I have let most of my friends and past life behind to take care of her and she won't be here long.
We live together along with my grown son and thinks now that since my buddy is gone she will be gone soon and I will be left alone. I cannot convince her otherwise.
Same old rote answer: "Mom, don't worry about me. I'll be fine," and "Yeah, I miss Fluffy, too," ought to do it.
Tell her what preparations you are making. For example, how will you manage financially living it that house alone? Is the mortgage paid off? Or do you plan to downsize, perhaps move into a townhouse? Will you be fine on the disability payments? Do you have other income? Give your mother specific details of how you will manage. That may help calm her.
If she is worried about your social life and that aspect of being alone, give her details about that, too. "Mom, I am so very grateful to have had this time to grow close to you. When you are gone, I will be very sad and I'll miss you, but I won't be lonely. I will be involved in Son's new family. And I will go back to my interest in XYZ and start attending meetings about that. I'll spend more time with my current friends, and also meet new people." And it may help Mom to feel good if you start expanding your social life a little right now, while she can see it.
As a mother I think I can relate to your Mom. "Oh dear. Jean has spent so much time and effort taking care of me, how will she get by when I am gone? Now her wonderful dog is gone, and her son is starting a new life, and I'll be leaving her too. I wish I hadn't taken up so much of her life! I feel so bad about leaving her in a bad situation!" At least I think that's how I would be feeling in that situation.
If I were facing my own death soon, it would give me great comfort to know that my children and grandchildren were in a good place in their lives and would be able to carry on. I don't think this deep motherly need goes away not matter how old the children.
Assure her of the specific things you will do to be able to live alone. Also be candid about your fears. Be open to her ideas of things you might do to prepare. Assure her that her examples and her nurturing has given you the strength you will need in your life. You are sorry that she needed care in her later years but you are very glad to have the privilege of providing that care.
Today she has noticed that the bird feeders I put up for her to enjoy has attracted beautiful bright yellow finches. She says that is her sign from our dog, so I hope this will ease it some for her. I tell her that is his way of coming back to see her.
I think she is worried about me since I am disabled and unable to work due to Lupus and Sjogrens and my son is thinking about getting married, into a ready made family. Nothing I can tell her so far has helped convince her I will be fine.
Thanks again for your thoughts and helpful ideas. One day I may adopt another fur baby but after the illness that this one went though I can't see another for quite a while. She can't hep it but she is just a natural worrier
Try to tell your Mom that you won't be left alone,your grown son is part of your household. You will know when the right time will be to bring in a new pet, nature has a way of bringing lost/stray pets to one's door step, out of the blue.