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It’s Monday morning after the funeral and I don’t know what to do.
Usually I would be getting it together to be at her house by 7:00AM to take the ‘morning’ shift of a full-time rotation for her care. My husband would be getting up to get his things done so he can be there at noon to provide afternoon support. My son would be gone like the wind to work and my daughter would be passing me in the doorway on her way to school at the end of the night shift. I would have a pack mule’s load of stuff to dump on the table – briefcases, electronics, clothes and food – so I could cover any contingency in my portable life. I feel as if I have been living ‘out of a suitcase’ for a year.
But it’s Monday morning after the funeral and I don’t know what to do.
The family is all gone. They took the flotsam off the top to carry home; the mementos unique to each of them. Some items were contested, some were inexplicable but all must have represented the small chunks they each shared with her over the course of an 86-year life span. I tried not to get caught in the updrafts of those coalescing tornados. I escaped a bit windblown but not sucked directly into the funnel. Her house looks a little picked over with the pictures gone off the walls but there is still a family’s lifetime of jetsam over there for which someone must make dispensation.
But it’s Monday morning after the funeral and I don’t know what to do.
It’s not as if I don’t have anything to do. There is a list on the table here at my elbow with double columns filled in – organizations to notify, persons to call, services to cancel and kindnesses to thank. I have suits to take to the cleaners and leftovers from eating out for a week to take to the trash. I have medicines to dispose of and the home health appliances that need a new home. I have clothes that need a new owner and the plethora of supplies needed to care for a bed-ridden but still functioning adult at home that I feel sure someone could use right now.
But it’s Monday morning after the funeral and I don’t know what to do.
I have made a list and downloaded a list and consolidated a list and organized a list and put priorities on my list. This list is an awesome example of the inner workings of my brain. You could start a land war in Asia with less planning than what went in to the making of this list. There is something for everyone with errands and groceries and actions and reactions. Remembers and don’t forgets and urgents and oh yeahs. Highlights and stars and italics and bolds. Underscores and icons and question marks and all caps. And circles. Lots of circles. I drive my own self crazy with circles. I try to save the circles for what I deem cannot be left undone. I have yet to find the penultimate ‘use it only once’ sign for what is most important. It’s all there in black ink on white paper with lots and lots of flippin’ circles.
But it’s Monday morning after the funeral and I don’t know what to do.
I miss her like a toothache if I was to be brutally honest with myself. The friend I had was long gone by the time we began her 24/7 caregiving. That wonderful jaw tooth that was the lynchpin of my eating adventures had cracked and decayed and was starting to hurt. It started out bothering me at every meal but it grew into a constant ache. The physical act of caring for her needs was not the hard part. Trying to understand and interpret both of our emotions in this slow dance to the end was excruciating. We both built coping mechanisms that I now have to dismantle without her. And I feel a bit lost – in freefall without her needs to give me gravity. So, I sit here and type out my thoughts to gain a little balance.
But it is still Monday morning after the funeral and I don’t know what to do.

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Dear runaway,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your cherished and beloved mother. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know the pain and sorrow is unbearable.

You have expressed so well how many of us feel after losing our beloved parents. And 5 months later, I am still in that phase of not knowing what to do with myself. Just existing for now. I went to the cemetery yesterday to see my dad. Its all I am capable at this time.

I have tried to take comfort from the other posters gentle and kind suggestions. I do believe I need more time to process this new phase of my life.
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That is a lovely composition you created. What a gift you have with words!
I suggest putting that list aside and go take a walk- breath the Spring air, look up to the sky which is where she is. Then have a hot chocolate or whatever comfort drink you choose and let your feelings flow. You've been on such a journey and soon you will find your path- give yourself some time, rest and ponder your experience until it gets more faint down the road but never really gone.
Sorry about your mom.
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Awe...preparing myself for this someday, both divorced parents in same AL, slowly declining...maybe soon, maybe not...don't think we can ever be prepare well enough for

Perfectly described emotions from your loving heart

Thinking of you every minute

❤️️Bella
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You've put this more succinctly than many of us could have on that "Monday morning after the funeral". Many of us have been there, so we know how you're feeling. I did the same thing - list after list of things I knew I needed to do, phone calls were made but not followed up on as the depression overtook me and I spent months just going through the motions of life, not proceeding, not going backwards, just existing. It's taken 8 months, but I'm finally starting to feel like I can wake up and start getting things done. I still miss Mom a lot, but it's not quite as painful now. I think my "tuck it away" mode has kicked in, and I'm able to think of her without crying - just feeling a little sad - and able to move things out of the house without too much emotional trauma now.
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Brilliantly conveyed. You've done the best thing you could possibly do. This outpouring describes what so many have felt. You've spoken for millions. Honestly, amazing. Thank you for your care of your loved one and thank you for sharing raw, eloquent emotion.  And be assured that many on here will support you!  Holding you in my heart.
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