I actually looked up the topic this morning because I am drowning in a cloud of dark despair. Never knew there was such a thing or that there is a name for grief before someone dies.
I've been caring for my aunt for the last three years since she had a stroke. With my assistance, she has been able to live alone in her house - which was what she really wanted to do. Shortly after the stroke, I created an adoption certificate where I "officially" adopted her as my mother.
Fast forward to November 12. Her daughter was in town on a visit and called me in fear because my aunt was unresponsive. I raced over there and beat the emergency crews. We took her to the hospital in a catatonic state with 105 fever. Turns out she had a UTI, sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis. My sister has worked hospice and always warned me not to put a patient on life support if they didn't want it because the body fights to live then. Three days in she took a turn for the worse and her son (who rarely visits her but had medical power of attorney) agreed to put her on a respirator against my wishes.
After a couple of weeks in the hospital, they weaned her off the respirator but it was obvious both her mind and lungs were failing and we moved her into a hospice facility. We are not on day 48 of this whole ordeal and it is usually just me visiting in any spare time I have, trying to keep her calm and happy and give her some peace. Her daughter comes in every few weeks for the weekend, but overall I feel so alone and so sad to watch her struggle and suffer.
My massage therapist finally told me I have to focus more on myself and staying healthy. Any suggestions for ways to deal with this would be appreciated.