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About Kieron

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  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    Partner, best friend
  • Date of Death
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:

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  1. This reminds me of something rattling around in my head. maybe it's because it's my work performance anniversary/review time and I am conscious of "where I'm at" in life and wondering whether I want to keep doing this and wondering where I want to go from here. One thing I notice in my day-to-day job (ie something like a public health nurse/case manager) which requires weekly home visits with folks who are struggling with depression (or other mental health condition) and the ripple-effect on their lives (like just getting the simplest thing done such as keeping their health insurance active so they don't fall through the cracks). That observation rattling around in my head is this: As I go through my own "stuff" in my personal life, more and more I am able to relate to them and their struggles, feelings, overwhelm etc. and can then approach it from a standpoint of real understanding and support. Many of my co-workers are younger folks fresh out of college. As the old work-horse of the bunch, I'm able to give them a reality check if it seems warranted. Disclaimer: the following paragraph is not directed at anyone, doesn't refer to anyone, and is a very general observation of *some* apparent scenarios from 14 years of doing this kind of work. I notice some educated professionals tend not to have a personal or deep understanding of their own patients' struggles. Young, mobile, tanned and super-healthy doctors telling patients to eat right, exercise... slim, snappy-dressed and glowing dietitians talking about diet and weight loss... peppy and energetic therapists/counselors telling patients about mood and depression.... cheerful, enthusiastic and well-educated psychiatrists prescribing medications they themselves would never condescend to swallow... fresh-faced case managers telling clients how to feel better and get stuff done in life, when just picking up the phone to make a necessary call saps the energy right out of the client. The paradoxes in the above are just striking, you know what I mean?... I think some of this is influenced by what my own clients have told me. But i think I can safely say that I sort of "get" where my own clients are coming from, in ways that perhaps my own peers don't or can't. It simultaneously makes my job easier and harder. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  2. I think of it like a sliver that became embedded in the skin. Sooner or later the sliver is ejected by the body. We don't usually worry about whether that's normal or not, right? It just is. But our society is not very good about understanding or dealing with emotions. Some people say emotions lodge deep within the physical tissues of the body until they are dealt with and released. Sounds like you've been able to make a lot of progress in examining this situation from the past, though. Sometimes we just need feedback from others who won't be dismissive or judgmental. 😊
  3. Thanks Dee and Gwen. You've both pointed out the very same concerns I have in the back of my mind. The outdoor/landscaping stuff I am handy with and will have a hard time letting go of because I put so much of myself into it over 20 years that I've been here. Unfortunately there are interior things that I don't know how to do and they will eventually need replacing as they wear out or deteriorate. And big decisions like the kitchen. which is not ideal, but is bearable. However if I stay then I will have to have it remodeled, which makes me exhausted just to think about... hiring contractors, making decisions, spending money, arranging utilities/water & electrical work, choosing new appliances, deciding on colors and styles, etc etc ETC! All while trying to work full-time. Taking calls about this issue or that one, while trying to focus on work makes me want to throw up. Did that back in 2013 and it was a nightmare. There's no one really to share it with, to commiserate with, anymore. Ugh. yeah, it just becomes more and more clear that it's time to think about where to go next. Here since 1999 so pulling up those roots is going to be one painful process.
  4. Another to-the-point gem that says so much. 😊 I'm going to remember that one, Marg.
  5. Interesting that some of you are mentioning anniversaries. I'm 2 years away from Number 5. The third anniversary is bearing down on me like a locomotive (March). Incomprehensible that it's been this long, when it seems like it all came crashing down around me last month or so. Maybe I'm feeling some kind of echo in time and space of what was going on at this time in 2017. It's been the catalyst for a lot of thought the last few days. Before bed one night, I sat and just looked at a chair where he used to sit. I'm starting to think there's no point in continuing to live here in this big old house where he'll never be again. It's big enough for a growing family, but it's hard to part with it. I could try roommates and such to make it work out, but people are not trustworthy much anymore, and I've been ripped off enough for several lifetimes. I've been slowly getting rid of "stuff" over the last 3 years and am ready to give away a lot more once warm weather arrives. I had hoped to make a little money off some of the better things but I've found people just want it for cheap --or better yet, for free. I'm more inclined than ever to just hand it all over and say "Here, it's yours, enjoy." The primary problem is, where would I go? I haven't figured that one out yet. And with the instability of the times, it's hard to say whether I should stay or leave. 😐
  6. This is a thing of beauty and I think we here are all privileged to be able to read this love letter.
  7. OMG I would buy that in a heartbeat, Tachi. That's gorgeous.
  8. I hear about this kind of thing all the time at work. Infuriating. I have clients who are supposed to get personal care attendant services or other support workers who will take them places they need such as grocery shopping. These workers are *supposedly* to help them live at home independently and many times, the worker doesn't show or does the bare minimum, or has a bad attitude and doesn't return the next shift. Or the visiting social workers say they will visit but then don't keep their promise. It's too easy to blow people off. Agencies can't keep employees, don't pay them enough, or otherwise could care less. it's an epidemic and it's disgraceful. One day those no-good no-shows will be in the same situation and wonder why no one is helping them.
  9. Kay, Dee and Gwen are all correct. These are early days for you and it's going to be like this. Everything you're describing is normal, natural and understandable, and I'm sure we all relate to it and remember it vividly. I do want to thank you for your remark about Susie trying to alienate you in hopes you would give up being her caregiver. I never thought of that particular perspective. Without going into detail, I kind of wonder if this is what happened to me.
  10. George, I don't want to say too much here for lack of knowing your situation but I think you are right in saying: I am a skeptic by nature so I don't automatically accept what anyone tells me. I have done some research and listened to/spoken with knowledgeable researchers at conferences who don't follow the "party line" but are true scientists always asking "why? how? what if?" When money, funding and lobbying/influence all come into the picture, then I automatically become skeptical. I think the walking is a smart idea. I need to do more of it myself. 😄 The tai chi is helping my balance enormously and I plan to keep doing it.
  11. Gwen, it's probably the state I live in but we have services like this all over the place. We have a very extensive care network in Minnesota and everything you describe wanting/needing and what Karen mentions (the council on aging, senior services, etc.) is all available here. Of course you have to qualify for it, and it's not free (co-pays and such charges), but it's there and I know exactly how to start going about getting it. It's gotten much harder to access in recent years, due to many people flocking here for help, but at the same time, it's so disappointing when I hear about other regions that simply do not have the infrastructure in place to do things that we kind of take for granted here.
  12. Hello, I too am sorry about what you have experienced. Having been a caregiver for as long as I was, I can say authoritatively that the feelings you have, this "dead stop" as you put it, are real and valid and understandable. I lost 10 pounds in the last month of his life, and it was very strange in the house after he was gone, almost eerie with the sense of emptiness both inside me and around me, with the awareness of things no longer needed to be done. And the feeling of being petrified about facing life without him has only now, after almost 3 years, eased a little. As others have said, it's all very fresh and raw for you right now, and it's going to be that away for a good while, I'm afraid. But I think the urge to write and compose is going to be your strength, as Marty says. I wrote tons of poems and essays in the aftermath and I think some of them are quite good (being my own worst critic means that if I like it, it must be pretty darn good). I think it's said, "You must suffer to write." I found that to be true. ❤️
  13. Ugh, you have my sympathy. I've worked in such places ages ago starting out in my career, and then supported Mark through two "rehab" centers and fought with staff and aides repeatedly to make sure he got what he needed. It was appalling that they sent in tiny 16 year old girls to "help" this big adult man try to sit up in his bed when he had no muscle tone. They're usually overworked and understaffed, and short-tempered, burned-out and hopeless, just trying to get through the day and go home. To say nothing of the real bad ones... I remember a few times encountering other patients or residents waiting hours for a simple assist with something like getting to the elevator to get to their own floor from the community room. it's barbaric that a person is expected to recover in such a grim environment (one of his room windows looked out at a wall-- not even sky or grass or trees!), and eating food I wouldn't feed to a dog, lacking stimulation and having little to look forward to except more of the same. 😝
  14. I'm really sorry to read about this major loss in your life which I cannot and don't want to imagine. Having said that, your BF is giving you clear signals that he, too, doesn't want to imagine the pain you are in and from the description, is telling you non-verbally that he doesn't want to discuss it. Guys are often like that... we tune out rather than verbalize our discomfort. I think that as much as you'd rather have his support, he's signalling that support is not forthcoming. Rather, I would suggest you find a professional counselor or therapist with whom you can examine your grief (which is really quite new and fresh), especially since you don't have a good relationship with your own family. You ask, "should I just end it?" which I interpret to mean the relationship itself. Maybe not end it, but certainly step back and give him space. Giving him space will also give YOU space to breathe and start noticing where you are with your grief and loss feelings so you can work through them. And it is work-- hard work. I honestly don't think you can do the work with his help, because it doesn't sound like it's going to happen. So my suggestion is to find someone who will, preferably a professional support, which could include a grief and loss support group in your area.
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