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How Do I Get Back To "normal"?


jkw

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I received my Hospice Newsletter yesterday, and found this discussion board in it. My mother passed away on June 14 2006. I took care of her, 24/7, for the last few months of her life. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I am having a hard time with this. I thought I could go on "normally", but that is not what is happening. My daughter told me that "I used to bounce off the walls", because I was always doing something. Now, there are days where I don't even get dressed, and will just sit in my recliner all day. Some days, I have no desire to do anything at all, and I feel like such a failure. Is this normal? Are there others who feel this way? Since this is my first time losing someone so close to me, I don't know what is right and wrong??

I have two brothers and one sister, all out of state. The brothers are really good at telling me what I should be doing to take care of Mom's estate, and how to sell her house, but have not lifted a finger to help me. My sister came over one weekend and helped me go through Mom's things, but she works full time, so everything is left for me to do. Mind you, I don't mind in the least bit doing this for my Mother, but it makes me angry when the two brothers just sit back and tell me what I am doing wrong. It tends to take away from me being able to grieve and move on.

Anyway, I don't know what I am supposed to feel or how I am supposed to be acting. It's been a little over 3 months since Mom died, and I still don't know how to get through this. I thought if I could talk to others who are going through the same thing, that it might help. My husband is being great through this whole process, and my daughter is trying to help me too. I feel guilty on those days when I just can't do anything but sit there. My husband tells me that it's OK, and to do what I need to do, but I still feel guilty.

I had Mom cremated, and her wishes were to be buried with her husband, who died in 1998. I haven't taken her ashes to the cemetery yet, and am feeling guilty about that. I just feel better having her ashes in the house with me, but the guilt comes because I know she wanted buried with her husband. My sister told me to keep Mom's ashes as long as I need to, and my husband told me that he didn't mind if I kept her forever. I couldn't do that, even tho that's what I want to do right now, because I promised Mom I would bury her with her husband.

Even though we had Mom on Hospice, and we knew she was dying, I never got to tell her good-bye. See, Mom would never admit to the fact that she was gravely ill, and the only way we could get Hospice to take care of her was to tell her that they were there to make her more comfortable. She was 73 yrs old, and whenever "hospice" was mentioned, it meant you were dying, in her mind. She was never told that she was dying, although some say she knew it. Her nurse tried to talk to her about her impending death, and Mom just turned her head away, and very politely asked her to leave. Later that day, Mom was very upset, and asked me how she was going to get through this, and I told her that I would be there to take care of everything, until she was better. She relaxed, and from then on, no one ever mentioned dying again. It upset Mom too much, and I refused to make her unhappy during her last days. I got so much closer to my Mom during those last few months, and will always cherish that time, but I feel guilty that I never told her good bye. I told her I loved her, and she told me she loved me, but I always had to go in her room with a "happy" face, and act like nothing was wrong. Some days, I just wanted to cry and tell her I didn't want her to go, and that I would miss her, but I never could, for her sake and sanity.

So am I crazy? Am I normal? I don't know where I should be in this process, or if I should even be concerned about where I am in this?

Thank you for listening and any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Kim

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i also just found out about this site from the mailing. My Mom died last Dec. and a lot of what you wrote sounds very familiar. I'm working on getting back into a "normal" life, and it's better sometimes, but still hard at others. I think being there for a someone who's dying takes so much energy, even when you're not physically there at any given moment, that your body just needs a little break for a while. I'm guessing it was pretty much your whole life towards the end. I was only able to spend weekends with my mother since I live 120 miles away and worked full time teaching. I got a lot of flack from my family for a while, too. My sister thought I should quit work and move in with her to help watch Mom. I didn't feel like I could leave my students mid-year, not to mention a teenage daughter at home, but I did take over the finances and paid for a nurse to sit with her. (She was already living in an assisted living center. ) I 'm trying to convince myself not to feel guilty about not being there more, but reason doesn't always help. I'm guessing your brothers feel guilty about not being there and believe they're being helpful with their suggestions. Try telling them you don't appreciate the armchair quarterbacking and if they can see a better way to handle things, they should volunteer to do it. They probably won't, but you'll feel better.

One thing that helped me was to schedule in one manditory activity a week just for me. I realized I was so wound up in taking care of everything for everyone and feeling guilty for not doing enough that I was spiraling down into an inability to do anything. I couldn't even pick a meal off a menu. It was suprisingly hard at first, but it really helps. It doesn't have to be anything major. I got my nails done, went to a movie in the middle of the day, that sort of thing.

I also never got to say goodbye to my Mom. She was too afraid to even be by herself, much less talk about death. It helps to know that even though she didn't say goodbye, I had lots of time with her at the end. It's not really the goodbye I miss, it's that I never talked to her about things that happened earlier and heard either an explanation or apology for the years of (mostly) verbal abuse. I wish I had been brave enough to ask.

if you had a good relationship, focus on that and the times you shared. I hope this helps.

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Dear Quiltcat,

Thank you for responding to my post. You hit the nail on the head when you said it takes so much energy to take care of someone who is dying. Did your Mom know she was dying? You're right, I spent almost ALL of my time at my Mom's house. Matter of fact, we used to live in the White Mountains (if you know Arizona), which was about 246 miles from Mom and just moved down to Surprise last September. Mom lived in Sun City, so she was only about 6 miles from us, once we moved. Beginning in January this year, she was in and out of the hospital about 4 - 5 times. You'd think I would get a break while she was in the hospital, but I would visit her twice a day. One time, I didn't go. We had company. When I showed up the next day, she told me that she missed having me come up. I didn't tell her, but I felt really guilty about that. In May, she was put on Hospice, and spent the rest of her time left at home. My 23 year old daughter moved in with her, because she was bedridden, and needed constant care. Although I couldn't stay at her house constantly, I came up every day, and spent all day with her, and slept at her house every other night. When she started getting worse, I just stayed every night with her. I didn't want my daughter to be at the house alone if she died, and I didn't want my mother to be alone, if my daughter was asleep.

I don't think it was fair for your family to give you flack about not quitting your job to be with your Mom more. We all do what we can. I was told by my oldest brother that I HAD to be Mom's caretaker, because I was the closest to her. (He lives in California...not too far away). I would have done it without him telling me that I HAD to, because I did it for Mom, not for him.

I also did my Mom's finances. She had made me her Power of Atty agent. So, along with trying to take care of her house, grocery shopping for her, taking her to her doctor's visits (before she went on Hospice), making sure she ate (she got down to about 86 pounds because nothing tasted good!), I was trying to take care of my own home, get things put away, because we had recently moved, making sure I didn't neglect anything at my house, and the list goes on and on. I was trying to run two households in half the time. I think I should say this...I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I told my Mom that she took care of me when I was young, and now it was my turn to take care of her!

Try not to feel guilty. You did what you could. We all do what we can, and still feel like it's never enough. I can hold my head up, knowing that I did all I could for Mom, and that is something that my two brothers cannot say. They have not done anything whatsoever to help, and they will have to live with that.

I doubt seriously if my brothers feel guilty. We weren't that close of a family. The brother in California hadn't seen my Mom for years, and decided in April of this year, that he'd better start seeing her, because he thought she was going to die (which she did) He did it to make himself feel better, and not for my Mom. THe other brother was just out to see what he could get from all this, and I no longer speak to him. Basically, all I have left is my other sister, and we are trying to make the best of this. She apologized to me because she came over in May, and had to leave the next day because she just couldn't handle seeing Mom the way she was. She couldn't understand how I did it every day. Mom was so frail in the end, and it was hard to see her like that. I don't fault my sister at all, because we all have our ways of dealing with things. I was the youngest of five kids (my oldest sister died in 2001), yet I am basically the one handling everything.

When you said you schedule in one mandatory activity each week and get your nails done, or see a movie, do you do this by yourself? Do you feel better once you've done it? I'm one of those people who don't like to go places alone. I will ask my daughter to come with me, which helps, because she lets me talk all I want about Mom. We went to Mom's house last night to pick up some things, and I couldn't handle it. I am selling my Mom's house, which is hard enough to begin with, but the house was so quiet and still. No sign of life. It really made me sad to go there, but still, I am glad the house hasn't sold yet, so that I CAN go there, just to see her house again, and see her "things".

This last year, we got closer. We had the best Christmas last year, that I can remember having in a long, long time. I am very thankful for that. Basically, we had a good relationship, most of the time. I will definitely remember this last year. We would go out for lunch or go shopping when she felt well enough, but near the end, she didn't even eat anymore. At least I know I made her happy. One of the most memorable things I remember is that I was cleaning her breathing machine next to her bed. I thought she was asleep, but then I felt her reach up and touch my arm. I looked at her, and all she did was smile at me. She said so much to me with just that smile than any words could have ever said.

When I was having a bad day, my daughter told me to write a letter to Mom, on the computer, and tell her everything that I wanted to tell her or ask her, but didn't. You might want to try doing that for your Mom. You can ask her all the questions you wanted to before, but were too afraid to. Then, when you are done, just save the letter. You never have to read it again, or you can read it again if it will help. But at least you finally can ask her what you need to.

Thanks for listening. And thank you for responding, and allowing me to reminice. Just by writing this post, I am able to remember some good things about this past year, and for that, thank you. Kim

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Hi Kim & Quiltcat..

Normal... I don't think anything goes back to normal when you lose someone close to you....

I lost my mom too last Dec/05... I had no warning... she was murdered... I took her into the hospital on a wednesday night and she died on friday just after midnight... there was no time to say goodbye.... I told her I loved her and the last coherent words she said to me was that she loved me too...

Life has gone on.... no other choice but to carry on and deal with this one day at a time.... life is now different....

My advice to both of you.... counselling, read books, cry when you need to... take time for yourselves to be alone with your feelings....

I took many walks on the beach....talked to her and told her how much I missed her and wished she could be here....

This grieving journey we are all on is a huge emotional roller coaster ride...

You will have good moments and dreadful ones that just don't seem to pass quickly enough....

Please don't feel guilty.... it is not your guilt to carry.... and your families.... well just don't let anyone push you around...

Kim

My brother requested to have a small urn of Mom's ashes for himself... the crematorium transferred some of them into a small urn and then we put spread the remaining ones where she requested them to be....with her parents...

I am so glad my brother was strong enough to do that... now when I want I can go to his house and hold her.....

I wish I could take away all the pain you are going through....

you both are in my prayers and thoughts...

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Penny is right, there is no normal to return to when you lose a close one. Everything is different. I lost my wife 5 1/2 months ago and everything still seems out of wack and from what I read it will be for some time. The is no right or wrong way to grieve, some people (like me) work like crazy around the house in order to not think about it, others do nothing, some eat a whole lot others eat very little...etc. Each one of us are different in what we do. In time you will find what your new normal is. Just pray and the answers will come. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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I think "normal" has to become something new. My mom's death was four weeks ago tomorrow (August 25). Right now, I'm still in the fog, but I've been back at work for two weeks, so that is serving as a distraction.

I really appreciate this discussion board because I have been feeling so much like no one else could possibly know what I am going through, and I think it's easy to start to feel sorry for myself. I had several days before I returned to work where I didn't get out of bed, or if I did get up, I spent most of the afternoons sleeping. I'm guessing that there will be a lot of that on again/off again over the next year or two.

I'm in a little different situation than you. I'm the oldest of three kids, and my sister and brother live very near my father. I'm 2 - 2.5 hours away.

I'm glad you are here. I'm afraid I can't concentrate on many long thoughts this time of night--but keep writing, and we'll get through this together.

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Thank you all for responding. I appreciate it very much. Even tho this is only the first day that I have posted to this site, I already feel better, just knowing that I am where I should be, wherever that may be. It really does feel better knowing there are others in the same situation. I know it's been said over and over, but it's like I have been drowning these last three months, and today, you all have just thrown me a life raft! Thank you, every one of you. I will keep writing and reading and posting, and maybe I can help someone else out too. For today, this is a good day.

My Mom and I used to watch "Grey's Anatomy", then call each other and discuss that evening's happenings and how WE would have liked the television show to go. Tonight is the season premiere and I know Mom will be right beside me, watching it with me. It will be different for me, not calling her to talk about the show.

Its on now, so gotta go. Thanks again.

Kim

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Kim and Quiltcat,

The advice that Penny gave you is good. Read books on grieving, and there is plenty to read on this site (go to the home page and look for reading materials). They really help you to understand the whole grieving process and let you know that what you are feeling is "normal". And yes, normal will never be the same...you will develope a new normal. Crying is not only ok, but essential to heal. So cry all you want to. And come to this wonderful board and talk and vent all you want.

Your families are typical...so many people have had this problem. When grieving you have to get a little selfish. You have to take care of yourself and your feelings, especially if no one is trying to help you. So just do what you want, when you want, and in your own way and tell your family to jump in the lake if they don't agree. And PLEASE don't feel guilty! You both did everything you could, above and beyond the call of duty. Neither of you has anything to regret or feel guilty about.

It's a hard journey, but it will get easier as time goes by and you go through the various stages of grief. You will learn better how to cope.

Hugs to you both,

Shell

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Dear Kim,

I'm also really glad to have found this site. It does help to know others are out here.

I'm not really sure if my Mom knew she was dying, but on some level, she did. About a year before she died, she was diagnosed with suspected Alzheimer's. Later, some of her doctors changed their minds, but she definitely wasn't herself towards the end. My sister demanded we not tell Mom about the diagnosis, feeling that she would commit suicide if she knew. Mom knew there was something wrong with her, though.

She fell and broke her hip in Oct., and never really recovered after that. Physically, she healed quickly, but refused to walk for fear of falling. My sister refused to allow her to use a walker, feeling that that would encourage her to remain weak, and since she was in Phx. and visiting Mom daily at the rehab center, I didn't fight her. Mom got more and more dependent and isolated over the following weeks, and eventually needed someone with her all the time she was awake or she panicked. The doctors put her on some antipsychotics to calm her, but they really threw her for a loop. She had a severe reaction to them and went downhill rapidly after that. By the time she died in Dec., she was delusional half the time, and just wanted it to stop. As hard as that was, in a way it helped to know she was ready, if not completely aware. Most of her "visitors" were dead friends, pets, and relatives. I take that as a sign she knew and was preparing herself.

When I do my fun activity, I often do it alone just because everyone else is busy, but not always. Today a friend and I went on a hike in Saguaro Monument. It was really hard to do something alone at first. I didn't feel right doing something just for me, and I thought I'd be the only one by myself. My husband works long hours and travels a lot ( he just left again) and my daughter is the only one left at home. She is not generally exited about mother-daughter activities, being very 17 just now. I pretty much had to try it alone. You might try it sometimes. I often end up chatting with someone and having a nice time. It always makes me feel better. Having a break in your routine is very cheering.

Take care of yourself! I'll be thinking of you.

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I just want to mention that I absolutely agree that there is no returning to "normal." I struggled with this for awhile, the first handful of months. Eventually, as others have mentioned, you realize you will never return to "normal." We find a new normal. I just wish that someone told me early on that you will never go back to "normal" and that it's completely okay to let go of this idea. I am so sorry you have all found us but welcome to the most loving, understanding family you could ask for. :wub:

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I don't think we ever go back to NORMAL, i think it all changes and we have to change with it. i have realized ( i think ) that things will never be the same. i don't like it but i am not sure there is anything i can do . i wake every morning and i still think somedays are a nightmare. it has been 11 weeks for my mom and i just lost my wonderful dog friend friday, his name was spanky. i am numb, i still can't believe it could happen, how i could lose them in such a short period of time. the roller coaster of grief just keeps going.

i also took care of my mom for 18 mos who was bedridden. i don't have a relationship with my siblings, i am the youngest of 5. i don't think my mom every realized her time was coming to an end. maybe when hospice came but even then i think she held onto hope. i never told her she was dying so we never really talked about it. the week before she died i think then she had a clue. i think she had seen/dreamt about others who had passed. she didn't tell me this but i think so. we did dicuss that she wanted to be cremated and come home with me. she is in my bedroom next to my dad. she said she was afraid to die and i told not to be. i also told her that the thing i was afraid of the most was not knowing how i would be with out her. now i can understand her being afraid. when i think of death now i become scared, i never use to be that way but i am terrified.

i am lost almost like i am not sure who i am with out her. i think being a caregiver does this to us. we have spent so long caring for someone so intensly that we don't know what to do when they are gone. i think i have to find out who i am know. i always put mom before everyone even my own family. i lived my life around her and now i have to learn to live my life for me. i am not sure i will know how to do this. i am trying each day.

i feel horrible today was unable to go to work since i work at the vet hosp when my spanky died. i know that his body is in the freezer waiting for the crematory to pick up tomorrow. the pain is horrible.

i am sorry if i rambled or got off the subject, sometimes i just write and what ever comes out i write.

thanks lori

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Dear Lori, Kelly Marie, Quiltcat, Shell, Penny, and all of my other new friends,

Thank you all so much for your help. I feel for each and every one of you, since I know what everyone is going through. I really didn't think that Mom's passing would affect me to the extent that it has. One of the things that I absolutely HATE to hear is when well meaning friends tell me that "at least she lived a full life" I know people are only trying to make me feel better by saying this, but honestly, it doesn't.

I am so very sorry to hear about Spanky, Lori. How old was he? And what kind of breed was Spanky? I love my babies...I have three, right now. They are doxies. I think it's really strange, but 6 weeks before Mom died, I lost my oldest and my "first" doxie. His name was Benny and he was 13 years old. He is the reason that we have the other three! He was such a good boy, lovable and smart, loyal, and I miss him alot too. As I read through alot of the posts, I have noticed quite a few losses of pets and family members, around or near the same time. The day after Mom died, we had to put her dog Katy to sleep. She had cancer and was blind, and the vet said he didn't know how she had made it this far. Although, I think I know...Katy stayed around because Mom needed her.

I totally understand what you're saying about your Mom not realizing she was dying, even when Hospice came. My Mom was told they were there just to make her comfortable. Mom was even worried about becoming addicted to the liquid morphine they prescribed for her, and I convinced her that she was not taking enough of it to become addicted. After that, she always took her meds willingly.

And my Mom was so afraid to die, that she wouldn't talk about it, at all. The only time she talked about her death, was when she was feeling good, like early last year. She told me exactly what I was supposed to do, when the time came. At least we were prepared for that. We didn't have a service, at her request. She said, "If you can't come see me when I'm alive, then don't come see me when I'm dead!" She didn't want an obituary to run in the Phoenix newspaper either. I'm not quite sure why, but I abided by her wishes. She did ask me to run one in the San Diego paper, because that is where she was born and raised, and she had a lot of friends and family there. The only thing that I have NOT done, that she asked me to do, is take her to the cemetery and bury her ashes with her husband's ashes. I feel bad about not doing that yet, but I think Mom would understand if I kept them for a little while, as long as eventually, I had her buried with her hubby.

It's sort of coincidental that you too are the youngest of five. Don't you find it funny that the youngest ones are the ones who end up taking care of Mom throughout her life and then, we are also the ones who take care of things after they pass? I honestly wouldn't want any of my siblings to take care of anything...and I didn't want any of them to take care of her, because no one would have done it like I did! I know Mom appreciated everything. Even when she was in good health, I was always the one who kept in touch, and visited her often; she always had holidays with me and my family...I know that the others have missed out on alot and they will never have the feelings or memories that I have. That is probably why I am taking her death so much harder than the rest of them. They just weren't as close to her as I was, and that is a shame for them.

I used to be scared to think about dying. Then, I started reading some books on the subject. I came to believe that we will be with our relatives and friends and PETS, once we cross over. It helped and made me feel better, although I am still afraid to die...its that fear of the unknown, I know that once I die, things will be wonderful, forever.

I totally feel for you in so many different ways. When I read your post, I felt like you had peeked into my life, and written about it. I devoted my life to taking care of my Mom, also at the expense of my husband and family. He was great though, and told me to do whatever I had to, and whatever I needed to do. He NEVER once made me feel bad for staying at Mom's almost constantly. He's a keeper!

Sometimes, I feel like I was put here on earth to take care of others. My husband is disabled, and over the past 27 years, I have had to take care of him after surgeries or when he was having a hard time of it. When Mom needed my help, I never once questioned what had to be done. I just jumped right in and got things done. And it made me feel really good. I would stay up all night long just to finish things, so the next morning, Mom and I could spend time together. It's hard to describe how I felt, but it really made me feel like it was my life's calling and made me feel really good about myself, no matter how tired I was. It was a good tired. Now, no one needs me to "take care" of them, and you're right, I don't know what to do. I am not used to this!

It's hard to live your life for yourself, when all you've done is take care of others. When you learn the secret on how to do it, please share!

And please, don't worry about "rambling", because you are not. I truly appreciate hearing how you and everyone else is feeling...it tends to make me feel better, because I am doing the same thing. It shows me that there is nothing wrong with the way I feel, nor is there anything wrong with the way everyone else is feeling. We are all trying to get through this horrible time in our lives, and I believe that by writing and communicating with each other, we help one another. Its not the same when I talk to someone else...I think because, no matter how hard they try, and no matter how well meaning they are, they just don't get it. By telling someone who is going through exactly what you are, it is healing. I don't know why, but I do know that I feel much better after reading and writing to this site. So please, always feel free to write whatever you need to. It will begin to set you free of this load we are carrying. I know it will be a long, trying time. There's no way around that. But this site is our beginning...so we can move on and live our lives the way our departed loved ones, be they our family or our pets, would want us to.

So, in closing for today, I just want to thank EVERYONE for listening, and for allowing me to be a part of your lives and your pain and your feelings. I am honored. I will always be here to listen, when you need it. Sincerely, Kim

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jkw

my spanky would of been 15 in oct. i don't care if he was old i wanted him longer. it doesn't make this pain any easier. he was a beagle/corgi mix the best ever. i told him i was a better person b/c of him and thanked him for loving me .. then i held him as they put him to sleep, he died in my arms. thank you for caring about him. lori

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Lorikelly,

I have had to have so many of my pets put to sleep over the years and I have had a couple that died while I was not with them, like at the vets where they were treating them and had to keep them overnight. As hard as it is to put them to sleep, I wouldn't trade being there for their last moments for anything! The times I wasn't there, and they died, still "haunt" me. So just know that Spanky felt safe and peaceful in your arms. The person he loved the most in the world was the last face he saw and that means everything. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Kim,

So much of what you said I could relate to, like I was reading parts of my story too. It's funny how much we all seem to have in common on this board. Not just the losses, of course, but so many other aspects of our lives. We are like a family, only NOT a disfunctional one! Thank you so much for always being there for everyone.

Hugs to you both,

Shell

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Lorikelly,

It's odd, but my Benny would have been 14 on October 21st! He was old too, but like you said, I wasn't ready for him to leave us yet. He was such a good boy, and I miss him.

Shell,

It's so funny, odd, weird, strange that we all have so much in common, still...it's nice because we're all basically the same! I liked you describing us as a family, because my "blood" family isn't there for me. I realized yesterday that none of my brother's or sister has called to ask how anyone is doing. I don't know if it's because they just don't care, or if they're dealing with things in their own way. I email all of them, but never get replies asking how anyone is! Isn't that odd? Frankly, I have to realize that they are never going to act the way that I want them to...and that is something I am having to deal with now too!

I am going away next week for about three days with my 23 year old daughter. I'm going to where we used to live, to visit with my friend and my daughter is visiting her old friends. I am looking forward to it, in a way. Part of me wants to stay home and not go, but the other part wants to get out and feel halfway alive again! I wouldn't be going, but I have a doctor's appointment next week, and I have to go, otherwise, I know I would find an excuse not to go. Isn't that terrible? We'll see how it goes. I have a week before I leave.

Thanks again for being there to listen. I can't get over how much better I feel after visiting this site!

Take care,

Kim

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Kim,

It always amazes me that when you are trying to deal with grief, which is the hardest job in the world, how much other sh** happens! I've always said that unfortunately life doesn't stop to let you grieve. And to have people who you think you can lean on, or you think care, not be there is one of the most heartbreaking discoveries you experience while grieving. Like you said, you have to deal with that too! I think that's why so many of us feel so alone, even sometimes when we aren't. You lose so any "friends" and sometimes family members that it certainly makes you feel alone.

Your trip sounds like a wonderful idea! Have a good time and relax if you can! Let us know how it went.

Hugs,

Shell

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Good Morning Shell,

Thank you for replying! Its strange, because I never, ever thought that I would be affected by Mom's death the way that I am. When my husband's mother died in 1994, I was sad for a few weeks, but then I moved on. It was the same way with my grandmother in 1983...I was sad, but life went on and so did I. I just assumed that was all there was to it! Boy was I wrong. I have come to realize that Mom's death really is getting to me because we were so close. Not just near the end when I took care of her, but throughout my entire life, unlike the other siblings. And that's why it hurts so much. I know that sounds very simplistic, but I had never really thought about it much, until now. I believe that is why the other siblings don't call or write, because they just weren't there for her. My sister tried to be close to Mom, but it's hard when you live in another state. She was affected by Mom's death, more than I thought, and right after Mom died, we would talk for hours on the phone. She even came over to Arizona a few times to try to help me with Mom's house. Whenever something happened in our lives, whether it was with a job, the kids, a vacation, just anything, her and I both would always call Mom to talk about it. We both told each other that we'd miss that and from now on, we'd have to call each other and tell each other what was going on in our lives. I know my sister is trying and for that, I am thankful.

Talk about "sh** happens!" One of my brothers tried to start a war with me, after Mom died. He tried to turn the other kids against me. (although they didn't go for that) It all boiled down to the fact that he could not deal with the fact that Mom had left me in charge of everything, before and after her death. I guess because I am the youngest, he felt he should have been "in charge". It was terrible right after her death because he made me and the others feel terrible with his silly fighting. Thank goodness he has stopped acting childish. It's a long story with him, something I'll reserve for a future post, as it tends to upset me when I think about him and the way he treated me, and my sister when she decided that he was just starting trouble!

I am wondering what my trip will be like next week. I haven't seen my friend since April. We've talked on the phone a few times, but nothing in depth. I am hoping she won't get too bored with me, talking about how Mom's death is affecting me. She's a really good friend, and I think she will listen and give me helpful advice...I hope!

Thanks for the replies! I sincerely appreciate them. I am really not used to talking about my problems, and having someone listen and then reply, so this is really new to me, but I like it and it helps me to feel better every time I come to this site.

Hope you're doing good. I hate to ask, but who passed away in your life? Was it your Mom too? How long ago did your special person pass? I would love to hear about your situation, if you can. :)

Looking forward to hearing from you. Have a great day. Thanks for the "hugs" too!

Sincerely, Kim

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Quiltcat & JKW

You have come to the right place to feel like home we are all in this together and it helps. We do not judge and we listen and help in all ways.

Life is so hard when you lose someone youlove andI also have never lost anybody until this year when my MOM left me. I was also in charge of everything for MOM and my 3 other sisters and my brother all agreed that it should be me, what an honor but what a heart ache. When Hospice was called in I too had to go in the ouse with a smile on my face and talk about everything but MOM not feeling well, man is that hard. I did everthing I could to make MOM more comfortable and I feel in my heart I did but it still does not make it any easier. Its been alittle over 5 months and I am still numb and life is not normal. I do not think it will ever be normal again I am starting to think that I need to change to what I have now and its a big hole in my heart. I do not want to deal with anyone anymore I just want to make it day to day and get my mind to stop racing and be able to focus on things again with a straight frame of mind. How I have no idea.

Just keep your head up along with the rest of us and everything you are going through is just like the rest of us and you are so not alone and we are all here to listen and lend a shoulder and an ear and all and everything you need hang in there

Thanks

Haley

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Hi Haley!

Thank you so much for your reply! You'll never know how much it meant to me. Especially because you were describing "ME".

I had been thinking, "Geez Kim, it's been over 3 months since Mom died (I can say that word now!), and you're still sulking and feeling sorry and sad." But then after reading yours and everyone else's posts, I realize that 3 months is just the beginning! I can and will take all the time I need to get through this.

Before I came to this website, I had no clue what was going on with my life...none. Then I read, and read and read some more posts and realized that I am right where I need to be. I may not post replies every day, but I surely do come to this site daily, if for no other reason than just to check in on how everyone is doing. This site and everyone in it have helped me tremendously. No one told me what to expect after Mom died. No one told me how long my grieving would or could last. (Maybe that is something that Hospice should counsel the caregivers on in the future)

I am not exaggerating at all. I have felt better this past week than I have in the last three months, and that is because of everyone of you. I am so thankful that I found out about this site. I don't know where I'd be without it. I feel like I have found a whole new group of friends and family, who accept me the way I am, in spite of my problems!

I love how you said that we were not here to judge. Sometimes when you talk to other people, do you feel like they are listening, but assume they are really thinking, "Man, she's taking this thing hard! Shouldn't she be over it by now?"

I feel for you Haley, because it is very hard to walk in the room, and act like nothing is wrong, and all we are waiting for is Mom to get better, so we can get on with life. That is what my Mom was led to believe. Deep down, I wanted to break down and cry and tell her I didn't want her to leave me. I don't know how many times I would leave her room and end up crying, then telling her my eyes were red and nose runny because my sinuses were acting up.

What do we do about that hole in our hearts? I hate this! I am so mad that Mom died. I'm not sure who I am mad at, but I do know that I am very upset over it. I have no idea how to go on with life without thinking about Mom and the situation all the time. I guess as we progress, we'll work it out for ourselves, in our own way.

Thank you for replying and for listening. I appreciate it very much, and I appreciate and feel for everyone on this site, because I know what brought everyone to this place. We all are trying to deal with the loss of a loved one or pet, and are trying to get through each day.

Oh, one more thought that has been crossing my mind and bothering me...I told my 23 yr old daughter the other day that I felt very sorry for her and she asked why. I said, because of what I am going through now with my Mom. I don't want her to hurt the way that I am, when my time comes. Is that way out in left field? Sometimes, I can't believe the things that go through my head! But there goes the "worrier" in me...always anxious about everyone else's feelings. UGH!!! I wish I could just think straight, and be "normal" again.

Thanks again. Take care.

Sincerely, Kim

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I am not exaggerating at all. I have felt better this past week than I have in the last three months, and that is because of everyone of you. I am so thankful that I found out about this site. I don't know where I'd be without it. I feel like I have found a whole new group of friends and family, who accept me the way I am, in spite of my problems!

Kim, I absolutely agree with so much of your post! I found this site at almost 3 months and felt the same way. It is wonderful!! It's how I have survived (I'm almost at 7 months). Welcome to our family. Kelly

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Kim

I am not a good one to ask about some talking about death see I always avoided the subject all the way when everit came up I would always say I do not want to talk about it at all really nothing I would tell my MOM before she left me "You have to live forever" and the subject would change that quick really I have never had to deal with that before and than bame a ton of bricks fell on me while I was not looking. My MOM would come over almost evcery day and I would talk to her and we would have coffee and the times she did not come over I would try to call or my boys and I would walk to her house and get Ice Cream and have fun just sitting around and laughing it was her to feed my boys junk and chocolate and than send them home but hey thats what grandmothers do I never got mad. I would get her what ever she needed I took her shopping and just thats my MOM you no what I mean and now nothing and it gets worse really it does PM me and I will tell you.

I also feel better after coming here and talking and getting advice it really does help and I really love talking to everybody. Shell has been there for me alot I needed her and we have talked via phone and its the best really I was having a major bad day a few weeks ago and I did not relize it was the 5 month mark to the day and I went nuts and drank my self to sickness and nuts and got sick and all and I called shell and we talked and it really does help. Ans we do not judge its great that I feel as if everybody is true to be.

I was there down to the second they took her from me and I'll tell you man I am messed up from all that I went through and I am trying to cope with l;ife and its not easy so if at ever you feel like you are going nuts you probly are but that is ok just go nuts for the time and you will come out of it just cry scream yell hit a pillow or what ever you are in the mood to do. I have gone to my MOMs house and just sat there and tried to talk to her and it helps also but she does not talk back. Just tell everybody that you are having a bad day and stay away. YOu will find that one person that will stay with you and hold your hand and help you and let you destress to them "I am here for you" I am not sure on how long this last but I've heard it never goes away.

I also am not sure who to be mad at I am mad at all the s*** heads in this world I fell like this.

Why does God take the best people in the world and leave the s*** heads here with us. my brother told me the best thing I can live with and that is that.

Why does God want s*** heads up there he only wants the best and thats why he took MOM and left the s*** heads with us.

The hole in our hearts will fill up with happiness that we will find some how and somewhere with the joy that our loved ones that we wil find.

I will type to you later

Thanks

Haley

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Kim,

My father passed away in Feb. '05 of lung cancer. It was a total surprise (he hadn't smoked in 35 years) and we had four other deaths in two months time. He went to the hospital for a week, came home and died three weeks later.

I know what you mean about being so close to your mom. My mom and I have always been extremely close, and since my dad died, my mom has become confused and has not really been the same since. Dealing with this has just broken my heart and I know that losing her someday will be a huge blow and very hard for me to deal with. So I understand why you are taking this so much harder than other deaths that you've experienced.

This board has helped me so much...I, too, am so glad I found it. We really are a family and some of us have become friends "off" the board too! It's truly wonderful.

Hang in there.

Big hugs,

Shell

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Good Morning Shell! I see we're both out and about early today! Actually, I haven't been to bed yet. Another one of my "new" habits!

I am sorry to hear about your Dad dying of lung cancer, especially since he had quit smoking! It must not have been the cause of the cancer. How old was he? My Mom died from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pumonary Disease), as a direct result from smoking.That's one reason that I am mad, because it didn't have to happen. (I have no room to criticize tho, as I inherited Mom's habit too!) The four other deaths, were they all family members too, and were they all from the same thing? That's a lot for a person to handle in such a short time period.

So what you're saying is, from the time he was diagnosed to the time of his death, you had four weeks "notice"? Wow!

Mom and I had always been close, but we got even closer, near the end. It really hurt me to see her wither away. She got down to 86 pounds, and near the end, her mind wasn't really there. I mean, she could think and speak, but alot of the times, she made no sense at all. She was completely bedridden the last 4 four weeks, and one night, she told my daughter that she had left the burner on the stove on, and would she go turn it off. My daughter left the room for a few minutes, then came back, and told her Grandma that she turned off the stove. Mom asked her how much damage had been caused, and Kristy said, "Don't worry Grandma, I got to it in time!" We basically just humored her, and tried to make her feel like she was "normal". I know that helped her. Didn't do much for me and my daughter, but at least it helped Mom to feel OK.

I really do feel much better since coming to this board. It was exactly what I needed!

Thanks for being there, and listening and sharing. I feel like I have known so many of you for so long...like friends you grew up with. So, many thanks to everyone. I know that we will all get through this eventually. I just know we will do it, together.

Take care and get some sleep!!!

Sincerely,

Kim

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Kim,

I'm a total night-owl, always have been! My uncle (who was an uncle by marriage, but ironically one of our closest and dearest realtives) died at the beginning of Jan.('05) of the exact same thing as my dad. We were still grieving terribly for him when my dads cough got serious (I won't go into details) and he went to the emergency room. That's when he was put in the hospital and tested and tested....you know the routine, I'm sure, and left after a week. Three weeks later he died. A week after that my moms cousin died, a week after that one of our babies (our cat, Rudolf, who I included as one of the "people" we lost because they are just as important to us as) became ill and we took him to the vets in the middle of the night. Thought he had asthma and we had to leave him for tests. When we got home, she called and said he had another attack and we better come back. When we got there he was gone. Turned out to be a heart problem that is not easily detected. Then a few weeks later a family friend died. A few months later one of my moms best friends died. So.....yeah, a lot to deal with.

It is so sad to see my moms mind so messed up. I keep praying it is depression and grief and that she will eventually get back to being more like herself, but I'm so afraid that's just wishful thinking. It just came on so suddenly, after all this started. I guess it's the only way I can cope with it, to try to remain hopeful she'll get better.

I feel the same way about the people on this site. Like I've known them forever and they are true friends. It was actually my moms problem that brought me here, so I guess there's a silver lining to everything, as hard as it is to think that way sometimes. But this site has helped me in ways I can't even begin to explain. I'm so glad you are part of the family!

Thanks for listening and all your support.

Hugs,

Shell

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Hi Shell,

Thanks for responding so quickly. You know, since Mom died, I have become a night owl too. Don't know why...

I cannot believe what you've been through this last year! That's just way too much for one person!

Maybe your Mom is the way she is because of what has happened. It could be her way of coping, and not getting hurt anymore. How old is your Mom?

It was really hard to see my Mom's mind go, as she had ALWAYS been so sharp, and smart. I just killed me, but we got through it. I just tried to treat her as normally as I possibly could, considering her situation.

Since I have been visiting this site, I feel so much better. It's really sort of strange, because after the first day, I was feeling better. And this past week, I have been feeling much better about things. I still don't feel like doing much of anything yet, but my mind is more at ease. And I still think about Mom every single day, but the thoughts aren't always so sad now. I'm not saying that I am "over" this yet, but I think I am down the right path. Thanks for everything! I really appreciate everyone and everything that is said on this site!

Take care,

Kim

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