I miss my mom

Discussion in 'Life After Caregiving' started by The BEAST, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. The BEAST

    The BEAST New Member

    My story is a common one, I was a caregiver my mother for 2 years who suffered from breast cancer which came back three times. When I first moved in with her to help her, she was walking, talking and still being the woman she's always been... but of course in time, she started to deteriorate and it came to the point where I had to feed her, help her to the bathroom because she couldn't walk and of course in the end she was bedridden . It was the hardest thing I ever had to watch.. Seeing the woman I thought to be stronger than life, become an invalid. I saw her take her last breath and it ruined me. I can't get past that...
     
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  2. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Beast there is that moment of decline that is final and we can just be there. The same seeing my wife who was so full of life and really wanted to stay. But as you experienced there was a time that moment that they know their time is short. We did our best with care. Pain management, food, general bathing, and hygiene. Building lives to fill their time with meaning and fulfillment on any level appropriate to any stage. That moment when she slumped and the fight was done is just because neither of us wanted to let go. Our relationship was/is so precious. I just talk about death and dying with people. That is my world and reality. Ther are several stories of people that could not or would not do what we did. Yes, the hardest thing we ever do. Raising the next generation is a big job. Being a great contributor in a work setting. Helping others is a noble and valued thing. But providing the caretaking and escort to a dying person is truely profound and requires strength in a time we may not feel strong in our sorrow. You mom was fortunate to have you. Well done!!!
     
  3. Chris Chandler

    Chris Chandler New Member

    I took care of my mom for several years. She got really mean to me and I struggled for the last 2 years of her life taking care of her and her calling me names and saying she hates me. That was my job. Being the victim. Putting my all into taking care if someone who acted like they hated me. And told me they hated me many times. After she’s gone I now have no purpose. She has been gone 1yr and 5 months. I miss her. I miss talking to her before she got bad dementia. Now my 14yr old dog is dying and I really miss my mom. She loved the dogs too. I talked to her every day for the last 20 years. I’m 56 but we went years where we weren’t close. I just miss having a purpose and having someone to talk to.
     
  4. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Chris, it's strange but the simplest thing is to give someone the time of day. I would never attempt to read your moms mind and or anyone else for that matter. My father=in=law had brain cancer. There were the uncontrollable arm swings and that was a motor brain function after the tumor was removed. The verbal outbursts were very unlike him. Kay my wife was irrational as well but more about pain meds. She watched the TV and all they talked about was Oxy. She took that to mean she would die in pain. No matter how I reassured her she fixated. Pick your poison, cancer itself, chemo two rounds, really three or fear with pain. Perhaps some of your mom's venom was projection and that could be her own inner conflicts. The purpose and no one to talk to are big-ticket items. Sometimes when I go out and most people are engaged in the cell phone. I am discouraged. Jimmy Carter credits his ascension to the White House to square dancing. not bring politics to the site just an amusing story. He and Rosalyn took up square dancing and met people that were connections to be governor. The same issues as you with some light. Slow for sure. Some volunteer work with a local park with horticulturalists. They tend to be very nice people. What part of Texas are you from?. I understand that is a large state?

    Best to you and all of us.

    Paul M.
     
  5. Chris Chandler

    Chris Chandler New Member

    I live about 20 miles north of Fort Worth. I never even thought about my moms anger being fear. Your probably right cause she was also going blind from macular degeneration. I have also thought about volunteering. Once I get out there it would be awesome. I get tired and depressed on my days off. I really need to make myself get out around people. I really appreciate you writing me back
     
  6. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Chris thanks, Sometimes geography helps. Fort Worth is a good-sized community with resources I would guess. My mom also did dementia but all her life was steady. While in a nursing home for rehab a social worker just in passing related to me the stages of dementia. Knowing it was happening, hiding it and embarrassment, then the unravel, then likely anger outbursts, then eventually not much and either placid or very difficult but always a worry. Tough duty for anyone. Harder on someone personal like you' We tend to see them as they were or take everything so personally when really they are not the same.

    I think building a new life is scary. A series of experiments. Some work others a horrible idea. Some work but only after some adjustment. It does not matter what the effort is. Big can be attending a lecture and go home. Bigger the same lecture and a small conversation with your seatmate. Maybe a little bolder. Then maybe retreat a bit but eventually try again. Some doors slam and some open.

    Glad to say HI. Wish you success as you define it. The dog thing is more heartache. We are depleted after what we did on all levels. Overwhelmed was a mantra word from one of my grief books. Absolutely true. I many times thought I am better but very quickly was reminded better but took on to much. The other mantra was to try again but at a pace that is doable.

    Best to you Chris. Maybe start a thread here and report your experiments to well being with both the success and the not advised. We are all trying to recover and build a new.

    Paul M
     
  7. Kasha18

    Kasha18 New Member

    Wow, reading your story made me cry. I relate a lot to your words and I agree that it really sucks. I love my mother 8 months ago to lung cancer after her 3 year struggle. I too watched her deteriorate and turn into someone who I barely knew, especially with the extreme pain meds she was on, she would hallucinate and say hurtful things that she didn’t mean. She had been in and out of a hospice house over 7 times & we had at home hospice care. It is very hard going from being so invested in someone’s wellbeing and being there for everything they needed to now only having yourself to worry about. I am here on this site because of my rising anxiety with thanksgiving, and then my mother’s birthday in early December, and then Christmas right after.
     
  8. paul tinker

    paul tinker Well-Known Member

    Kasha18 these holidays especially. They are about family and togeather. The long painful decline is very hard and we tried so hard to react and do what was needed. Often we did not know what to do we are not trained for so much. If you count the hats that we wore. Nutritionist, financial/ insurance specialist, secretary for appointments, memory of what the doctors said, medication researcher for side effects, nursing, personal care/ grooming, activity planner and coordinator, on-call 24/7, little sleep, intense radar for any sigh of their suffering, dealing with peripheral people. we either shielded them or encouraged people that were beneficial, legal, accounting, drug specialist, driver, sentry duty always watchful of how the doctors or nursing staff were treating our person. companion, listener, ensure their wishes were carried out, adviser, comforter. shopper/supplies, maid, flower arranger, movie selector. There are most likely more you can add. Most of the time we held back the tears because what was needed there was no time for tears except when we were alone.

    So yes we were so invested and consumed and then that all stopped. The holidays with the birthdays are all new and strange. What they were in our lives is so noticeable in their absence. How we experience this is pure emotion and little reason. So what they are a big deal so why not emotion. Those emotions are intense and varied. Most memory is tied to our emotions. In all that discomfort has to be the recognition of how needed and fantastic our person was. For discomfort is a witness or testimony to their greatness.

    Kasha I know this is a hard time for you. I am sure you did your best. Serving those we love in the most difficult time was a labor of love. She knows you did your best and is grateful for your efforts. They loved us and we responded the best that we knew how to. How this all finds, "place" in our lives is individual, takes time and is complex. I gain a great deal being here and knowing all the variations of what happened but in the end the impact and power of loss. The struggle to adjust, find meaning. At 18 if caring was your duty. You did your duty. I wish you could have your mother longer.

    Best to you.

    PaulM
     
  9. The BEAST

    The BEAST New Member

    I know exactly how you're feeling, I'm laying here in a dark room not knowing what to do because I'm so used to having my mom tell me what I need to cook on Thanksgiving how to do it...I miss her so much, I still cry every single day for her
     
  10. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    No words can aptly express how sorry we are for your loss of your mom. I hope as each day passes your sorrow lessens. Seeing those we cherish decline is awful. I do hope you see healing days ahead and please never give up. Life is just too important to throw it away.

    Each death we experience in our lives is so different. After my father died of lung cancer, before he died he asked me to take care of mom, even though I had an older brother by 7 years, an older sister by 2 and a younger sister by 4.

    Of course I said yes, and as I sat beside mom at my dad’s eulogy by the masons ( he had been past master many times), mom leaned on me the most. I look back at how fragile mom had become. She too missed dad, her first husband had died on D-Day and dad was also a WW2 naval veteran.

    As my brother and sister grew, my brother was always gone, my dad who was actually only home 1 day a week. I am sure mom was so lonely at times, but she had us kids to always talk to each day. Mom would have my two sisters and me to interact with the most each and every day.

    After dad, mom would always talk of memories. She would drink her tea and would talk on and on for hours, and I guess I would be the one listening to her after hours. As my brother married and moved on, and my older sister moved away for teaching and then my other sister was also away with a new husband and two kids.

    Of course I had married, but always made sure to tend to mother each day after work was done. Even though I lived only a block away mom would not leave the house unless I drove her to dialysis. The house held too many memories for her.

    I miss those days, long talks and just being there with her. Nadine my wife, was also now away with her own parents who were also on the decline. So there we were, mom and me, playing cards, listening to one another, watching television, not really thinking about time.

    I would get whatever mom wanted, do whatever she asked and of course I realized as she slowly declined that she was declining more and more each day. My older brother who lived an hour away, lived near a special hospital for elderly. Mom had become too sick to the point where I just was no longer able to help her the best, so I made sure she made it to that hospital and my brother and his wife now were the final caretakers for her in her final days.

    I look back now at all the times I had over the years, all the talks she gave to me, as I grew and you just never realize how amazing a person she was until she was no longer with us. Mom gave us guidance and never a discouraging word. When you felt bad, she was always the first one to smile and give you a hug and kisses. Even though those days are gone, mom will always be with me in my heart. Moms are irreplaceable.
     
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