My Mum passed away on 4th April. The last few months of her life were hell (for us both). Mum’s dementia had progressed significantly and she became extremely frightened of everything. She was in and out of hospital with various emergency admittances and just seemed so beaten by it all. She is now at peace but I still have the overwhelming feeling of guilt at not being able to spare her from all that suffering. I have so many mixed emotions - relief that she is no longer suffering, grief that she is gone and guilt that I couldn’t take her agonies away in her final months. I just want my Mum.
Judith, it’s very early days yet, this is quite a natural stage of the grief process.
These thoughts went round and round my head constantly, especially when my husband died suddenly of a massive heart attack in his sleep when he was just 58, but I promise you that after a while they settle.
How is the sorting out going? Dealing with possessions just brings everything back, and I imagine that everything is so much worse because of lockdown.
Take care of yourself, try to wind down by 8pm and have a couple of hours doing peaceful things, reading a book, warm bath, cocoa, music, whateve you know leaves you feeling a bit calmer before trying to sleep.
Thanks for your response. Sorting things out is being held up by the lockdown. All of the financial institutions have limited staff so have only responded to say that it’ll be a while before they can respond properly.
I realise it’s early days and I do have a tendency to over-analyse. I have just started speaking with a CRUSE counsellor which is helping. I need to learn to be kind to myself but it’s not easy. Having spent the 6 years being exhausted running back and forth to my Mum’s home it’s difficult to switch that off and start looking after myself but I’m sure it will come.
Normally I’d suggest a haircut, or facial, or massage, but you can’t even do that at the moment. I can’t even suggest a weekend away or a day out!
Think about some sort of pamper session when you can, hair, facial, massage, nails, whatever helps you unwind.
It takes a while to learn to relax again. When our parents were ill, we nicknamed ourselves The Thunderbirds, ready to go at a moments notice.
I found a book called Starting Again by Sarah Litvinoff, originally written for Relate, but there is so much relevant to former carers, it looks at moving forward to a new life.
I’ve always thought of myself as Cinderella as there was no-one but me doing everything - if I wasn’t caring for my Mum and all that entailed I was caring for my husband at home who has undergone a life-changing operation in the past 12 months.
Perhaps it’s now time for me to go to the ball - There are some virtual dance classes online from our local dance studio - perhaps I should give that a go - it would certainly take my mind off things.
That sounds a brilliant idea, let us know how you get on.