I've become a former carer.....

Thank you! The strange thing is, because she was in a care home for so long, and had become so ‘remote’ - as in her dementia had ‘lost her to us’ for so long - that she has actually died is less ‘obvious’ if you see what I mean??

I think it will hit me more when I am in the westcountry for Christmas - she will be more ‘not there’…so I will probably ‘feel’ it more.

It sounds ‘unfeeling’ I know ,but because she was not ‘my family’ I don’t feel grief as such - I get ‘pangs’ when I see things that were hers that are in my house. As ever, it is the ‘little things’ - a powder compact, her glasses case. The little things of life, that she will never use again…

Sorry to hear about your MIL, Jenny. Whatever your feelings, she was part of your life for a very long time and so undoubtedly it will form strange.

Welcome to the Former Carers Club, an odd place to be …

Thank you - yes, it is an ‘odd’ place to be. Today is actually the anniversary of my own mother’s death, pushing 30 years ago now. She was ten years older than my MIL, and I can remember her saying to my MIL, in the early days ‘You’ll have so much more of my daughter than I will’…it was rather sad, and sadly true, as well.

I’ve only just seen this post Jenny as I have never looked on this part of the forum for years.
I too am now a former Carer and it seems awful somehow, yet relief as well.
I used to moan like the very devil on here and hated having to be a Carer, but I’m so glad I have now.

Thank you for your kind words to me on my special thread, it means a lot.

Take care of you now, Pete.

Pete - thank you. The sad situation with my MIL highlights how ‘different’ death can be - as in, it ALL depends on the circumstances. My poor, wretched MIL was 94, and there was almost literraly, both physically and mentally, ‘nothing left of her’…she had been widowed 30 years previously, had seen her son, my husband, die in front of her. She hadn’t seen her surviving son, in the USA, for 4 years since he came over with her granddaughter for her 90th (he never visited after that and I have to agree with him - there was almost ‘nothing left’ of her by then and she may well not have even recognised him).

So, in truth, her death now really is a ‘release’ - for her, most of all, and yes, for ‘us’ (me, my BIL and my grandson). She knew none of us by the end…and it was pitiful to see her lying as thin as a bone, vacant eyed, hollow cheeked and so desperately ‘close to death’…

And death came ‘as a friend and a liberator’ opening the door to the prison her frail life was keeping her…she really did have ‘nothing left to live for’ alas.

Yet with those who die ‘before their time’ and leave us ‘alone’…ah, then that is quite, quite different…

And I second what others are saying to you - that NO wife could have had a MORE devoted husband than your Jill…she most definitely ‘got lucky’ the day…so long, long ago …when she first met you! You ‘came good’, Pete, ALL her life…

Thinking of you now as you navigate this strange, dreadful world of grief and bereavement…and memory, memory memory…SO much ‘memory’ filling up your heart and your head…as it will now, all your years ahead…indelible and enduring.

Kindest wishes, Jenny.

Ah Jenny thank you so much for those kind understanding words. How true they all are.
Dreading Monday 10th funeral day and meeting all the family that we met only a few weeks ago at a our nephews wedding.
Jill couldn’t attend that and didn’t want me to go either, but I just had to with Wendy and I’m glad I did.
Yes life will be very very different from now on, but I must remain positive.

My kindest wishes too.


Pete, a former carer now, yes, but a wealth of knowledge that will help others on the forum.
I often feel ’ grateful’ that my marriage lasted, through thick and thin for 50years. You had that too ( even more years) and you did much more than anyone would think possible. Of course you dread the 10th. The day will come and go. Allow yourself whatever you want after that day. Well, maybe not too many pints etc, lol!! For your own health.

:smiley: :smiley: Oh dear me no Pet, not too much beer and rum I hope?

Our lovely GP Cathryn Hall has just rung me to offer her condolences. She said we loved Jill here and that they were all there for me now. So kind of her when their so busy.

I’m not going anywhere, I shall still be here to offer my support to all you hard overworked Carers out there. :slight_smile:

Bless you,


Pete, the funeral will be very bitter/sweet. Just remember that everyone attending is there to support you and your family.

May I just say that IF you preferred a small, private ‘family only’ funeral. you could have that …and the have a later Memorial Service in the New Year, or whenever, that would be for ‘everyone’.

It’s an entirely personal choice for YOU to make, and your immediate family. There is no ‘right or wrong’ at all.

(I may be funny in that way, but I think the idea of a ‘huge’ funeral for myself is horrible! I only want those I loved, and who loved me, to be there - that’s always been the way on both sides of my family ,and I really like that)(But it is ENTIRELY personal - don’t feel under ANY pressure for anyone. This is for ‘you and Jill’.)

My husband’s funeral ended up with over 200 people attending, the kindness those friends showed to me and my sons that day will forever be with me.
He was the quietest of men, but people came to Southampton from as far away as Cornwall and Newcastle to support us.
My sister in law told me later that she thought all these people must be waiting for another funeral, not her brother’s!
It really doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small funeral (mum’s was family only, as she had wished) it’s just doing what feels right for you that matters.

Jill had five brothers, but two are now dead. The other three will be there and all the rest of the family bar the Daventry lot who work for companies that make them book holidays a year in advance plus one is too old to travel.
There are lots of friends who want to come too.
We have catered for 40 at the remembrance do at the yacht club and will only have to pay for 35 as its Wendy’s friend.
They are coming from as far away as Leeds and Tyne Side and Coventry where I was born.

I hope it all goes off splendidly! Even more, I hope Jill enjoys it too - I have never yet been to a funeral where I did not ‘feel the presence’ of the person we were ‘sending off’ and whose life we were celebrating…

Jenny it was amazing and a perfect send off for my lovely Jill. :slight_smile: Incredibly sad but somehow perfect. Even the vicar Annie shed a tear bless her.
I really did feel that Jill was with us all in spirit as well as her body.

Pete, that’s wonderful! And I’m sure Jill was up there relaxing back on a pink fluffy cloud, enjoying the show. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :laughing: :laughing: xx

Jenny, so sorry for your loss. Not visited tbis part of the forum until my Mothers recent death.

You have given such wonderfully heart felt and down to earth advice to myself and others. Glad you are going to still be posting.

Best wishes. Jaqui x