What do you do when you are no longer a carer?

My mum who I was a live in carer for, for over 7 years has just passed away.

Not sure if this is a weird question or not, but apart from the usual post death estate stuff what do people so when their life has as good as been on hold for years? Are you expected to behave in a certain way?

Heya and welcome to the forums. This is my first piece of advice. Find a hobby. Perhaps go to a local library to borrow a couple of good books on art and crafts. Read them and then make some brief summary notes. You can find a ton of art supplies in a high street art and craft shop too. Take a long look. You can do this. I found that having a part time hobby really did help me to feel more relaxed and calmer afterwards.

I have now lost all four of our parents, husband and brother.
With any loss, there is a period of mixed emotions.
My mum suffered hugely for so long that it was a relief for all the family and the nursing home staff.
We didn’t always agree on things, but we knew we loved each other, and whenever I drive near her house, I still have the feeling that I should go and make her a cuppa and have a chat.

After I was widowed suddenly, I found a book called “Starting Again” by Sarah Litvinoff. Primarily written for couples separating, but there is so much relevant to anyone who has to make a new start. It’s usually available cheaply on ebay, and easy to read. It focusses on what you have done in the past and what you would like to do in the future.

Having concentrated for so long on the needs of everyone else in the family, I’d seldom thought about what I would like to do for myself. I married at 19 and went straight from my parents house to our first home, never even lived alone before!

If funds allow, I would suggest that you get a copy of the book, go away somewhere for a few days, chill out, walk, swim, paint, whatever you like doing. There are endless possibilities, it took me some time but I have a new life now, although still mum to someone with severe learning difficulties who lives in his own flat.

Do NOT fall into the trap of doing something, anything, to fill those empty hours. You need time and peace for reflection, to make a wish list of all those things you’ve thought about doing, but never had the time. Try to make new memories, rather than going back to things you used to do. Find the “new” you, and enjoy your life anew.

Condolences for your lost of Mum

Many carers groups help x carers and run separate sessions for people. Likewise you caring experiences and knowledge would be invaluable to other carers. Take a lot of time out relax just think of yourself. Catch up with old friends there is no rush.

This is your time now!

Remember yes your life has been different and it will be different again. There are always positives we just need to take time.

I agree with Bowlingbun that you need to give yourself time, but I’d add this: people are creatures of routine. We need structure in our lives, so at least try to set a routine you can build on - a fixed bedtime (more or less) and time to get up in the morning, a time for breakfast and possibly for your other meals. That will help you to build your life as you want it - when you’re ready.

So sorry for your loss of your mother.

Grief has no logic and is unique to each person and their relationship and circumstances with the departed. It is rather soon and raw for you just now, you may have more processing and emotions to come.

As others have said, give yourself time to grieve, to adjust to life being about you.
You feel however you feel, there is no right or wrong, you might feel numb or lost or you might feel ready to take the world head on or whatever or all of them and more, all are valid and normal.
Just be you and be ready for transformations as you and your life evolve.
I’m sure your mother would want you to start living your life as soon as you are ready to rejoin the world and to embrace and enjoy life.

When you are ready to take that step this is a whole new chapter - nay a whole new book for you.
Don’t feel like a spare part, replace your time and attention on your mother to being time and attention on you, for your interests, dreams and ambitions.

My lovely late husband died more than 3 years ago after being in a nursing home for 3 year’s previous. Gradually I started to do things. Catch up with stuff that had been neglected like the home and garden. Really was baby steps. You will adjust, and will step back and suddenly realise you have started to adjust. In your own time. Good and bad days. The better days get longer and bad decline. Still hit occasionally, unexpectedly. Allow yourself time.