it's been a month

heydeborahMarch 22, 2007

it just seemed like a bad dream, and i wish i'd just wake up. i am having a hard time. i spend my days in my pj's or i make carley go out with me for a half hour or so. i can't beleive the friends we have, some that we haven't seen in years, but everyone wants to help in one way or another, but, i'm one that doesn't ask for favours, i never have been, so it's hard to say yes, that would be great. in Al's passing and him being in the hospital so much, he did not have a love of flowers anymore, they as well as fruit baskets reminded him of sickness, so we requested no flowers, but my friend bev, had requested that friends make a deposit for a trust fund for the family, i was talking to her yesterday and she said that at noon yesterday they had 6 deposits to that account, and that they would wait for the end of the month. how generous of people. we live on a very tiny block 8 houses because of a city park, we have 2 new families that have moved in the past 3 weeks (rental homes), but all my other neighbours are taking care of us. even the cashiers at the grocery store and coming up to me giving me hugs. what friends to have! i knew that Al was very well liked, if anyone wanted him to volunteer for anything he would be there. we have received cards from people i don't even know! but my sister-in-laws have not spoken to me at all, they were disgusted at the way bev and i arranged everything, but my aunt who was a the gravesite service said there wasn't a dry eye --except from the sister in laws.

we are starting to change things in the house such as painting our bedroom a different colour and just basic sspring cleaning. it is hard.

i have visited Al 3 times this week and it's only thursday. if you met him you would just love him, he never drank or partied or swore. one request that he had was to donate his wheelchair and new commode (never used), the marach of dimes will take it, but his leg is another story, we have the war amps here, like your vetrans, they sponsor amputees for legs etc., this leg was not cheap, about 10,000.00, do you know they wouldn't take it! Al would be so disappointed. i was told to give it back to the "store" that made it, (that person would profit, or call back and i could send it to a third world country myself! just let them know what country and they would supply the address.

i have also been asked if i was interested in dating, i was so offended by this stupid question that i started crying my head off and had to turn and walk away from this gentleman and i use this term losely!

i have matthew who is off work he is not doing well, and carley and gracie joy, it is so different and i thank you for reading this lengthy post


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Connie Kru

Hi Debbie,
Glad you checked in.
Please do not hurry your greiving process-You greive, because you loved him and he loved you-it is ok to cry, and visit the grave. Do what you need to do to move through the greiving process.
Thinking about you often.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 11:33PM
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It's going to take a long while. There will always be those people that understand and will help support you, and there will aways those that don't. They have no idea what it means to lose someone dear. Lean on your friends, and let them help. It will help you more than you know.

As for the sisters....well, I am sure that you know how we feel about them. Forget them. They have made it plain that they don't consider you part of "their" family. Don't let them fret you. Just to be ugly about people, I have often thought that if my husband went first, I would enjoy never having to be polite to certain members of his family again.

Take care of yourself and the children (hard to call them children at that age, isn't it!) and keep us posted as how you are doing.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 9:37AM
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The longer and more involved you are in taking care of someone the harder the loss is. Give yourself plenty of time.

But DO make an effort to get into the shower and get dressed every day. Even if you don't want to! it's the ROUTINE that will help you pull yourself out of the hole of loss. And the simple act of getting dressed and "being ready" will make it easier to get out and back into the world from which you've been so disconnected for so long.

Just a thought, to go along with this: (((Debbie)))

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 11:14AM
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Hi Debbie,
Please take care of yourself! Try at the very least to get a shower/bath and get dressed. The rest will come!
When my son died I was a mess. But I knew that when I finally got out of the house with clean undies, hair combed and teeth brushed that I was going to be ok.
Make sure that you are eating too!

Agnes said "As for the sisters....well, I am sure that you know how we feel about them. Forget them. They have made it plain that they don't consider you part of "their" family. Don't let them fret you. Just to be ugly about people, I have often thought that if my husband went first, I would enjoy never having to be polite to certain members of his family again." That is the truth! When my son died, I knew that I never ever had to talk to my ex husband ever again or his family!!!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 5:14PM
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I've been thinking about you for a week now. How are you doing? Mum is now with my brother, preparatory to admission to a nursing home. Your comment about not wanting to get dressed really touched me.

I believe I operated on pure adrenalin and habit for the last few days Mum was with me here. I went through the motions and somehow managed to numb myself to what I was about to do. Uproot her and relocate her and close the caregiving chapter of my life. The night we dropped her off I was a total mess. I think I sobbed my heart out all night long. I looked so bad the next day I wore sunglasses and used the drive-thru at the bank because I simply couldn't face anyone.

I wandered around my home for a couple of days absolutely bereft, everything that had defined my life for 3+ years was now GONE. And I literally didn't know what to do with myself. There were too many "possibilities" and I couldn't even focus in on ONE thing to do. I watched movies, walked the dog, cleaned the house.

So tell us how you are... because we care.

(The Bruins are out of the Stanley Cup play offs)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 4:14PM
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Some days, all you can do is show up. Be gentle with yourself. Of course you are having a hard time. You're in mourning and your loss is very recent. I'm not surprised that you were asked if you're interested in dating, only because people say some of the jack-assed dumbest things to a bereaved person. It is like the old saying, "open mouth, insert foot."

You might find a bereavement support group helpful, if you can find one in your community.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 10:35AM
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Several people I know seemed surprised at how grief-stricken/guilt-ridden I was over moving Mum to my brother's home. For some reason, they thought I would be overjoyed, willing to "go out and kick up my heels".

Truth is, people who haven't shouldered the daily care of the infirm for a protracted period of time DON'T GET IT. It's not like a light switch, that you may shut off anytime you like. It's the same thing with grief over the loss of someone you love.

Debbie, I hope you're well and will check in soon. It's going to take a long time to make a place for your experience and life with Al. "Baby steps", that's what you need to remember.

And also that there are many who care about you and how you're feeling these days. (((Debbie)))

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 3:55PM
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I agree with Chelone, Deb.

Also Chelone, I haven't been on this board in a long time and I'm just catching up so am reading about your dear Mum. Has she gone into a nursing home yet? I know how hard that is; if it's any comfort, you provided the best possible care you could have for as long as you could have. No one could have done more than you did.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 5:04PM
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hi everyone and thank you all for helping me through all this, i've posted afew times on the frief forum, but i;m still not comfortable on there yet. i visited Al on tuesday and he has a new next door neighbour and had a long conversation with him, then matthew came over on that evening and we bought potted mums for his grave, but then we had the biggest snow storm! we and no snow on the group at all before that! i havw gotten up each day and put on makeup and clothes just to go to the library or the store for a newspaper. and the puppy is getting a little bigger - she weighs 5 pounds now so she is able to go for afew short walks aday. this weekend will be hard, whenever Al got sick it would be on a holiday or march break, and i was counting through the Easters it has been 4 times, i bought a turkey and the stuff to make cabbage rolls, but i will not have it on Sunday we will probably have it on sat. or mon. since monday is a holiday here. matthew is off work till tuesday, carley is finished her first year of university on tuesday and doesn't have exams to write since her average is high (i see who got the brains). my bedroom is now painted courtesy of carley and i got new bedding and took an old chest from the basement and painted it, i just want to get rid of the old, except when we got married we got a brass bed with glass knobs and painted flowers, this i will keep. carley painted her room a bright pink, looks nice and clean, the living room is tidy except for the tuppermaid boxes of Al's things by the front door, if there still there by tuesday, i'll place them in the garage attic. i know my life will never be the same but i'm trying, there are no grief groups here in town, if i was a drugger or drinker or was voilent, i'd have my choice of about 50 or so places. well on this Holiest of Holidays, may God and Peace be with All of you and your Families. deb

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 11:48AM
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Deb., it did my heart glad to see your post this afternoon. I'm sure every day has its struggles and heartaches but you will get past them. You have to believe that. It takes a very long time to "reconcile the books", so please be patient with yourself. It's OK if you want to talk about Al here.

I think the puppy sounds very exciting, as does the home "makeover".

Mum went into the nursing home on Monday. My brother was in the same condition I was when I dropped her off at his house in January; holding it together, but barely. I don't know if he "melted down" and what that might constitute for him, but I understand exactly how he felt. I think anyone who's cared for a truly infirm person will always be nagged by the worry that they "could have done more", even though it isn't the case. I struggle with it, my brother is really wrestling with it, and all of YOU (esp. Debbie) understand.

Hang in there Deb., it's so nice to see your name in print, again. :)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 4:31PM
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Hi Debbie - Jumped in to check on you today and am so happy to see your post. Know that just by getting up and brushing your hair and teeth in the morning that you are strong enough to move ahead day to day. Despite the snow (even we here down "south" got snow yesterday) take heart and know that spring will bring sunshine and warmer breezes into that newly painted, cheerful bedroom of yours. You did a really good thing for yourself by painting. This is your home and it needs to be a place that makes you feel happy to come home to.

Chelone, I understand how you are feeling also. We are finally at the point where we need to discuss alternate arrangements with my FIL, as our family is bordering on the breaking point. Everyone is trying their level best, but it is apparent that we are nearing the tipping point where he continues to thrive at the cost of the remainder of the household who must accommodate him. He is now 94 and a half. I wrestle every day with the question of how do I know when I can truly no longer do this... because we know we can bear almost any situation "just another day" and then "just another week" as others do in similar situations or worse. I beat myself up every day thinking "if I only could be more patient I could do this as long as it takes". "If only I weren't so self centered then maybe I could provide this care without feeling wrung out." There are people who seem to have an endless capacity for loving and giving and caring no matter how frustrating it gets. They just keep on giving and loving and caring with joy. I envy them so much. I know that I love my FIL - after all, I have been caring for him for more than 6 years and we are very close. So I know that when the time comes for him to leave our home, I will be a mess. A mixtue of guilt and grief and relief and sadness at the end of an era in my life.

Debbie I'm so proud of you. Do your friends and neighbors a huge favor and make it a point each day to accept at least one person's offer of help. Al's friends and your neighbors are grieving in their own way at als passing, and helping you in some tangible way would help them too. Really. We feel helpless when we know we could be making someone's day easier somehow but they won't accept our help. Maybe there is some way to connect Matthew with a trusted friend who could do guy things with him from time to time? That would be a help to YOU as much as to him. I'd wager that there are several people who would be honored to do that for Al. Maybe a friend would take Carley over to the nail salon and treat her to a manicure. $10, such a little thing, but would make her feel special and loved if a manicure isn't something she would usually do for herself. The next time someone asks how they can help, have a little errand or two at the top of your head each morning that would be a big help if you could delegate it. I offered to take a friend's cans and bottles and cardboard to the recycling center for her after her husband died. It was an easy thing for me to do on my way to the recycling.... but a HUGE project for her in addition to all the other #$%$ she had to think about. The recycling wouldn't have made it to the top of her to do list for weeks and would have sat there weighing on her and piling up. Just a little thing to me , but it was big to her and I was so happy to know that I had really helped make her day a little easier. When I see her now, she will always give me a hug and say "I can't believe you took my trash to the dump for me! I love you!" and I know she means it. So make a little list and accept people's offers of help. You know which ones really mean it!

Easter wishes to all of you. Trish

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 3:06PM
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