A journey in time with Alzheimer's

Have you ever cried so hard and finally … no tears left?  Caring for/knowing someone with a terminal illness is similar in that you’re grieving daily for years and then it’s gone, they’re gone and you’re left still grieving but not at the beginning, at the end. Recently talked with a friend whose husband was terminally ill, she grieved him for  years, then when he passed,  felt guilty for wanting to get on with her life. After two more years,  finally started moving on.  Feelings of guilt …should/can she be happy?

There  are  stages in grieving, according to health professional literature:

Denial (This isn’t happening )
Anger (Why is this happening)
Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better … if…)
Depression (I don’t care anymore.)
Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes.)

I, personally, have passed through all the stages (with Mother), and find myself rotating through. I know that sounds a hair to the left of normal, but, you must understand, there are times when I look at her (she’s having a lucid day …sort of) and I actually deny to myself that she’s not worse, she’s improving. Then within minutes,  she changes, I’m rotating. Emotionally draining for sure. When I find myself in this state, I pray and give it to The Lord. He takes my burdens away. I can get on with living my life, and still be there for Mother.

I’’ve shared my heart in  support groups,  I’ve cared for hospice and hospital patients in the dying state, and I’ve   spoken with Pastors and I’m really o.k. in my heart.  When I digest all that’s happening to her, I realize that today is the only day I can do anything about. Today I must be in control, to help her.  So, I must be comfortable in my own skin …I am!  This didn’t happen over night, my friend reminded me. All the roles I’ve played over my lifetime have helped to prepare me for watching my Mother lose herself daily in the Alzheimer’s abyss, and be there for her. That doesn’t mean I’m callous, quite the opposite, I  shed tears when she waves through that small window in the secure unit doors, or when I see her trying to make sense of things, or like recently pursuing an ambulance that’s taking her to the hospital, after a fall, wondering if she’s still alive.   She ponders, I shed tears. She’s my Mother …I hate what she’s going though …but here I am …walking this journey …trying to help …her.

Caring Is Sharing/sg

Comments on: "Continuous Loss (now it’s September 2015 Momma has passed, I’m reading these words to boost me up, to help me continue strong, it’s hard.)" (10)

  1. Beautiful testimony to the immense love you have for your mother Shiela but also very raw and realistic as you deal with the harsh reality of the changes you see daily in her.

    Grief takes many forms and is a process. When my first husband died of cancer I went through more grief during his illness than after he died because by that time I was at the point of acceptance and so I was able to set him free and, knowing he was free from pain, I too was able to set myself free. Is that selfish? No, it’s how it should be I believe.

    Yet…I have never forgotten him nor that time in my life. It was 33 years ago. I am writing about it now in my memoir.

    My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your mom…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sheila, I can’t imagine going through all that you do. The stages of grief would constantly be cycling with an illness such as this. You are such a loving daughter and I’m sure your mother appreciates all you do for her, even when she doesn’t realize it. It is a journey, but it’s so good that she has you to take it with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are an outstanding daughter, Sheila, to have rolled with the tide no matter how rough.
    Sounds to me what Sherri says makes sense. You go up and down and down and then up again so many times, the relief when it comes is earned and normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have long arms , a warm big heart and I want to put those arms around you and bring you into the safety of my heart.
    Having just lost my ex husband to this nasty illness and helping to support his wife, I can understand what you are going through.
    But you are right in what you say..you can only cope with today..so for now that must be enough.
    I pray for you and your Mom. I don.t know her name but the Lord does and He knows exactly who I am talking about…
    Stay strong my dear friend, stay strong…your readers on WordPress are all here with you

    Liked by 1 person

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