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bl2016 (@bl2016)

the grieving process

Caregivers: Dementia | Last Active: Oct 17, 2017 | Replies (29)

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Hello @bl2016 I am Scott and I recently lost my wife after a 14 year war with brain cancer and a few years ago lost my mother in law to dementia. I have heard Alzheimer’s referred to frequently as ‘the long good bye’. I was my wife’s primary caregiver for her 14 years and I, too, felt I was on a emotional mishmash. It is a struggle as you point out and few, other than those who have been through it, truly understand. Very few did in our case that is for sure.

Coping, as with grief, is a highly individualized experience. I was misled into believing grief followed the ‘stages’, which are so often touted. This made my personal journey in grief all the harder as I do not experience it anywhere near what the books and ‘experts’ forecast.

My wife and I were married for 41 years and nothing prepared me for many of the feelings I now have in this different life. I do give myself permission to simply have my feelings — and follow the path as I am experiencing it. I also have a mantra taped up by my desk which says “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day whispering ‘I will try again tomorrow’. My father was an alcoholic so I also firmly believe ‘one day at a time’ is a solid way to make your way through grief, but that, as I said, is just me.

Expect an emotional roller coaster and know that no matter what you are feeling it is the right way for you to feel!

I look forward to your staying in touch and asking any other questions you might have. I hope I have helped and not hindered.

Strength, courage, & Peace!

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Replies to "Hello @bl2016 I am Scott and I recently lost my wife after a 14 year war..."

Thank you Scott! You have helped….it’s just good to know that I am not alone. I know I am not alone, I have a precious Savior Jesus by my side, a loving family, and dear friends. I just feel alone

@bl2016 I agree. The feelings of isolation when caregiving for someone with a chronic illness can be truly overwhelming at times. It was one of the most challenging parts of being a caregiver for me. It was that isolation that actually led me to seek out a forum and I found Connect. Welcome and good to have you here!

Strength, courage, & Peace

This is my 20th year as a family caregiver, and I am very isolated. Although friends know my story, and sympathize with me, I rarely see them because of the demands of caregiving. To make contact with others, I write articles and books, write for three websites, and give talks about caregiving. These steps help to reduce my feelings of isolation.

Thank you for your words. I too, feel isolated in a small country town. I will try writing more too.

Writing helps in many ways. I think writing affirmations helps family caregivers. First, it makes us focus on the blessings in our lives. Second, it changes our thinking from negative to positive. Third, it creates a framework for our lives. I recommend one-sentence affirmations because they are easier to write and remember. Your first affirmation: I can write affirmations!

Thank you for sharing your story Scott. Loved your comment about courage. My husband is a retired physician, is disabled, and lives life in a wheelchair. Mayo Clinic rehab has done so much for him–taught him to stand, stand and pivot, and take a few steps in a walker. I hung a saying behind my desk, one I saw on the wall of rehab. It reads: You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” This quote applies to countless family caregivers. So glad you have given yourself permission to feel your feelings–a healing step.

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