Loss and Grief: How are you doing?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Jan 16, 2018

When my dad passed away several years ago I lost my keys 4 times in one month, I would wake up at 3 a.m. several days every week feeling startled. Sound familiar? These are reactions to grief. Grief is a very personal experience – everyone grieves differently – even in the same family because the relationship of a father is different than that of a wife or a granddaughter. Unfortunately, often we grieve alone. Sometimes we don’t want to “bother others” with our grief, and sometimes friends and family tell us that we should be over it by now. After all the person we lost was ill for a long time or was very old and “it was their time” or “they are in a better place now.” Sound familiar?

Grieving is often described as the “work of grief.” It does feel like hard work doesn’t it? Grief can be difficult because of the many factors related to the loss. If the loss followed a prolonged, serious illness you undoubtedly did some “anticipatory grief work” prior to the actual death of the loved one. If the loss, however, was sudden, i.e., accident related, suicide, a result of crime, etc. the sense of grief is coupled with shock.

The relationship that you had with the loved one also affects your grief experience, i.e. was your relationship close or had it been strained? Do you feel guilt that you were not closer or do you feel guilty because you don’t feel you did enough to help while your loved one was ill?

Sometimes anger plays a part in the grief process. Did your loved one get poor medical treatment or a wrong and/or late diagnosis? Did your loved one not follow your doctor’s orders with regard to their health (diet, smoking, attention to meds or exercise)? All of these factors contribute to your experience of grief.

Also, some losses are not so evident to others. These would include a miscarriage or a stillborn. Sometimes these losses are not considered as relevant to others as the loss of a person who has lived a longer life. In the case of a miscarriage, others might not even be aware of your loss.

You may think of that person on anniversary dates (their birthday, date of their death) or you might think of them constantly. Unfortunately, sometime people say things that can multiply grief. Have you ever heard someone say, “you should be over this by now?” or “I had a similar experience and I’m OK.” Well, most likely their similar experience was not the same as yours. Thinking you should be over it might compound your grief with feelings of guilt or frustration.

Whether a recent loss, or a loss you experienced a long time ago, let’s talk about it. Whatever your experience, I’d like to hear your stories and together find a way to relocate that loved one so that we can experience peace in our lifetime.

Together let us support each other in our grief journey.

Teresa

@georgette12

Oh, I do want to say that I have had a psychiatrist and therapist most of my life. An assortment of different belief systems. My new psychiatrist lives in Israel. I see him through Skype. He actually discusses eastern religions such as karma with me and he has had some experiences. He was educated in the U.S but lives in Tele Vive. Did I spell that city right?

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I would like to know more about having a psychiatrist remotely. Can you message me?

REPLY
@lakme77

I lost my mother (my only remaining parent) in March of this year. I chose to leave and not see a dead body. My siblings understood. I am a newly discovered “empath”. It takes me so long to recover. I miss her more than anything. I go through daily tears if I am not busy with work or activities -mundane ones; of wanting more time with her. Wishing I had lived closer; wishing I did more; wishing I was stronger to have stayed till the end.

Slowly just last month my childlike bewilderment of “searching for her and wondering where did she go?“ matured to a sense she lives in my heart. I felt happier for first time wrt to her passing.

Grief is perplex. I ache horribly. Emotionally and physically. It has changed me completely. I somehow do not want to see my siblings. I want to grieve alone. I feel free finally not have to force myself to visit. Finally I am putting myself first.

I don’t know what to expect in the near-now or future.

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@lakme77 I'm so sorry for your loss it is what we all go through when our loved one dies but you sound like you have come through it with her always in your ❤️ My Grandmother is who I talked with and she inspired me .Now I've lost my husband ,Mother and brother It gets easier to face each day but you won't forget never .Take one day at a time

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I felt a rush of gratitude & blessings reading all your comments- how brave each of you are. I had a good cry after going thru each posting a 2nd time. Thank you all- I feel like I have found a place where I can feel safe & not ashamed of the tremendous ambivalence I experienced after having my husband instantly falling at my feet and going frozen – all I could do was watch as the life left his eyes. I did not go to cradle his head or tell him I loved him. I just watched him die.

REPLY

I'm finding it difficult now since I can't be out and about top help fill the time that I spent at the care center with my husband, Casey. His 90th birthday would have been yesterday and that was difficult also.. We always celebrated with a cake and when we were younger we went to a dance. One of the few that we cool attend as we had 5 small children and were farming so dancing was not a common activity for us. I just took part in a Zoom presentation (online video communication) with the study group at church. We were studying The Walk by Adam Hamiton for our Lenten study, and since everything is shut down our pastor arranged for us to get together via Zoom. Work well and we had a new experience. My laryngitis didn't help as I couldn't contribute much, but is is getting better day by day so maybe next week.

Everyone take care of yourself, and we will get through this with God's help.

Ruth

REPLY
@rmftucker

I'm finding it difficult now since I can't be out and about top help fill the time that I spent at the care center with my husband, Casey. His 90th birthday would have been yesterday and that was difficult also.. We always celebrated with a cake and when we were younger we went to a dance. One of the few that we cool attend as we had 5 small children and were farming so dancing was not a common activity for us. I just took part in a Zoom presentation (online video communication) with the study group at church. We were studying The Walk by Adam Hamiton for our Lenten study, and since everything is shut down our pastor arranged for us to get together via Zoom. Work well and we had a new experience. My laryngitis didn't help as I couldn't contribute much, but is is getting better day by day so maybe next week.

Everyone take care of yourself, and we will get through this with God's help.

Ruth

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@maggie45

How right you are. Connect is a healthy and supportive place to spend some time each day. @rmftucker Our church is a member of a really good online resource called Right Now Media. It can be another tool to use on these long days of isolation.

Maggie, I can't imagine the trauma of watching the lights turn off in your husband's eyes. I'm so sorry you had that experience. Allowing him to die in peace without the drama you could have presented was perhaps the right thing for you to do. You'll likely have some internal drama going on as you grieve your loss, and that's ok. You don't have to feel any guilt for the way his final moments played out. It sounds like there was nothing you could do to delay his passing, or have any effect on him at that point. Now you can give yourself some time to let your grieving process begin. I hope you can overcome the feeling of shame. Instead you could replace it with a different feeling. What are you feeling right now? Is there a grief counselor available to you? They can be very helpful. Keep in touch here.

Jim

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Jim,
Thank you so much for your prompt and ever so thoughtful response to my posting. I am truly overwhelmed by your sensitivity and kindness.
You asked me a question that I have been asking myself recently- how do I feel now? I think I am a master of avoidance. It has been over a full year already & I have busied myself with taking care of loads of paperwork, managing issues arising in the house & property- I now have 8 acres to care for which my husband attended to- and then I felt ready to return to my community of friends at school where I am a substitute teacher and the distraction was doing the job in abetting me with my grief avoidance when a few months passed and I was in an auto accident .So now I was occupied with a fractured knee – how timely, yet another reason to avoid the real pain-,then just as I was well enough and again returned to school this insane virus takes over & now I am home bound again feeling very isolated and with plenty of time to face my feelings, no more excuses: an amalgam of guilt, regrets, loneliness ( we did everything together), anger (I did not tend as I should have to friends whom I lost track of). So there you have it. So finally circumstances have finally forced me to deal with unresolved feelings. I am committed to start working thru these feelings & yes as fate would have it a friend introduced me to someone who is local and with whom I feel I can open up to. So I will begin a new journey. And I again thank you for your kind offers and suggestions for follow up.
In appreciation,
Maggie

REPLY
@maggie45

Jim,
Thank you so much for your prompt and ever so thoughtful response to my posting. I am truly overwhelmed by your sensitivity and kindness.
You asked me a question that I have been asking myself recently- how do I feel now? I think I am a master of avoidance. It has been over a full year already & I have busied myself with taking care of loads of paperwork, managing issues arising in the house & property- I now have 8 acres to care for which my husband attended to- and then I felt ready to return to my community of friends at school where I am a substitute teacher and the distraction was doing the job in abetting me with my grief avoidance when a few months passed and I was in an auto accident .So now I was occupied with a fractured knee – how timely, yet another reason to avoid the real pain-,then just as I was well enough and again returned to school this insane virus takes over & now I am home bound again feeling very isolated and with plenty of time to face my feelings, no more excuses: an amalgam of guilt, regrets, loneliness ( we did everything together), anger (I did not tend as I should have to friends whom I lost track of). So there you have it. So finally circumstances have finally forced me to deal with unresolved feelings. I am committed to start working thru these feelings & yes as fate would have it a friend introduced me to someone who is local and with whom I feel I can open up to. So I will begin a new journey. And I again thank you for your kind offers and suggestions for follow up.
In appreciation,
Maggie

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@maggie45. It’s been an incredibly tough time for you, and now the isolation brought about by this pandemic. You know we are just a keyboard away, and there are other social outlets available online, plus of course FaceTime with family.
We don’t do FaceTime much but I do talk to my son daily now – he calls us every day to see how we are doing, fearing that one of might get coronavirus. My daughter is texting frequently too, so that helps me a lot even though my husband is here too. If you have children or other relatives with whom you are close it’s a great time to be connecting more. Most of us get caught up in our daily lives and connections can suffer. I’m glad you have Brady, dogs are wonderful companions. My daughter lost hers last August and has just adopted another dog she was fostering. I think the dog is already in love with her!
JK

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@maggie45

Jim,
Thank you so much for your prompt and ever so thoughtful response to my posting. I am truly overwhelmed by your sensitivity and kindness.
You asked me a question that I have been asking myself recently- how do I feel now? I think I am a master of avoidance. It has been over a full year already & I have busied myself with taking care of loads of paperwork, managing issues arising in the house & property- I now have 8 acres to care for which my husband attended to- and then I felt ready to return to my community of friends at school where I am a substitute teacher and the distraction was doing the job in abetting me with my grief avoidance when a few months passed and I was in an auto accident .So now I was occupied with a fractured knee – how timely, yet another reason to avoid the real pain-,then just as I was well enough and again returned to school this insane virus takes over & now I am home bound again feeling very isolated and with plenty of time to face my feelings, no more excuses: an amalgam of guilt, regrets, loneliness ( we did everything together), anger (I did not tend as I should have to friends whom I lost track of). So there you have it. So finally circumstances have finally forced me to deal with unresolved feelings. I am committed to start working thru these feelings & yes as fate would have it a friend introduced me to someone who is local and with whom I feel I can open up to. So I will begin a new journey. And I again thank you for your kind offers and suggestions for follow up.
In appreciation,
Maggie

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@maggie45

And a car accident on top of it all! You've had a full plate this year.

My wife and I love our home on ten acres, but it can be a positive or negative thing. The positive side – quiet days and nights, space to breathe, surrounded by cultivated fields, a warm house on these cold days, plenty of space to plant trees and gardens, lots of room for our dogs to run and play and explore. The negative list is shorter – a lot of time required for building and yard maintenance, isolated, too far from church to get to meetings and visit with people we're getting to know, unhealthy isolation associated with mental ill health.

I'm pleased to know that you have someone you can talk to. That's been a life saver (too literally) for me, to have access to therapy, where I can talk about things I'd never before told anyone.

The grief process is sometimes presented in a set format of stages. I've found that most people do it at their own pace and don't fit the formula. I hope people haven't tried to tell you that you should be getting over it by now. (That's something I've heard with regard to my depression.) That's so unhelpful. For one thing, many of us never "get over it", even 5 or 10 years in. It isn't healthy to rush it. Much better to take it at your own pace and in your own way.

One of these days I'll post a list I've made of things not to say to a hurting person.

Gotta go. Stay safe.

Jim

REPLY
@jimhd

@maggie45

And a car accident on top of it all! You've had a full plate this year.

My wife and I love our home on ten acres, but it can be a positive or negative thing. The positive side – quiet days and nights, space to breathe, surrounded by cultivated fields, a warm house on these cold days, plenty of space to plant trees and gardens, lots of room for our dogs to run and play and explore. The negative list is shorter – a lot of time required for building and yard maintenance, isolated, too far from church to get to meetings and visit with people we're getting to know, unhealthy isolation associated with mental ill health.

I'm pleased to know that you have someone you can talk to. That's been a life saver (too literally) for me, to have access to therapy, where I can talk about things I'd never before told anyone.

The grief process is sometimes presented in a set format of stages. I've found that most people do it at their own pace and don't fit the formula. I hope people haven't tried to tell you that you should be getting over it by now. (That's something I've heard with regard to my depression.) That's so unhelpful. For one thing, many of us never "get over it", even 5 or 10 years in. It isn't healthy to rush it. Much better to take it at your own pace and in your own way.

One of these days I'll post a list I've made of things not to say to a hurting person.

Gotta go. Stay safe.

Jim

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@jimhd Great introspective thoughts, Jim. We all do deal with grief in our own ways. There is no wrong and right but I do think sometimes people get mired in their grief and that becomes self-perpetuating and unhealthy. We have a family member who has been in deep grief for five years now but thankfully she is beginning to venture out, just a little bit. We were worried about her but she had to grieve on her own timetable.
JK

REPLY
@contentandwell

@maggie45. It’s been an incredibly tough time for you, and now the isolation brought about by this pandemic. You know we are just a keyboard away, and there are other social outlets available online, plus of course FaceTime with family.
We don’t do FaceTime much but I do talk to my son daily now – he calls us every day to see how we are doing, fearing that one of might get coronavirus. My daughter is texting frequently too, so that helps me a lot even though my husband is here too. If you have children or other relatives with whom you are close it’s a great time to be connecting more. Most of us get caught up in our daily lives and connections can suffer. I’m glad you have Brady, dogs are wonderful companions. My daughter lost hers last August and has just adopted another dog she was fostering. I think the dog is already in love with her!
JK

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Thank you,JK for your thoughtful response. I have one son who is very kind and caring. Unfortunately he just came back from a trip to New Orleans where apparently they were not taking the virus very seriously so it will be 14 days before I can see him but we talk daily and a close circle of friends are there for me too.

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@maggie45

I felt a rush of gratitude & blessings reading all your comments- how brave each of you are. I had a good cry after going thru each posting a 2nd time. Thank you all- I feel like I have found a place where I can feel safe & not ashamed of the tremendous ambivalence I experienced after having my husband instantly falling at my feet and going frozen – all I could do was watch as the life left his eyes. I did not go to cradle his head or tell him I loved him. I just watched him die.

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Thank you all for your “likes.” It is a good feeling to be understood.

REPLY
@maggie45

Thank you,JK for your thoughtful response. I have one son who is very kind and caring. Unfortunately he just came back from a trip to New Orleans where apparently they were not taking the virus very seriously so it will be 14 days before I can see him but we talk daily and a close circle of friends are there for me too.

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@maggie45. My son started a Group FaceTime tonight – him and his wife, my daughter and her husband, and us. It was fun and a great way to connect together. We have never done that before. The person talking automatically gets bigger on the screen! If you FaceTime with your son and there are other family members you would like to include, it’s a good option in these difficult days. I was feeling somewhat down today and that did give my spirits a lift.
JK

REPLY

I am grieving so many losses. Tears come to my eyes at random times. When I close my eyes to sleep, tears come instead.

I grieve my bickering, dysfunctional family that cannot keep from picking fights when we gather for our Mother's last hours.
I grieve that I alone sit with Mother seven hours in ER.
I grieve that as I try to quickly pack a few things to stay with Mother in a hospital 100 miles away, my husband clearly does not consider coming with me and is doing everything he can to slow me up.
I grieve as I stop at Mother's nursing home to pick up a few things for her.
I grieve as I drive through the rainy darkness to reach the hospital to help with Mother's admission.
I grieve that the calls from the nursing home and hospital are all going to my SIL when I am the one that has to respond.
I grieve that I have not eaten since early morning and I will have to wait until Mother is settled for the night.
I grieve that the time in the ER, ambulance ride, and admission to the hospital has brought on an episode of full dementia for Mother.
I grieve that Mother does not know anyone or recognize anything she sees.
I grieve that I am the only "normal" Mother can see or hear.
I am grateful that I brought along the shawl I gave her that she loves and the blanket she made for herself from her Mother's old bath robes.
I grieve that I am so tired and I still have to check into my hotel and unpack the car before I can rest.
I grieve that it is after midnight before I get something to eat and am finally in my room.
I grieve that I need to be at the hospital by 6 am to catch the doctor making rounds.
I grieve that I cannot sleep and my mind is whirling with information and todo lists.
I grieve that I finally fall asleep and do not wake until 9 am.
I grieve that I have missed the doctor and dread the walk across the street and up the hill to the hospital.
I grieve that I am so frail that I cannot walk to the hospital without stopping to rest against a light pole.
I grieve that the Covid-19 virus has caused the hospital to heighten security and it slows me getting to my Mother's room.
I grieve that I cannot walk the length of the hospital (a block long) without stopping to rest.
I grieve at the extremity of Mother's vital signs and her reaction to the hospitalization.
I grieve at how exhausting it is to keep Mother calm and encourage her to rest.
I grieve that I have to leave Mother alone in her dementia while I go to my room to rest.
I am angry and grieve that my siblings have no time and see no need to stay with Mother so I can get some rest.
I am resigned and grieve that I have to get my wheelchair out of the car and get rides to and from the hospital because I am too weak.
I grieve that on the third day I have to give the instruction to follow Mother's wishes and treat with no invasive measures and for comfort only.
I grieve that I have to call in the family because Mother is not expected to live through the day.
I am angry and grieve that siblings who have no time for Mother are now crawling out of the woodwork for public notice now that Mother is close to death.
I am grateful when siblings and their children start to arrive.
I grieve when I hear the last sibling tribe come down the hall and enter visibly and audibly sobbing.
I am angry and grieve that this family's first words to Mother are "Goodbye."
I don't want to leave Mother's side, but everyone deserves their turn, so I go to the family waiting room.
Soon everyone is in the waiting room arguing about the funeral arrangements and no one is with Mother.
I grieve the callous behavior of my siblings and their families.
I don't want to, but since there are 11 other people there, I go to my room to get some rest. Exhaustion is my first name now.
I am confused when I find out later that almost as soon as I left a cardiac doctor came in to declare that Mother would recover and we did not need to be there.
I grieve that as soon as Mother's recovery was declared all but one of the siblings and their families peeled off and left.
I am again angry and grieve that again no one thought to call me.
I was sad and could not leave Mother that night. She did not look better to me, but her vital signs and monitors showed stability. Mother would not sleep with me in the room so I spent most of the night on my feet pacing and checking.
I was anxious that Mother's rally was short term and could not relax. Mother's physical signs and her color improved over the next few days. She worked with Speech, OT and PT; showing small improvement each day. She began drinking and eating. That day I was cautiously grateful that Mother might go home the next day.
The next day I was disheartened when I walked into her room and saw that the IV was connected again.
I grieve the combative nature of Sundowner's that Mother endured every day she was in the hospital.
I grieve that Mother was discharged without my knowledge.
I grieve that moment when I stood in the doorway of Mother's empty and cleaned room and didn't know what had happened and if she had died, where was her body?
I grieve that again I was right there doing the daily work and someone else was called and again did not inform me.
I am angry and grieve that some of Mother's things were still in my car and my things had been sent home with her.
With anxiety I stopped at the nursing home to switch our things and see how Mother was doing.
The doors were locked. Covid-19 precautions put the nursing home in complete lockdown.
I was devastated that I could not hold Mother in my arms, see how she was and let her know I was there.
I was grateful when the nurse finally agreed to take Mother's things and see if she could find my things in Mother's room.
I was even more grateful when the nurse agreed to wheel Mother to the door so we could see each other and I could scream at her through the closed and locked doors. She looked really good. She was pink, sitting straight, alert, still chewing a mouthful of food and responsive when the nurse repeated what I was saying.
I am still sad and grieving, even though the crisis is over.
I feel empty and lost.
Hurt upon hurt and I am not well.
I am surviving.
And the tears, well the tears come whenever they want.

REPLY
@2011panc

I am grieving so many losses. Tears come to my eyes at random times. When I close my eyes to sleep, tears come instead.

I grieve my bickering, dysfunctional family that cannot keep from picking fights when we gather for our Mother's last hours.
I grieve that I alone sit with Mother seven hours in ER.
I grieve that as I try to quickly pack a few things to stay with Mother in a hospital 100 miles away, my husband clearly does not consider coming with me and is doing everything he can to slow me up.
I grieve as I stop at Mother's nursing home to pick up a few things for her.
I grieve as I drive through the rainy darkness to reach the hospital to help with Mother's admission.
I grieve that the calls from the nursing home and hospital are all going to my SIL when I am the one that has to respond.
I grieve that I have not eaten since early morning and I will have to wait until Mother is settled for the night.
I grieve that the time in the ER, ambulance ride, and admission to the hospital has brought on an episode of full dementia for Mother.
I grieve that Mother does not know anyone or recognize anything she sees.
I grieve that I am the only "normal" Mother can see or hear.
I am grateful that I brought along the shawl I gave her that she loves and the blanket she made for herself from her Mother's old bath robes.
I grieve that I am so tired and I still have to check into my hotel and unpack the car before I can rest.
I grieve that it is after midnight before I get something to eat and am finally in my room.
I grieve that I need to be at the hospital by 6 am to catch the doctor making rounds.
I grieve that I cannot sleep and my mind is whirling with information and todo lists.
I grieve that I finally fall asleep and do not wake until 9 am.
I grieve that I have missed the doctor and dread the walk across the street and up the hill to the hospital.
I grieve that I am so frail that I cannot walk to the hospital without stopping to rest against a light pole.
I grieve that the Covid-19 virus has caused the hospital to heighten security and it slows me getting to my Mother's room.
I grieve that I cannot walk the length of the hospital (a block long) without stopping to rest.
I grieve at the extremity of Mother's vital signs and her reaction to the hospitalization.
I grieve at how exhausting it is to keep Mother calm and encourage her to rest.
I grieve that I have to leave Mother alone in her dementia while I go to my room to rest.
I am angry and grieve that my siblings have no time and see no need to stay with Mother so I can get some rest.
I am resigned and grieve that I have to get my wheelchair out of the car and get rides to and from the hospital because I am too weak.
I grieve that on the third day I have to give the instruction to follow Mother's wishes and treat with no invasive measures and for comfort only.
I grieve that I have to call in the family because Mother is not expected to live through the day.
I am angry and grieve that siblings who have no time for Mother are now crawling out of the woodwork for public notice now that Mother is close to death.
I am grateful when siblings and their children start to arrive.
I grieve when I hear the last sibling tribe come down the hall and enter visibly and audibly sobbing.
I am angry and grieve that this family's first words to Mother are "Goodbye."
I don't want to leave Mother's side, but everyone deserves their turn, so I go to the family waiting room.
Soon everyone is in the waiting room arguing about the funeral arrangements and no one is with Mother.
I grieve the callous behavior of my siblings and their families.
I don't want to, but since there are 11 other people there, I go to my room to get some rest. Exhaustion is my first name now.
I am confused when I find out later that almost as soon as I left a cardiac doctor came in to declare that Mother would recover and we did not need to be there.
I grieve that as soon as Mother's recovery was declared all but one of the siblings and their families peeled off and left.
I am again angry and grieve that again no one thought to call me.
I was sad and could not leave Mother that night. She did not look better to me, but her vital signs and monitors showed stability. Mother would not sleep with me in the room so I spent most of the night on my feet pacing and checking.
I was anxious that Mother's rally was short term and could not relax. Mother's physical signs and her color improved over the next few days. She worked with Speech, OT and PT; showing small improvement each day. She began drinking and eating. That day I was cautiously grateful that Mother might go home the next day.
The next day I was disheartened when I walked into her room and saw that the IV was connected again.
I grieve the combative nature of Sundowner's that Mother endured every day she was in the hospital.
I grieve that Mother was discharged without my knowledge.
I grieve that moment when I stood in the doorway of Mother's empty and cleaned room and didn't know what had happened and if she had died, where was her body?
I grieve that again I was right there doing the daily work and someone else was called and again did not inform me.
I am angry and grieve that some of Mother's things were still in my car and my things had been sent home with her.
With anxiety I stopped at the nursing home to switch our things and see how Mother was doing.
The doors were locked. Covid-19 precautions put the nursing home in complete lockdown.
I was devastated that I could not hold Mother in my arms, see how she was and let her know I was there.
I was grateful when the nurse finally agreed to take Mother's things and see if she could find my things in Mother's room.
I was even more grateful when the nurse agreed to wheel Mother to the door so we could see each other and I could scream at her through the closed and locked doors. She looked really good. She was pink, sitting straight, alert, still chewing a mouthful of food and responsive when the nurse repeated what I was saying.
I am still sad and grieving, even though the crisis is over.
I feel empty and lost.
Hurt upon hurt and I am not well.
I am surviving.
And the tears, well the tears come whenever they want.

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Dear @2011panc, what a trying time. So heart wrenching. Your post will be read by many who will recognize their own story in it. As alone as you may feel, you are not. I offer a virtual shoulder to lean on and as you do, I wipe away at least one of the tears.

REPLY
@2011panc

I am grieving so many losses. Tears come to my eyes at random times. When I close my eyes to sleep, tears come instead.

I grieve my bickering, dysfunctional family that cannot keep from picking fights when we gather for our Mother's last hours.
I grieve that I alone sit with Mother seven hours in ER.
I grieve that as I try to quickly pack a few things to stay with Mother in a hospital 100 miles away, my husband clearly does not consider coming with me and is doing everything he can to slow me up.
I grieve as I stop at Mother's nursing home to pick up a few things for her.
I grieve as I drive through the rainy darkness to reach the hospital to help with Mother's admission.
I grieve that the calls from the nursing home and hospital are all going to my SIL when I am the one that has to respond.
I grieve that I have not eaten since early morning and I will have to wait until Mother is settled for the night.
I grieve that the time in the ER, ambulance ride, and admission to the hospital has brought on an episode of full dementia for Mother.
I grieve that Mother does not know anyone or recognize anything she sees.
I grieve that I am the only "normal" Mother can see or hear.
I am grateful that I brought along the shawl I gave her that she loves and the blanket she made for herself from her Mother's old bath robes.
I grieve that I am so tired and I still have to check into my hotel and unpack the car before I can rest.
I grieve that it is after midnight before I get something to eat and am finally in my room.
I grieve that I need to be at the hospital by 6 am to catch the doctor making rounds.
I grieve that I cannot sleep and my mind is whirling with information and todo lists.
I grieve that I finally fall asleep and do not wake until 9 am.
I grieve that I have missed the doctor and dread the walk across the street and up the hill to the hospital.
I grieve that I am so frail that I cannot walk to the hospital without stopping to rest against a light pole.
I grieve that the Covid-19 virus has caused the hospital to heighten security and it slows me getting to my Mother's room.
I grieve that I cannot walk the length of the hospital (a block long) without stopping to rest.
I grieve at the extremity of Mother's vital signs and her reaction to the hospitalization.
I grieve at how exhausting it is to keep Mother calm and encourage her to rest.
I grieve that I have to leave Mother alone in her dementia while I go to my room to rest.
I am angry and grieve that my siblings have no time and see no need to stay with Mother so I can get some rest.
I am resigned and grieve that I have to get my wheelchair out of the car and get rides to and from the hospital because I am too weak.
I grieve that on the third day I have to give the instruction to follow Mother's wishes and treat with no invasive measures and for comfort only.
I grieve that I have to call in the family because Mother is not expected to live through the day.
I am angry and grieve that siblings who have no time for Mother are now crawling out of the woodwork for public notice now that Mother is close to death.
I am grateful when siblings and their children start to arrive.
I grieve when I hear the last sibling tribe come down the hall and enter visibly and audibly sobbing.
I am angry and grieve that this family's first words to Mother are "Goodbye."
I don't want to leave Mother's side, but everyone deserves their turn, so I go to the family waiting room.
Soon everyone is in the waiting room arguing about the funeral arrangements and no one is with Mother.
I grieve the callous behavior of my siblings and their families.
I don't want to, but since there are 11 other people there, I go to my room to get some rest. Exhaustion is my first name now.
I am confused when I find out later that almost as soon as I left a cardiac doctor came in to declare that Mother would recover and we did not need to be there.
I grieve that as soon as Mother's recovery was declared all but one of the siblings and their families peeled off and left.
I am again angry and grieve that again no one thought to call me.
I was sad and could not leave Mother that night. She did not look better to me, but her vital signs and monitors showed stability. Mother would not sleep with me in the room so I spent most of the night on my feet pacing and checking.
I was anxious that Mother's rally was short term and could not relax. Mother's physical signs and her color improved over the next few days. She worked with Speech, OT and PT; showing small improvement each day. She began drinking and eating. That day I was cautiously grateful that Mother might go home the next day.
The next day I was disheartened when I walked into her room and saw that the IV was connected again.
I grieve the combative nature of Sundowner's that Mother endured every day she was in the hospital.
I grieve that Mother was discharged without my knowledge.
I grieve that moment when I stood in the doorway of Mother's empty and cleaned room and didn't know what had happened and if she had died, where was her body?
I grieve that again I was right there doing the daily work and someone else was called and again did not inform me.
I am angry and grieve that some of Mother's things were still in my car and my things had been sent home with her.
With anxiety I stopped at the nursing home to switch our things and see how Mother was doing.
The doors were locked. Covid-19 precautions put the nursing home in complete lockdown.
I was devastated that I could not hold Mother in my arms, see how she was and let her know I was there.
I was grateful when the nurse finally agreed to take Mother's things and see if she could find my things in Mother's room.
I was even more grateful when the nurse agreed to wheel Mother to the door so we could see each other and I could scream at her through the closed and locked doors. She looked really good. She was pink, sitting straight, alert, still chewing a mouthful of food and responsive when the nurse repeated what I was saying.
I am still sad and grieving, even though the crisis is over.
I feel empty and lost.
Hurt upon hurt and I am not well.
I am surviving.
And the tears, well the tears come whenever they want.

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@2011panc I am sorry that your family is dysfunctional, and for all that you have been through. I can imagine how distressing it must have been. Thankfully things have turned around for your mother and she is doing much better. If a situation like this occurs again is it possible that you can be notified by the care facility? If you were there daily I don't understand why your SIL was notified, not you.

I realize how difficult it is to move on from so much grief and hurt but that's what you need to do for your own health. If you hold on to your hurts you are just hurting yourself, not anyone else. Again, I do realize how difficult that is having been through hurtful situations myself, but I have come to realize that I was only making myself miserable and by dwelling on it I was prolonging it. Try to dwell more on the things you can be grateful for, most especially that your mother is doing better.
We are here for you.
Hugs, JK

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