It was a long battle for all members of our family dealing with this dreadful disease, Alzheimers. It was difficult for my dad and I to see my mom going through all that she did. She ended up in a NH and was only there for a short time. I have my doubts about the care she received and wouldn't be surprised if they attributed to her demise through some form of neglect or mistreatment as I was a witness to a lot of things while visiting my mom everyday. It's interesting to me that people oftimes seem to pass away when no one from the immediate family is present. We had just been with her the night before. I covered her with her blanket and kissed her goodnight. She didn't want us to leave, but we always left when she started dozing off to sleep. I will certainly miss the ol' gal, and albeit she had left us long before she passed away, I will always cherish my mother and remember all the years I had with her and hope that we will meet again some day soon. I pray the good Lord takes me before I ever have to step foot in another NH again. I would never want to live like what I saw while my mom was there in that brief time. My dad needs to rest as this has been a difficult journey for him as well. It has put a definite strain on our relationship. He has been through a lot losing the love of his life (married 64 years) as well as best friend, and I hope he will be able to make the adjustment smoothly as my mom's absence will most likely be more evident even though she has been absent emotionally for sometime. For the most part she knew who we were in the end, but she would have her moments of living in the past. She still had her sense of humor. I cried my eyes out the other day and although I don't think there is a tear left, I know I will find more at her funeral next week. I expected her passing and feel the good Lord helped me prepare for this loss for a long time as I knew her passing would be devastating for me as we were very close. I accept her passing and know she is in a much better place and not suffering anymore. I do miss her so. Thanks for listening.
I'll say a prayer for you and your family. You sound like a very strong and balanced person, and you've certainly been through the worst by now. From experience with my Mom's funeral (she was ill with a pulmonary disease for years, ultimately bed-ridden in a hospice with some dementia from oxygen deprivation), it's a very difficult day. You'll grieve over everything from bittersweet memories associated with childhood, to "I wish Mom could be with us one more holiday..." The pain passes, and the sweetness remains.
Dear Blanche - I'm so sorry - I'm crying right now just thinking of it and how hard it will be when my time comes to say goodbye to my Mom - but like you, I know we will meet again. Time does help to heal. We lost Dad a few years ago. It was a long struggle so we were ready, and so was he. Remember the good times and try not to dwell on the bad. I agree with you about the Nursing Homes, they are so sad, and I wonder about my Dads care, as well. But it was the only thing we could do, and you too, I'm sure. I hope your Dad will be okay. I'll send one up for you all today. Blessings, C
Thank you all for your kind, comforting words. I am very much afraid to see my mom's lifeless body next week, and I know it will be the killer of all killers when I see her, which I am dreading more than I've ever dreaded anything. I almost feel like I can't cope and rather not attend, but I know I owe it to my mom as well as knowing that other families have attended loved ones' funerals under the worst of conditions. My mom had me when she was close to 40 so I am reasonably young (so, I like to think anyway. (grin) I can't tell you the pain that I'm feeling today, worse than the past few days. The dread of walking in and viewing her lifeless body makes me feel faint just thinking about it. I always imagined my mother to be immortal. I never expected to have to pick out an outfit for her to wear, burial plot, coffin, etc. It's all so surreal for me. I'd like to think I'm a strong person but I'm really quite the emotional one and not as strong as I'd like to be. I admit I want to light up a cigarette (I quit 3 years ago) but I know how upset mom would be if she knew I started smoking again. I'm not a drinker so I can't even pour myself a drink to help me relax. She did suffer so I know that it would be selfish of me to want her here with us when I know she is at peace now and not tormented. Thanks again for letting me vent and for being there.
Dear Blanche - viewing the person's body is not really as bad as you may think. My Dad looked very peaceful and happy and young. I had a good feeling, that he was now at rest. I think the whole point of funerals and viewing of the body is to make the separation easier, not harder. Otherwise I am sure there would be ways not to ever have to see the person's remains again. I had a lot of peace after my Dad's funeral. I hope the funeral will be a celebration of her life, and not dwell on loss and separation.
Blanche, I'm so sorry for your loss. I just got back from a long trip last night and I'm catching up on what I missed here.
My grandpa died of alzheimers. I too was scared to see him in his casket. I didn't know if I could handle it. But when I saw him, I was sad but also relieved. I was able to see a piece of my grandpa before AD took over his mind and spirit. He was again the grandpa I so dearly loved.
You'll see that in your mom too and it will bring you some peace.
My mom was my best friend too and when she died in 1993, I thought it would kill me and even once wished it did. I was 31 when my mom died and I thought she'd be there almost forever. I never thought she'd die. And I never thought I'd be able to live life without her.
Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel. Don't hold back. Let it out. I did a lot of screaming and crying into my pillow which really helped me.
when my Dad passed away I was a complete and utter mess for easily 3-4 months. Crying at the drop of a hat, just the mere thought of him would set me off .. I was beyond grief.
My family 'culture' is not to view a body. And even during my career, I've never (up until recently) even SEEN a body ... our main thought is we don't want to see our loved one LIFELESS for heavens sake !! That's not the LAST memory we ever want of them !!
When my FIL passed away last year, there was an official viewing. No way, no how could I go. My husband did, and he came back saying how nice it was to see Dad WITHOUT all the tubes and stuff. Point taken, but I still couldn't do it. And in the same stance, I wasn't hysterical miserable and sobbing all over the place for him, because his passing was a relief! My Dad's was a shock ...
When I finally did see my first 'body' .... I don't know what I thought I should feel .. I peeked in the room, feeling quite wicked .. and watched her. Yup .. she wasn't breathing .. yup .. she was the lady I knew and cared for, but ... how can I put this .. her essence wasn't there? Does that sound nuts? I left the room feeling quite peculiar, I didn't know how I would react, but that wasn't it ....
So .. after all this refusal, denial and just plain weird .. I'm signing up to do a Palliative Care course ... maybe THAT will help me overcome my fear of a deceased body ??
And maybe I watched too many horror shows when I was growing up LOL
Who knows, but yes, your best bet is to follow your gut instincts and go with the flow.
Cheers .. it's a horrible time no matter how you look at it.
I know you dont know me but i wanted to say that I am very sorry to read that your mom has past away. As for seeing her at the funeral,do you have to if you realy dont want to? We are all different and deal with things in our own way so i dont think you should feel that it is somthing that you have to do.I did view my Dad very briefly a few days after he had died and I must admit I decided right there and then that I wouldnt do it again. As for my Mom,she died at home and I did see her then,but when a few days later some of the family went for a viewing,I chose not to go and for me that was the right thing to do.
I felt I owed it to my Mom to go to her viewing and funeral. I would have kicked myself if I hadn't gone. for once the casket closes, that's it. I was dreading it more than anything I've ever dreaded in my life. I was fearful I would collapse at the mere sight of her, or possibly faint, not because of fear of seeing a dead body (I've seen many), but that it was my precious Mother. Thank God the Good Lord got me through it and I even cupped my hand over my mom's hands and kissed her lips and cheek, albeit I realize she wasn't really in that body anymore. She looked so pretty in the outfit I picked out for her to wear. I am also the one who pulled up the blanket right under her chin before they closed the casket. I didn't want to see that. The service at the grave site was brief and I survived that as well. I placed a rose on her casket and bent over to kiss it. I have had raw emotion hit the surface that I never felt before with fits of crying and even screaming while in my car. It has been the most horrendous thing I have ever had to endure. I loved my Mom so very much and will miss her tremendously. I know my Dad is trying to cope and I will do my best to be a support system for him. I sometimes feel I can't get through this without nicotine or alcohol to numb me, but since I quite smoking and don't drink, the feelings are quite raw. Thank you for your kind words of support and for being there for me at this difficult time.
My sympathy to you. My mom also passed away on November 18th. It is a very difficult time for all of us. She didn't have Alzheimer's but my husband does and I have really had my hands full. It is never easy no matter how much you realize that the time has come for them to get relief from their pain and suffering. I know she is in a much better place now.
Jan, I'm so sorry for your loss. You're right, it isn't any easier when you're expecting a loved one's death. It may be a tiny bit less traumatizing than a sudden, unexpected death, but it is still very painful. I also remind people that the loss is felt just as much whether it be someone 20 years old or 120 years old. I think cuz the person was well into their 80's or 90's that it is expected that they will pass, but that's not the case. Take care Jan and thanks for sharing.
Blanche, thank you so much for updating us. The feelings you've discribed are a part of the grieving process. I'd be very worried if you weren't experiencing them. Although we all wish we could skip that part of grieving because it is so painful, it is a vital part of the whole process. We have to experience the pain before we begin to heal. I think that in time, you'll be glad you went to your mom's funeral. That's not to say you won't regret having to be there. But in time, I think you'll cherish that touch and that kiss. It was your way of paying a personal tribute to your mom. What a lovely tribute.
Mamaduck, again I am so sorry for your loss. I know all too well the pain of losing a mother. I lost mine 13 years ago. She had just turned 67. I had just turned 31 five days before. I still miss her very much and I still sometimes get teary eyed as I'm doing now. But the pain has lessened with time. It took me a long while to adjust to life without my mom. But as painful as it is, life does go on and as time passes, the shock goes away and the pain lessens till one day, you're able to feel good feelings again.
My mom died two years ago. One of the things that helped me the most in the early days was keeping in mind that she was in heaven, and even if she was given the chance she wouldn't come back here for anything. Where your mom is now there is no suffering, no pain, and she's with her own parents again, whom she missed here as much as you miss her now. Try to be happy for her gain and not sad for your loss.