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Old 09-20-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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My mom worked herself to death

My mother passed away this morning at 11:30 am. She literally worked herself to death, in the act of caring for my dad, her life mate of 63 years. She was 81, and he survives her at 85 years of age. He did not mean to do it, he couldn't help himself.

He was a military man, a veteran of 3 wars... the big ones, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He was almost larger than life, now he is as helpless as a naked baby bird. She stood behind him, but really ran the show, while always giving him the credit. He might have been the Commander, but she was the Admiral.

They came from the deep south, and worked their way to the top.
She scrimped and saved until he could finally indulge himself in gadgets. She ironed his boxer shorts to fit best under his pleated pants. She cooked, he ate. She cleaned, he spilled. It seemed normal to me.

He got sick, she nursed him, he fell, she bandaged him. He called, she ran.

One day came, 24 days ago. She collapsed from pure exhaustion, on the back porch at 1 am, doing her last nightly chore, She called for help, no one heard her. She waited, she called, she struggled, she clawed.

Soon he wanted something, he called, she did not answer this time. He called again, and again and again. She couldn't answer. Her neck was broken when she fell on her face, or she would have come.

She fought, she suffered, she died today. This is what I wrote the night my mom died. She never had fun that I could see. She worked herself to death. She died today. WE all loved her,

Love Janet

Last edited by writeleft; 09-20-2011 at 11:42 PM.

 
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:42 AM   #2
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Re: My mom worked herself to death

Hello Janet,

I pray that you are holding up.

You reach out to so many people and I didn't want you to think that your pain went unnoticed.

I can see the pride and yet feel the pain you are experiencing.

May your pain be lessened beyond the size of atoms and your blessings increased beyond the stars.

Respectfully
Phoenix
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: My mom worked herself to death

Thank you for you sweet and thoughtful message. I am finding this whole experience to be such a life lesson, and while very sad, the thing that I am finding the most is the amazing strength I have found to allow me to do all that I have to do at this time. I know it must be my mothers spirit guiding me and giving me the will and the ability to do it.

Meanwhile my father has taken the fastest fall I have ever imagined a person could do. he has stopped eating, has closed his eyes and stopped talking, except for the most basic needs, and only uses one word to do so. Where he and I have always hugged and kissed and held each others hand, he now does not want to be touched, or spoken to, He will only eat if spoon fed and today started to wet his pants, even with me right there to help him to the bathroom. Since he has shut down, he has been transferred to a skilled nursing facility following a brief hospitalization for dehydration. I have to respect his wishes for silence, and while I am there with him all day, he only wants me to be in his sight when he opens his eyes. Today I took some mail to work on while I sat with him, and even the sound of the letter opener was too disturbing for him to tolerate. while he has always loved westerns, sports and tv shows, he no longer wants any sound or light on around him. You always hear of spouses following behind their loved ones after death, but to witness it is something else. My mother has only been gone for 10 days today.

I have not had time, or maybe allowed myself to begin my own process of mourning, but know i will in good time. For now my desire is to be there for my dad, and I will have my own time later to process my mothers death. by the time I finally do, I imagine it might be for him as well. All I know is that I cannot give him the will to live, it is only ours to do for ourselves. While in a perfect world, he would regain his strength and overcome his loss, this is not the reality.

Yes, we can die of a broken heart.

Janet

 
Old 10-01-2011, 03:19 AM   #4
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Re: My mom worked herself to death

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeleft View Post
. My mother has only been gone for 10 days today.

I have not had time, or maybe allowed myself to begin my own process of mourning, but know i will in good time. For now my desire is to be there for my dad, and I will have my own time later to process my mothers death. by the time I finally do, I imagine it might be for him as well. All I know is that I cannot give him the will to live, it is only ours to do for ourselves. While in a perfect world, he would regain his strength and overcome his loss, this is not the reality.

Yes, we can die of a broken heart.

Janet
Janet,

In the grand scheme of things,with respect to your father, each day has the potential of seeming like an eternity in dark,negative space.

Every day he probably recalls a lifetime with her,so in essence he is re-living the years ion his mind on a daily basis;like a movie being played.

Know that he still needs you,although his actions may show otherwise.

I realize that you want to be strong for your father but you still need time to process her demise.

Considering grieving after your father passes;why do this to yourself?

It's alright to shed a tear or two....or even two-thousand for that matter.

If you have to do it in private or among friends and/or family,please take time for you.

Warmly
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:55 AM   #5
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Re: My mom worked herself to death

Janet, you have my thoughts and prayers with you.

I lost my father to an anuerism as he was sitting and watching my mother sleep. She was in a locked ward for Alsheimers. They had been married for 64.5 years. 5 weeks later I lost her also.

They called me in church to tell me that mom wasn't responding and I needed to get home (we live in Washington DC, home is Mpls. Minn). I told them to tell her to wait for me as I was coming home. we sat with her from Monday until she passed on Thursday. I knew she could hear me as she would snort and turn her head when I fussed at her. She waited up she got what she needed to pass-our saying "thanks you". She had told my hubby and me that not enough people said please and thank you there....when we said our thank yous-she passed in less than 6 minutes. Gone. To daddy who was waiting for her.....she died of a broken heart.

and now I am an orphan. Allow yourself to grieve. don't wait for your father to be gone. Each parent deserves their own time for you. Tears wonderful-I still cry for them, but rejoice that your mother is waiting for your father.

Don't think that your Mom died in vain. Her life was the way our parents lived. They knew no other. As lopsided as it seems, they were a whole between them. Know that your father knew no other way also. I watched this with my own parents. They were at peace with what they had. It's not what we understand, but it was my parents life also.

You have my sympathy and support. I know how hard it is....

Last edited by ibake&pray; 10-05-2011 at 11:56 AM.

 
Old 10-11-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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Re: My mom worked herself to death

Writeleft--I just wanted you to know that someone else was thinking of you. My hope and prayer for you is strength when it is needed and the freedom to grieve when time allows.

 
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