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Thread: the grief aspect of Alz.

  1. #1
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    Default the grief aspect of Alz.

    [B]over the years I've gotten to know some of the caregiver's & spouses. until yesterday I'd never considered the grief everyone goes through. then I read a poem.

    over 20 yrs ago I worked with a wonderful man & met his wife. they were one of those couples you just have to envy,they had found the right mate & it showed.

    several weeks ago I found out the wife has Alz. it broke my heart. he was caring for her @ home.

    then yesterday I read a poem he wrote for the local paper. he had taken her to a care facility. the poem is too long to write here,however I'd like to share the end part:

    Slowly,over the hours,Grief departs
    leaving its thick shadow of sadness
    for me to live with
    and make something of.
    And surprisingly I do!
    Love seeps through,
    reclaiming so clear,the wisdom I at first couldn't hear:
    I'm still a caregiver to my beloved,
    and am now free,
    blessedly free,
    to be a better one.

    not sure how long he cared for her @ home. he's 85yr old.they have been married 60 yrs. she was going to a daycare for awhile.

    this hit home with me since I knew him. so now I realize the grief as well as the despair in making the hard decision to place someone you love in a care facility.

    this might not be understood by all,however I do hope it will provide some comfort for those of you suffering the same loss.

    (((hugs for all the caregiver's past & present))) Pati

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member tic chick's Avatar
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    pati,

    i was just talking to my therapist about grief today. i see her about every 3 weeks just to discuss my feelings and the process of grief.

    grief, as you said, involves a sense of loss. suffering is pain and goes along with that. my mom has now been in the nursing home for 3 and a half years. i went through the painful end of my 34 year marriage last october. the alzheimer's really isn't part of my grief as much as the fact that i never felt like my mom was a "mom" to me. i realize she was the best mom she knew how, but i always hoped one day she would become the kind of mom i wanted. the alzheimer's just drives home the point that she will now NEVER be the mom i wanted and i have to let go of that hope i had. the end of a marriage also brings the loss of hope. some days i'm afraid to wake up for fear there is another loss awaiting me that day. it's the pits.

    i feel like there is always a lesson to be learned in these kind of situations and finding the lesson leads to peace, just as your friend found. he let go of the guilt of making the decision to put his wife in the NH. he probably was doing so much for her, he wasn't able to share moments of happiness and intimacy with her. when the NH started taking care of her needs and problems, he was free to be the loving caregiver he needed to be and just focus on his wife and himself.

    everyone has to find their way through these situations. the only thing i don't recommend is ignoring them, cause that's a fool's peace...the problem is still there and eventually will have to be dealt with. better to work your way through it and come to some closure that gives you peace.

    thanks for the poem, pati ,
    jeannie
    Here's to good women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
    "The world is a better place when you're barefoot." Mark
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    Distinguished Community Member Jo6's Avatar
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    Default Pati

    thank you for posting this. You is so right. I thought at one time I would have a small amount of peace when we inrolled Mary in a Day Care Center. It was so important to Mary that I not see her enjoying the company of other people, see her dancing, having fun and smiling. I finally stopped even acting like I saw her dancing away and laughing and singing, oh I wish she could have done this here at home.

    Well, there went the peace I had hoped to have, just a few hours a day. It was even worse when we had to place her in a full time NH. So much will crowd in and before you know it you have allowed your self get in a real depression.

    Both you and Jeannie have written some very wise food for thought. I hope many will get some peace reading this thread.

    love to you both, Jo
    Did you ever know that you're my hero and every thing I would like to be I can fly higher than an eagle
    'cause you are the wind beneath my wings

    for my brother Ben

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    of course I'd forgotten I even wrote this! he hasn't written any more poems for the paper & he was a regular contributor.

    this is OT but who cares? not long ago I read an article written by a grad student. she thinks caregiver's are MAKING the patient too dependent! I took offense @ that myself. are we supposed to just let them burn the house down?

    apparently she observes Alz. patients in a daycare setting where they are encouraged to do tasks such as prepare a simple lunch. she's writing her thesis about this issue. I realize she's young & most likely innocent of actually dealing with day to day caregiving. but it still made me see RED. I've already lost what patence I used to have with my housemate. when you get cranky it's easier to just do things yourself. I already raised two kids afterall. I KNOW I've become a total b****. so what?I admit that I'm human afterall. this gal may be right but she's NOT living it 24/7!

    OK,thanks for reading my rant. my BP might have just gone down a notch. doubling my meds sure hasn't helped much afterall.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Jo6's Avatar
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    Pati, I think you are totally correct in your thinking on this issue. I would have loved Mary to be more dependent instead of asking me over and over and over if she could help me do things. I tried to show her how to help, but after explaining fifty times , yes it was better for Mary and me too to just skip explaining. All those years I can count on 1 hand that I got so frustrated with that question I screamed at her, but the sad part about it was I about had a breakdown and she wanted to know if she could help me. I just ran out the back door and kept running. Thank goodness the side of our house goes to dead end road.

    I tried, oh how I tried, but to no avail. I was angry at my self, not Mary. Whoever is writing this book does not know anything about caregiving. She needs to LIVE it just 1 week, then she may understand, but I doubt it.

    I took her to Day Care and I went back and picked her up. She was angry at me all the time because she thought it was MY fault she had to go. She was happy doing things there, but even they would only let the patients wipe the tables and chairs down. And keeping a basket of close to fold made me snort every time somebody mentioned that. She just refused to fold them. I gave up on that one after so long.

    I know they can not help their actions, but it always makes me very angry to here someone that knows nothing about caregiving tell the caregiver how to care for the patient.

    When you get up in the morning and find knives all over the kitchen or hide in the bedroom it makes one wonder WHY?? You smell something bruning and discover a pan hot on the stove, the pan full of oil and flaming, you bearly have time to get it out of the back door? What are we supposed to do?

    It is a horrible disease and you can do the best you know how to do, but it never seems to be enough. I think I can understand when a caregiver passes on before the patient.

    I pray every day for all the caregivers I know here on BT. It is a thankless job, but no matter, we still keep trying to do our best.

    Pati, I'm glad you started this thread. The man that wrote this gave the caregiver a whole new life. His thoughts were very moving, but made a lot of sense

    May God bless each caregiver and the patient they are caring for.

    Another thing I think of is the caregiver almost always have health issues themselves.

    Take care all my dear friends. Julia
    Last edited by Jo6; 07-23-2012 at 12:49 PM.
    Did you ever know that you're my hero and every thing I would like to be I can fly higher than an eagle
    'cause you are the wind beneath my wings

    for my brother Ben

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