Topic: Don't know what to do

It has been 10 weeks since my beloved Dad passed away and the last 2 weeks have been really hard.  Mom isn't coping too well emotionally, which is to be expected, but she is taking it out on me and I am now at my wits end.  It seems that I am walking on eggshells and at times I dread going to see Mom incase I say something wrong.  She seems to want to start an argument all the while.  My Nan said she is the same with her too.

First example, she has a large garden and we have promised her we will help get the garden easier to manage, my Husband works 6 days a week so he has to fit it in around work, but Mom doesn't seem to have the patience to wait.  She has hurt her muscles in her chest lifting heavy stones that my Husband was going to do the weekend, and everytime I go up or phone she is complaining about the garden.  On Saturday she asked if I was coming to help and I said I will once I have done my washing and housework (I am back at work now and weekends are hectic catching up and also spending time with my son) to this she replied, "well don't bother then"  I said my husband was still coming up and she said "I can do it", I admit I bit back and said "oh Mom do what you want" to which she put the phone down on me.  She then text later to say she was going out for the day and didn't want any help of any of us!.  She then said I don't understand how she feels and God forbid I don't for a long while. All I have done the past 10 weeks is help her out with everything that is possible.  I was really upset, I feel like I haven't had time to grieve myself and each weekend gets worse.  My husband went up Moms and let himself in with our spare key.  Mom was really happy he'd helped and when I spoke to her acted like nothing had happened.  Yesterday we went out for the day to Warwick Castle and I asked Mom to come but she wouldn't.  I understand that she may want to be on her own but at times she says "you have your own little family now" and it's the tone she says it in that upsets me.  I have said she is my family and we would love her to come, we always asked when Dad was alive so it's not as if we are taking pity on her.  Then today she recieved another form to fill in and was getting upset, I told her she doesn't need to get upset as I always fill them in and don't mind doing it.  She just snapped at me that I don't know how she feels.

I know I don't know how she feels, I can only imagine, I miss Dad so much but I still have company at home.  She is having to adjust to living alone but we are all here to help.  I know it's the grief she is feeling and you do take things out on the ones you are closer too but it is all starting to get to me and I don't know what to do.  I feel guilty going on days out with my husband and son but I need this time too, and has I said I always ask Mom to come.  We go away in 3 weeks to Florida and I am dreading going.

Thanks for listening, rant over x

Devoted Daughter to the most wonderful Dad a girl could ask for.  Sadly lost his battle on 19.02.11, peacefully in the arms of Mom and I.  As requested by Dad "we will keep on smiling".

Re: Don't know what to do

Dearest Andie, I do so feel for you.  You are doing all you can do & you can't do anything more.  She's hurting &, sadly, can't see how much you're hurting, too.  I have experience of similar reactions - although in different circumstances - & all I could do was do my best to let it wash over me.  Sometimes I could, & sometimes I couldn't.

No, you don't now how she feels but she doesn't know how you feel either.  Please try not to feel guilty about having someone at home when she doesn't.  She is so lucky to have such a wonderfully loving daughter &, when she's ready to let go & grieve, I know you'll be there for her & I know how lucky she'll be to have you then, too.

But YOU need to have time & space to grieve, too.  Go to Florida & relax with your husband & son.  I hope you have a wonderful time.  You need to build up your strength for yourself & your two boys & then you'll have strength to support your mum again.

Lots of love
Julia xxx

"Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician."

Re: Don't know what to do

Andie,

I'm on the other side, my Wayne went to see Jesus 2-17-2010.  You never get over it.  What has help me so much I go to counseling once a week.  I didn't go at first because I was working, well last summer I started, I don't know I would have done without it.  I know she gets paid to listen, but that's OK, she sometimes seems to be my closest friend, in fact she knows more about me than my friends.  I can talk to her, on November 21, 2010 my mother also went to see Jesus, two major loses in 9 months, she even came to the funeral home, to give me support, that meant a lot to me.

Love to my Wayne for 36 years
I'm not a widow, I am a wife
We are only apart for heaven's sake
You are waiting for me at heaven's gate

Re: Don't know what to do

Andie - Your Mom is going through her own form of grief.  It is so hard, but try not to take anything personally right now.  You're doing your best and that's all you can do.  Maybe when things settle down a little, you can take your Mom out for lunch and have a long chat about the reality of how you have to work and don't have time for everything and that you're all doing your best.  Go to Florida - - have time for yourself and your family -- and try to enjoy. - Hugs - Nancy

Mother of John who lost his battle on Oct. 9, 2009 at age 30....

Re: Don't know what to do

Hi Andie, it ain't easy, kid! Does your mom have friends or other family that she could go out with for meals or just to get together? If she continues this way she may need to see a grief counselor or to join a grief group. You go to Florida and have a wonderful time because that is what your Father wanted! When you come back perhaps a lunch out with Mom and a good heart to heart talk may help.  Sometimes we have to be a little selfish and you gave so much time before and now it is time for your little family. I would have that talk with Mom though. Good luck.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Don't know what to do

Hi Andie,  I'm so glad you can write on this board and get the support you need.  It sounds like you have a terrific husband too.  You hit the nail on the head when you said your mom acted like nothing had happened after she had become frustrated with you.  She is overwhelmed and can't figure things out just yet.  She wants to be strong and tried to prove it by lifting those heavy stones!  She is going to have to come to a place of acceptance and that just may take a while.  Mostly importantly you are doing everything right!  Staying calm, reassuring her you love her and are there for her, inviting her places, etc. is all you can do.  I hope you are able to enjoy your FL trip and she might be better with the little bit of space!  Please know you are a wonderful daughter.

Re: Don't know what to do

My dad died 8 months ago.  My mom died 5 days ago.  They were married 73 years.  Mom has been very miserable since dad went to heaven before her. 

I can feel your grief in losing a parent.   It's been harder than I expected.

We went through the anger and me not totally understanding what she was going through, maybe because of my own grief and dealing with my own cc.

Take care of yourself, but please know she may not be able to go on the same.  Be patient with her, even when she's unreasonable, so you won't have many regrets when she dies.

I miss my parents so much.

Re: Don't know what to do

Dear Kathy, I am so very sorry to hear about your Mom. Married 73 years!! I am sure she is much happier now being back with the love of her life. My dad passed at 93 and Mom at 94. They were married 68 years. Sometimes I think Benjamin Buttons had the right idea...to start old and work your way back down. Your parents will always be in your heart and mind, therefore they are really never gone from you. You have your memories which now become your treasures.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Don't know what to do

Andie - I second everything everyone else is saying - you are an incredibly loving daughter, and I'm sorry for the stress you are going through.  Thinking of you, and hoping things get better for you soon.  Oh, and ENJOY every second in Florida - it was your Dad's dream to see you go.  Nothing in the world should spoil a second of the trip... he'll be watching over you and loving every moment...

Jen

Re: Don't know what to do

Andie,  I was going to say the same as other Nancy - don't take it personally. Your mom is going through natural grieving processes. Her getting angry and short with you and your husband is actually a good sign. She is moving out of grief and into anger, which is moving up in the grieving process.  She is not really angry with you, she is angry with the situation and you are just there to target.  I lost my dad at 18 and my mom and I had some rough times for awhile after that. It all smoothed over in the end and we looked at it much differently as time went by and then it brought us closer. Take the time to grieve yourself; take that holiday, your mom will understand in the long run. Hugs to you and your mom. Nancy

Loving my husband from afar.

Re: Don't know what to do

Andie - You are a loving daughter and you are doing all you can. You must take your own time to grieve. It might help, when Mom starts in to say, "Mom, this is so hard for you. You are used to having Dad there. I bet you get really mad. I know I do. Isn't this the hardest thing we have ever done?" Maybe holding up a mirror and reflecting for her will let her feel that you care very much about how hard this is. I know that I get mad sometimes when I have to do a job that was my husband's job, like the swimming pool. I don't know what I'm doing and I never wanted to do this job, but sadly, it's my job now and I will have to figure it out. I am younger, but I'm not sure it's much easier. My heart goes out to your mom, but you cannot be abused because she is hurting. You are also hurting. Would she consider seeing a therapist? I think it would help so much or maybe your church has a grief group she could join. I'm thinking of starting one at my church. Blessings to you all, Susan

Re: Don't know what to do

Hi Andie

This is a difficult time for everyone.  My mom needed a lot of space after Daddy died.  It was hard because i just wanted to be with her but she wanted to be left alone, now 6 months later, Mom is finally finding herself again. 

I agree, take time for yourself, perhaps chat to mom about how you are feeling?  But you also need to time to grieve the loss of your dad.  Florida is going to be just what the doctor ordered.

Lots of love to you

Michelle

"My dad, Tony, passed away on 4 October 2010, after a 19 month battle with CC"   - I carry you in my heart, Dad, forever.

Re: Don't know what to do

Andie,

All of what you are experiencing is normal.  One of the hardest parts of grief to me was when I slowly came out of the "numb" stage about 2 to 3 months after Mom died.  I really needed to be with people and get their support and sympathy and I discovered the world had more or less "moved on" and I felt all alone.  I was so mad...after all I HAD LOST MY MOM!!! and it was a long ago event for most people.   I think your Mom's anger is normal and a sure sign she is moving through the grieving process.  That said, everyone grieves differently and at different times.  You are doing all the right things but you are now in a different caregiving role to your Mom.  You need to embrace the first rule of caregiving and that is....YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE CAREGIVER FIRST!!....
Go on your trip...send lots of postcards, make a few calls and have fun and spend time with your family.  If your Mom were not in the depths of grief she would be the first to encourage you to go and have fun.  This is a bump in the road and part of the grieving.  You need to grieve as well.  Try and enlist friends to drop in or call or visit with your Mom while you are gone.  That will help you in your peace of mind.
I'm sending prayers for strength and lots of hugs and love!

Hugs,
Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Don't know what to do

Hi all,

Well I took the holiday and had a wonderful time.  The time apart also did Mom and I good too.  I phoned and text everyday and I also know that family and friends phoned and visited Mom daily. 

Since I've been back I don't know if it's a mixture of jet lag, being ill with a throat infection and also my son not being well but I feel so emotional and missing Dad more than ever.  I was so sad that he isn't here to see the photos and share the stories.  He would have been so proud of Jamie on the big rollercoasters and would have loved the dolphin swim.  Sometimes I feel angry "why my Dad?" sometimes i wake up and forget he's gone then it hits me like a tonne of bricks.  I have been dreaming of him alot lately but the strange thing is I can't remember the dreams only that I have seen his face.  It's Fathers day next weekend and I think the cards and adverts are making me more emotional too. 

Mom isn't doing to bad, she has taken to going to bed early as she said it's evenings that are the worst and she feels closer to Dad when she is in bed, as this is where he spent his last few days.  She is trying to break the habit of going to bed early but I have told her if this is what she needs to do then it's fine.  She watches TV in bed and takes a drink and snacks, so if she's happy then I think that's ok.

I also think that after Dad passed I was busy with the funeral, then sorting out finances etc, then I planned Florida and now I have come to a standstill and have more time to think.  It will soon be the 6 weeks holiday so I suppose I wont have time to think then!

Thanks for listening, love to all my cc family x

Devoted Daughter to the most wonderful Dad a girl could ask for.  Sadly lost his battle on 19.02.11, peacefully in the arms of Mom and I.  As requested by Dad "we will keep on smiling".

Re: Don't know what to do

Andie,

I am glad you were able to go on your vacation and enjoyed it.  I think you are right, it was beneficial to both you and your mom.  Everything you are experiencing now is normal.  I have been through all of those feelings since my husband passed away, too.  I feel anger along with the sadness and loneliness.  I also dream of him and then have a hard time recalling the dreams.  I wake up and expect him to be here.  It seems it is all part of the grieving process.  the feelings come & go.  You never know what will trigger them or when.  All you can do is go with it.  Just remember that it is all normal for what you are going through.  It sometimes feels a lot like those rollercoaster rides you were on.  smile

Much like your mom, I too spend a lot of time in bed.  Especially in the beginning.  It is somehow comforting.  I watch TV, read, have something to drink and or a snack.  I try to stay up later too, but it doesn't always work.  You are right to tell her it is OK.  If it gives her comfort and peace and her body needs the down time there is nothing wrong with that. 

I hope you and Jamie start to feel better soon.  Take care Andie.  Know that I am thinking of you and sharing your feelings.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Don't know what to do

Andrea,

I think of you and your family so often, and I'm sad that you are having a hard time right now.  Father's Day is going to be difficult for so many of us for different reasons, and I hope you can find a way to hold on to memories of your Dad while making new ones in the process.  It's such a hard balance. 

I love that you are dreaming of him, and I'm sure he's right with you during every one of them.  Whether you remember exactly what the dreams are about or not, I hope you know that he's with you and maybe trying to bring you a bit of peace and letting you know he's okay the best way he can.

I hope the holidays coming up keep you busy (but you still have some time for yourself), and I pray that you get through this difficult time quickly, and knowing that Dad is smiling down on you always.

Thinking of you!

Jen

Re: Don't know what to do

Hi Andie. Standstill. Yes, that is the time that is hardest. I wanted to say that I also find comfort at lying in bed, sitting in Teddy's recliner and watching for his hints that he is around me. I know Father's Day will be hard around here as Teddy loved every holiday on the Calender. I am thinking we will tell some Teddy stories and pull out photographs or maybe play a video of him. Don't think I can handle our wedding video yet, maybe on July 17th which would have been 17 years.
You know your dad is all around you! I know he is very proud of you!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Don't know what to do

Hi Andrea,

Hope you have got my email by now. If not will have to sit and recompose war and peace for you... Sending love today on your first Father's Day.

Katie

Re: Don't know what to do

Hi Katie,

Yes I've got your email, thank you.  Thinking of you too on Fathers Day, it's going to be a tough one. xx

Devoted Daughter to the most wonderful Dad a girl could ask for.  Sadly lost his battle on 19.02.11, peacefully in the arms of Mom and I.  As requested by Dad "we will keep on smiling".