Losing your mom to Alzheimer’s is a very unique experience.
You’ve already been living without her for a very long time and then when she dies, you have to learn how to actually live without her.
My mom didn’t prepare me for a life without her. She couldn’t have.
My mom didn’t make sure there would be people left to take care of me in her absence. She couldn’t have.
My mom didn’t leave me with any last words of wisdom. She couldn’t have.
That all sounds wonderful, beautiful, magical, but that’s just not my reality.
My mom was long gone before she was actually gone.
She couldn’t support me or give me advice. She couldn’t really be there for me through life’s ups and downs.
Many of the people my mom would have recruited to support me in her absence left my life long before she did or shortly after.
They are not around to hold my grief, to comfort me in my sadness, or to remind me of my mom’s life.
That’s the way it goes sometimes when someone has Alzheimer’s. People deal with it differently and sometimes, they just disappear.
But maybe my mom prepared me for life without her in a different way.
Her journey taught me to stand strong on my own. It taught me hope, gratitude, and resilience in a way no mother could possibly ever teach her child on her own.
I learned how to live without her mentally and emotionally before I ever had to learn to live without her physically.
And I know I will be far stronger and better coming out of it than I was going in.
So maybe, without knowing it or meaning to, my mom did prepare me for a life without her after all.
2 thoughts on “How My Mom’s Alzheimer’s Journey Prepared Me For Life Without Her”
Thank you, Lauren for writing & sharing this. I have never read one of you blogs before. Your link was messengered to me by a relative. It was dated 3/14/19.
All I could think as I read it was ” Good for you, Lauren, Good ! Good that your letting this raging truth pour out of you and good for us to be allowed ‘in’ to a stark and true awareness we would have never otherwise known. Your words can only make the world a better place – particularly the world of alzheimer’s.
I am so sorry you had to endure that pain, and hope that my sincere compassion & empathy is of some comfort to you. You must have been your mother’s strongest and most constant source of comfort. Hold that in your heart ! The larger reality is that you have done a tremendously good thing in sharing yourself. It has given us a most important and valuable understanding of the painful impact of alzheimer’s. And a path toward helping those in your situation in a better way in the future.
Thank you so much for your kind words! It is very therapeutic for me to write about my experience and I can only hope it helps others as you have said. Thank you!