I spent the past week at my parents’ house helping my dad recover from his hip replacement surgery. While I was prepared to cook, clean, and do laundry for him, I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotions that came with it. My dad does not have Alzheimer’s or dementia, but in some ways … Continue reading Your Childhood Home Changes When One of Your Parents Dies
If you were only allowed to have ten people at your mother’s funeral, who would you pick? How would you decide? Could you decide at all? Imagine having to call those ten people to invite them to your mother’s funeral. Imagine the backlash you would receive from the family members who weren’t invited. Imagine there … Continue reading Alzheimer’s Took My Mom’s Life. The Pandemic Took Her Funeral.
How many times have you heard someone say, “My loved one died. Well, she was sick and we knew it was coming, but still...”? Why do we feel the need to offer that explanation? Why do we feel the need to minimize our loss by saying that it was expected? Why do we diminish our … Continue reading We Need to Stop Minimizing the Grief of an Expected Loss
Growing up, I remember always teasing my dad about failing American History in high school and having to repeat his senior year. I’m not sure I ever knew the full story or if I did, I never fully appreciated it until recently. My dad’s mom died when he was only sixteen years old. Such an … Continue reading Sometimes a Setback Is Really Just a Setup
The morning my mom died, I rode in the passenger seat of my own car as my husband drove us to my parents’ house. His car was in the shop, so we had to take mine. We had just moved into a new house in a new area the day before, so we had to … Continue reading You Cannot Control the Timing of Your Loved One’s Death
It has been 4 months today since my mom died. I say this all the time, but it still doesn’t seem real. It feels like it was both yesterday and a lifetime ago. In some ways, it was a lifetime ago. A different life back then, a different me. I still feel so lost. I … Continue reading You Can’t Wait to Live in the After. You Have to Live in the Now.
Your decisions as a caregiver do not cause your loved one to decline. The disease causes your loved one to decline. We had a very hard time making certain decisions for my mom’s care. Looking back and reflecting on those decisions has allowed me to see that making those decisions was not the cause of … Continue reading Your Decisions As a Caregiver Do Not Cause Your Loved One to Decline. Alzheimer’s Does.
(The post below was written on July 4, 2020. My mom passed on April 4, 2020.) My mom died three months ago today. I know I say this all the time, but it still doesn’t seem possible. It doesn’t seem real. It feels like it was yesterday, but also like it’s been a million years. … Continue reading It Wasn’t All Bad. We Had Some Good Times, Too.
(The post below was written on July 1, 2020. My mom passed on April 4, 2020.) My dad and I went out to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch yesterday. I can’t even count the number of birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Days, Father’s Days, going aways, and welcome homes we’ve celebrated at this restaurant. In … Continue reading We Are Sad and We Miss My Mom, But She Is Better Off
(The post below was written on June 20, 2020. My mom passed on April 4, 2020.) A while back, I found these notes in the desk at my mom and dad’s house. It looks like my mom wrote them in late 2012, which was just over two years into her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. They are just … Continue reading What My Mom’s Notes Taught Me About Her Love