willstrusts

CAREGIVING, ONE DAY AT A TIME

This blog is for all caregivers:

  • Past caregivers who are trying to recover from their ordeal and/or loss
  • Present caregivers who are currently caring for an ailing loved one
  • Future caregivers, who are seeing the signs and realizing that soon they will have to do some serious decision-making.

If this is your first time caring for a loved one, it can be daunting and scary. But you can do this. All that’s needed to be a good caregiver is the desire to help and give comfort. The rest you’ll learn, one day at a time. Unfortunately, “Caregiving 101″ isn’t taught in schools, even though it’s an inevitable  part of life.

When we’re young we think we’ll never get sick or old. But it happens – sometimes suddenly, and sometimes so slowly we don’t even notice, until we realize that more and more of our conversations are about aches, pains, injuries, eyesight, indigestion, and illness. All around us the people in our lives are aging noticeably, getting sick, and even dying. Our parents are getting frail or have passed on, and we all know at least one person in our life who’s been diagnosed with some kind of cancer or other serious disease. Male or female; spouse; partner; sibling; son or daughter, if you aren’t a caregiver now, chances are you’ll be one before long. And that’s why we’re here at Don’t Lose Heart: to support you and encourage you with our own experiences, and to share lessons we learned along the way.

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THE EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL TOLLS OF CAREGIVING

Caregiving is both scary and rewarding. Scary, because you never know from day to day what will be required of you. Caring for another person is a big responsibility. You want to do everything right; your worst fear is that you’ll make a mistake and add to their pain. Rewarding, because there’s nothing like the feeling you get when you’ve been able to ease a loved one’s pain. Having them smile at you and say “I feel so much better!” is an incredibly joyful experience.

The stress of caregiving can take a terrible emotional and physical toll on the caregiver. Depression, heart disease, hypertension, and Type II Diabetes are just a few of the conditions common among primary caregivers. We want to make sure you’re aware of the hazards, the precautions, and the options open to you so you can stay as healthy as possible.

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THE CYCLE OF LIFE

There was a time when families lived together; if not in the same house, then in the same town or village. If a family member got sick or injured, they usually died at home surrounded by family and friends, and their body stayed in the house until their funeral.Familial caregiving was a given: grandma and grandpa helped to care for the children and run the household, and lived in the family home until they breathed their last breath – the whole family was involved in their care and children grew up witnessing the entire cycle of life.

These days family members often scatter to wherever jobs, school, weather, cost of living, or whims take them. That, combined with modern medicine, longer life spans, and retirement living options, have made caring for our loved ones, and their inevitable death, something we rarely think about until someone becomes very ill or can no longer do everything for themselves. It can be quite a shock to suddenly find that someone you always thought of as invincible is now depending on you for their very survival, and if you don’t live in the same town, city, or even the same state, someone is going to have to make some big changes.

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WE’RE HERE FOR YOU

Sometimes just knowing that others have faced the same changes, doubts, fears, frightening experiences and “selfish” thoughts and resentments can lighten the load a bit. Use the comment boxes at the bottom of each page to let us know what you’re going through. Before long you’ll have an answering comment from compassionate people who want only to encourage and comfort you, and when appropriate, to offer the wisdom of their own experience. We hope you’ll feel at home and learn from our mistakes, and that you’ll realize you aren’t alone in what you’re experiencing. And we hope you’ll come away feeling lighter and more sure of yourself in your role as a caregiver.

Be well, and don’t lose heart.

“There are four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.”
~ Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter

“Don’t Lose Heart” by Dan Fogelberg  Click arrow to play

Guidelines: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to write here. All we ask is that comments be relevant to caregiving or the current thread topic, to keep the exchanges focused and helpful. Because of the high volume of spam comments we receive, all comments must be approved, so they will not show up immediately, but usually within a few hours. We implemented these guidelines to keep you, dear readers, safe and comfortable. Thank you for your understanding.

 

 

 

1,083 Responses to WELCOME

  1. Gloria McEntyre says:

    I am the 65 year old caregiver for my 87 year old Mom who has dementia. She lives 1/2 mile from me which is fortunate. She is still able to live alone but can no longer take her medications correctly or prepare her own food. I go everyday, give medications and fix her food for the day. I buy her groceries, pay her bills, take her to doctor visits and check her blood weekly for PT level. I also maintain her home either by doing it myself or hiring it done. My problem is my only sibling who does not want to be involved in her care or maintenance of her home. He is very dismissive of what I take care of. His opinion is that it is very insignificant. I have a very hard time dealing with this and I’m very resentful. Any suggestions would be welcome!

    • Jean F says:

      Hi Gloria, unfortunately, this is all too common among caregivers. There’s a good article on our “Family! Siblings!!” page called, “Dividing The Caregiving Duties, It’s Daughters vs. Sons”, but basically, there isn’t much you can do if you have a slacker sib. You just have to remember that your anger at him is only hurting one person: you. You must find a way to get past your anger.

      Okay, so much for the “good” advice. Here is a “bad” idea that you probably won’t do, but you can use it as a fantasy to make yourself feel better.

      What would you think about taking a brief holiday? You could tell your brother you need to get away for a few days and ask him to fill in for you; any time that works for him. Then say, “Oh, never mind, that won’t work – you’d have a nervous breakdown after the first day of caring for Mom. Oh well, [sigh] it was a nice thought.” If he says okay, make a list of everything that must be done, starting with first thing in the morning and ending with getting up in the night with her to help her pee. Hand it to him as you’re walking out the door. If he says no, or doesn’t say anything at all, he has as much as conceded that you are correct and he doesn’t have what it takes. If he says he would, but he doesn’t have time, give it your best derisive laugh (HA!) and say “Wuss” under your breath.

      Seriously, Gloria, this happens all the time, and we’ve tried to think of ways to convince the slackling to come around, but I have yet to hear a caregiver say, “Hey! It worked! My brother/sister comes by every day now and helps me, and has pitched in with some money every month, and has apologized to me and told me what a good job I’ve done all these years.” It’s a nice idea. But generally, if they don’t have what it takes to be a good son/daughter/caregiver, no amount of pleading or cajoling will make them one.

      You just have to accept that you are a Super Star who has it all going on and he is NOT. Yeah, that’s right, G L O R I A, Glo-ria! We are hear to listen any time you need to vent, and to applaud you for being a good human being and a fabulous daughter.

    • Em says:

      Gloria, don’t you just love the way Jean helps you figure out a way to challenge your brother to step up. Let us know how it goes. My brother is the opposite of yours, he and his wife are the primary caregivers for our mother (who has Alzheimer’s disease) and I am the very willing sister who comes running when they need the break. However we have two younger siblings who don’t help out at all, so I can feel for you and your frustration with your brother.

      In addition to Jean’s advice to challenge your brother don’t be afraid of letting him know directly and honestly how disappointed you are in him and his cavalier attitude toward his mother. The brutal honesty may not make him turn on a dime and offer to help, but at least you’ll get to say your peace. And you don’t need to shout at him in anger. Just quietly tell him you thought he was a better man than this and how sad you are to find you are wrong. Saying it calmly and directly can be much more powerful than a shouting match particularly when it is sincerely how you feel. Good luck, Gloria. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping for the best.

  2. Terese says:

    Lovely ladies! My brother Tim had clean lymph nodes!!! Thank you so much for all your prayers, kindness, and well wishes. Char, Jean, and Nathalie – you are my angels walking this earth. Tim said “one down, one to go.” He meets with melanoma surgeon tomorrow for a plan of care. We are not out of the woods yet. But I feel I am able to breathe once again.

    • Jean F says:

      Woo hoo!!! I’m so happy for you and your family, Terese. Treasure every bit of good news and celebrate it to the fullest, without a concern for what’s next. That’s how we should always live our lives, in the present. Who knows what tomorrow is going to show us, today has shown us a field of sunflowers all turned our way and smiling! :-)

      • Terese says:

        Jean, let’s do a virtual high five. Tim is in good spirits. He only has one kidney, has diabetes, and will undergo surgery for melanoma within the week. But he is here now, and we shall celebrate this dance called life. The sunflowers are smiling and the birds are singing. Thank you for your kind words. I will keep you posted. <3

        • Jean F says:

          Up top, Terese.

          • Terese says:

            Hi everybody. The palpable node pathology was clean for Tim. He is finally home and can rest without interruption. His caregiver will be with him from 6am to 2pm eah day. His surgery to remove the melanoma and take more nodes is April 18th at OSU. I feel like I can breathe for a week or so. Knowing that Tim is in good spirits, is in his own home, and has a positive attitude means everything to me.

            Thank you Jean, Char, and Nathalie for helping me through this rough period. There will be many more as time goes by. For now, I’m listening to the spring rain falling softly on my window sill.

            • Jean F says:

              I can hear the sigh of relief in your tone, Terese. I’m breathing a sigh of relief for you as well, while the snow comes down here in the mountains.

            • Char says:

              Wow how great is this amazing kick it news… wonderful, as the soul rejoices, let it flow, Sista there is nothing like positive results…Let it snow let it snow let it SHINE…. each day we are given is a present.. this one is a real beauty Terese.

            • nathalie richardson says:

              We will be here!! So glad Tim is home getting some rest and everyone can regroup! Hugs and prayers dear Terese!! Love the sound of the falling rain too!

          • Terese says:

            Tim is in good spirits and we’re trying to control his diabetes. My siblings are all reacting so differently and it’s a study in family dynamics for sure. Tim is having his melanoma surgery April 18th. That’s good Friday for all you Catholics. I am spending the night at his house on Thursday evening and will be with him for this entire process. Who is up for sending us good vibes and prayers for good news?

            • nathalie richardson says:

              Me, good vibes and prayers!! I’ll be thinking of all of you!!

              • Terese says:

                Happy Friday everyone. I’m having a bad day. My brother is not being compliant with his insulin and I have to sit back and watch. I have asked my youngest sister to reach out as she is his favorite and he listens to her. I am being respectful and giving him control over his life. I wish I didn’t know so much – ignorance is truly bliss sometimes. Alas, I will go play with my niece this weekend who brings me such joy.

                Tim is due to have his surgery on Friday and I will spend the night with him on Thursday and take him to the hospital. I am doing my duty and keeping him calm and content. However, I did have to explain that if the glucose is not well controlled on Friday, they will not operate. That was the only time I interfered without Tim asking me for information.

                Heavy sigh. Thank you for being here and Jean, just having this site is such a release for us all to vent. I can honestly feel your care and concern for us all. Keep up the good work, sista kat!!!!

                • nathalie richardson says:

                  Non compliance, so frustrating! Ben didn’t want to get in the car for his second treatment and I thought Terry was going lose it until our youngest son slowly and patiently got through to him. He was all too aware of what was coming but he finally faced it head on and did what he had to do. Hopefully Tim will do the same! Prayers and strength dear Terese!!

                • Char says:

                  Two of my least favorite words: diabetes and non compliant the end result is far from good, as we you know all too well Terese.
                  I will be hoping Tim decides to get back on track with his insulin protocol, and the surgery goes well.
                  I know all too well the horrible effects diabetes has on the body.
                  Please know you both will be in my prayers.

                • Char says:

                  Terese,
                  Two of my least favorite words: diabetes and non compliance,the end result is far from good, as we you know all too well.
                  I will be hoping Tim decides to get back on track with his insulin protocol, and the surgery goes well.
                  I know all too well the horrible effects diabetes has on the body.
                  Please know you both will be in my prayers.

              • nathalie richardson says:

                Me TOO!! Geez!

                • Terese says:

                  Thank you Char and Nathalie. Prayers are always appreciated. Tim is now being compliant. What a roller coaster ride for Tim and for the entire family. I try to keep a spiritual balance, so I spent 8 wonderful hours with my 9 year old niece Saturday. We jumped on the trampoline, played monopoly, and ate cheeseburgers on the patio. The innocence of youth balances out the wisdom that comes with age. My love for that child cannot be measured.

                  On Sunday I dropped off some supplies to Tim and he is doing fine. I’ll stay over with him Thursday night and take him to Ohio State for his surgery on Friday at “zero dark-thirty.” They will remove his melanoma tumor, leave clean margins, and take lymph nodes. Again, we shall await the pathology results.

                  It will be so nice to finally know what we are dealing with and have a plan of care. I know Tim is waiting patiently and doing the best he can. I admire his stoicism. Please think of us this holy Friday. Have a wonderful weekend surrounded by love.

    • Char says:

      Terese, Tim’s victory is one for us too.. how great is the feeling you both have right now… hold tight and take all it has to give.. we only have this day, and for you guys it was a GREAT ONE!!

      • Terese says:

        Tim had his enlarged lymph node removed today for melanoma staging. We will know on Thursday. Quick work,but hey,it’s Ohio State. I had a flashback of my Dad being brave through his illness when Tim uttered the same words and made jokes to cover his fear. It woke me up, so to speak. Char, I will take one day at a time and try my best to be loving and supportive. Thank you for being here, my sweet angel. More later!!!

        • Char says:

          Terese, holding you and Tim in my heart and praying for good results tomorrow. Your best is all you can give, and you do it so well.
          Char

    • nathalie richardson says:

      Oh, WONDERFUL news!! Continued prayers going out to you, Tim and your family! Hope to meet up with you sometime soon!!

      • Terese says:

        Nathalie – thank you for the kind words. I am overwhelmed with relief and just pure joy to see Tim so relaxed. I’m not concerned with what the future holds anymore but rather appreciate every breath we take. AND I know you and I will meet soon face to face. Thank you for being one of my angels – it’s a great feeling to know you, Char, and Jean are always here for me.

        • nathalie richardson says:

          Thinking and praying for you and Tim, you are such a strong and loving sister! I’m with you about appreciating every day!

  3. Terese says:

    My heart is breaking. I just found out my brother Tim has renal cancer. He is only 58 years old. They are going to remove his kidney in the morning. Such a gentle soul who never hurt anyone his entire life. I’m having a very difficult time. I found out my youngest sister (his favorite) has been in town for awhile with him. He did not want to tell us until today. I don’t know how to digest this. I just can’t watch him suffer. Please pray for me. And pray for Tim. He just wants our love and support, he says. I am freaking out on the inside, crying on the outside. A mess. And the real bitch is that he does not want any of us talking to any of his doctors. Just found out he’s gonna be at Ohio State. The angel on my shoulder says “well, that’s a relief, because it will minimize my stress.” But the devil on my shoulder says “no way, tell the docs who will be in pre-op and post-op to take extra good care of him.” I want to throw up.

    • Jean F says:

      Terese, I’m so sorry your family is going through this. I know you want to be your brother’s protector and strong warrior woman, but at the same time you must respect his wishes about the doctors. He needs to feel he has some control over what’s happening, and his faith in the hospital and his doctors is important. So be there for him, be strong and positive for him, and you can thank the doctors for taking extra good care of him after the surgery. There are going to be a lot of ups and downs in the years ahead, but you’ll take it one day at a time and I know you’ll learn and grow and adapt and become the sister your brother needs you to be.

      • Terese says:

        Jean – thank you for your words of wisdom, It’s so true about him having control over his destiny. I will certainly respect his wishes. My poor mother. I’m afraid her heart won’t be able to take this.

      • Terese says:

        I wanted to thank you for your kind words. It’s been a rough couple of days. Tim had his surgery and did well. He had a football size tumor that protruded through his kidney and all of it was safely removed. He is doing better today and his pain is being managed well. We are respecting his wishes and he seems peaceful. He’s stressed about the pathology which will take a week. So happy he’s at Ohio State – they are perfection.

        • Jean F says:

          I’m so, SO glad to hear all of your good news, Terese! I hope the pathologic results are more good news, please let us know, we’re pulling for Tim.

          • Terese says:

            Thank you so much, Jean. He’ll go home tomorrow and we are making plans to make sure he is comfortable. His caregiver will see him daily, make meals, give meds and bath, and take to follow up appointments. Tim knows the stakes and is working hard toward recovery from surgery. Fingers crossed for Stage II pathology. He was my protector growing up and now it’s my turn. He thanked me to stopping by after work today and getting him a consult he wanted. Jean, just knowing you and Char are here means the world to me.

            I hope everyone who visits this site benefits from your overwhelming concern for humanity. It’s a remarkable service and I hope you are very proud. When I read your replies, I feel your strength, love, and kindness.

            Thank you, Jean Marie. I promise to stay in touch.

        • Char says:

          Wonderful news…today is a good day… and you know today is all we have… BUT my thoughts go with you on amazing pathology results…

          • Terese says:

            Thank you, Char, for being here. And thank you for your genuine and kind concern. I promise to let you know the results. I hope you are doing well. Terese

            • Char says:

              so thrilled for you and of course Tim. We are here for you. ALWAYS

              • Terese says:

                Tim now has melanoma and renal cancer. I had his shoulder lesion biopsied yesterday and the results came in today. He is 58 years old, resting comfortably at a skilled nursing facility for a few weeks. My big strong brother. I’m crying tonight so I can be brave tomorrow.

                • Char says:

                  Sweet Terese, I am sorry to read the latest news regarding your dear brother, Tim. It’s a tough deal being strong for those that have always been strong for us, I try it everyday, some days I win, some I don’t. You know we will be here for you, crying with you and praying that Tim is not in pain.

                  • Terese says:

                    Thank you Char. It’s been very rough going. We will find out about the renal pathology this week. I just left him and his oxygen is still only 93-94 and his hands were ashen. You being here for me is a blessing. I’m being strong but soon I will break and need your strength.

                    • Char says:

                      No matter what I will be here, as we all help each other, don’t we? And we all go through this at one time or another, and some of us like you, are one kick ass amazing caregiver and a sister. Let me know how we can help you, as you help your brother Tim.

                    • Terese says:

                      Hi Char. Just checking in to say today was a good day. Tim is off oxygen, sitting up in bed, and has PT daily. We are all waiting for pathology on the renal cell cancer. Fingers crossed. Have a beautiful week.

                    • Char says:

                      Great news so glad to hear Tim is off oxygen, eyes plus toes, along with fingers all crossed for a great pathology report.

                    • Jean F says:

                      Good signs. He is fighting. Don’t lose hope, Terese, hang on to it with all your might, for yourself and for Tim.

        • nathalie richardson says:

          Prayers Terese and Ohio State, yes perfection. Our family will always be so thankful they were there for our Ben. Thinking of you and your family. Praying for Tim. He is in good hands.

          • Terese says:

            Hi Nat! Tim is now in a nursing facility for a couple weeks. OSU was amazing, naturally. Time will tell what we are dealing with. Bless you for thinking of me last night and the “wings on fire” is exactly how I feel. But I let my heart guide me right now. Stay in touch and make me laugh on FB. You are a hoot!!!

            • nathalie richardson says:

              You have been in my prayers as well as Tim….. fingers crossed as well for a good pathology report! Take care dear Terese! ( And thanks for hanging in there with me with this new face book obsession I have, too many snow days this winter I guess! Ha!)

  4. Debbie R says:

    My father is dying of vascular dementia. My 76 year old mother cares for him at home and I drive 140 miles round trip three times a week to help. She likes my help but resents me. Dad was diagnosed at the same time my husband of 11 years left me after I found he was having an affair with my married best friend. To further complicate things I then got an eye problem which took half my sight and I lost my job.

    The Court divorce was awful. I have lost the two most important men in my life. I am beyond grief. I used to have a dad, a husband, a career. Most days despite medication I want to give up. I dont know how to cope and mum takes all her anger out on me.

    Debbie

    • Jean F says:

      Oh, Debbie! When it rains it pours, but you’re getting thunder and lightning as well a few earthquakes! I imagine you’re feeling very abandoned. Your father, through no fault of his own, is slowly leaving, your mother is too wrapped up in her own grief and stress to really appreciate your help and offer you the comfort you so need right now, and your husband ran off with one of the few people you could have turned to in a crisis such as this. Losing your job was terrible, and of course you’re stressed about that, but I know what really hurts is being let down by the people you love.

      It’s so much to deal with all at once, which seems to be the way of life. Let’s break this down…

      Your husband and your “friend” betrayed you in the worst possible way. Obviously, they weren’t worthy of your love and trust then, and they certainly aren’t worthy of your grief now. I have two friends whose husbands up and left them in the last two years, both after 20 years of marriage, one with two children. One left for another woman (the one with the children), the other said it was because he didn’t want to be married anymore. They both went through the agony of betrayal, a gut wrenching divorce, a period of deep mourning, loss of self confidence, and the stress of regaining their financial footing, not an easy thing to do in your late 50′s/early 60′s. Now, both of these amazing women have bounced back, both professionally and personally. In the process of rebuilding their lives they discovered strengths they hadn’t realized they had.

      If there are times you have felt like giving up, then you have probably had those morbid fantasies where you end your life and everyone is wracked with guilt about how badly they treated you. It feels good to imagine them in pain, but you know that if they were the kind of people who actually cared enough about you to feel regret at contributing to your death, they wouldn’t have had the affair in the first place. No, the best revenge is living well. Get on with your life, knowing that cheaters will cheat, so good luck to them.

      Take some baby steps.

      Find a part-time job, even if it isn’t in your field, just something to add to the coffers and get you out among new people and new experiences. Make new friends. There are people out there just waiting to meet someone like you.

      Kudos to you for making those trips to see your father while he’s still with us, you’ll never regret spending what time you can with him. Your mother is going through her own grief – her husband is leaving her too, and the grief is bottomless when you lose a husband who still loves you and doesn’t want to leave you. Where can she aim her fear and anger? Yep, right at you. You’re there, you’ll take it, and you’ll keep coming back. She knows you won’t abandon her, no matter how mean she might be to you.

      What does that say about you? In all of this, you are the kind of person who sticks it out. You don’t abandon, even when you’re feeling abandoned. You are a good wife, friend, and daughter. You are the kind of woman a true man wants to be with and a true woman wants for a friend. You are a treasure. Don’t let the leavers convince you that you aren’t worth staying with – this is about them, not you.

      Your mother is feeling abandoned too. When she lashes out at you, give her what you wish she would give you. It’s the wonderful thing about comfort – when you give it, you get it back. It might be hard for her to accept at first, but keep at it. Give her compliments and hugs and comfort, even when, no, especially when she’s making you grit your teeth.

      Take a few deeps breaths and see the little girl in her that knows she’s about to be abandoned and is kicking out and throwing tantrums. Acknowledge the little girl in you who feels the same way. Give her comfort any way you can; your heart doesn’t distinguish who is giving and who is receiving, it only knows that there is comfort happening. Yes, she’s your mother – she should be doing the comforting first, seeing the pain you’re in and all that you’ve been through. But parents are only people, flawed and imperfect. Someone has to bring some comfort and harmony into that house, for all your sakes, and it looks like it’s going to have to be you, because you are the only one who can.

      Did you listen to Dan’s song, above? In it, he says, “This life is heartless and it’s rarely just, full of sad betrayals and misplaced trust. And it can suck your spirit just as dry as dust, and steal your soul if you let it.” Don’t let it, Debbie. You can do this. I can’t wait for you to meet the amazing Debbie who is about to emerge from the rubble.

      • nathalie richardson says:

        Yes Debbie, emerging from the rubble, like the Phoenix rising from the flame! Praying for you, you have been through so much! As usual Jean, such comforting words of wisdom and comfort, from Dan and you both!

    • Char says:

      Hi Debbie, as I read your story I understand why you feel the way you do. I am glad you found us at DLH. While we all haven’t been where you are presently, I am sure there are plenty of us that have felt or are feeling like giving up!
      You are a wonderful daughter who is taking care of dad, driving all that way, and then of course dealing with you mum, as she tries to deal with losing pits and pieces of her husband daily. You have been through so much, how your heart must break, but you get up everyday and do what must be done. I am so sorry for your job loss, and of course the breakdown of your marriage. Please take Jean’s advice to heart, it is rite on. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Terese says:

      Debbie, your scenario is so familiar and I feel your pain. My mother acted the same way with me when my father was dying. At the house every day, “Daddy-sitting” and helping out till the end, takes lots of courage and energy. It took a while, but finally my Mom realized I was not a threat. It’s important to connect with your Mum – let her know you understand she is losing her husband, and you really need her to understand that you are losing your father. The only man who has loved you unconditionally. I was divorced just before my father’s illness and felt very alone. Everyone asked me how my mother was doing and no one asked me “how are you, Terese?”

      Stay focused. Ask friends and family for help. Get home health for your father to relieve your stress and your Mum’s anger. Spend as much time as you can with your Father now. Ask your family doctor for meds and a family counselor as they can help you get through this difficult time.

      Men and jobs come and go. You’ll need to find strength in your toes some days, but you can do this. You are number one, worthy of love and happiness. Take care of your precious self so that you may help take care of others. This website has tremendous resources for you and lovely folks to chat with when you feel overwhelmed. Let us hear from you soon!! Bless you.

    • Em says:

      Debbie, it’s never easy to go through any major change in life, but to have survived what you have been through, well you need to give yourself some credit for the strength you’ve already exhibited. Reaching out by letting us know how difficult things have been for you is a very good first step. The load can be lightened when it is shared. You’ve already received some wonderful advice from Jean & Char & Terese and I don’t know if I could add anything of value except to say, you can share anything you need to here and we’ll understand. Just about everyone who meets here has had days when you just couldn’t fathom why you keep going in the face of tough times. But I will tell you that you can find your way out of that dark tunnel, where there doesn’t see to be light shining ahead. You just need to keep moving forward a step at a time, perhaps with caution, perhaps stopping to rest for a while, but keep on going forward. Let us know how your doing when you get a chance and don’t lose heart.

  5. Linda W says:

    December 27th 2013
    This was tha date both my dad and I heard the tragic news that he had terminal lung cancer, there is nothing that can be done.

    Four years ago I lost my mum at age 60 to myeloma, cancer of the spine. She chose to die at home and suffered a terrible death! To this day I haven’t got over the guilt I feel for not being with her the night she died. Just 4 months after her death dad was diagnosed with throat cancer and went through a major operation. Then went through months of dreadful chemo-which ruined his way of life!

    Now I am determined to care for my dad. He has breathing problems and struggles to eat without choking. I travel on two busses to see him every day, I see every emotion and mood with him, it hurts when he’s angry. It hurts when he wants to try and do every day jobs himself, I sit and watch him struggle. He is still able to drive, as he’s refused to start taking the morphine given to him to ease his breathing!

    Each and every day I phone him full of dread that it may be a day when he’s started getting poorly….I’ve seen three family members die of cancer at home, and I feel such heartbreak and sadness when reality hits me and I think of how poorly dad will get!

    I make meals for him and push him around in the wheelchair, but nothing I do seems to impress my dad. I have a young family, am going through a divorce still after two years and I am a only child. I needed someone to express my fears and emotions to.

    • Jean F says:

      Linda, first of all, you’ve come to the right place. We will be your sisters and brothers in caregiving, here to listen and give what comfort and advice we can.

      Secondly, you must realize that what you have dealt with, and are dealing with, are choices not of your own making. Good or bad, wise or unwise, they were not your decisions. All we can do when our loved ones make their own life and death decisions is try to support them as best we can and offer what comfort we can. You are doing that, even though these are not the choices you would have made yourself.

      Your mother did not chose cancer, but she chose to die at home. That was what she wanted. You and your father made that happen for her. That was a great gift, whether it seems like it now or not. If she’d been in a hospital she would have been drugged unconscious most of the time, and when she did wake up, she would have been confused and frightened. She may have suffered a bit more at home (I don’t know what kind of help you had) but when she did wake up she knew she was “home”, a very powerful comfort and anguish reducer.

      If you were able to take the time to read all of the posts on all of the pages here, and all of the books on dying, you would read many accounts of people sitting with their loved ones for days on end, only to have them die in the 10 minutes they stepped out of the room. Some people have held on for hours or days until the loved one they wanted with them arrived. Others, like myself, sat down and told their loved one it was okay to go, and off they went. I have to believe our loved ones make this one last decision for themselves. For some reason, sometimes the person who is dying doesn’t want a specific person, or anyone in the room when they go. One of those mysteries of life and death we are left to puzzle over until our own time comes.

      Your father did not chose his cancers, but now he has chosen how he wants to live. Once again you are supporting his wishes, though it’s tearing you apart to watch him struggle even as you struggle with a painful divorce and a young family who needs you. Makes me think of that song, “Everybody Wants You.” Popularity does have its drawbacks sometimes, doesn’t it?

      It hurts so much when you give and give and give, and the person you are giving to doesn’t seem to notice, or worse, lashes out at you with their pent up anger. It hurts even more when it’s a parent. This is the person you have tried all your life to please. Since you were a small child you have longed for their love and approval – it’s just a part of being human. Now this person is angry and afraid, clinging to any shred of self-sufficiency they can, and any help you try to offer only reminds them of how helpless they are becoming, which only makes them angrier. Not at you. At life. At cancer. At a mind and body that is wearing out. At death. Not at you. I would say “try not to take it personally”, but that’s just silly, how else can you take it? It hurts so damn much.

      Linda, if you aren’t taking a couple of days a week off, that should be your focus now. I know it will be hard in the beginning, for you and for your father, but the every-day thing can’t go on or you will wear yourself out. There are a long list of home care providers, both in the sidebar on the right and in the “Getting In-Home Help” article at the top of the left sidebar. Please don’t wait as long as many of us did – some of us ended up with permanent health issues and now say “I wish I had gotten help sooner!”

      You have children who need you, and you don’t want their childhood memories to be of you, too exhausted and stressed out to enjoy this fleeting time with them. Take those baby steps. Find a home care office near your father and call and talk to them. They may have ideas of how to convince him to get help for a few hours (a good start) a couple of days a week. Just talk to them, see what they say, find a way to convince him – house cleaning, cooking, meds, some reason he’ll go along with. It may be covered in his health care coverage, medicare, whatever. You. Need. A. Break. By summertime you might even be able to take the kids on a mini-vacation for a few days, with someone he has grown comfortable with checking in on him. Just try.

      You are determined to care for your dad, we are determined to care for you. Take our suggestions or don’t – either way we are here for you, wishing you strength on this difficult path you have chosen to walk with your father.

    • Char says:

      Linda, you have done a wonderfiul job of caregiving, what an amazing daugther, I am sure both of your parents were and are proud of you. Having some experience in dealing with my dad’s illness before he passed in hospice, I understand how you feel when your dad doesn’t acknowledge your helping hand. If he is anything like my day was, I believe it is hard for them first and foremost to accept the fact that they need help, and too that they are dying. And second, he is your dad, he has helped you all your life, and now he just might feel “embarassed” that you must help him, with even the simplest of tasks. Also, as Jean pointed out you need to take time for you and your kids, I so hope you can find a way to accomplish this.

  6. Linda says:

    My husband was recently diagnosed with GBM stage 4 last Nov. 2013. He has been off work since Nov. And probably will not return. He is in his 3rd week of radiation and chemo. I work full time as a teacher and will be heading back to work in two days time. I am indecisive about full time work. Has anyone been struggling with this decision. Full or part time work, how did you cope with work and worrying about your loved one. I’ve been teaching 16 years and this is the first time I have ever felt unprepared and unorganised. I want to give 100% to my students and not be hampered with indecisiveness. Please help

    • Char says:

      Linda, Just this past year I ended up retiring after taking family leave to care for my aging mother and husband with numerous health problems. I had struggled with their declining health and working full time over the last three years. When I finally made the decision, it was a great weight lifted off my shoulders. I completely understand how you are feeling, and will be more than happy to help in anyway I can, as we all are at DLH.
      Have you thought about applying for family leave, just until you feel more relaxed about leaving your husband alone?

    • Jean F says:

      Linda, I’m so sorry to hear about what you and your husband are going through, nothing can prepare you for that news when the results have indicated cancer. Just the word alone is a punch in the stomach. As soon as I read your post I thought of Char, who went through the back and forths of making the decision to retire while caring for her husband and mother. I know she will be a great help to you.

      I wonder if you have heard of Ben Williams? He is a 17-year survivor of a large GBM tumor and wrote a book. Also, a man named Jerry Kline was diagnosed with GBM Stage 4 in 2004 and has a website talking about his journey. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer (prostate), I searched the web for sites that would be informative and give us hope. Some of them only added to my fear, and those I did not share with him. I know what you’re going through and hope you will consider this a safe place to come to on those days when you need to be among friends who understand.

      • Marietta says:

        Hi Linda – I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s GBM diagnosis. I’m chiming in here for a few words of encouragement. My ex husband and father of my kids was diagnosed with a baseball sized GBM in his frontal lobe in August of 2009. Remember everyone is different and you are not your diagnosis. Andy is still cancer free today. He had surgery radiation and chemo and I know it has been a difficult battle but it can be done. I also concede that since he is my ex I was not involved in the day to day caregiving other than how his overall well being affected the kids. He is not unaffected but he has a pretty good life today given the prognosis and statistics that often accompany GBM.

        So…don’t lose heart. This is an awesome site to share your joys and sorrows and the people here got me through my caregiving journey with my Mom. Keep us posted. You don’t have to do it alone.
        ❤️ Marietta

    • nathalie richardson says:

      Linda, I teach too, kindergarten. When my son was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma back in July, I decided to take 4-6 weeks away from work to be with him as needed and also for my own well being. I knew it would be hard to function and be “up” all the time, the way we k. teachers roll! I was lucky that I had a very experienced sub during this time but since I’ve been back it HAS been more disorganized than usual and I’m constantly scrambling to catch up. But you know what? The time I spent with my son and helping him get well supersedes all of that. I say take the time you need, your students will be ok. Your husband needs you now. Prayers and let me know if I can help further.

      • Nathalie Richardson says:

        Tense, Ben goes to OSU this Friday for scans. Praying the demon that is Burkitt’s lymphoma is banished forever! Please pray with me everyone! Thank you!

        • Jean F says:

          Praying too, Nathalie, and envisioning you all with big smiles on your faces. <3

        • Char says:

          Of course I will have u all my thoughts and prayers for clean scans on Friday, and I can image “tense” is putting it mildly. I will say a thank u ahead of time for prayers answered and a permanent goodbye to BL. Sending you a big hug Nat .

        • Terese says:

          I will pray for Ben, Nathalie. Spotless scans, blood within the normal range, and songs sung in the car on the way home from OSUMC! (I will be here Friday if you need anything)

          • nathalie richardson says:

            Thanks everyone!

          • Nathalie Richardson says:

            Terese, Ben is determined to do this on his own, though Terry will be there when he arrives, unbeknownst to him, and he will probably be irritated. Due to work I can’t make this trip but please look Terry up! Hopefully I’ll make the next one! Could you please send me your email again, my email is outta control and need to get a handle on it!! Thanks!! And thanks for your prayers!!

        • Em says:

          Yes, Ben has been the subject of many prayers all along. Every time I would see your name here with a comment for someone else, the prayer ‘please let Ben’s next scans be clear’ would be sent to the divine. And you will be in my thoughts as you wait for the results. Thinking of a great big Richardson group hug as you put Burkitt’s behind you. :)

  7. Megan says:

    I’m so glad I found this website. My mom was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma in 2005. She had a massive tumor that was the size of a football on top of her diaphragm. They removed it but two weeks later another tumor showed up. And they just kept coming.

    I finished my Master’s degree, came home and worked near home. My brother quit his job to care for her full time while my dad worked, I worked, and my siblings went to school/worked. I was her part time caregiver.

    Every time I remember the last months before she died, it kills me all over again. She was my best buddy, my friend. I remember the time she lost bodily function, when it took her an hour just to make her way upstairs and take a shower. I’ve never been able to forget and it hits me at weird times.

    I only cared for her part time because I had a job, but I remember distinctly so many things around that time. I’m still struggling with losing her to this day – I saw her die after a long battle with this cancer. I rubbed her scars to make her feel better.

    Sorry, I’m rambling.

    • Jean F says:

      Megan, they’re awful, aren’t they? Those memories that sneak up on you and break your heart again and again? It’s so hard to watch someone you love struggle valiantly to maintain their dignity while their body is slowly failing them, and you want so badly to do something, and you would do anything if you could only heal them, but you’re helpless to stop it. Sometimes, when I’m in the grocery store or somewhere, I see other people walking around and I wonder which of them are carrying the same scars deep in their hearts? We all hide it so well, we look like normal, happy people, when inside we’re damaged. And you’re right – those memories pop up when you least expect them. It’s usually a combination of things that trigger a moment for me, one event by itself that would be okay, like glancing next to the turkeys and seeing a goose, and thinking about how my husband cooked a goose every Christmas, and I’m okay, then, bad timing, a certain Christmas carol came on the speakers and I was struggling to keep it together. I wish I had X-ray vision and could see the other wounded hearts, I’d walk up to them and hug them and cry with them.

      • Megan says:

        Christmas is the worst for me. She loved Christmas so much and she always made it so wonderful. I go to Midnight Mass each Christmas and this past year, I just lost it. It’s been almost seven years and there are times where the pain is just unbearable.

        And there are the people who tell me I need to let go and move on. They’re well-intentioned but I feel still really raw. I try very hard to remember the happy memories because if I let the grief overwhelm me, I start losing the good memories that I have of her.

        I really do feel like I’m one of the walking wounded…

        • Jean F says:

          My husband loved Christmas too, Megan, his favorite time of the year, and he loved decorating the house. This year I finally decided to do a little decorating – I put some garlands and lights and decorations on the mantle. While I was decorating I put some CD’s in the player and put it on shuffle. I was putting a bulb up when one of his songs came on and I burst into tears, had to run and take that CD out of the player – one baby step at a time. We have to take those baby steps, it’s what they would want for us.

          • nathalie richardson says:

            Jean, I always think of you and your pain but particularly around Christmas and how hard it must be for you. Megan, I know the pain of losing your mother, I miss mine every day. The walking wounded, that’s us. My dad too, all the time, he especially was good at putting things in perspective with my kids when we were facing a difficult situation. He would have been beside himself with concern and worry about our recent health crisis with our son. But I know both of my parents would have wanted me to carry on and do my best to be strong. Love and prayers!

          • Terese says:

            Jean – feelings will always sneak up, so let’s enjoy life while we are here, the way they would want us to. It destroys me to think that my loved ones would grieve for me (and it’s crossed my mind recently). My father said the same thing. He wanted us to dance, sing, and be merry while thinking of him, but never grieve with sadness. Baby steps indeed. Thank you for your kind words, now and always.

        • Char says:

          Megan, you are not alone anymore and when I read this today, I just knew it was meant for you and all in need of encouragement.

          “There are man-eating sharks in every ocean, but we still swim. Every second somewhere in the world lightning strikes, but we still play in the rain. Poisonous snakes can be found in 49 of the 50 states, but we still go looking for adventure. A car can crash, a house can crumble, but we still drive and love coming home. Because I think deep down we know, all the bad things that can happen in life, they can’t stop us from making our lives good.”

    • Em says:

      Megan, letting yourself ramble among your memories, both the good and the not as good will help you heal. And this is a very good place to share your memories and any difficulties you’re having in rebuilding your life. Friends who tell you to let it go may be well meaning but they perhaps have never been through this. You can’t let go or forget, just as you can’t unlearn how to swim once you’ve known how to do it. But gradually you’ll be able to interweave the memories of your mother into your daily life without feeling as if you’re about to crumble. And still there will be the sneak attacks (as I call them) when your memories feel overwhelming, but I have found I get through them easier now by welcoming them as if my Dad had stopped by to visit me. I cry and wish I could talk to him but if they stopped, I think I’d feel worse as if he were no longer in my heart.

  8. Deann Ward says:

    Dear Hearts, for those of you who, like me, are caring for elder family members and who are learning as you wade through dementia with them, this is a suggested read: Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death by Katy Butler. Her book describes her trek through the debilitating end of life issues of her father who had a pacemaker and her mother who barely survived caretaking and decided against all extraordinary measures. She also describes strategies to put in place to navigate the labyrinth of a good death at the end of this life. I recommend it for the catharsis of knowing others have traveled these murky waters and for the information about the current flow of the medical institutions that often rob us of the natural process of dying and encumber us all with debt that is astronomical and unnecessary. If you do not have time to read it, Katy was interviewed on npr, on the Diane Rehm Show and you could listen to the podcast. With love, light and joy for all of us navigating troubled waters, I offer this.

  9. Linda Elliott says:

    I bought 3 books today, one on grieving, one that is a prayer journal, to write my feelings, prayers and answered prayers down and a book on emotions through grief, good stuff. I just read “since I knew the darkness was inevitable and unavoidable, I decided to walk into the darkness rather than try to outrun it”. When we lose our loved one we feel powerless and the magnitude of our loss is devastating, I feel like I am gaining some power by walking into the darkness and confronting it head on. I am in the eye of the storm at the moment but it will lose its power eventually. I started a journal the day my dad died and wrote everything about that day down, the next day all my emotions were written down, as the days went on I wrote less and less til I just stopped one day. I found something very healing in writing and I have never done that in my life. I am now faced with my biggest challenge, the loss of my best friend, my mother, and all the emotions of losing my dad and brother brought back as well. I will get through this! God is faithful, he is showing me the way once again, it will take a lot of work on my part as well by prayer, reading, and journaling.i feel God led me to this site as well and I thank Him for allowing me to connect with others going through their tribulations as well. Hopefully we can all learn from each other and I hope I’ve said something here that may help someone else. God bless!

  10. Dorothy T says:

    Such wisdom said by all! I’m blessed with having one of my three sisters (they all live far away from me and my mom, whom I’m on the front lines with) who is exceptional in ‘being there for me’ to vent, process, brainstorm, etc – even 10 times a day if that’s what I need. This site, to me, provides that kind of wrap around support for those who don’t have others, or who do, yet need a broader support system. I don’t often comment here, but I do read most of the posts, take solace in them, and send prayers and blessings and good energy to all who are out there struggling with the ‘not often appreciated enough’ task of providing care and support to loved one in great need. Blessings to all.

    • nathalie richardson says:

      You’re right Dorothy, the broader support system has been invaluable to me, even as my son is recovering. Still on edge about upcoming scans, which I will always be but I have to remain hopeful and positive! He has mostly resumed his life and for this I am so thankful! Love to everyone here at DLH!!

  11. jessica says:

    I’m on medical leave caring for my Mom who is 62 with stage IV lung cancer. I’m an only child of divorced parents doing it pretty much on my own. The last 2 months have been very scary. This disease is a nightmare. No one knows how I feel. I will be here for my Mom until the end, and never have any regrets. Its just SO Scary!!!!!!!

    • Linda Elliott says:

      In the last 7 yrs I have lost my dad, brother and mom, mom passed May 1st, and I was her caregiver the last 7 yrs. I do know how scary it is, terrifying actually. In the end though, you will see it as an honor and privilege to care for her. No one could do a better job of caring than a loved one. Your mom has got to find comfort in your presence and care, you are a wonderful, caring daughter. Hang in there, you will not regret it!!!

    • Jean F says:

      Jessica, everyone here knows that fear, it can be overwhelming. I know you will do your very best to do everything right, but be gentle with yourself if you make a mistake, or forget something, or in any way feel you didn’t do as well as you should have.

      We’re here any time you’re tired and sad and fearful and need reassurance, or if you just need to let some of it out among friends who understand. We’ll pull you into a virtual hug and remind you that you aren’t alone, and to take care of yourself while you’re busy being a wonderful daughter and caregiver.

    • Char says:

      Sweet Jessica, I am so sorry for you and of course your mom, and for all you have been going through, alone. Scary, is the correct work, oh my yes that and so much more. You sound like a very loving and caring daughter, with tons on her plate. Unload here at DLH, we understand the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, the crying in the shower so know one will know, and the restless nights of worry, as to what the next minute will bring on. Here for you know matter what….
      I too took medical leave for both my mom (93) and husband many times over the years before I retired.
      Please stay in touch with us, we understand completely. May you and mom have a peaceful day.
      ~Char

  12. Linda Elliott says:

    I think some healing has begun in part to me writing my thoughts and feelings down here in a safe place to admit where I am, knowing there are others that are going through or have been where I am. My best friend of 50 years has really dropped the ball in being there for me, my sister in law changes the subject if I try to talk about it and it helps to get these feelings out. My neighbor that bought moms house has actually been a huge help and has given me some great books to read about grief, some of the things I’ve found helpful I will share and hope it helps someone else.

    1. There comes a point in grief when the magnitude of the loss sinks in. I am so there!!! It’s been 8 mos! Christmas was my downfall, (mom died May1), then Jan 2 was the day my brother had passed 2yrs ago, Jan 7 was the date my dad passed 7 yrs ago, and I have relived them all since mom passed. I am overwhelmed by it all!

    2. “We are healed of our suffering only by experiencing it in full. There is no way around the pain that you naturally feel when someone dies. You can’t go over it, under it, or around it…Going through it is what will help you heal”. I have had some really hard days and I have cried til I don’t think I could cry anymore, but it is helpful.

    3. We may feel guilt, anger, failure, helplessness, antisocial, lonely, etc. I have felt all of these. Presently, I am hurt and angry at my friend for ignoring me and she knew Christmas would be hard since I told her my fear of it and she finally called yesterday, Jan 13th! I have not called her back, I know this sounds petty, but that is just where I’m at. We talked a month ago! I don’t have the energy to address it and don’t know how to handle it.

    As you can see, I’m still working through all this, but was glad these books addressed lot of what I’m going through and realizing it is all part of the healing process. I appreciate all the kind people on this site and the help I’ve received. Thank you for letting me vent and ramble here, I think there is healing in writing this for me. I pray you will find something healing in something here as well.

    • Em says:

      Linda, I agree with you that you cannot go over, around or under the pain that comes with grieving. And yes it helps immensely to unburden ourselves of the pain to a caring friend. But the friend who wasn’t there for you recently may simply not know what to do to support you through this process of grieving. Not knowing the history shared by the two of you I can only raise some possible explanations and you can see if any or none of them fit.

      Some people cannot handle strong emotions from anyone, in part because they cannot deal with their own emotions. Avoidance is how they cope. Could your friend never have experienced the loss of close family? I had lost my grandparents over the years and a great-aunt, but until my father died, I don’t think I really grieved deeply. I may have offered comfort to grieving friends in the past, but I don’t think I really understood what they were experiencing until it happened to me.

      As for how to address it with your friend, I think it’s okay to express how much your were hurting, and still are, but if you can, try to let go of the resentment you’re feeling towards her. If she is truly oblivious to your pain, she may likely be equally oblivious to your resentment, and then the only person being hurt by holding on to resentful thoughts is you. And since you’re already experiencing enough pain over your missing family let go of the dark currents of feeling neglected and resentful. Thinking of you and wishing you have better days ahead.

      • Linda Elliott says:

        Em, thank you. I am certainly a more emotional person than she is. Her mother and father both died, I only saw her cry once momentarily. I sat by her mothers bedside a couple of times and she would come every few days for an hour at most, same with her father. She is not a Christian, she thinks it is for weak people and I am one, however, this has made me look at that as well wondering why I’m falling apart and she doesn’t.

        I feel like I should be stronger because of my faith. As I turn more to my faith I think she gets turned off by it and probably confirms to her that Christians are weak, I’m not a very good example at the moment. Because of my faith I am assured of my family’s salvation and I do find comfort in scriptures, but I still hurt like heck. I called her every month on the date of death of her mother, every holiday etc the first year and I guess I thought she would be there for me at least some.

        At my fathers funeral, everyone that spoke talked about what a good Christian man he was, she got up and said he gave her her first beer, which was quite wierd and not true. We were in college and were having dinner at the house with my parents and they allowed us to split one, and it was not her first. I have never understood or appreciated that but never brought that up. It was like she was snubbing all the Christian remarks in front of the church at his funeral! I guess we have just changed over the years but we have been best friends for 50 years! This all sounds so petty even as I write it, but I feel like letting this friendship go. I feel like I have been beat down enough lately.

        • Char says:

          Hi Linda,
          I believe we all have the right to believe in or not in, a higher power. I think your faith is the one thing that will, and has gotten you through so much, but you are human too. I try not to stress over what people think, or believe in, and try to judge no one.
          Em said it best, your friend has no idea what you are going through, and doesn’t deal with religion/faith. From her comment at your Dad’s funeral, and her actions when her mom was ill and passed, she doesn’t deal with grief either, HER problem. Please don’t let it get to you, healing is what you need, and understanding. We are happy to supply the understanding at DLH.

          • Linda Elliott says:

            I do hope that what I wrote wasn’t sounding judgemental of her, I certainly don’t mean to. I know this is a difference of ours, she is my fun friend when life is a bowl of cherries and all is well, but no substance in the hard times. I need to accept that and move on. I went to Barnes and Noble for 3 hrs. today, sat in a big comfy chair, drank a mocha and read books. I bought a book on grieving (yes, I’m a good time right now, ha) and it talks about how we are in shock at first and are numb to the pain but then the storm hits, right now I must be in the eye of the storm! Because I did get through the funeral and first few mos. ago I guess it appears I’m handling things so maybe my friend is clueless to where I’m at. I even spoke at my mom and dads funerals which I never thought I could do, but there was no way I couldn’t either. I was able to be composed enough t that time, I know I will get it together, I’m feeling stronger (at the moment anyway) and I just have to IDE out the storm. One thing about me is I can’t hide my feelings which is bad at times but I think I Ill work it out sooner. My brother bottles things up and won’t address it, he has had shingles twice now. Thank you again for writing to me, I do appreciate all the help.

            • Char says:

              Hi Linda,
              You definitely did not sound like you were judging your friend, I think she might be judging you because of your faith, and meant to convey that, sorry for the misunderstanding. Good to hear you did something for yourself today, that gave you comfort. I admire the fact that you were able to speak at both parents funerals, I know I would never be able to do so. My feelings are always on the tip of my tongue and pouring out of my eyes. As you know there is no way around grief, but through it, and that takes time, each day you gain a little more, my thoughts are with you.

              • Linda Elliott says:

                Thank you Char for always responding, you always have words of comfort and encouragement. It did feel good to go do something fun and relaxing yesterday. I spent the 2 days prior cleaning floors, laundry, paying bills, etc. and while there is always more I could do I decided to pamper myself and it was great!
                I have to say God blessed me and my daughter both to allow us to speak at my parents funerals, I couldn’t have done it on my own, as emotional as I am now, surprisingly I was able to hold it together to pay tribute to my wonderful parents.
                In the midst of all this He is with me and guiding me through this. I just have to keep my eyes on Him. I was blessed to have my mom for 60 years. It is so easy to sink into that darkness so I am reading and trying to stay positive. Thank you your kind words and encouragement as I travel through on this painful journey. You have been blessed to be a blessing!

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