Last September I lost my mother after years of illness and suffering. She had type II diabetes, was an amputee, had congestive heart failure, COPD, and was bordering on kidney failure. She was the strongest bravest person I have ever met and I cannot seem to get a handle on my grief.

I was her primary caregiver for the past nine years; my whole life revolved around her care. She had declined a lot last year but her death still caught me by surprise. I left her at the nursing home that last evening and by the time I made it home she had passed away due to a heart attack because her carbon dioxide levels were too high.

I cannot tell you how much of a void there is in my life. I miss her more than I thought possible and I just don’t know what to do with my time. I am single, and I lived my entire life with my mother. What does the caregiver do once the caregiving is over? What do you do with your time, with that void that nothing can fill? I work, and go to graduate school but it’s the down times, the evenings and weekends that are the most difficult.

Tammy C.aregiver


2 Responses to Tammy C – mother diabetes, amputee, heart COPD grief

  1. Jean Fogelberg says:

    Tammy, Char’s right – give yourself time – there’s no rush, no schedule for grief. In answer to your question about what a caregiver does when it’s over, to fill time and the void, I can only suggest that you find a way to turn your grief in to something positive for others, in your mother’s memory. Once you’ve healed, there will be others in the same situation who will benefit from your hard-won wisdom and compassion. You can do it, even if it feels like you can’t. And always remember what she would want for you, her sweet and loyal daughter: a full and happy life. ~ Jean

  2. char says:

    Welcome Tammy,
    You had a wonderful relationship with your mom, and you are an amazing caregiver. As caregiver to my mom and husband, there are times when I think about what will happen to me, what do I do when it all ends, so I understand where you are coming from. Since your Mom passed in September, I think you should just give yourself time to heal and grieve, after all she was your mom, and nothing can replace her. The void is something over time that you will be able to deal with and fill(I have a few ideas) to a certain extent. The pain of losing her, the times where you just wish you could talk to her, one more time, will always be there. But you will be able to move forward,taking baby steps, it just takes time. At DLH, we are always here for you, by reaching out to us, we will do the best to help you fill some of those hours. Please stay with us, and let me know how you doing.
    ~ Char

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