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How do I help her


KatieB

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How do I help my mom? I knew exactly what I needed to do to try to help my dad....but now, this grief, I am at a loss.

I hurt so badly myself that when I am with mom (everyday) we just go thru motions and mail and things that have to be done. I force her to go out to eat with us or to come over and visit. Even made her go to Six Flags with my little boy (his first time) and I caught her laughing her first real laugh since dad died. She won't join anything, she won't go anywhere, her "close" friends have ALL dissappeared since the funeral.

The thing is...she seems "spacey" (no meds), confuses everything I say to her...(like taking things out of context as if she hadn't paid attention to begin with) and she gets SO ANGRY so quickly at everyone. Either she is crying or she is angry.

Her blood pressure has been sky high and I scheduled a Dr. appt. for her last week. She is taking something and I made her ask him for an anti-depressant. The only thing the Dr. gave her was WELBUTRIN. That's not good enough I don't think.

Anyway, anyone wiht any ideas on how to help your parent during this horrible time, please post.

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Katie, your mother has lost her mate of many years. Give her time and be patient. Do what you are doing, like getting her out and about. I'm glad you are taking her to the doctor -- she does need to get the blood pressure under control (could account for the spaciness as well as the aftermath stress) and suggesting antidepressant. You are a good daughter -- follow your instincts. Looks like to me you are moving in the right directions. Don

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Katie

Maybe the Welbutrin isn't the medication for her. I would call her doctor and tell him about here "spaciness" and maybe suggest switching medications. Its worth a try. I also think a lot of her behavior is a normal part of greiving and she will just have to work through it.

I know you said she won't join anything but I would suggest a support group for widows/widowers when she is ready. Perhaps you could look into one of them for her and contact them to see if one of their members would call her and invite her to join in. I contacted one of those groups for a friend of mine a couple of years ago and they had someone call her to invite her to a meeting. Or maybe there is some type of program from her church that could offer her some assistance? It must be very difficult for her now being alone after caring for your dad 24/7 this past year. I think you have to find something to get her out of the house and give her something to occupy her mind and time. I remember thinking up things for my Dad to do after my Mom passed away just to distract him and give him something to do.

Just hang in there my friend, you are such a caring daughter.

Bess B

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KAtie, fo rmy mom times has been a factor that has helped her. Of course having the grandkids over everyday helps her out and gives her something to look foward to. She is drinking some tea for her anxiety adn we try to take her out as much as possible. As norme said, it takes time apparently. Also, your mom needs to talk about her feelings, that is important. Your mom should visit your Dad's grave as well, this may help. Just make sure you take care of yourself as well. I think your dad would like you to enjoy your life as much as possible. take care

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Katie,

I think getting them out is the best thing. Every night my mom comes over for dinner and then spends the night, I know that this has to help because she cries all day when she is at home and doesnt cry when shes here at least not every time. My mom doesnt drive so that makes it even worse. Personally I dont like to force her to do anything, because I know how I feel and there is so much I am not ready to do. Its strange though because I think my mom would do anything to get out of the house. Its also very convienant because she only lives about a mile away, so my husband will pick her up after work and take her home in the morning. She has been going to church every morning, she finds comfort there. She has met some people there that pick her up and take her home and even take her to breakfast with them. I think getting involved with the church would be great for your mom if that is something she would be comfortable doing. I wanted to tell you my mom also is a bit spacey, I think that is a big part of grieving. There is only so much we can do for them, I am starting to realize that. We cant take away the hurt, you know that because no one can take away our hurt either. All my best Katie to you and your family

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Hey Katie these are all wonderful suggestions. The only thing I can add is to talk about fun times with your dad. Try to get her to remember happy times.

Also, I believe Wellbutrin needs some time to get to a certain level in the blood so it may help once she's been on it long enough.

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Katie,

I understand only too well what your mother is going through as I am going through alot of the same things.

Right after Randy passed, I could not make a decision to save my life, I would go to a room intending to do something and by the time I got there, I didn't know why I was there. I would go to the store and pass my turn to go home. It is all part of the grieving process. So many things in the house make me think of him and it hurts like no tomorrow. Losing a parent is sad and I have lost my dad too. But losing your spouse is so different. You are alone and have to start to live life by yourself. Even though the kids are here with me, I still have to start over by myself, being a widow, single person again.

Give the medicine time to work. It takes about a week to two. I have used it before and I know for me it worked just as well as prozac.

The saying that time heals is maybe trite but true. I look at time as the sandpaper that you would use on raw wood. Over time the sandpaper makes the edges and surfaces smoother. The splints that cause us to hurt go away.

I am sure your mom will have some really bad days ahead yet. But there will be good ones too. It takes time and we all grieve in our own way. Just be there for her, let her know you will never tire of hearing say how much she misses him. I know that you do too. It helps to know that you are not alone in your missing of him.

My grandson has saved my day more than one time. I am sure your son brings your mother great joy also. They are so innocent of what has taken place. They force us to realize that life goes on. We will smile and be happy again. We will laugh about memories that we have of our loved ones. We will cry too. But life does go on.

Just love your mom, and let her know it is okay to talk about him. It is okay to tell her just how much you miss him too.

One thing that has helped me has been to make memory quilts from Randy's old clothes for each of the kids. This way I know they will always have something of him that his.

May you find peace in time.

Keep the Faith,

Shirley

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Katie,

Your mom is not spacey - she is still in the grieving process. She will grieve for many many months. My sister-in-law whom I talk with almost everyday, tells me it took her a good year to start to feel like she could handle everyday problems and get on with her life. Your parents were married a long time and long time it will take to start to be one again and not two.

I am not a believer in Meds to help one through much. the only time i believe in them is if the person had and has a nervous problem and has been doctoring for it. We old people have to figure out how to adjust and it is just not the old people, its everyone who has lost their partner. Marriage makes two people one and when we loose that one person we have to find ourself all over again. Your mom is younger then me but probably not by to many years and even though I have not had to face this as yet, I already know how lonely I would be until I find that girl I was before I became a wife and widow.

You have brothers, get the ones who live nearby involved with having mom over for dinner often. Get the ones out of town to invite mom for a weekend.

In the end, mom will be find but you may get more grey hairs trying to figure this one out....God Bless for you for your effort.

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Katie, just wanted to let you know that I'm here. I'm thinking all the time about you and your Mom. I really can't offer advice better than what everyone has already suggested. Just wanted you to know that I'm in your corner-and if I could-I'd give you a huge hug. Take care, my friend, Deb

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Hi Katie,

First I have to tell you that you are a wonderful and caring person. I think we can all give you advice and maybe someone will hit on the magic formula that will work for your Mom. I can only speak from experience and tell you what has happened to me since Hugh died. I am probably quite a bit younger than your Mom (I'm 47) but I have experienced much of the same things. I have trouble concentrating and probably seem a bit spacey to those around me. Most of that is because when someone is talking to me often my mind wanders to thoughts of Hugh and I am always trying to absorb the fact that he isn't going to walk through the door. I cry frequently because that thought makes me so sad and lonely. I have trouble leaving the house and trouble coming back home when I do leave. Afternoons are harder for me for some reason. I can't concentrate on much of anything and when I try to do something I get "antsy" after an hour or so. Its hard to describe my feelings. I am confused by them so probably everyone else is also. I don't want to leave the house, but I don't want to stay here all day either. I don't want to visit, I don't even seem to have the ability to visit, but I don't want to be alone. My youngest son and his wife are my saviors in that they are staying with me right now and they are there for me just like you are there for your Mom. Always know that you are doing her a huge service by just being there. I have another son (by a previous marriage) that hasn't even called me or stopped in since Hugh died. Though I have called him a couple of times and stopped down at his house (he lives next door) his absence has been one of the more hurtful things that I have had to deal with. I make myself go there to keep communication open but again I run into the problem of "visiting" makes me jumpy.

I haven't looked into medication yet as I am a firm believer that you have to walk through the pain and feel it to come out of the other side healed. Though I feel that way I also feel that there are times when meds are necessary. I would never rule them out.

Life without your best friend and partner is a very difficult thing. There is no one that can fill the gap because no matter what at the end of the day you still crawl into that bed alone with no one to talk to about the day. They tell me time heals and I believe that is true. With you to help her I think your Mom will be okay. Its still very early since you lost your Dad. She just needs time to adjust to this whole new way of life.

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THank you all so much for your replies. I don't know how to take in all of this and I can't even begin to understand what is going on with my mom- mentally or emotionally. I feel completely lost myself at times...I can only imagine the gravity of her loss and her grief --times ten!

I guess I just wait to see whats next....be patient...take everything with a grain of salt...try not to make her mad...try to get her out of the house...and see where this new life without dad takes us all.

It really sucks. (excuse me)

Love--

KatieB

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Depression and anger are a very big part of the grieving process. My dad is still acting spacy. He goes places and leaves his house unlocked. He forgets things all the time. I know he does appreciate my visits and calls. I have him over for dinner and we always talk about my and what she did for us and what she used to say to make us laugh.....my mom was very funny! I'm glad you took her to six flags with you and your son and she was able to let go if just for a short while. All of these things is what she needs. You are a wonderful daughter and know if she appears anger it isn't you.

Prayers and Hugs, Shelly

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I am so sorry that your Dad is not more with you !

I lost my mother when I was 28 and remember the pain to this day.

Time might heal but it does take a long time !

In your mother's case I can only comment that The same things are still happening to me since Richd's death in february. I feared I had lost my mind for ever but had a doc telling me that this is normal. Staring wholes into space, forgetting everything, no concentration ....up to this day I cannot read a book and I used to read loads.Internet and car driving are the only things not affected.

Look after yourself as well !

Sorry for writing so late .I send you a huuuuuge hug

Tina

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Katie,

I have been keeping you and your family in my prayers often. I kept wondering how your mother was doing at this point, often after having a conversation or visit with my mother-in-law. My 5 year old has been a big help at times. Somehow the younger ones just have that special touch.

I know, though, like you said...it sucks. I really don't like using that phrase much and get on my middle schoolers' cases for saying it, but I have said it many times recently because somehow it really fits. :cry: There are moments when I don't want to respond with "We're doing OK." I honestly have stated, "You know, it really just sucks. ...which sometimes shocks people because they didn't really want to hear that. It often makes them stop and think though. Sometimes I end up being the one to say I'm sorry. :?

Anyway, one small idea I would add is that I actually printed out some of the messages of support from this board, as well as emails from other friends around the country, so Sally could read them when she felt like it. She knew about the boards but has Internet connection issues so never got on herself. I just gave them to her, an "envelope of comfort", to read at a time of her choosing and she promised (herself more than me I think) that she would find a good time to read it. Well, a little over a month after losing Salvador, she did read the messages and she said they helped. She said she cried but it felt different, not as lonely maybe, because these thoughts were from folks who are walking a similar walk. A girlfriend of mine who had actually lost her husband at 22 and eventually became a grief counselor at one point, shared some insightful things that only someone who has lost a spouse could share in such a connecting way.

Maybe you can share some of the thoughts from folks above who have also lost a spouse. The "envelope" idea might be a way to go since you are worried about her 'quick to anger' reactions at this time. It is such a moment by moment existence at this time. If you make them available she can then reach for them at a moment of her own choosing.

Praying for moments of comfort and peace to come to you as well, Katie.

God bless~

Karen M.

In loving memory of

Father-in-law Salvador C. Marez

Nov. 16, 1946 ~ Aug. 13, 2003

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