After my mother passed away from dementia last September I immediately felt relief as I left her bedside and walked out of the facility she had died in, but what I didn't expect to feel was the overwhelming grief I have had to carry with me every day since then. I walked back to a "normal" life as a mother, a wife, a sibling, a friend and an employee, but all I could hear were noises. I would go to meetings, drive my children from gymnastics and choir, talk to my friends and hug my husband, but no one made sense to me. I stopped caring about the things I once loved, like late night conversations with close friends, running, going to movies or playing with my young children.
My world was in slow motion. All I wanted to do was sleep and the tiniest inconvenience would stop me in my tracks with fear or helplessness. I would cry suddenly, huge gulping bursts at stop lights on my way to work. Every chance I could, I closed my office door to fight the urge to run away and put my head under a pillow. I told people what I knew they wanted to hear, "I'm fine. Yep, busy with work. Those kids really keep us running. I am glad she isn't suffering anymore. Things are great. Thanks for asking." What I really wanted to say is "I'm not fine. I am devastated. I was screwed over and I am angry. I wish she hadn't died. I need her and, of yeah, my intense fear of getting this devastating brain disease has all but consumed me. How are you and your family doing?"
Pretty sure 9 out of 10 people would have run away. Here's the kicker, on some mornings, the sobs still happen and I expect them to sneak up on me from time to time. I still have days when getting out of bed hurts me physically because grief and depression hurt. Death is a part of life, grief is a part of life and the trauma we all faced after she died is most definitely part of life.
I am lucky enough to work around great counselors who have spent time checking on me, imparting their knowledge and skills with me and being supportive. I am in counseling to help me move on and grateful for it. If you are suffering, you can get help--just tell someone.
A Chance to Change. 405.840.9000