The second year was harder than the first.
February 28, 2017 10:27pm CST
My mom died almost two years ago. She was actually gone before then. For those who don't know, my mom was 46 when she was diagnosed with dementia, and 55 when she died from it. But she had been gone for quite sometime. She couldn't speak, she would run into a wall, back up, and walk right back into that same wall. For the last seven years we had to have her in diapers because she'd forget she needed to go to the bathroom until she soiled her underwear. Somehow, my dad managed to keep her at home even though he continued to earn a living. I helped, but I'll never completely understand all he went through. The first year without her was hard, but like I said, we had had years to come to terms with her loss. It was a relief to know she wasn't existing in such a cruel mental prison. But this second year has been tough. I couldn't put my finger on it until this past Christmas. The second year after she died my dad had gotten remarried. She was a lovely woman we'd met at church camp decades ago, and she had known my mom and dad for a long time. None of us had seen her in years (she lived 2 hours away) before my dad saw her again at the hospital when visiting a friend. So at Christmas we went to visit my grandmother, my mom's mother, and I looked around at my sister, my dad, my BIL, and their two little ones. Then I looked at Diana (my dad's wife) and it hit me. My mom should be the one seeing this. My mom should be loving how her family turned out. But it wasn't my mom. Just to be clear, my dad asked my grandmother's permission to remarry before he proposed. And my grandmother asked my dad to bring her around whenever he was in town so they could get to know her better. So there are no negative feelings. And I like her, and am so happy she brought some joy to my dad's life. I guess it will still take more time. She was so young, and was so smart, talented, and loving. I miss that so much. I miss my Mama.
20 people like this
• Bunbury, Australia
I read once that the amount of love you have and needs expands to include everyone you need it to. It isn't a static amount that must be shared. Seeing your father happy doesn't mean either of you think less of your mother. There is enough love for all. And I guess it will just take a bit more time. I hope I'm making sense.
6 people like this
i have never heard of anyone having dimentia at such a young age and that must have been devastating for all of you. She is now better off and I am happy for your father that he found a companion that has the approval of all of you.
• United States
If you ever want to talk, just message me. Everyone is different in their illness, but we all need support. And any day could come a new medication. People used to die of polio and tuberculosis, and now they don't have to. Medical miracles happen every single day.
• United States
You'll never stop missing your mom. I'm sure your dad misses her too.. I'm sure it's tough on everyone to invite a new woman into your hearts and she is basically filling the role your mother once held.. as wife and companion to your father. But I'm glad he has someone so he's not lonely and consumed by grief. Is she a widower also?
You Mom sounds like she was an amazing person, she passed a lot of those fine qualities onto you. You've got a very unique way of making people feel special. I know that your Mom is with you, and that she's no longer a prisoner to her illness.
@AmbiePam You're welcome Sweet Lady! I think that for me the reason why the second year feels worse is because the memory is starting to fade, but the pain remains just as strong if not stronger. But you keep on keeping on, one day you'll be with her again but in a better place.
• Holiday, Florida
i understand. you explain it all very well. i sure hope your grief becomes less soon. she probably is looking down and knows now the family is going to be okay till she has you all back. we are the ones suffering when they leave. they are no longer suffering at least
• United States
I'm so sorry Amber. I can't imagine that pain. I commend you and your dad for taking care of her - what must have been a very difficult task, both on the physical level of giving care and the mental level. Sounds like she wasn't herself for a long time before... the relief makes total sense to me, that she was no longer struggling. But also makes sense that as you've had time to process the feelings change. In my experience time doesn't make anything better - but remain hopeful- because it does change it...
• United States
No, it was just dementia, but her kind is rare. It was of the frontal lobe, which only five percent of dementia patients have. My grandfather had dementia, but his was because he had repeated mini strokes. His was dementia, but his symptoms were more traditionally what you get with Alzheimer's. Dementia of any kind is bad, but my mom's kind was so much worse than my grandfather's.
• Marion, Kansas
When you have a loss you do not just miss the person who is gone, you miss what might have been if they were still living. You are standing in two worlds at the same time. You are in the real world and the what if world. Hugs dear. She will always be a part of you.
• United States
I think Hubby could relate as his father passed away from advanced dementia - but it went downhill fast (like not even half a year after he was diagnosed). Hubby is often saying how his dad would have been proud if he could see the way things were going for us today . . . everyone has moved on, so to speak, but in a way there is a bit of guilt that we have moved on. Hubby says it does take time, it's been about 4 years now.
• Garden Grove, California
So sad it hit her i h the prime of her life I have so me inkling of what you all went throujgh as I did it wtth my roomie 'who at first was so bright she loved history and would tell me historical facts and she was always right she changed and became hostile at tines to me when before she had ofte told me i was the best roommate ever.we had really cared for one other Her sister had to move hert to a place that took senile dementia patients' so sad to see her change