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Old June 29th, 2007, 23:09
harmony_mom harmony_mom is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Default Letting Go

My grandmother died recently after struggling with dementia for six years. I think that I let go of her before she had died in all honesty. She was not herself during that time. I actually remember the moment when I let go of her. I used to have to take care of her after school while my mother gave piano lessons. This was when she was still living in her own home, and she often wandered out on her own and would get disoriented. She always left because she thought she needed to, like she thought that she had an important appointment, or needed the mail that my mother had already picked up, or needed milk that she already had in her fridge. One time while I was there she insisted that she needed to leave, and part of my job was to keep her there. We had a huge fight, and I had to physically hold the door shut. She swore and was verbally abusive, which was out of character for her. I couldn't take it anymore, and I left and went home. I locked myself in the bathroom and just cried and cried. I realized in that moment that she was no longer the woman I knew, and that my grandmother was gone. After that, I was very detached from her, but in a way it helped me be more compassionate after my personal feelings were no longer so involved. Do you think that long illness makes it easier or harder to let go? For me I think it made it easier, but I think that for my mother it was harder. Has anyone else had an experience like this, or one that was the opposite?
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Old July 1st, 2007, 15:06
SageMother SageMother is offline
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Posts: 106

I remember a woman I had known for year and she spent the last of her days in a nursing home. They stopped giving her insulin as it really made no difference in her quality of life. She couldn't hear well enough to listen to music, she couldn't see well enough to watch tv or read, as an artifact of her advanced age. She just started sleeping all the time and finally died.

She didn't become abusive, but her sleeping most of the time was the way nature weaned her from life and us from her. We started letting go when she stopped being awake and aware and it was easier than her having moments of abusive or tortured consciousness.

It is a shame that your grandmother had to make her transition in a different manner.
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Old August 26th, 2007, 03:27
azaleaeight azaleaeight is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22
Default Long Illness - Easier or Harder to Let Go

Illness that affects a person's mind is its own separate thing because the person is not the same person you once knew.

When I was taking care of my bedridden mother for the year or so before she died I found I started to just kind of believe this was the "new permanent". I didn't believe she would really die. I thought we just had a new "forever lifestyle".

I settled into that lifestyle, and I wasn't particularly more ready to let go when she went because I had never really believed she was going. After she went, and after there were no more trips to hospitals and hospital beds and commodes in her bedroom I put her room back much as it had been. My sister and brother (who weren't the "primary caretaker") didn't say anything, but I knew they thought it was a stranger thing to do.

Well, I originally thought it was simply a practical matter. The room had the hospital bed removed and was empty. I figured I'd just put things back as they'd been. There was a brand new bedspread she'd bought and never used, so I put it on the bed.

One the one hand, years later I still know that some of reasoning was kind of matter of just trying to restore the house to normal - and it happened we weren't in the mood to go buying new furniture and drapes. On the other hand, I later realized that I had (before she died) been in such a "take care of Mum" mode, that when she wasn't there any longer I was still kind of in that "mode".

The transition from having to always be there to take care of her and not having to any longer was a gradual one, and I did notice that I remained in that "high-gear, taking-care-of-Mum" mode for a while.

I had to first realize that's what I was doing and then remember to tell myself I no longer had to be in that high-gear/taking care mode any longer.

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Old August 26th, 2007, 18:01
riskey58 riskey58 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 43
Default letting go

I think it is hard to let go. But I do believe when you see someone really suffering as I did both my mother and father you find yourself ready to let go. You find yourself praying for the Lord to just take them, and don't let them suffer any longer.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 14:59
victell victell is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 19

I agree. Letting go is never easy, especially when you are talking about someone's life, someone you have loved and cared for and have had happy times with. However, there comes a point when it is the kindest thing to release them and be able to let go. When someone has been suffering through a long illness it's important to remember they had a long, happy life and the time has come to say goodbye to them. But you still keep the beautiful memories.
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