MissionBlue

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  1. Welcome, alycejins: I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved mom and the impending loss of your dear aunt. My cousin's partner's mom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and she didn't tell her daughter until she was on her death bed. Some parents don't want to see their children suffer with them through their illness, so they keep it a secret for as long as they can. My cousin's partner was devastated when she found out and it hurt her more to lose her mother so soon and unexpectedly without being able to emotionally prepare herself. Her mother meant no harm, of course; she was just being protective of her daughter. I think some people are naturally more stoic. I hope you will find this forum as helpful and supportive as I have. Take care and feel free to share whatever you are feeling here. We all understand and care. With love and hugs to you and to everyone here.....
  2. Hello Everyone: A lot of us are struggling with guilt feelings since the death of our beloved parents. This is a normal part of the grief process and it doesn't necessarily mean we deserve to feel guilty. I found the following article which was comforting to me, especially the comments section, because it shows how other people struggle with the same feelings of guilt and regret: http://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-and-grief-2/ Some of the experiences discussed are truly poignant, which goes to show that things could always be worse if not just as bad as what we had to go through. Of course, I wish that none of us had to suffer through these painful emotions, but it is easier knowing that others understand and have felt the same way. Love and hugs to all......
  3. Dear Zita, I'm very sorry for your loss. It may be a bit too early to consider that you have complicated grief. I'm not a psychologist, but to my understanding, that is usually diagnosed after at least six months of grief that doesn't get better. Cognitive behavioral therapy is supposed to be a good treatment for complicated grief. I also suffered from bad insomnia, anxiety and loss of appetite during the first months of my grief. I lost nearly three stone in weight. I didn't want to eat foods that my late father enjoyed, because he couldn't enjoy meals with me. I also was only sleeping 3-4 hours at night. I was hooked on sleeping pills, but gradually weaned myself off of them when they stopped working, because I didn't want to have to keep increasing the dosages. I had never lived alone before, and it was very hard for me to be alone day after day without anyone to talk to. I would call relatives and email friends. I'd take anyone who would go with me out to dinner, even strangers, but it wasn't the same as being able to talk with someone in person at home. I didn't start to feel better until after eight months of solitude, because I let my gardener move in with me. Even as terrible and uncomfortable as your symptoms are, as Reader said, they are all a normal part of grief. It is best to allow yourself to experience your feelings with others or by yourself. Cry, even scream at the ocean, if you must. If it gets to be too much, then try to distract yourself with something pleasurable, such as eating out with friends and relatives. I had to tempt myself with the tastiest food available, and I made sure it had no associations with my late father, such as Peruvian food, which he had never tried. Of course, I still wished with all my heart that he could enjoy it with me, but in doing so I forged new memories to distract me from the old ones. You still need to make time for your grief or it will take longer to process. Guilt is one of the hardest emotions related to grief. You need to forgive yourself for whatever problems existed between you and your mother. If you spoke regularly on the phone with her, then your relationship wasn't as bad as other mothers and daughters who don't even talk to each other. You can love someone deeply and still argue with them and hurt their feelings, because all relationships are imperfect. When I had anxiety, I went to the ER and the nurse practitioner told me that the anxiety I was feeling was a normal part of grief. I begged her to give me some sleeping pills, but she would only give me five Ambien -- which I had been taking for almost a year before my dad died. Then after he died, a doctor gave me benzos. The nurse at the ER said that I didn't have the appearance of someone who is depressed. People who are deeply depressed don't even have the energy to dress or bathe properly. While that was reassuring, it still has been a long road through my grief. I tried four therapists, three grief support groups, several churches, bars, even online dating. In my particular case, what helped me most was having someone live with me, so I would have someone to talk to, share meals with me, and watch tv with me, as my father had done virtually all of my life. Each case is different. Perhaps if you found someone to be your confidante on the phone, it might help to ease your loss. It sounds like, in spite of your estrangement, your mom gave you emotional support that you weren't receiving from other sources. Even after two years, I still miss my father every day and I still cry, because no one can take his place, but I feel better than I did the first year. I can sleep better. Now I fall asleep too easily. Just yesterday I fell asleep in my chair and didn't even hear the phone ring. This is not like me at all, but it is way better than insomnia. I wish you and everyone here the best as we struggle through grief.
  4. I definitely feel more positive than i did in the first months after my dad's death. There was one night early on when I was so lonely and anxious that I called a suicide hotline just to speak to another human being. I wasn't suicidal and said that up front. The lady on the line talked to me for a few minutes. Then when she put me on hold, I felt guilty for using a resource for people with worse problems, so I cut it short. I had never lived alone before. I wasn't afraid of being alone from a safety standpoint, but it was being completely alone with the memories of watching my father die for 36 hours straight in "Comfort Care" which was hard on me. The agonal respirations were hard to watch, knowing there was nothing I could do to save my beloved father. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I was alone most of that time with him because I am his only daughter with no husband or children. As I looked out the hospital window at day turning into night, I felt detached -- like the world was foreign to me and like I wasn't connected to it anymore. The only person left in the world who ever really loved me was dying. I have a half brother and cousins who care about me, but they hardly see me, so it's not like they are going to lose sleep over me if I die. They're too busy having fun. If there were an easy, painless and sureproof way to commit suicide, who knows, I might have considered it, but I was raised Catholic and there's a big taboo about suicide in the Catholic religion. In the old days, suicides weren't even allowed to be buried in hallowed ground. Thankfully, the church stopped that nonsense and suicides are now accorded all the dignity and blessings of a normal funeral. It just seems so disrespectful to kill oneself, not only to one's parents but to God himself. Still, if a person is suffering from mental illness or from overwhelming pain, they really aren't to blame if they take their own life. I think God would understand better than anyone. It's easy to say we want to die when what we really want is our old life back. But it's not possible, just as it isn't possible to be young again. That bird has flown. So enjoy your youth while you can. The only good thing about losing a loved one is an inheritance, if you're lucky enough to get one. Then you can afford to do fun things, or buy a new home, but then your favorite companion is gone, so it's like a cruel joke. I remember watching a movie about Down's Syndrome with Tyne Daly, and I liked her speech at the end. She said that raising a child with Down's Syndrome is like wanting to visit Italy but then having the plane diverted to Holland. Holland isn't Italy, and never will be, but it has some nice things, too, such as tulips and windmills. Life without our parents isn't going to be the same as it was, but it will still have its charms if we give it a chance.
  5. Dear ELiz: I don't think you are being overly sensitive. I hope your husband was just joking and that he will get you a nice Mother's Day present. You deserve it and it is time to bring the focus of the holiday onto you and not just your late mom. It's good you dropped the hint, but it's my understanding that not all men are good at giving presents or remembering anniversaries or offering sweet tokens of love which romantic women adore. Some men think working hard and just being with you shows their devotion. If he does forget to buy you a gift, then I would suggest your doing something special for yourself that day. Treat yourself to some nice jewelry, flowers or candy (or all three!) -- maybe he'll learn by example. “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” ― Alexander Pope Even some really nice men, like my dad, never learned to give gifts, because of growing up poor or whatever reason. My dad bought me toys when I was a small child, but once I was older, he didn't buy me gifts or cards on my birthday or at Christmas, because he knew that I knew that he loved me. We'd give each other things all year long. However, he would buy me birthday cakes which we enjoyed together. If my half brother took me out to dinner for my birthday, my dad would often pay. Since we had joint checking and credit accounts, my dad would let me buy myself whatever I wanted. Dear Girl Biohazard, I'm very sorry about the tragic loss of your father at such a young age. I suffered from anxiety after the death of my father, even though I am much older than you and he died of natural causes at 86. It is never easy to lose a beloved parent, but far more traumatic when the death is sudden and unexpected. I wish you the best and I sincerely hope that you find solace on this forum.
  6. Dear anxious, I'm surprised that you fear your parents' death but you don't fear your own. I assume you're not numb yet, if you still enjoy having your parents with you and your dog. You said everything you do, you do for your parents, so does that mean you no longer have any fun in life? Hopefully, by the time your parents pass on your health will be better and you'll find a reason for living. To me, life is short enough already. Time flies even when you're not having fun, but I hear you about old age. I have read that if you wish for death, your body will eventually accommodate you, which is why I try to stay positive. I fear serious illness and pain more than death. There is so much I haven't done yet -- I haven't even been to Disneyland. I knocked bowling off my bucket list last year. I'd love to go back to Las Vegas. I only went there once in the year 2000 and had a great time. I won enough money to pay for my expenses and my companions' expenses as well. I'd like to see the poppy fields in Lancaster CA before I die. There will always be some sadness that my dad can't enjoy these things with me, but I have to convince myself that if he really wanted to do any of these things, then he would have done them. Some people like to stay home. I think as long as I'm able to surf the Internet, read a good book, listen to music and enjoy a good movie, then life is still worth living, even if I'm not as happy as when my father was alive. Once I'm relocated I plan to do volunteer work to try to help other people. Maybe I'll get involved with politics. If World War III comes along, there should be plenty of things to do. Maybe the future will be a non-issue. Take care and I hope your psychologist visit goes well.
  7. Dear fresno11: I don't know if you still look at this thread, but I just wanted to say that I also can relate to practically everything you said about the loneliness of life without your beloved family. My mother wasn't very involved in my life, and passed away two months before my father. My dad died about two and a half years ago. My favorite uncles and grandparents died quite a few years prior. I grew up mostly with older relatives who were the salt of the earth, nicest people you'd ever want to meet. I think they are a dying breed. Losing my dad has made my life feel empty, because he was my best friend. We had so much in common and we lived in the same house for 55 years. The first year after his death, it was still too painful to enjoy much of anything, but I am gradually getting better. I just need to find someone who is fun to be with who I can trust. I have a former boyfriend turned roommate who helped me through my grief better than anyone, just by being here with me, but he has a lot of problems and doesn't know how to enjoy life anymore. He doesn't like to see me cry, because it depresses him. I have tried therapists and grief support groups, but I know what you mean when you said, "Dialogue about the memories just doesn't mean the same thing to some random person or friend. " I still have cousins who remember the good old days, but they live far away and have their own families and friends to do fun things with. I'm the type of person who doesn't need troops of friends, just one close friend and companion for doing fun things would be enough, but such a person isn't easy to find. I'm 23 years older than you, so I am sorry that you have to go through this at a young age. Still, even at my age, I am hopeful for the future. Once I sell my home, I want to start a new life, meet new people, do things I have never done before. My father's death opened my eyes to the brevity of life, so if I don't start trying to enjoy life more now, while I still can, I may run out of time. It won't be the same without my beloved family, but then it's too late for them. I wish we had done more fun things together and then maybe I wouldn't have so many regrets, but they came from a different age where they didn't expect much out of life. That was part of their charm. They were happy with what little they had, because they had survived very hard times. It's sad that we've been spoiled by living with nice, good-natured people all our lives. I've tried churches, bars, and treating neighbors to nice restaurants, but some of my neighbors are downright evil. There have to be nice people still out there somewhere. They can't all just be on the Internet many miles away. I have to keep searching. There are some wonderful people right here on this forum who I wish lived closer. Once I'm relocated, I might try taking a class or join a bird watching group. I guess my only advice is don't give up the search. You never know who you are going to meet. I have corresponded with some very interesting people online, including writers, opera singers, a symphony conductor, even a retired magician/artist who had tea with the Queen of England. I just can't seem to meet anyone who shares my interests locally, but I do need to get out more. Love and hugs to you and everyone here.....
  8. Dear Cindy Jane: It's always good to hear from you! I'm glad to hear that your knee is improving. I can sympathize more than ever with what you are going through, because I recently injured my left knee. I was going up a step and suddenly heard a pop in my knee and felt terrible pain. It couldn't come at a worse time, when I am trying to clear things out of my house so I can sell it. Life is full of challenges. Wishing you a full recovery. You are in my prayers. Happy Easter to you and to everyone! Love and hugs, MissionBlue
  9. Dear anxious: I never did find a therapist who used cognitive behavioral therapy on me. Then when I let my gardener move in with me, I didn't feel like I needed therapy anymore, because I had someone to talk to on a daily basis. He has anger issues and is also a recovering alcoholic, so he would share with me some of the insights he learned from anger management classes and AA. He also lost his beloved father and grandfather, so he can relate to loss. My roommate is sort of a badass so I feel safe when he's around. We started as a normal dating relationship. He had known my father from when he worked for us before. He had liked my dad very much. The first thing he did for me was take me to the cemetery to visit my father's grave and that instantly endeared him to me. I don't drive, which is probably the root of all my problems. However, I eventually discovered that he's not romantic enough for me, so now we are just roommates. We still care about each other, but we both want to be the boss in the relationship and that hasn't worked out. I had many pets growing up, but none since my pet parakeet died about ten years ago. Luckily, my rooommate's son has a very nice dog, a cross between a pit bull and an Indian Pariah dog. She comes to visit and I think she loves me more than anyone on this earth. She's so happy when she sees me in the morning. She's very intelligent and loves the attention I give her. I'm lucky, because I don't have to take care of her, but I buy her toys and just bought her a new Serta dog bed for when she sleeps over. It's not easy for only children, like us, to lose our parents, but like reader said, once the worst possible fear comes to realization, there's not much more left to fear. I still fear my own death, because there are still a lot of things I haven't had the chance to do yet. I also don't trust the medical system that much, but I am more afraid of suicide, because it's too easy to do it wrong and end up a vegetable. On the radio I heard the story of a woman who was depressed and threw herself off the roof of a building. On the way down she immediately regretted it. She spent a long time in the hospital, dependent on others for her well-being, but it changed her outlook on life. Now she appreciates her autonomy a lot better. Sending love and hugs to you and everyone here....
  10. Dear Zeppelins: I am so sorry for your loss. I just had to reply, because I can relate so well to some of the things you are feeling. I am forty years older than you, but I still love the 80's music, too, thanks mostly to MTV. I also am an only child of a single parent, the only child of my divorced father. Even though I have half brothers from my mother, I was not raised with them. I also feel like I am my father's twin. In fact, I wish I had been born his sister rather than his daughter so we could have had more time together. He raised me to like all the things he liked, so we were practically like clones. His interests were not the typical interests of a girl growing up in the seventies, so I felt different from my peers. For example, I didn't know a single classmate who liked silent films, classical music or Russian films by Sergei Eisenstein (not even my one Russian classmate). If they did, they kept it a big secret! With the Internet, it is easier to find fans of these things than before, but still not easy to make friends with any locally. I know that feeling that there is now no one in the world who loves me better than anyone else. It hurts to lose my biggest fan, and I was my dad's. It's terrible not to be able to share my interests with my dad the way we used to. One of the reasons I never had children is because i was so content to spend my spare time with my dad, watching films, listening to music, singing and playing the piano together, and just talking about anything under the sun. I also didn't want him to be lonely. I also would want my children to like what I like, and maybe that wouldn't be doing them any favors, but at my age having children is no longer an issue, so I don't have to worry about it. If I had met a nice man and fallen in love, I probably would have married and had children, but as a fulltime caregiver for various family members, I didn't get out much. I also went to an all girls Catholic high school which did not help me at all to meet guys. Still, I wouldn't worry about your molding your children the way you want them to be. If you can do it, and they still love you, then I think it was meant to be. There are children who turn out differently from their parents no matter how hard they try to mold them. For example, my half brother and his wife are born again Christians, but their daughter is an atheist quasi-Buddhist living with a death metal guitarist. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Wishing you and everyone here peace of mind as we struggle with the hardest transition of a lifetime. Love and hugs to all....
  11. Dear anxious, I can relate to a lot of things you said. I'm sorry that you are suffering from these obsessive thoughts. I'm not a psychologist, but it sounds like you could have a form of OCD, which can be helped through cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. You seem highly intelligent. Smart people tend to worry more than average. You will need a highly intelligent psychologist to help you -- not sure how to find one though. I went through four therapists to help me with my grief, but found it only somewhat helpful, because none of them used cognitive behavioral therapy, even though they claimed to know how to use it. I found some links that might be helpful to you: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/07/obsessed-thoughts-about-parents-dying http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Anxiety/Fear-of-Parents-Dying/show/391143#post_answer_header https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/ I know what you mean, but I think even if our late parents don't physically or spiritually survive death, the idea of them still continues to exist. It is our duty as their children to carry on their legacy with honor and responsibility. It's like patriotism -- a country only exists in the minds of its citizens, but no one with honor would betray their country's ideals of liberty and justice for all. Our parents raised us to live and enjoy the fruits of their labor and our own. I also hate that grief seems to condemn us to a second-rate existence for the remainder of our lives. I try to look at it as a challenge -- I only have one life so I want to find a way to be happy again. I may never be happy in the same way as I was with my beloved father, but I think it is possible to be happy in a new way. If I didn't think that, then I would probably be suicidal. Still, I would only commit suicide if I was experiencing unbearable pain -- otherwise, I would be too ashamed to make people think that my father had failed me in some way or that I had failed him. I do feel like I failed him as a caregiver, because he died, but that is a normal part of grief -- it's normal to lay blame when something terrible happens. And even if he did make the mistake of making me too dependent on him, which is arguable, I love him so much and I'm so grateful for the gift of life and the things that he taught me that I could not destroy that which he helped to create. My dad died over two years ago, and I do feel better than I did the first year. I had never been alone before, so about eight months into my grief, I let my gardener move in with me and that helped a lot for me to feel less lonely. We don't have an ideal relationship, but it's always nice to have someone to talk to, even argue with. My gardener does more for me than my relatives, so I feel like he is a godsend. He's also good practice for a real relationship should I meet someone who can love me the way I want to be loved. You never know who you are going to meet in life. My gardener came knocking on my door out of the blue. I thought I would never see him again. You might fall in love or find a mentor who helps to make life worth living. Even a loving pet can improve the quality of one's life. I wish you and everyone here the best as we struggle with the sadness and uncertainties of life.
  12. I understand how you feel and wish you peace. I also was very close to my grandmother. I was only 25 when she passed and I cried quite deeply for her right away. Her loss made my bond with my father, who raised me without my mother, closer than ever and we had already been very close. Thirty years later, I lost my father and I was shocked that I didn't cry for him at his funeral. My relatives were surprised, too. I was deeply sad and anxious in the weeks that followed, but I could only cry for short periods, not the deep sobs that had always brought me relief before. I would even watch sad documentaries on tv to try to provoke tears, to no avail. I also had insomnia at this time, and couldn't take a nap even though I was sleep deprived. I was addicted to sleeping pills. Eventually, I weaned myself off of them. About two or three months later, I started to cry more freely and deeply. Now over two years after my dad's death, I cry less often but deeply. I now fall asleep even when I don't want to. Sometimes I'll tear up just thinking about my dad, but most of the time I can remember him without crying. I still think about him every day, several times a day. Thirty-two years after the death of my grandmother, I still miss her and feel sad that she didn't have a more fun life, but I haven't cried for her for many years. However, I honestly don't know if I'll ever stop crying for my dad, because he was all I had left in the world. He was the only person in the world who truly loved me and needed me. I have a half brother, aunts and cousins who care about me to varying degrees, but it's not the deep, abiding love of a father -- no one can replace him. I think in those first few weeks and months I was in shock and denial, which is an unconscious defense mechanism by the mind to protect us from deeply painful emotions and anxiety. Later on we tend to use rationalization more to deal with the death of a loved one.
  13. Missdad, I'm very sorry for your loss. The death of a beloved father is devastating, even under the best of circumstances, because it is the loss of a very special relationship that can never be replaced. We have known and loved our fathers for as long as we were alive. Life does not make sense without them. However, because our minds have evolved to deal with great suffering and loss, we are more resilient than we realize. Once we process the grief by crying, thinking, talking and writing about it, the pain will gradually become less over time. We will always miss our dads and from time to time our hearts will ache with yearning for them, but gradually we will resign ourselves to our new reality. Two years after my father's death, I am still not happy in this world without him, but I don't have much choice but to carry on the best I can and see what the future holds. Since I have no husband or children, no one loves or needs me as much as my dad did. You are blessed to have a husband and children who need you. While no one can substitute for a loving father, your family still loves you and gives your life meaning. You currently feel lost and empty, because it takes time to deal with one of the most difficult experiences in life. It's hard to live without love, but lots of people manage somehow. Some people never find the love of their lives. Love can come at any time and go at any time. I think if we do our best to avoid mean people and try to seek out kind people, and to be grateful for the loved ones we have left, if any, then life does start to have meaning again. As we get older, more and more people are dealing with the same loss, so we are not truly alone in our grief. It is good to seek out grief support groups in person and forums like this one. I wish you and everyone here the best as we try to survive without our precious parents. Love and hugs to all...
  14. Great post, Silverkitties, I don't have children either, and sometimes I wish I did to carry on my dad's genes, but I always feared that my mother's bipolar narcissism would get passed down, too. My niece has it, and it's heartbreaking. She's beautiful, sweet, and talented, but can't function normally due to periodic debilitating depression. She has it worse than my mother did, who was highly functional during her prime years. Your mother was such a wonderful person and you were such a great daughter, I'm sure you helped ease the loss of her own mother. I wish I could have spent quality time with my mother, for her sake as well as my own. But since she didn't visit me as a child, I didn't feel right about seeking her out, until she sought me out when she was of retirement age. She used to blame my father for warning her to stay away from me, but I don't buy it. My grandmother told me that my mother wanted me to stay with my father, "Because she's Mexican." I was just a young child when she told me that, and that convinced me that my mother didn't want me. I remember going to my father and saying that I was ashamed that my mother was part German, because they gave the world the Nazis. Then my father explained that Germans have a reputation for being intelligent and efficient. Germany also gave the world great scientists, musicians and writers. God, if only my mother had taught me to read music -- she was a gifted pianist and violinist. Thankfully, my dad gave me the ability to play piano by ear. We had such fun playing our keyboards together. I miss him so very much.
  15. PS: Sometimes you have to push yourself beyond your comfort level to meet people, when you're shy like I am, but it's a way to move forward with your life.
  16. Dear Reader: I can so relate to your missing your dad call out your name. I felt the same way after my dad died. Thankfully, I now have Ernesto who often calls me to come see something or just to know where I am. He also likes to say my nickname over and over as a joke. I think just to have another human being acknowledge one's existence is essential to mental health. Man is a social animal. Of course, many people feel they get enough social interaction at work or with their friends, and relish their time to themselves, but some of us who don't get out enough really need human contact. It has been very therapeutic for me to have Ernesto come to live with me. When I was by myself, I could go for weeks without talking to anyone in person. When you partner with someone you also get to know their family and friends, and you begin to feel less alone in the world. I grew up around lots of relatives so maybe I'm more of a people person than some, but I also enjoy solitude. However, either extreme is not good for me. Relationships are not always easy. I have had my share of problems with Ernesto, who is far from my ideal, but I think people come into our lives for a reason, either to help us or to teach us. If Ernesto leaves me. I would not hesitate to try to find a new partner, because the pleasures of life are better shared. Love and hugs to everyone...
  17. Dear Mitchek15, Losing a beloved father is one of the hardest things in life. My heart goes out to you and your mother. I also have tried many ways to cope with the pain and sorrow of losing my father who was also my best friend. I find it helpful to search for articles online about dealing with grief and simply sharing my feelings in forums like this one. It is good that you will soon have a husband to help support you and your mother through this sad time. Though no one can replace your dad, it really helps to have someone with you who loves you who isn't overwhelmed by the loss. I think your dad would be happy to know that you and your mother are not completely alone. I hope the following article will be of some comfort to you: https://www.awakentheguruinyou.com/blog/4-things-to-know-to-begin-to-accept-the-unacceptable-in-yourself-and-life.html Take care and be patient with yourself, because it takes time to process deep grief. However, death is a part of life, so our minds are equipped with what we need to recover from great loss. Belief in the afterlife can be a great comfort, so this could be a good time to explore the subject of faith and spirituality. I like to pray to God and ask him to give my dad all the happiness he deserves for being such a good person and a wonderful father to me. I also give thanks that I had such a lovable father in my life.
  18. Dear Reader: Thank you for your kind reply. People would also ask me when I was a caregiver, don't I want a life of my own and a house of my own? I lived in my great uncle's house. He had never married, but through the years he had always opened his house to his siblings, nephews and nieces. After his divorce, my dad came back to live with his uncle who was also his godfather. My dad's mother was also like a mother to my great uncle, her second youngest brother, after their mother died young. Everybody had been surprised by my dad's marriage in the first place, because he was such a homebody, and very devoted to his mother. From a young age, I started helping my grandmother since she first started having heart problems when I was eleven years old. I always felt I was needed at home and there wasn't anybody volunteering to take my place. My grandmother had three daughters, but one died young, the other married and moved to NYC, and the third one was widowed and caring for her grandchildren in the suburbs. My aunt also cooked and cleaned for her daughter and son-in-law, because they both worked full time. So she didn't have much time to come visit her mother. Like you, I was managing my great uncle's household, so I felt like I already had a home of my own. We all got along so well, it really was a blessing. The people who gave us grief were some of the the relatives that came to visit. But I had to receive everyone with a smile. I sometimes felt like a short order cook. But this was my choice, because to me the idea of leaving my loved ones and paying thousands of dollars of rent to live alone seemed absurd to me. I was happy in my great uncle's garden. On weekends, he practically lived out there and just came in to eat and watch tv in the evenings. I spent most of my free time with my dad, so I never felt lonely. I also had cousins to play with me when I was younger. Maybe if I had had more friends my age, I would have felt completely different. I had some friends, but I didn't have a lot in common with my peers, because I was raised in the old-fashioned way. There were no rock concerts or even trips to Disneyland for me. I didn't even go to my prom. Maybe if I had had a boyfriend in my teens things might have turned out differently, but I went to an all girls' Catholic high school. I rarely met boys, except for the local delinquents I passed on the streets. Men would offer me rides to school, but they could have been the next Ted Bundy or Scott Peterson. I hope I haven't put everyone to sleep with my dull life, but I was happy for the most part. I just wish that my dad and I could have experienced the world more. If I get a good price for my house, I should be able to hire a driving instructor, buy a car, and finally have a normal life. This is why I want to fix the property as much as I can, because I only get one shot at this. Then I need to find someone to have fun with. I have tried dining alone, but it's not as pleasant as being able to talk to someone. I also don't regret staying with my dad. I sometimes think if I had gotten married, then my father would have gained a son rather than lost a daughter. However, I would not have left him alone -- it would have had to be a package deal -- not sure if many men would have liked the idea. I have a married cousin whose 91 year old mother lives with her, same aunt as mentioned above. My cousin has to accompany her husband on many vacation trips, and leave her mother by herself, sometimes on holidays. Even the bible demands that a person put their spouse before their parents. Since her husband recently survived prostate cancer, I can understand their need to enjoy life as much as they can while they still can. However, thanks to her and her husband's lucrative income, she is able to take her mother on many other trips to Las Vegas, Disneyland, the Grand Canyon, etc. Ernesto is being nice again and has promised once again to help me move, do repairs and get situated in my new house. He will not move to Texas until I am all settled in, and he may still return to rent a room from me in the new house. My best friend says he's just manipulating me and I should get someone else to help me move. But Ernesto knows that if he leaves me in the lurch, I will never hire him or even speak to him again. I helped him when he was down and out, now it's his turn to help me. If he's a macho man, then he should be the man, take control! He says he can get some permits to fix the cottage with the help of some influential people. Then go for it! I will move forward with or without him. So for now, I am once again hopeful. Take care, everyone, and have a nice weekend. Love and hugs to all......
  19. ELiz, when I told my last therapist about feeling guilty over spending so much time on my hobbies, she said it was normal for me to have my own identity and my own interests. She showed me a life chart which was a pie chart indicating how much time we are supposed to spend on each aspect of our lives. I don't remember exactly, but I think parents were only about ten percent. Anyway, much less than I expected. I don't know who the genius is that made up the chart, but I'm sure it differs in different cultures. American culture certainly promotes independence and individuality. It's not your fault that you needed time to relax from working all week and time to be with your friends. Personally, I would prefer saving thousands upon thousands of dollars in rent every year, and just live with my parents, especially since rents are astronomical here in San Francisco. I don't care what society thinks -- society doesn't pay my rent! As long as my parents wanted me there, but each case is different. My parents couldn't even stay with each other. I know an elderly lady who moved next door to her daughter, thinking that she'd see her all the time, and it didn't work out that way! One time a friend gave a package to the daughter for her mother and she said I'll have my son run it over to her tomorrow. I know they have big lawns in the suburbs, but give me a break! What is so hard about handing a package to her mother next door? This is the reality of modern life. Most of us are so busy we don't even have time to talk on the phone anymore. Some people can't even be bothered to send a text. Sometimes it's not caring enough, but many times it's just having too many obligations. Perhaps spending time with your mom depressed you, and you were trying to avoid feeling down or frustrated. There's usually a perfectly good reason why we don't do things that we think we should do. We would never do anything to deliberately hurt our loved ones. Instead of focusing on the times you didn't go out with your mom, try to think of all the times you did spend quality time with her. I know it's hard, but every time we find ourselves with a guilty memory, we need to replace it with a good memory. I think this is part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but I could never find a therapist who would actually use it with me, even though they said they knew how. This site about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy says, "Over time, if you replace self-criticism with self-compassion, your thoughts will change. As you do this, you might notice your thoughts about other people becoming kinder and more accepting too." May, the moving is not coming along at the moment. Ernesto and I keep having problems. I may have to hire someone else to help me. I also got a call from my cousin, the only one who was helping me, that he fell down and broke some ribs. That will take about two months to heal. I can't wait around for two more months or I will miss the peak listing period which is the spring. I think I'm going to find myself all alone during the house sale and during the buying process and that is going to be miserable for me. I wish it were easier to die, then I could be with my dad again at his new digs, even if they are six feet under. One good bit of news is that the nice judge excused me from jury duty so I can get my house ready to sell. When I was coming home from jury duty yesterday, the friendly cab driver said, "Please don't sell your home -- it's too nice! Let me be your chauffeur..." It looks nice on the outside, but the inside it's a disaster area right now. Reader, we all should have been more patient. I still would give anything to make my father happy, to see his warm smile, to hear him laugh again. It was tougher for you, because your dad was grumpy. My dad had his grumpy moments, too, but what I most resent is the way he held me back, instead of encouraging me to learn to drive. Then maybe I wouldn't be so tortured with regrets about the thousands of fun things we would have been able to do over those 55 years together. I lived life on his terms -- he should have tried to get more out of life instead of being so passive. I waited decades for something exciting to happen, and it never did, until our one trip together to Mexico. Even then we didn't do half as much as we could have, but he was starting to get old. I understood that. Watching movies with my dad was great fun, but there is so much more out there in the world. My heart aches that he denied himself so much pleasure -- and me, too, just because he thought I was going to drive off and leave him alone. He actually said that to me. I would never have done that. If anything we would have spent more quality time together, enjoying life, instead of me trying to distract myself with my computer hobbies. My dad's older sister is 91 and she still goes to casinos! All my dad had to say is take me to Las Vegas and I would have moved the earth to get him there. I know he would have loved it. Then Ernesto hoodwinked me into thinking life was going to be fun again, and now he's more of a party pooper than my dad was. When will I meet someone who wants to enjoy life! At the same time, I don't want a restless spirit who doesn't know how to relax. I want someone like me who is part couch potato and part adventurer. Love and hugs to everybody!
  20. Thank you again, dear Reader. I was only close to one grandparent, my paternal grandmother, though I got to meet my maternal grandmother a few times. I also feel like a teenager in a middle aged body! So many similarities between us..... As caregivers for our dads, our identity was wrapped up in caring for their needs. The routine was both demanding and rewarding. Now that the struggle is over, we feel empty and lost. As I told a therapist once, when I was caring for my dad, the payoff was his comforting and jovial presence. Now I'm in the same house, doing many of the same routine chores, but there's no payoff. No one to talk with over breakfast. (Ernesto doesn't always have breakfast with me -- his meal hours are unpredictable.) Even making a shopping list or taking out the garbage used to be fun with my dad. Just watching him sleep on the couch was a comfort. Once in a while toward the end, he would yell out while dreaming at night. Not in terror but like yelling at someone. Several times he told me that he was dreaming about running off an intruder. I think that intruder represented death. Wishing everyone peace and comfort....
  21. May, I never tried to look for my long lost half sister, because I don't have much information. She was given up as an infant in a private adoption. Since the three half brothers I do know have been kind of aloof (one died in an accident), I don't want to look for someone who may not want to be found. On the other hand, if she ever found me, I'd welcome her with open arms. I hope she is having a good life. Reader, thank you so much for your sweet compliment. I also long for the days with my father. I still can't believe how quickly the years flew by. To me, heaven would be a place with no past and no future, just a blissful present. I wish so much he could enjoy my new home with me and the greater security my property sale should bring (knock on wood). There are many famous people whose parents never got to see their success. Author JK Rowling has spoken of her sadness that her mother, who died from complications related to multiple sclerosis at the age of 45, never knew about the success of her Harry Potter novels. That must really hurt, now that she's a billionaire. My poor grandmother also didn't live to see the success of her grandchildren, and it's tragic, because if anyone deserved to be treated like a queen it was her. By the way, Ernesto and I have patched things up again. So many times it seems like we are on the verge of ending our friendship, but then he does damage control. Love and hugs to you both and to everyone here.....
  22. Reader, thinking you could have saved your dad is irrational guilt. It's normal but it is unfair to you. Even if you managed to prolong your dad's life by ten years, his quality of life was not good. You had to make a tough judgment call -- just imagine some people have to choose to withdraw food and drink from their parent in hospice to shorten their suffering -- at least, your dad got to enjoy his favorite food up to the end. We like to think we could have saved our dads, but we will never know for sure. It's not knowing that perpetuates our guilt -- maybe with a different team of doctors and nurses, they might have survived, but that is something beyond our control. In my dad's case, his diabetes and peripheral arterial disease were getting better, but his kidneys were not. He needed a heart operation and the chances were not in his favor. He didn't want to go back on the ventilator and have to go on dialysis at the same time. The doctors were saying he could end up like a vegetable. Dialysis is hard on the heart, because of the fluid volume fluctuations. The doctor at another hospital said my dad didn't have any good grafting spots to do a bypass operation. I didn't know which doctor to believe. My dad figured if they botched his toe operation, then he couldn't trust them with his heart. Any way you look at it, you were the dutiful daughter who tried to make your dad happy. No one can take that away from you.
  23. Thank you, dear Reader, for your comforting messages. Life is so hard, especially when you are alone or feel alone, because the people you are with aren't as supportive as they could be. It's sad that all the happiness of the past cannot make up for a miserable present and a dim future. “The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars Please pardon my negativity, but even if I moved into the most beautiful house in the world, it's nothing without someone to care about or who cares about me. It's the way I've been raised -- that love and family are all that really matter in life, but I don't have a family anymore. I just have cousins by the dozens, but they don't live with me and most of them live too far away. Some of them won't even talk to me anymore, just because I dare defend myself from their unfair criticism. It's more obvious as time passes that Ernesto doesn't really care about me, either, but that is another story..... Take care, everybody, I'm off to jury duty tomorrow morning. They sent me a summons last November and already another one! It's not fair, because I know people who never get called.
  24. May, actually I do have a long lost half sister that my mother gave away for adoption years before I was born. Reader is my spiritual long lost baby sister. I agree that the second year is harder. I'm three months into my third year, and I cry less often but harder than the first year. Not so much at the cemetery but when certain memories of my dad get triggered by movies, music or random thoughts, I still get that ache in my heart. I'm sorry your wrist is hurting. Take care, and I hope you feel better soon....
  25. Thank you, dear Reader. I'm sure your dad knew you loved him. Actions speak louder than words. As much as I am trying to adjust to my new life, it is so hard, even after two years. I keep feeling sorry for my father. Because he was such a good, gentle person, I feel he deserved so much more than I could give him. Not that he asked for more, or expected it, but I felt like I was the parent and he was the child. He could no longer protect me, and it was my turn to protect him. You know the rest. Today was the first day of spring so I played Grieg's "To Spring" on my cell phone as I watched the rain fall. My father said that my mother used to play this piece beautifully on the piano. I never got to hear her play it. When my father married her, he thought he would enjoy a lifetime of beautiful music with her, but his romantic dream turned into a nightmare. He didn't know anything about narcissism and mental illness. She was very functional, so it was hard to tell at first. I don't blame him for marrying her. She was everything a man could want, 5 foot two, eyes of blue, educated, beautiful, talented, witty, but she didn't know how to love anyone. She was constantly jealous, even of me. I missed out on so much. For all her faults, I would have loved to be under her tutelage. She was a music teacher, drama coach and a ballet instructor. My half brother, thanks to her guidance, became a professional dancer for a time, but their relationship became strained. Oh, well, we can't change the past, but that doesn't stop us from wanting to. I hope everyone is dealing with the memories as best you can. May happiness and peace find us all......