It's so difficult

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Mum died in my arms at home a month ago from a rare form of cancer. At first I kept busy as lots to do and people to see, then I decided to take time out which is when it hit me like a train. The feelings of positivity about memories became stabs of yearning for that time. I keep breaking down in front of people helplessly.
I got a list of possible vocations/employment which all got crossed off gradually for emotional reasons so I then I went the job centre ! On what a mistake, a pamphlet with a photo of an old lady needing help! Now I have been told to get a sick note ....
I have rendered myself unemployable and humiliated by caring for ten years, financially embarassed and worst I feel conned by the state as I have given up so much (job, partner, pension, home) to care for my lovely mother, saving the government £££. BUT I own years of laughter, fulfilment and mutual unconditional family love that's mine to keep! Memories are like diamonds - forever.
Just hope the system doesn't abandon me as now I'm the old lady!
Julia_150912345 wrote:Mum died in my arms at home a month ago from a rare form of cancer. At first I kept busy as lots to do and people to see, then I decided to take time out which is when it hit me like a train. The feelings of positivity about memories became stabs of yearning for that time. I keep breaking down in front of people helplessly.
I got a list of possible vocations/employment which all got crossed off gradually for emotional reasons so I then I went the job centre ! On what a mistake, a pamphlet with a photo of an old lady needing help! Now I have been told to get a sick note ....
I have rendered myself unemployable and humiliated by caring for ten years, financially embarassed and worst I feel conned by the state as I have given up so much (job, partner, pension, home) to care for my lovely mother, saving the government £££. BUT I own years of laughter, fulfilment and mutual unconditional family love that's mine to keep! Memories are like diamonds - forever.


Just hope the system doesn't abandon me as now I'm the old lady!
My condolences for loss of your mum. What a wonderful job you did. Be very proud!! It sounds to me you are not ready to embark on another journey. You need time to grieve without worrying about your future.
It's easy to sayI know. Take advantage of a sickness note and make the most of it. Give yourself time to breath. You may be able to take up some volunteer work. This would break you back into the world of work. Make some new friendships etc. Try your volunteer centre. It doesn't need to be in care work. Once people have been carers. There seems to be a push towards. Sending people in that direction because of skills and knowledge gained. That may be OK for some but not for everyone.
Hi Julia, you are in the very early stages of bereavement. After my husband died, I looked at a few self help books, and chose two which seemed most relevant to my situation. I made sure I went out every day, didn't want to shop in my town, so I didn't break down, I shopped 6 miles away. I don't like breaking down in front of others, so kept my trips out relatively short, short enough for my brave face not to slip. I cried my eyes out every evening for ages, especially dealing with personal things like the wardrobe. Caring changes us, so don't throw yourself into anything and everything to fill the empty hours, because your brain needs some of those hours to process everything that's happened. You need some of it to work out what you'd like to do now you are free. Swimming classes, sewing lessons, the list is entirely yours to design. Try everything, some things you may love, others not so. Do a few things outside your comfort zone too - just ask yourself "Did I enjoy that?" each time. In this way you will find the "new" Julia.
Be gentle with yourself. As the others have said, your loss is still very raw.
When I lost my dad after caring for him I realised I wasn't just bereaved but redundant...even though I still had a job, I was no longer a carer. When I went back to work I was numb and couldn't manage. My colleagues helped me as they knew what I'd been through.
Trying to look for work when you are torn apart inside is like walking through treacle. I did this years ago when I was made redundant from a 'secure' job within months of moving back to the UK and buying my first house. I struggled to get something that was well below my abilities as I just didn't have the strength.
I'd suggest going to talk to your GP. Ask for some more time via a sick note. Try to do one positive thing a day for yourself. Treat your bereavement like a broken leg - it needs time to rest and heal.
Jx
A month is like 'only yesterday' when it comes to grief and bereavement! I could barely function a month after my husband died....his funeral had only been a fortnight previously. The emotions we feel at this time are so, so, so huge it's like being caught in a tsunami - a giant wave of emotion washing us over and over and over, tumbling us, drowning us...every now and then we can surface to breath....and then down down down we go again.....

So, indeed, be incredibly gentle on yourself. As the days pass, nothing will seem different, but eventually, in a way you won't notice, you will be able to 'breathe' more. Just a little more, each day.

When someone dies, ironically, we get incredibly 'busy' - some of this is to 'blot out' our emotions, because they are too painful (some folk get very obsessive over cleaning, or sorting out things, and so on) - but also because there is nearly always paperwork (wills, bank accounts, death certificates and so on, each one causing yet more pain) (letters arriving to the person we've lost are guaranteed to break us down instantly!), and there is practical things too - I had to take back things to the hospital, like plastic undersheets, when my husband had died (cancer, like your mum).

Then, of course, there are all their personal possessions. If I have any advice it's not to rush this stage. I would say better to keep things for longer, while you have a think about them. When my mother died, I found myself keeping her last tube of handcream...it was half used, but I couldn't bear to throw it away. I think it's still in a suitcase somewhere in my attic with the other personal things, and special bits and pieces, that I kept of her).

And yes, indeed, be very, very proud of what you did. You 'saw her out' and that is brilliant. And I very, very much hope that she is somewhere 'up there' looking down and sending her love to such a wonderful, loving daughter.

Kindest wishes to you, at such a hard, hard time for you - Jenny
It is getting a little better now I allowed myself time, during which it did get worse I think! Now it seems to be physical ailments rather than emotional. Thank you all for supporting me with thoughts of your own experiences and lots of common sense ! Mum was an artist and I sit looking at her talent through which she will always be there! Oh and I have decided to be "retired" not looking for work causing more stress. I think we all do enough, non-stop for years! Carers should be allowed early retirement I think after going through this, but I know there are those of you out there going through hard times now and my heart goes out to you all. Be proud cos you're special.
Reading all the posts here are exactly what I've experienced over the past week or so, I was my Mothers carer for the past three and a half years, sadly she passed away last Tuesday (June 21st), the first couple of days I was broken and devastated, then got busy organising the funeral, all the financial dealings and sending medical equiptment back, now that is all done, the home and my life just feel empty, she was my life for the past three years, so the question now is where do I go from here?
Oh, Ian, that is sad indeed! As you have been reading, this is a time of great emotional turmoil, almost a whirlpool inside your head, and inside your heart. It is a very 'strange' time, and you will never experience another like it.

As we have been saying, expect 'ups and downs' of a severe nature - you will find that you are 'doing OK' and then suddenly, out of nowhere, you will walk off the edge of a cliff, and plunge down, down, down.

Grief is SLOW....it is almost imperceptible in the progress out of it, as it softens, day, by day, by day.....yet with those 'precipices' when you least expect them. But you do emerge 'in the end'....but changed.

We hold those we love in our hearts, and in our memories -they 'live' there.

Go easy on yourself, and 'go with your emotions' wherever they take you, and whenever.

Kindest wishes, at such a sad time for you, Jenny

PS - do start your own thread, if you wish, you are most, most welcome to do so!
Hi Ian, allow yourself to meander round doing not a lot. When I lost my husband, I was keen to do the "right" thing, just didn't know what the heck that was. I'd married when I was 19 and everything involved him, we even ran a business and a club together. Gradually, I tried new things, and decided to give up others. One of the biggest changes is probably the colour of my clothes. Work and social life revolved around vintage vehicles, steam engines, lorries etc. so I spent most summers in navy blue clothes, as we went to shows almost every weekend, and mid week was spent tidying up after the last show, or getting ready for the next one. Now, I wear bright colours all the time! I also go on holiday twice a year, to a hotel in Crete, just for single people, so here if you are on your own, you are not the odd one out.
Every time you do something, try to think how you feel about it, it takes time to learn how to listen to yourself, but gradually, the void will fill.
Thank you for the messages of support, I just feel a void at the moment, I have sorted everything that needs sorting, and am coping better with each day, but the funeral isn't until next week, then it will all come flooding back, and then it's time to pick myself up again.
I have three sisters for a bit of support, but they all live 20+ miles away in different directions and have their husbands and families to help them through the worse days, while I just sit in the home I shared with my Mum trying to think of the good times to lift my spirits.
I've started to glance through the jobs market, I shall need one now my caring role has become redundant, I think I'll look more after the funeral.
Reading the messages on this forum about people who have gone through or are going through the same thoughts and emotions I have and have picked themselves up has helped me cope better.