Out of carer mode

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Reading these post in floods of tears, it's such a relief to know I'm not the only one struggling. My famiy seem mystified that I'm 'still' not coping, they were great until the funeral but since then I've seen no-one. They used to visit a lot before so don't know what I've done. To be fair I haven't told them how bad it is, apart from my sister and she's in Scotland. I'm trying not to be cynical but it seems she's glad not to have to feel 'guilty' any more because she didn't help with dad. It's as if the last 13 years didn't happen now. Doesn't help that I'm stranded in the house because we had a motability car for dad, that's gone back and I can't afford one myself. We're in a village, and I can't manage to get out because of arthritis. Hate having to beg favours from neighbour to get out once every couple of weeks to do shopping even though I have a lovely neighbour who's happy to help, you can't put on people too much when they're busy themselves. Still getting flashbacks, all the bad stuff at the end of dad's life. Relate so much to what's been said here - the adjustment from 24/7 worry and attentiveness to having no purpose is so difficult. Think that's what people don't understand if they've not been there. They probably think I'm enjoying all this time to myself but it's so difficult to get motivated. Will send this before I ramble any further, thanks for all your honesty, glad to know I'm not going mad. I've tried to reply to some of your messages but keep deleting them by mistake so apologies and fingers crossed for this post! Thanks all. xxxxx
Do we ever really "cope with loss" though?

I mean sure, grief becomes easier with time but sometimes, all it takes is the smallest thing and *poof* we are back there feeling our losses as if it was only yesterday.

Death is a very traumatic thing that can be likened to a serious ailment at times because it can and does affect us on so many levels - it's not uncommon to develop PTSD from the loss of a loved one... yet so many people seem to think that we can just snap out of it.

Obviously, that's never going to happen because we need this time to sit and work through our feelings and how they relate to us and our loss before we can even start to progress in our healing journey.
Lesley - talking about snatching stuff back ie the motorbility car. When I went to register hubby, the first thing the woman asked me was 'do you have your husband's blue car badge?'.
that's awful, how can people be so cold. They were reasonable with the motability car really, I had it till the funeral was over. It's just that I'm stranded here without a car, and there's no way to afford one on income support. Everything just changes overnight when the person you look after dies, and that's hard enough without having to worry about money. When you think how much family carers save the government they could give us more help, but that's not going to happen!!
Hi All

I can understand everything everyone has written. I lost my ex husband ( good friend) in April 2011 and then my dad for whom I had been carer for 18 years in January 2012. People did not think I should have feeling about my ex husband's death. He was carer to his mum for many years. He was also the same age as me and someone of my age dying was a bit of a wake up call. My dad was in hospital from November 2011 until his death but even now I still get a wee fright thinking I have forgotten to see to my dad.

The nasty, ignorant wee moment I had was when a neighbour found out my dad had died she asked me within 6 hours of the death what I was going to do with his house. How can people be so ignorant??

Little Lamb
lell07

So sorry for your loss.

Just wondering if you have mobility problems of your own would it be worth applying for DLA while it still exists?xx
hi poppett - thanks for your post. I've been on income support for some years because I qualified for incapacity benefit, after medicals etc., but hadn't enough contributions (didn't realise I was entitled to them when I was first looking after my dad). Don't really understand why I never got incapacity benefit later as since then I've had stamps paid as a carer. I did ring benefits line last week to ask about it, they sent me out a form to apply for DLA. I think I need to get some advice about it, maybe CAB? It would be good to find work but with the limitations of arthritis, transport issue, plus I'm 60 now, I don't think it's realistic. I don't get a pension till 2014, and that could be tricky because I lived and worked in France for 11 years before coming back to look after mum and dad. I paid high contributions there but have no idea how to claim it when the time comes. I'm not good at getting to grips with all this - it's much easier when it's for someone else! Image
Hi Little Lamb,

When someone said something stupid to me when I was widowed, I was sorely tempted to bit their heads off, but knew this would upset me more than them. I'd built a shell round me to cope, but it was very, very thin. I just told myself that one day they'd be bereaved themselves and realise just how heartless they'd be. A few weeks ago I would have thought a question about the house heartless, however I know someone I know with a 2 year old child in a one bedroom flat. The child is now in the bedroom and the parents sleep in the lounge. They are desperate to move, but the housing list in the New Forest is so long. People are desperate to find out about houses which are going to be empty so they can put their applications in for a transfer asap. In our area, "affordable" housing is way beyond the reach of the average working couple now.
Hi Bowlingbun

Thanks for your message. I can understand what you mean about people being desperate for housing. My own daughter is married with a 3.5 year old and they live in a one bed flat in a building built for old folks. As more and more elderly people are being encouraged to stay in their own homes there were not enough old folks willing to move there so they started putting in younger people either single or couples. There is also the problem of people having bought up the majority of local authority housing. However I can not move into my dad's house and rent my 3 bed flat to my daughter because of housing benefit rules.

The person who asked about my father's house lived opposite in a two bed flat and maybe she wanted to move (she has since moved away) I really thought that the correct thing to say to the bereaved that day would not be "What are you doing with the house?" I would never have sold her the house anyway as she has spent 17 years moaning about the people she bought the flat from. She had also asked if she could use my dad's disabled parking space if he was not parked in it!

I had lost my husband 8 months before my dad and had spent 18 years being seen dashing in and out of my father's house several times a day. I just was not in a place to cope with a piece of cheek from an NHS employee given that I had been traumatised by the conduct of staff at the local hospital.

It is perhaps the way of the world now, it all just seemed so unkind to me. I just dont seem able to cope with that kind of person at the moment. Thanks for your comment putting another side of it to me.

Little Lamb
Hi again lell, CAB should be able to help you with the form, or your council should have a welfare rights worker who can help. The form should have come with some guidance notes and my advice to you would be to use the very worst day you have ever had as being a normal day. By the time they get round to assessing the form it probably will be Image Do not be put off by a refusal, I am sure the claims are mostly turned down first time around, but please appeal and take it to independent review service if you have to. As much background information as possible is always helpful and keep a copy of the form before you post it away as they are notorious for being lost in the post. Good luck, and come back if you need further help.xx