Finding myself again

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Hello Everyone,

I lost my mum 8 months ago to an aggressive throat cancer. 10 months prior to her passing her sister passed away to the same type of cancer. It has been a difficult couple of years and I feel very lost and have done for some time. Losing two people who I loved and cared for in the space of 12 months has been a shock.

I have spent a long time being involved in caring for them both and now they are gone I am finding it hard to care for myself. I don't know who I am when im not caring for others. its been a really hard transition to make and I really struggle with it. Grief has turned into depression and I just want to get my life back on track but seem to go round in circles

Has anyone has a similar experience or offer advice on this?

One thing that has been helping a little is writing. I created a blog shortly before my mum passed away and I have been using that as an outlet to write about my life as a carer in hopes that I can reach people that have experienced something similar.
When I was widowed, I joined a forum for widows, and we all agreed that around 6 months after someone died was the very worst, so I'm not surprised that you are struggling. You are not quite the same person you were, now older, wiser, battle weary? Make a wish list of things you always wanted to do, small, large, or inbetween. Then challenge yourself to do some of them. I bought a book called "Starting Again" by Sarah Litvinoff, really aimed at divorcees but much is relevant to anyone facing a big change in lifestyle. Best of all, it's easy to read, and you can just read a few pages at a time. Really helped me. Now I can put in concealed zips, I've been to a live show, and I holiday in the Mediterranean, at a wonderful hotel for single people (Mistral Hotel, Maleme, near Chania). There's lots of the "old" me, but I have a new confidence and happiness too.
Hi Sheleen,
I feel very sorry for your losses and think I’m feeling the same as you.I lost my mum on 14th February this year. People look at me and think I’m doing well. Maybe I am but tonight especially i’m wandering about our flat feeling lost and aimless. Everything’s mum’s. Everything’s here apart from her. I’m an only child and after dad died, it was just mum and me.
I go to keep fit classes and volunteer at the local hospital which I enjoy, but I’m coming back to an empty flat and wondering what to do with myself. We only had the funeral on 6th March (crems are so busy) and the internment at the crem. isn’t until next Friday so still got that hanging over me. I’m very teary at moment. Struggling with going from days filled with caring for someone to having nothing important to do. I started putting my thoughts and feelings in a separate diary especially when I was really upset and it helps a bit. To friends and neighbours mum’s gone and that’s the end of it but not for me. Maybe I’m not letting go? I don’t know but I hope neither of us descend into depression but find our way through the grief. I wish you well. Let’s hope tomorrow brings more positive thoughts. x
Hi Sheleen and Sarah
I'm sorry to read of your recent bereavements , I lost Dad at Christmas so understand your loss of purpose. I've been pottering on doing bits and pieces of care work for others and will try and up my hours in May and not before. I always told myself that once I lost Dad I would have a nice break away and I am going on holiday in April now all the paperwork is almost done and dusted.
I've also thrown myself into fostering a rescue dog alongside my own very elderly hound- yes I know more care and wee and poop- I'm a sucker for punishment but do find it very rewarding.
I'm as ok as I can be about the bereavement as Dad had long life and no one could have done more for him so no regrets. My main problem as I always knew it would be is to whether to remain in the house long term or pack up and have a new start somewhere. I have done pros and cons lists galore for months and no further nearer a decision. I get more annoyed by other people telling me to make my mind up as though it was easy peasy.
Going back to BBs idea of lists of things you always wanted to do-half mine are doing the old house up and the other half are getting somewhere new! I have a bursting folder full of lists and not helping at all.
"Everything is mum's". I looked round my house one day and realised that with the exception of my sewing room, my kitchen and my wardrobe, it all used to belong to someone else or had been chosen by someone else.
So enjoy making it yours. Having emptied three houses, the key to successful change is first to ask yourself if YOU will ever use it again?
Your Mum's personal stuff probably comes into this category. Bet tackled a drawer at a time. I found it easier to deal with my husband's stuff by sending all to a "new home" where it would be appreciated, the local Salvation Army. Don't chuck it all in a black sack, fold it neatly and put it in a box. Don't do it all at once either. It will bring tears, loads of them, but they are good tears, letting all the sadness go.
Think of it as making room for your "new life".
You don't need "stuff" to remember mum, she lives on in your heart forever.