My mother passed away

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,171
Location
Flushing, New York
As some of you may know, I've been care taking for my mother for about the last decade. Things got more involved when she stopped walking about 6 years ago. I had to bathe her, put her on the toilet, move her from her bed to her recliner, and so forth. I semi-retired in 2018, both to take care of her better, plus my consulting gig at the time ended.

The last ~6 years of being completely sedentary of course took its toll on her body. This May she went to the hospital with septic shock. In truth, I didn't think she would leave the hospital alive but she did. She spent the next 8 months in hospice care at home, and basically made a miraculous recovery. Last Wednesday was her last day in hospice care. She was being taken off due to the doctors feeling she had more than 6 months to live. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Tuesday going into Wednesday she was a little off but the symptoms were similar to what she went though about four months prior. Back then, she also had discharged some blood overnight. I attributed it to possible dental issues. The nurses who came weekly didn't mention any other possible reasons. I figured she might a little out sorts for a day or two, then recover, as she did the last time. The nurse who checked her on the day she died didn't find anything concerning.

I made her comfortable, put her on oxygen since her breathing was labored, and then let her relax. She had no interest in solid foods, but at least drank Ensure and apple juice. I lied down next to her for a while. I noticed her breathing was quieter. Then I thought it's too quiet. She had stopped breathing. I called 9/11. Unfortunately they couldn't bring her back. They also said they felt blood in her stomach while giving her CPR. Most likely she had GI bleeding which we might have caught four months ago when similar symptoms appeared had anyone thought to check for it.

The services are on the 17th and 18th:

She missed what would have been her 85th birthday by only 10 days.

As her care taker, I had a special bond. I won't be myself for a long time, if ever. Last few days I mostly stayed in bed. I don't know if or when I'll be here regularly again. I just wanted to post this in case anyone might wonder why I'm not around. What makes this even more tragic was she appeared to be on an upward swing. I had no illusions of her living another decade or more given her frail condition, but I was hoping for a few more years at least.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
13,741
Location
USA
Ah man, I'm so sorry for your loss jtr that's awful. I know you've been caring for your mom for so long now it's hard to believe it's been 10 years.

My heart goes out to you and your family during this tough time. If there's anything you need or want to vent I'm here to listen. I can only imagine the changes this will bring for you in the coming weeks and months, if not years. I totally get the feeling to pull away and obviously you will need time to process, heal, and find you way. Don't pull away too much so we can keep in touch and help you through some of this.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,662
Location
USA
As her care taker, I had a special bond. I won't be myself for a long time, if ever. Last few days I mostly stayed in bed. I don't know if or when I'll be here regularly again. I just wanted to post this in case anyone might wonder why I'm not around. What makes this even more tragic was she appeared to be on an upward swing. I had no illusions of her living another decade or more given her frail condition, but I was hoping for a few more years at least.
All change brings opportunities. You have gone above and beyond in caring for your mother, but now it's time to live your own best life. Set some goals for 2024 monthly and weekly.
 

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,519
Location
Horsens, Denmark
My condolences as well JTR. I've done some caregiving for family, and can't imagine how overwhelming it would be to keep it up for a decade. I suspect that you'll still have your hands busy for the next couple weeks, but I encourage you to talk to someone who can help you figure out what you'll be doing with your uncommitted time. It could be a very big change.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,171
Location
Flushing, New York
Thanks all for the condolences. The hardest part, namely the funeral and burial, is over.

Once I feel myself again, I'll easily go back to doing projects to fill my uncommitted time. I'm also working about 15 to 20 hours a month on a new project for my friend who owns the taximeter shop. I started this about a year ago. The income should be enough to cover my living expenses without needing to dip into my savings, provided I stay in the house. I don't plan to get Social Security until I'm 70.

I'm not even past the beginning of the grieving process yet. It's going to be hard. It took me over a year to feel normal after my father died. This is probably going to be harder.

There's also some friction now about the house. I'm out of options if I can't stay here. I won't have enough money to buy something else and have enough left over to pay for living expenses. That's not even getting into the huge stress (both physical and emotional) of moving. So basically I'm homeless if my siblings insist the house has to be sold, and all my belongings would probably end up in a dumpster. If it comes to that, I'll give everyone here notice before I off myself. I hope it doesn't.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,662
Location
USA
Change is a normal part of life. Find the parts that work to your benefit rather than fight against them. Maybe look into getting a full time job and make a deal with your siblings (not sure how many that is) to stay longer or buy them out over time.
Meanwhile, if you are not in any individual and/or group therapy, get some as that should improve moving through the grieving process. I assume you know about 988.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,171
Location
Flushing, New York
Not sure what you mean by work full time. Get a job working for someone else 40 hours a week for a lousy $10 or $15 an hour? I was done with that over 30 years ago. The 15 or 20 hours a month I'm doing now working from home is about as much work as I care to do. I want to go back to living again now that I can come and go when I want. Working full time is incompatible with having any kind of a life, plus I just don't have the energy for it. Plenty of other stuff I need to do besides. I've neglected the house taking care of mom. There's easily a year or two of cleanup and repairs ahead of me just to get things reasonably orderly.

There's no way I can earn the $500K I'd need to buy my two siblings out in any reasonable time frame, if at all. Maybe I'll start a Go Fund Me and see how it goes. Or hopefully they change their minds. I feel like the 10+ years of sacrifice had no value to them at all, like they took it for granted. I knew this was going to happen and have been dreading it for years. Unfortunately, my mom was no longer mentally competent to change the terms of her will when I started taking care of her, or I'm sure she would have seriously considered letting me have the house.

Mom's insurance offers bereavement counseling for 13 months. I'm already in it.

Never heard of 988.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,662
Location
USA
I was thinking roughly $50-100/hr, but I don't know your business.
Many of us work for a living doing something that we inherently like, although there are always activities that are unpleasant.
I would not have had the opportunity to see so many corners of the world and such a variety of flora, fauna, humans and historical sites as I would have without an income from a good job. Between holidays and PTO I get over 9 weeks of free time. That's plenty of time for most people to have a life.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,171
Location
Flushing, New York
I make around that working at home as an independent contractor. That's the only kind of work I'm interested in now but not for 40 hours a week. If this latest project eventually gets to 10 or 15 hours a week that's enough. It's almost all taxes anyway if I ever got much over about $100K, so not worth killing myself.

If I worked for someone else I'd be flipping burgers or stocking shelves. I have zero relevant experience for anything higher paying, plus I'm 61 years old.

You're lucky to have as much time off. I didn't even have sick days or paid holidays on any of my jobs, never mind vacation. If I didn't work, I didn't get paid.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,171
Location
Flushing, New York
Can someone remove the link to my mother's obituary in the first post? My sister saw it and mentioned it could open the door to identify theft using my mother's name now that she's dead.
 
Top