When It Rains...

My step-father passed unexpectedly in late July 2021, leaving my 79 year-old mother alone with their dog on 11 acres. Since then, I’ve been over there every 2-3 days to take care of something. The list is long and boring, but it’s what I do now.

Today, someone hit her dog and ran. A kindly neighbor found the dog struggling by the road and stopped to take her up to Mom’s door. He loaded the dog into Mom’s car, and I showed up a few minutes later just as the poor thing took her last breaths. She would have been 6 on Saturday and was the friendliest little lab mix you’d ever want to meet.

So here’s Mom watching the two dearest loves in her life die in front of her within 7 months of each other. She’s a wreck. I’m a wreck. This sucks so bad for so many reasons.

Draggon

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So here’s Mom watching the two dearest loves in her life die in front of her within 7 months of each other. She’s a wreck. I’m a wreck. This sucks so bad for so many reasons.

Draggon

It is heartbreaking—for your mom to be experiencing such devastating loss, and for you to be feeling her profound pain, and being so alone in trying to help her cope with it.

You can rant—and whatever else—here, as much as you need to.

=sheila

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It feels wrong to click the recommend button, but please consider it my acknowledgement of the struggles both you and your mother are going through.

Rant here all you need. It certainly helped me.

–Peter

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So sorry to hear😭

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" She’s a wreck. I’m a wreck. This sucks so bad for so many reasons.

Draggon
"


Sometimes things seem to go in cycles. Misfortunes seem to follow and pounce on folks without
respite time after time. But things can and do get better. Time and perspective can heal the
bad times - memories of better days and situations do help as well as tears.

Howie52
Recovery times vary from one person to another - and there are times when a person just can’t
see perspectives - or consider what other things might have been that make present circumstances
actually better than they might have been.

May better times be just around the corner for you and your family.

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So here’s Mom watching the two dearest loves in her life die in front of her within 7 months of each other.

I would make a slight change in this wording, to…“So here’s Mom watching TWO OF the dearest loves in her life die in front of her within 7 months of each other.”

There is a third. And that is you. And that becomes an enormous responsibility at this point, because of her other loses. But you are also able to provide her with the gift of your love, and presence, in this time of such profound loss. She still has you.

=sheila

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I know it’s not the same, but is there a neighbor with dog that she can help walk and love on? It might not be the best idea to get a new pet at her age, depending on her health. A cat, perhaps? Nothing like a purring kitty in one’s lap.

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I’m so sorry. For your mom and you and poor doggo.

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And that becomes an enormous responsibility at this point, because of her other loses. But you are also able to provide her with the gift of your love, and presence, in this time of such profound loss. She still has you.

Thanks for that, Sheila. You’re entirely right, and I thought about that while posting. I worded it as I did not because I don’t know she loves us just as deeply, and needs us now more than ever - just that those you spend 24 hours a day with kind of naturally take the lead. I’m just afraid that the dog was her lifeline and her reason for “trying”. I also hadn’t realized how attached I’d become to the dog since spending so much time out there since my step-father passed.

And thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and comments. It’s been a rough couple of days. On top of everything I described with Mom, Dad is on his approx. 60th day of “Rehab” in the facility he was released to on 12/30 from his hospital stay that started on 12/18. It is now pretty apparent that his PSP has progressed to the point that the Assisted Living place where he was living up until 12/18 is no longer sufficient for his needs. So my sisters and I had a “Care Plan” meeting with Dad and facility staff to go over some of the logistics of transitioning Dad to a permanent nursing home resident status following expiration of his Medicare benefits (i.e. 100 days). The Assisted Living place is only that - AL - it doesn’t have a nursing home license. I went back and read my original intro ala 5/2019 when Dad first entered AL, and it’s amazing how quickly his quality of life plummeted. Transitioning from one facility to another is somewhat complicated, but we have a meeting with his Elder Care attorney on Monday and are hoping he’ll be able to shed a little more light and guidance to the process.

He’s essentially bedridden at this point, but still mostly mentally competent. It’s so incredibly heartbreaking watching a once-proud and strong man deteriorate right before your eyes. I’ve never been super-close with my Dad, but this is rough. I know he wishes it, but sometimes I can’t help but think it would have been so much better for him to have had a massive heart attack and leave this world more or less instantly.

Draggon
(probably a bit depressed atm)

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we have a meeting with his Elder Care attorney on Monday and are hoping he’ll be able to shed a little more light and guidance to the process.

And when it rains…plus! Thank goodness you have siblings to share this with!

I’d suggest trying to locate a geriatric social worker to help as well. A good one will be knowledgeable and helpful in ways you can’t imagine till you experience it—and benefit from it. The Elder Care attorney may be able to give you one or more recommendations. If you have a local Alzheimer’s Association chapter, look at their website or call them. They should have some names. If you aren’t able to locate anyone, post a note here and I’ll see if an old search link I have is still working.

=sheila

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