Home Caring for Three The Unit Known As Shandi's blog Not Sleeping

Not Sleeping

Hi everybody,

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted since Mom died. To say that it’s been overwhelming would be an understatement. The graveside services were Thursday the 4th. It was a beautiful sunny day, and things went as well as they could have under the circumstances. It was tough. My 7-year-old grandson sobbed in my arms through the ceremony. That was heart-breaking, and yet, I find comfort in the fact that he knew his great-grandma so well and mourned her loss. So many times in our society, great-grandchildren don’t have that kind of connection. This little guy knew her every routine, tucked her into bed for the first five years of his life, and learned to help guide her walker when he was three.

After the graveside service, my husband and I left for four days of camping. My amazing brother set it all up. We are normally tent campers, but he wanted me not to have to do anything but rest and recharge my batteries. He pulled his camper up the mountains, and we camped in a primitive campsite but with toilet, shower…all the comforts of home. I had time away to grieve and to heal.

The last few days, I’ve been planning for the memorial service coming up this Sunday. We’re expecting about 200 people (there were almost 50 at the graveside service). It will be a Southern-themed celebration of Mom. I figured out today how to Skype the service to her brother and sisters, and cousins, down South. I love the fact that they can be involved.

During the day, I think I’m doing okay. Tears come frequently, and little things set them off. I haven’t been back into Mom’s house since she died, I just haven’t been ready for that. My biggest issue is not sleeping at night. For the past two years, I’ve slept with a monitor beside my bed, listening for her breathing because of her CPap machine and her inability to remove it if necessary. I’ve talked to several other people that have had this problem after losing someone that they slept near or with. It’s tough. My head knows she’s gone, but my subconscious doesn’t believe it yet. I wake up, and have to remind myself all over again.

The amount of support that our friends and family showed during Mom’s illness continues. It’s been absolutely amazing, and I don’t know how I would have gotten through this without it.

My sister is having a hip replaced two days after the Memorial Service. Mom’s caregiver is driving to pick my sister up in Mom’s (now my sister’s) wheel chair van for the service, as well as our cousin and Mom’s other caregiver. My mother-in-law is also not doing well, and we’ve been trying to deal with that situation and looking into assisted living places for her.

Sorry this is my first post since July 30th, and I’m sorry it’s negative in ways, but it is where I am right now. I should probably move over to aftergiving.com, and yet you all know me here AND I’m still caregiving for my sister and mother-in-law.

We continue to work well together as a family. I’m so thankful for the family I was born into. So many people have commented on this, and the legacy Mom left us. I’m happy that we haven’t pulled apart, and that we don’t want to. My niece has already made reservations for Christmas at a rental home that our family has stayed at several times, and used to belong to our great-aunt. It’s a place with happy memories for us, and a new venue.

I think everything will be okay, it’s just such a tough time. Our house issues continue. I have a conference call with the geotechnical engineer and the health department inspector. Our septic design was denied. The septic inspector wants the house further back on the lot than what the geotech will allow. Battles and red tape, and our time is running out. We have to have the house moved, or vacate it, by Nov. 1st. Pretty sure we’ll have to rent, at least for a while. On top of that, we only have 30 days to clean Mom’s house out completely before the bank takes possession (because of the reverse mortgage).

Okay, after writing this, I guess it’s not surprising that I am not sleeping!

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Shandi, my heart and prayers are with you. What you are experiencing is normal grief reactions. It is the price we pay for having truly loved someone special. I know because I lost a mother-in-law in September and my husband in January. My grandkids also truly loved them both.

    I am so glad you had this time away. I hope soon, things will fall in place so you can return to your home. I am happy that you have family to support you.

  2. Thank you for letting us know how you are doing. Although everyone’s experience is different, everyone who has been down the road you are on understands and is here to help you.

  3. Shandi, It’s great to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your wonderful, loving family with us. You will grieve for as long as it takes, just remember to take care of yourself. I hope you do stay around this site — sounds like you still have caregiving left to do! Take care (and good luck with the house).

  4. Shandi:

    I’m so sorry that you have to go through all this stuff on top of grieving for your mom.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Hugs:o)
    Jane ~ mom to Nicole, 16 yo, VSD, PAH, Eisenmengers, EDS/BHJS
    Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

  5. Hi TUKAS–What’s great about Caregiving.com and AfterGiving.com is that you’ll know people at both places. :) And, you’re welcome here and there.

    I’m so sorry about the sleeping! We did a show about 10 months ago on getting to sleep; you may find some helpful tips when you have a chance to listen. You’ll find it here: http://www.caregiving.com/2010/10/whats-your-tip-for-a-good-nights-sleep/

    So glad you were able to get away! Let us know how Sunday goes…

  6. Hi Shandi,
    I’ve been thinking about you.

    Caregiving is so interesting in that what fully exhausts us and takes venting and coping skills, is something that one day we wish for…I’ve thought about what life might be like one day without caregiving here and it’s a very unusual feeling for me – maybe similar to what you’re feeling now.

    I hope that the emptiness you feel is soon more understood, and one that your family (who are wonderful) will help you heal in.

    You and your mother had a very special relationship. You were so strong, yet gentle through each step of caregiving, saying good-bye, and to the present. Thank you Shandi for your place here – I hope to continue to see your name. I peek in at AfterGiving and will see you there too.

    I hope sleep comes soon. Rest in the good memories: the times that made you and your mom both smile. I think of the time you took her to the ocean, moved her bed outside as she was able to enjoy the view and see her great-granddaughter. How you always encouraged your grandson to love and be close to his great-grandma – not afraid. And, hot chocolate by the window on a snowy afternoon. You are truly amazing and I hope the sleep returns soon and is a good sleep for you.

    Thinking of you Shandi on Sunday, and thinking of your sister on her upcoming surgery day. Please keep us updated. Take Care Shandi.

  7. Hi Shandi-

    It is great to hear from you. No need to apologize, that is what we are here for. I am happy you got to get away and that soon you start getting more sleep.

    Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

  8. Thank you, all. I’ve spent today going through photos to put together pictures for the Memorial Service. I thought it would be emotionally tough, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. So many happy memories, and a very happy mommy in every photo. She was such a joy! It was especially fun to see a photo of her with almost each new baby born into our family. Nothing like a newborn to put a big smile on her face. Now, to make sense of the photos I pulled out and try to arrange them chronologically!

  9. Hi, Shandi, I’m so glad you wrote to let us know how you are doing. I have been thinking of you. I know this part is hard, and you are in great hands with your wonderful family. I hope sleep will come soon.

  10. Shandi,

    I am so very happy you checked in :)
    Your family has always been a strong support. I am happy they all continue to be, as you all take the time you each need to move through the grieving process. Some will move faster than others and that will be okay as long as everyone continues to move.
    What a special relationship your grandson got to have with his great grandmother. That is rare these days. Thank you for sharing your family with us. Thank you for sharing yourself. :)

  11. Actually, the not sleeping part is a common part of grieving. Besides Shandi, you know you never have to apologize for any of your posts.

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