Our journey through Alzheimer's is over. The ramifications of the experience will last for years.
Here's one that I'm working through:
Mom became so agitated with the slightest activities around the house that I let a lot of things go in the last 2 years of Mom's illness. We rarely cooked. We did little cleaning besides what was absolutely necessary for health reasons. We didn't decorate for holidays. If something broke, we found a way to make it work with minimal disruption to Mom. Needless to say, the house is a mess.
It was only 6 months ago that I chose to place Mom in a facility that could care for her better than I could. I thought, "Wow! I can do things again. I can finally get the house put back together." Unfortunately, these energetic thoughts were followed with an unbelievable sense of hopelessness and apathy. I just didn't care. I don't know if I believed that she was going to be sent home again (it entered my mind) or whether I just needed the time to lick my wounds and heal a bit.
Whatever the reason, since Mom's passing, I have been filled with a sense of urgency and energy to get things done. I need to get up and move. I need to clean, fix, and purge. I need to work. And I have been. The house is still torn up, it always looks worse before it can look better. But, I am getting there.
As I said, I will be working through the repercussions of this journey for a long time. It feels good to take a first step back to my life.