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Amongst other things, this is a love story.... the theme changes occasionally... this year it is fitness and learning to love yourself.

4 April 2015

Conflicted. #atozchallenge Care for the carers.

Two days after her 73rd birthday my Mum took her final breath. She had Alzheimers and Motor neurone disease. For her final 3 months I was her main carer, a privilege I am grateful for and will cherish forever. This years #atozchallenge theme will focus on some of the stories and emotions that presented themselves during this time. 

Remember to care for the carers.  


At some point I realised:

Encouraging her to eat was more like force feeding. 

Medicine was keeping her alive, but there was no life left to live.

I wasn't helping her survive for her own needs, it was only for the people that still needed her.

Longevity was no longer a reward. Helping her live longer felt like I was contributing to her suffering.

At some point I stopped saying:

'Good night, see you in the morning' 

and said 'I love you, good night.'


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  1. Hi Ida - it is a difficult time and we certainly get feelings of conflict. I'm so lucky my mother was able to communicate - but I avoided talking to her about anything that I didn't think she'd want to talk about .. and as she wasn't able to eat or drink .. we avoided food and tea/coffee type talk ..

    You're so right .. it's working out what won't upset them - yet being there for our beloved dear ones (in our case - our mothers) - sensitivity and empathy are so essential .. cheers Hilary

    1. It's so nice to be able to hear other peoples stories that have a deep understanding - thanks Hilary

  2. Powerful post Ida thank you. Conflicting emotions to the fore. Those who do not want her to go and you who knows her time is nigh. Hard...

    1. Harder than I realised at times, but also expected. The nurses in the palliative care team said it was often easier for families with carers with no medical experience because there is a bliss that comes from 'not knowing'

  3. The "quality of life" issue. Always a tough one. Glad you had that privilege and that your realized that it was one. Too many see it as a burden they carry.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

  4. I remember all of these points when my Dad was dying and my brother who was brain dead for quite some time before his death. My Dad stopped eating and I remember asking him on the day he died (he was lucid right up to about five min before he died) if I could get him anything... he said... "Y'know those Boston Creme Donuts? I cant eat it but I wouldnt mind a wiff of one right now...." I ran to a donut shop and got him one... He was so happy to smell it !

    1. See tears just come at the most unexpected moments... when I first saw your comment show up in my emails and again now when I find the time to comment... the words 'so happy to smell it' got me twice :)

    2. .... and visions of you running to the donut shop