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    Overwhelming sadness
    aderin posted:
    My father was a very supportive to the entire family.Once we children grew up & got married & moved out, my parents lived on in the family home out of choice. We children had our own homes nearby. My Mom suffered a fatal stroke at 86, & we decided that Dad also 86, needed to stay with one of us (me). I loved him dearly, & provided him, his own nurse, full time resident, in my home. Dad lived with me for 7 years, &only knew kindness & love. He had dementia, & referred to me as a nice chap, who lives in the next room. He died quietly at 92, a few years back. All my family says I did a great job, & that Dad was loved, cared for, & always smiling, & I know, that i did whatever needed to be done, no matter the time or cost.........then why do I feel this overwhelming sadness whenever I think back. Why? Should I not instead feel happiness that he was loved & happy?
    katato responded:
    Maybe you just miss him. I think that's sweet.
    rohvannyn responded:
    Katato may be right. I think you miss him, and you realize that he's gone and you can't talk to him or be with him. You put a lot of love into his care. It's only natural to feal pain, sometimes great pain, at a loved one's passing. You may be worried that you haven't "gotten over it" yet, but keep in mind that different people grieve in different ways and take different amounts of time to heal. I lost a dear friend over five years ago and I still sometimes tear up when thinking of him.

    How about working on a project of some kind in his honor? Something where you work with your hands. A bench for a park, a shed for a charity, a scrapbook of photos, a story about him, an engraved belt, whatever you are good at. Think about him while you are working on it, feel how he impacted your life and feel grateful for what he gave you. You might even talk to his memory as you work.

    When you finish, you will have done something to help carry his memory into the future - giving him the truest immortality any of us can ever have - and it might help with your grieving process.

    Thank you for taking such good care of him. All our elders should have such a good end of life.
    aderin replied to katato's response:
    Thank you katato...I do miss him & my mom, nothing is forever physically,I know that.....but the mind remembers.
    aderin replied to rohvannyn's response:
    Thank you rohvannyn. I know the "tear up" feeling. My deepest sympathies for the loss of your friend. I am a professor, & yes, I will commerate the memory of my parents, each time I give my lecture on Ageing gracefully. Your suggestion has really helped. Thank you
    Dave Balch responded:
    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story of love and support, not only of him but of the entire family supporting each other. I found it very uplifting, in spite of the sad ending.

    One word in your post jumped out at me: "should." You are wondering if you "should" feel happiness about his life rather than sadness about his passing. "Should" is a very dangerous word, because it causes you to stress and wonder if you are acting "properly" according to some standard other than your own.

    I think that, by definition, the way you feel is what is right for YOU, and that is the only standard you need. If you felt happiness for his being loved and happy you could just as easily wonder if you "should" be feeling sadness instead because he is no longer with you; you can't win the "should" game.

    What you did for your father and family is no less than heroic. Be confident that however you feel is the "right" way to feel, that you did your very best, and that you were a good son that your father would have been proud of. You can always be proud of that regardless of whether you're happy or sad at any given moment.

    I'M proud of you and what you did; you've set a fine example for all of us!
    aderin replied to Dave Balch's response: are the hero. I have had the good fortune to read your profile. The love & support you give to your wife is an example to all of us husbands. My wife ( by the grace of God) is well & requires only the usual (small daily amounts) of love & understanding, which I am sure I often forget to give. From today my wife is going to see a different me....& when she enquires about the change, I will recount your story, & attribute my change to the "Dave" effect.

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