I want to take a moment to address some feelings.  I guess over the years this (and former) website has become a sort of therapy.  A place where I can get things off of my chest.  I’m married to a Swedish man and they aren’t exactly known for being touchy feely and talkie about things.

While my mother-in-law is still alive I still am mourning a loss.  My sister-in-law said it best.  “I cried, mourning the loss of that mom but treasuring (every moment) of the mom we still have.”

You have to know Bev Lindholm to truly grasp what that means.

She has been my mother-in-law for over 14 years.  She has been like a mom for nearly 20.  This is never to diminish my own mom, but Bev was there when my immediate family was going through hell.  Bev became the person I called for help.  If I was sick she was the one I called.  If I was having problems with Oleg, she was the one I called.  She was my pinch-hitter babysitter.  She helped me make decorating choices.  She went shopping with me.  She was truly one of my best friends.

I say all of that with a past tense.  Like I said, she IS still alive.  She just isn’t quite the same.  I can’t call her to ask for help, I can’t trust that she’ll remember a conversation we had 15 minutes prior.  I can’t trust she’ll remember an event that happened 3 years ago.  While the memory loss has been occurring over a span of 6 months it was like a switch was flipped and the mom we knew was gone.  Her memories may never return.  Her beautiful handwriting that addressed my wedding invitations may never return, she may never be able to play Christmas carols on the piano while the kids sing, she may never be able to do the things that she wished for in her retirement.

I know that I still have the here and now with her.  I am thankful for that.  But I won’t pretend that I don’t mourn the loss of the mom I once knew.  My confidant, my friend, my mom.

It makes me angry and bitter.

8 Comment

  1. JC says: Reply

    I’m giving you a big virtual HUG. I am so sorry this has happened to her and to you.

    (I woke up from my coma almost five years ago. I still have some memory loss so I know just a bit about it.)

  2. Wendy says: Reply

    Sending huge hugs and lots of prayers and well wishes. It’s OK to be mad, sad, bitter, angry, all of it. It is totally unfair and sucks big time. I say go kick something!

  3. mom says: Reply

    It’s just not fair. My own guilt for being a tad (this is an understatement) jealous of the relationship she had with you. Making me standoffish. Shamefully I admit this. How do I feel now? Guilty 🙁 Doing a complete 360, wanting to hug and tell her how much I appreciate her love for you. She was a mother to you. She loves you… and for this I am grateful. There is NO animosity left in me, it has been replaced with shame. Bev Lindholm, I thank you for loving my little girl like your own. No one can EVER… can be loved by to many. My heart bleeds for all of you and yes… enjoy and love her now… as she is!

  4. Sally says: Reply

    Hang in there, grief is a process and the DABDA stages are different for everyone. At my father’s funeral when I broke down, a friend said to me “Aren’t you lucky to have loved him so much to miss him this much”, and it was really a sweet thing (crying again right now).

    I’m on the outside looking in at the process my husband and his siblings are going through with their mother’s Alzheimers, as I have never been very close to her. I listened to a book on tape that had good information in an unusual form, and the best thing I got out of it was to “learn to love the person she is now”. Let me know if you’re interested & I’ll track down the title.

  5. Aunt Jan says: Reply

    I read your blog today with tears in my eyes. Bev has always been the big sister that I never had. I love her with all my heart and I am so thankful to have her in my life. I am just so sad and angry that this has happened just as they were beginning to be able to travel and enjoy retirement. I hate that we are so far away. Love, Hugs & Prayers to you all.

  6. K says: Reply

    Keep writing my friend. Keep writing. We will hold you up in every way we can. Love and hugs.

  7. Gaye says: Reply

    L…I have not checked any blogs in months and I don’t why but I just felt like I needed to check yours today and I am so glad I did.

    I am so sad for you and your post and your Mom’s reply had me in tears. My heart just breaks for you, your MIL, your husband and the rest of his family. She knew how much you loved her before this happened…and she loves you, D & O very much. Just have Oleg spend as much time as possible with her…I have always missed not having a grandparent to grow up with.

    Much love and admiration for your strength…Gaye

  8. I KNOW how you feel. Dad didn’t die, but Daddy sure did. There’s a HUGE grief cycle, but no-one acknowledges it. I’m so sorry. It just straight up sucks. And you know that, for me, that is very strong language.

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