Two Christmas ornaments shaped like a cardinal and taxi car hang from evergreen branches.

When Our Loved One's Pass After a Long Battle With Alzheimer's

I am writing this article, because I honestly wish I had an article like this when my parents passed. Both of my parents had the Alzheimer's diagnosis, and battled through this diagnosis and additional medical issues.

For years, I gradually watched a decline of their physical and cognitive abilities - feeling very helpless every step of the way. I felt like I grieved for them long before they passed. Then the inevitable day arrived and my loved ones passed.

The passing of our loved one's

Many of those who are caretakers understand that for those living and effected by Alzheimer's disease it is often a long and arduous process, for all involved. I know personally my life got flipped turned upside down as a caretaker for both of my parents. My role as a daughter changed dramatically.

I don't regret anything I did for my parents. As hard as it was if given the chance, I would do it all over. Just to have time with them again. However, with both losses I felt so alone and lost. Especially with the loss of my last living parent, my mom in 2019.

Who was I?

I had given so much of myself that I had no idea who I was anymore. I did seek out different types of grief counseling and supports after both deaths. In 2017 for my dad, I opted for a grief share group at my local church. With my mom I knew I needed an experienced health care counselor to help me deal with my traumatic loss of my mom. I also had been dealing with the void of both parents being gone in my 40s.

Through much therapy and self-reflection, I can tell you I was able to figure out who I was again, without them. It was not easy process.  I have learned, personally for me, that I will always grieve their loss to some extent. It is a reminder that their memory will never be lost.

Keeping their memories alive

Every holiday, birthday, and anniversary of their passing I do something to remember my mom and dad. It could be small or large. It's more about the moment for me.

My mom's birthday was a little over a month after she passed. I remember going to a special park we enjoyed and releasing a balloon. I just stood there and soaked in the moments as the balloon traveled further and further away into the sky.

At Christmas I have special ornaments that I hang on my Christmas tree that are specifically in remembrance of them - for them. My mom a red cardinal and my dad a taxi cab ornament.

I also like to visit light houses. It's something I did with my mom and dad growing up. Lighthouses are a deep reminder to me that my parents love and legacy burns bright, even though they are no longer on this Earth.

I am curious to anyone reading this if there is a special way that you try to honor or remember your loved ones?

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