After Alzheimer's

I’m new here and I’m not sure I have a right to be here at all. But I wanted to write down something, anything, to try and make sense of who I am. My wife left us after 55 years of a marriage made in heaven. But the real person left 5 years earlier. My problem now is that, when I’m with my daughters, friends and neighbours, I find myself pretending to be the David I used to be , or who I think I used to be 4 - 5 years ago. But when I’m back in my house, I don’t know who I am, just an empty shell. 55 years is a long time to climb out of. I don’t sleep well. I drink far too much. And I have no idea where I’m going. At my age, and if it wasn’t for my two very supportive daughters who are holding me together, I would quite happily step under a bus tomorrow. Does this get better?Is this normal? Is there any way out of it?

Dear Rocker, of course you have every right to be here. I’m sorry that you find yourself in a position where you need to be here and I’m truly sorry for your loss. 55 years is a very long time but with a marriage as wonderful as yours, time will have gone all too quickly. Everything you describe will be so recognisable to many on this forum. Our pain is hidden from others, probably because we don’t want to burden anyone else. But the pain is there and it is very real. I’m glad you have your daughters and of course they will be hurting too but it will be a different pain to your own. I hope you found some comfort in writing your feelings down here. If you continue to read others’ posts, you will see that what you are feeling is very ‘normal’ indeed. It doesn’t get better but you do get better at it. We move forward with our grief and our grief moves forward with us. It becomes a part of who we are. Join in conversations here if you wish. There are many wonderful people here, all ready to offer comfort amidst their own suffering. Sending you love and understanding. xx


David, I am so sorry for the loss of your wife and it’s even worse as you have lost her twice. You may wish to be the person you were 5 years ago but nobody else expects you to be that person. You will now need to grieve properly and it will take a long time before you see a glimmer of light, but it will come. It’s very fortunate that you have your daughters to support you, but they will also need support.
My wife was taken after 56 years of marriage and, like you, forever would not have been long enough. She was happy and healthy with no medical history and collapsed at home with a stroke and died that same evening.
Your circumstances are different but the shock and trauma are the same. I live on my own and I’m trying to make sense of this alien situation. It’s now 11 weeks since my wife was taken and I’m still looking for direction. I keep asking myself “what’s the point” as I have no one to do things for.
As you said - 55 years is a long time to climb out of - but perhaps you could get medication to help you sleep and you should cut back on the drink. (I should tell that to myself!)
However, at the moment all you can do is get through one day at a time and know that it will get better, eventually. Continue to express your feelings on this site, it will help.

Thank you AL2020.
It s already helping. I had no idea of the benefit of sharing the grieving. So glad I found this site. And so relieved to find similar feelings. My wife - physically - left 11 months ago, but as I said, she really became a stranger 5 years before. I’m now more sure that I will handle it in some way at some point. I wish you all the best for the future.

Thank you Crazy_Kate. I can’t tell you what a cathartic experience this has been for me to communicate with the outside world (and it does seem sometimes to be very outside). But from now on… maybe not too far away.

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I’m glad you found a little help today. There is always counselling if you feel you need it, I’m sure your daughters could set that up for you. Both Sue Ryder and Cruze offer free counselling but there may be a waiting list. I haven’t felt the need to use them myself, yet!
If you haven’t already done so, look at other posts on Losing a Partner and Life after Bereavement and start a new thread or reply to existing posts if you wish. I don’t post very much but I read them all. It helps to know that your feelings are normal.
Take care, AL

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