How long can grief last.

I’m not sure if this is seen as bereavement, but my husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 61.
At the beginning we seemed able to cope, he was still driving as long as I gave him instructions but it was a slow decline.
He’s been in residential care for two and a half years now.
He still recognises me but none of our five sons. He doesn’t know any staff nor other residents names. Sometimes we go to his room where he will ask me is it my room!
I am bereaved, each visit traumatises me and on those days I struggle to sleep.
Someone recently said to me, ‘at least you still have him’ ! I don’t!!
The man I loved for 54 years is gone.
He has incontinence now, has to wear a man’s disposable pants and he’s totally okay with that.
I would be so much happier if he passed on, happier isn’t the right word, more like glad he’s at peace.
The first day he went into care I realised we would not be able to cuddle and sleep together again, we both loved cuddles. I didn’t dress, nor open the curtains foe a while. I wanted to die!
But when a friend got lung cancer and needed my help looking after her chihuahua, that got me out of bed, when my friend died a couple of months later she gave Evie to me.
She is my reason for living. Most of the residents at the care centre love her coming as she’s so friendly with everyone.
I feel my husband has died but his body is still here and while that’s still happening, I can’t move on. I could well die before him, he’s never been Ill in his life, he has had shingles recently but other than scratching at them, no noticeable pain.
Sorry if I’ve taken too long a story.


Hi @Shianna ,

Thank you so much for sharing this with the community :blue_heart: I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I just wanted to let you know that you have been heard and you are not alone.

You may also find the Sue Ryder Grief Guide helpful;

○ Grief Guide:

Take good care,

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Dear Shianna,

I am so sorry for what you are going through and I have said this so many times, when a loved one has Alzheimer’s, we lose them long before they die. It must be absolutely soul destroying to watch the person we love forget who we are and forget our lives together.

My husband lived for eight years with his illness and as hard as it was caring for him, I would do it all over again and I thank God that he could remember our lives together as his mind was intact until the day he died. We loved talking about our lives when we were young and what we did, and say, do you remember when, I am so sorry for what you are your husband are going through as it is a terrible illness.

Take care.


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