One problem with the "golden years"...

A forum for discussing the unique concerns of senior members of the Multiple Sclerosis "Club."

One problem with the "golden years"...

Postby agate » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:05 pm

One problem with the so-called golden years is that just as you are starting to need more help yourself, the family who might have been there to help when you were younger are now needing help themselves--and dying off.

So you find yourself becoming more and more isolated. You can't replace your family. You'll never have another, probably. When they're gone, they're gone.

All of my siblings were old enough to have been another generation. The youngest was 13 when I was born, the oldest 19. Now all four of them are gone--my sister 10 years ago, two brothers last year, and the last brother on Wednesday.

Since I've had MS for so long, I wasn't able to be of any help to them as they developed health problems. Luckily they all had caring spouses who were there for them, and two had grown children.

These people were part of my life all along. There's never been a time when I didn't hear from them regularly. They lived far away but we kept in touch by letter, phone, and e-mail. There were occasional visits.

My mother and father died many years ago. My two aunts also died long ago.

Has anyone else noticed the big hole that is left in your life as family members die?
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Postby sh8un » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:17 pm

Hi there
I am so sorry for you loss. I can't imagine being in that situation. I feel like I lost my extended family a long time ago when I moved out of our country. That was the hardest thing. One day all of them were no longer available to me. It was very difficult and lonely. I would love to say something positive here but it is a hard situation. Time does heal a little though....
My thoughts are with you,
NN
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Postby agate » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:59 am

Leaving your country has to be very difficult. My sister did that, actually.

She married a Sudanese man and lived in several countries for the rest of her life (from about age 38 to 73)--Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, and Holland.

She wasn't a big letter-writer but I'd hear from her by mail several times a year.

Do any of your family or friends stay in touch?
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Postby sh8un » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:44 am

Hi
I did keep in touch with friends a little after I left but not anymore. My grandparents have passed away. I was so very close to my grandmother. One thing I am glad I did was to bring her here using my student loan money :lol: . It's the best money I have ever spent. My family and I got to be with her for 6 months...but she was not very happy here being away from everyone. When she was in Iran, she missed us and when she was here she missed those in Iran. I do talk to my aunts and uncles but it is not the same as having the big get togethers that we used to have...with up to 100 ppl there. It was fun. However, I now have my fiance's family and they are Chinese. They have the same get togethers and it all reminds me of the good times back home. The kids running around...the screaming...I love it al.
NN
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Postby connieb » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:29 pm

Agate, my heart aches for you... I too have lost dear family members in the past... it still hurts so much to know that I'll never be able to hear or touch them, to say I'm sorry or I love you or even I miss you. The sharpness of that initial, maddening pain fades but I think that there are certain losses that you never get over, you just learn how to live with them. And I know that it's a cliche, but I do believe that the way to honor the memory of those I have lost is to carry on with life and happiness because my unhappiness and tears would have caused them so much pain while they were alive.
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Postby agate » Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:42 pm

connieb, I hear you. This time around I've made a point of not shedding tears.

It's good to know that others know what I'm talking about.
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Postby ewizabeth » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:25 pm

Agate,

I'm so sorry for your loss of your brother. :( That must have been very difficult. I lost my Dad and Mom the last two Christmases, my Dad in 2004, and Mom in 2005. I lost two siblings earlier in life. I worry about my remaining siblings, they aren't in the best of health...

For the last decade or so of my parents' lives, I was lucky enough to be able to visit them often. My Dad was one of the youngest of a very large family. He was the last one to go... Later on as he developed dementia, he would speak of how much he missed his siblings, especially his twin brother who died 25 years before him (Dad lived to age 92).

If you ever need to talk, just send me an email.
Take care, Ewizabeth Previously Avonex, Rebif & Copaxone RRMS ~Tysabri, 31 infusions, ended 9/09. Starting Copaxone 12/09, waiting for Cladribine to be approved in 2010.
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Postby agate » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:43 pm

Thank you, Ewizabeth. Losing both parents so close together in time must have been very sad for you.

My father died when I was 18, at age 56, and my mother died when I was 44, at age 81--so I still had my mother around for many years after my father died.

Even so, losing her was almost as hard as losing him-- partly because by then, I couldn't travel to be with her at the end, or go to her funeral. Her dearest friend did write me a lovely letter telling me about my mother's last moments.

Letters and photos are a great help if you miss the person who has died, I think.
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