Barb and Chris,
Thank you for your encouraging replies and your condolences. My heart goes out to both of you as well for the losses you have suffered. It's nice to know I am not alone in my feelings and I do feel like a weight has been lifted from me just from writing about those feelings.
Barb - I am fortunate enough to be able to work from a home office. That was a blessing when I was caring for my mom. I can make my own hours and usually did most of my work (and continue to do so) after hours so to speak when my mom was in bed for the night. While she was here, mom loved to sit outside and watch the birds come to the feeders - especially the blue jays and woodpeckers. So I continue to feed the "blues" (as my mom called them) their peanuts daily. The squirrels and chipmunks also come to feed as do the woodpeckers and other small birds. My mom had her own little nicknames for all of them. Even my husband still uses the nicknames! I also used to volunteer for a local animal rescue but had to resign when my mom got ill. I am thinking of volunteering again in a local food pantry or another type of animal rescue organization.
Chris - My mom and I had a wonderful relationship. She was my friend and best secret keeper! We had so many laughs together and great times even when she was so sick I can remember laughing till we cried together at the silliest things. I guess that's why I feel so empty sometimes. And you are right, some days are horrible and some are not so bad. We did have Hospice care for about a month and a half. I really could open up to my mom's nurse. She was going through the exact same scenario with her own mother. Her mother was the same age as mine, had the same diagnosis. I did speak with mom's home health/hospice nurse about a month ago. Her mom had passed away two days before Christmas last year and her feelings were very similar to mine. She was the one who mentioned journaling to me and said it helped her.
Thanks again for being there and "listening". I will continue to write.
[This message has been edited by jacquie40 (edited 05-10-2008).]