My mother passed away last Thursday due to complications from a superior mesenteric artery embolus that effectively destroyed her colon. She lingered for four days in a drug-induced sleep until her heart stopped. I hope she felt no pain and is now at peace and with my father who died only last year.
I was her caregiver for the past six years through several illnesses and surgeries. I did all the bedpans, wound dressing changes, doctor visits, nights in ERs and hospitals, comforting her when my dad died, getting her to live again, etc. I saw her through it all. I literally gave up my life to take care of her and did it without complaint or reservation. Unfortunately, I never followed the advice to take care of me as well along the way. Unfortunately I am reaping the rewards of ignoring that advice in many ways. I now have an arthritic condition which is supposedly stress induced which is proving to be quite a problem as it is preventing me from working and even walking occasionally.
I am now 35 years old and I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself. I have no wife, no kids, no job, and nothing to do with my day. Every caregiver complains at one time or another about the lack of time one has when caregiving. I now find myself at the opposite extreme of having too much time. There will be issues of her estate to tend to but until I receive death certificates that will have to wait.
I miss her so much and the hurt I feel is overwhelming. If she were here now, I'd do the whole six years again, or sixty if that's what it took, no questions asked. I just feel so empty and without purpose now. Some days having to take care of her was the only reason I got out of bed in the morning. She was literally my whole life, especially since my father died. We had bonds formed in battle that were different than mother-son and that now I understand were just as powerful.
I have a call in to a grief counselor and hopefully that will help. I've also been advised not to make any major decisions for a while until the acuteness of this passes and that sounds like good advice to me. Thankfully money is not an immediate issue, Mom left me a very nice nest egg.
What do I do now?