mum acting oddly since dad died

(13 Posts)
smilersmummy Wed 30-Jul-14 20:19:18

Just wondered if anyone has any knowledge that might help me identify what is going on with dm;

We all lost df six months ago and of course are all grieving, but dm was with him since the age of eighteen, they married at twenty one and she has never had a life outside of her marriage and motherhood. Dm gave up work when she had me, I am now fifty and she is seventy six, and apart from two summers working part time for six weeks when I was a teenager she has done nothing else.

Df totally sheltered her and she is of course now like a lost child, she has no idea how to do anything and is scared of everything. She has narc tendencies anyway but is getting more and more inward looking, she goes on and on about the village she lives in, and anyone from there as if they are superior to anyone else, she seems to be so terrified of anything else she is even reluctant to visit my sister and I in a town fifty miles away that she knows as we have both lived there for years, and as a non driver we even go and fetch her and take her home.

She has admitted she is frightened and of course desolate at her loss, and I understand that, but I have noticed that she is starting to repeat herself in conversations and is now reinventing her past, she now talks as if she had a career, and this obsession with all things "home town" is getting quite bizarre, even the moss is different there, and as for the tradespeople....my dh says he swears he can hear the Archers theme tune playing in the back ground when she is with us!

Sorry to be flippant but seriously, is this just grief, is it depression or is it dementia starting? Does anyone have any knowledge of this and what to do to help, other than try to be there for her, as much as we can be as we all work full time. Any ideas would be welcome....

mylaptopismylapdog Wed 30-Jul-14 20:35:09

I am no expert but I think grief can be very disorienting for anybody. Going on about the village might just be clinging to some thing that's safe and known when she is frightened. You might try contacting Cruse the bereavement charity and see if they have any suggestions. Does the village have a club or something she could join? It is horrible to loose you Dad,hope this helps.

smilersmummy Wed 30-Jul-14 20:35:35

anyone??!

smilersmummy Wed 30-Jul-14 20:39:25

sorry, cross posted, yes, we thought about cruse but she wouldn't ever do that, she doesn't believe in counseling "mumbo jumbo", and she is already actively involved in things locally, its more that she seems to think the world is only that big now, and is reinventing the past as I said above she now has a career that never happened, she is repeating herself telling the same long anecdote over and over again, contradicting herself etc....and I'm not sure if it is just grief?

smilersmummy Wed 30-Jul-14 20:46:45

I really would welcome some insight if anyone can help, did I post this in the wrong section?

musicmum75 Wed 30-Jul-14 23:24:11

My Dad died nearly 2 years ago now. Our situation is a bit different as my Mum is very independent - had her own professional career, can drive etc. However since my Dad died her memory is appalling. She has to write down absolutely everything. She has endless list of notes, calendars, diaries etc and relies on them completely. I think it's just some sort of reaction to the grief. The brain can't cope with everything abc something has to give.

I must admit I was also very forgetful at first after he died but am ok now so hopefully what your mum is going through will ease off too over time too.

insanityscratching Thu 31-Jul-14 20:30:18

My stepmother became very disorientated after the death of her son, repeating herself, losing track of the days, forgetting to eat etc etc. She was very soon afterwards diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. I don't know whether her ds's death triggered it (suicide) but there were no signs beforehand. I would speak to her GP and ask for a home visit if dm is unlikely to agree to see a doctor

Baddderz Fri 01-Aug-14 07:11:57

Sice my dad died a year ago Its like I have been on another planet!
I forget things. I write things down. I get confused.
I am 41.
I think it's quite normal after a major shock and also if you aren't sleeping well.

magimedi Fri 01-Aug-14 08:30:25

My mother alos became very disorientated after my father dies & it got worse & am afraid to say she had Alzheimers. Sometimes a partner can hide their illness (unknowingly) behind their spouse & when the spouse dies the illness becomes more obvious. But it could be grief, which can be devastating.

I would post this in 'Elderly Parents' section as well, OP - you may well get some more help there.

BloodyNaffedOff Fri 01-Aug-14 08:49:07

Not linked to bereavement but my dm is acting very like yours and has been for about 18mths, she is a carer for df and we have put it down to stress/depression, her gp has prescribed ad's but deep down we all suspect / know it is probably the start of some form of dementia, we are choosing not to acknowledge it until we have to.

silverfingersandtoes Fri 01-Aug-14 09:56:31

I lost my DH very suddenly nearly two years ago now. I'm a lot younger than your mum and I did have a career before marriage and kids but I can well understand her reaction - I know that I myself have only coped by making a deliberate decision to NOT think about things. Something along the lines of ....unhappiness/grief is not physical, it is only a thought in my head and if I do not think it it does not exist...I can think about it another time. I don't know how to explain it any better. It could be that your mum is simply making a more tolerable place for herself in her own head, somewhere that she knows and where she can cope for the time being. How long it lasts is another matter. I know, looking back, that I behaved very oddly and made some extraordinary decisions - and I suspect I am still doing things that my children find peculiar. But I'm getting through my life as best I can. Don't expect too much of your mum; her life has changed completely - if she is building in her head a safe and comfortable place to live in, let her be. Just keep a gentle eye on her.
It cannot be easy for you. I know. thanks

Agggghast Tue 12-Aug-14 07:31:37

I had to tell DMIL that her only son had died unexpectedly at 52. She got up to say goodbye to us when myself and the DCs left. Five hours later DD1 went to pick her up to come for dinner and she was standing in the same place. She had forgotten how to sit down. Grief is unpredictable. Sadly she never recovered and is now lost in the fog of dementia. Sorry this is no help but grief is destructive.

Agggghast Tue 12-Aug-14 07:37:34

I think this proved the mental response to grief, DH would have been 52 last week, he was 48 when he died. Grief is a fog.

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