Grief, Mom, Sandwich Generation


NOTE: This post was migrated on 9/30/21 from my substack after getting all of my blog moved to a secure host. If you are confused about why I wrote on substack for awhile, get your primer about my site being hacked and the ensuing chaos HERE.

P.S. If this showed up in your RSS feed reader can you email me ( and let me know? I’m not sure how moving this stuff over and back-dating it effects things like my RSS feed.

If there was anything I had in the last 10 months, it was a routine. I had to go walk my Mom’s dog 4 times a day, and on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday…I had to take her to/from dialysis. Now, there was a lot of variation outside those things…but that was the framework for everything that my days and weeks were built around.

When the kids started going to in-person school? The first walk of the day for Rosco was immediately after I dropped them off. When we had our modified swim season this summer? I missed the second half of Wednesday swim meets because of the pick up from dialysis responsibility. When I scheduled anything, for Mom – hair, nails, doctors appointments – it had to be on a Tuesday or Thursday because she never wanted to do anything but dialysis on dialysis days. I built my reading schedule and my grocery schedule around Rosco’s walks. My day wasn’t ever over until the last walk of the night. I listened to podcasts on the drives to and from her place. I would read my book waiting for her at the dialysis center.

And now? I’m just frazzled. I haven’t touched a book or listened to a news podcast in over a week. I haven’t checked my email or responded to messages or started Thank You cards. I feel like I’m supposed to be finding my new normal but there’s a lot of other stuff left to do to settle Mom’s affairs and I’m having trouble even deciding when to do it because I feel lost at how to map out my days without her schedule guiding me.

It’s very strange.

Last night we actually drove over to Mom’s around the time we would have for the “last walk” before, to try to see if that helped my brain settle into the end of my day better. It did not. I set my alarm this morning and told myself to read my non-fiction like I did every morning over my first cup of coffee. But I didn’t. It felt…off…somehow. It’s like my brain wouldn’t let me relax into reading because everything else feels so scattered.

I even feel weird posting anything to social media that isn’t about my Mom dying.

I think this is probably still that first phase of grieving and I know I should be kind to myself, but I also know that my anxiety and depression will settle a bit if I can get back to a routine of some sort. I like schedules. It was good to have one. But it’s like my grief is fighting me…making me sad and distracted because every attempt at a new routine is a reminder of why my old one is null and void.

Mom is gone. She doesn’t need me anymore. And I have no idea how to wrap my brain around what my life looks like now.

I also feel this weird pressure to get back to normal. Social media means you see into the lives of friends who have lost loved ones and since not everyone unloads their souls on the internet like I do, it often seems like they all move on without constantly posting about their dead Mom…BUT ALL I WANT TO DO IS TALK ABOUT MY DEAD MOM. I know it will be good to post things to instagram and Twitter and Facebook that aren’t about death or grieving, that it would be relaxing to write that “January Reads” blog post I keep meaning to finish, but I have no idea how to talk about anything else right now.

So I’m still wandering aimlessly around this maze of grief, knowing I need to start meal planning again, and reading again, and keeping up with the news again. I know all of that normalcy will help me heal. I know my anxiety and depression are worse without those bits of normalcy and when I’m spiraling with anxiety or sinking with depression…the grief is definitely more suffocating. I know all of this and yet…I’m still swimming through sadness…struggling to find the side of the pool so I can get out and rest a bit.

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