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Reply by NatR
08 Jan 2016, 5:15 PM

Dear Xenia,

oldbat is right
she has given you permission to take care of you
i wish I could give you a virtual (real) hug!!!! As your feelings come through loud and clear.  Don't ever apologize for saying how things are with you, there is no need.
that is why we are all here - to listen or to say what is important for each of us.

xenia you are a much adored member of this group / and I know everyone feels that way - you are a gem - you have so much to share.

i am glad you have your family and I know it hurts a bit that john is not with you - but you do have loved ones around you 

i never thought your note was a "pity party"  this is what we all are here for / amd unfortunately sometimes there is a silence on the forum board too - but yell out and here we all are.

 Xenia you are in my thoughts more often than you know  I guess I should type you a note more often - 👍😃

I am so very glad you called someone locally and you did get the advice and support you needed right now - and that is awesome!

i just wanted to say that you and so many others who share their losses, their feelings and their good and bad times are helpful for us all

i feel the letdown of the "after the holidays" myself - even though I don't make a big deal about the holidays I still feel the magic of kindness and giving tends to disappear with the decorations - you know what I mean??

i had a tiny (purple tinsel) tree with lights - my one decoration for the holidays (along with hanging up cards from people I never hear from except at Xmas 
last night I had to light a candle to give me a glowing light - a feeling of warmth and comfort - so I just want you to know - I feel your loneliness and I am sending you thoughts and hugs

can you light a candle tonight? Even an electric candle - and remember while you look at it - that I am thinking of yoi and the other members here on the forum!

Together we are stronger and together we will survive  
much love and hugs to you and all readers
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Reply by oldbat
11 Jan 2016, 6:21 PM

This is for our resident advocate, Xenia, as well as everyone else who is struggling the way I am.  I sent it on Friday, Bill Morneau is our new finance minister.  Wasn't sure who to send it to but read his bio which talks about the extensive volunteer work he's done thhroughout his life.  Am also thinking of forwarding it the the CMA, which has been very active recently on the question of seniors' care.  If I don't get some kind of response, even if only from a flunky toeing the party line, I may go public.  After nearly five years of struggling not only am i close to broke, but dangerously close to complete exhaustion.  Just waiting for the law regarding physician-assisted suicide.  JOKE!!!!!!

 Dear Mr. Morneau,

I'm 77 years old, handicapped and the sole support, financially and emotionally, for my 86-year old husband who is semi-paralyzed, aphasic and brain-damaged due to a catastrophic stroke in 2012.  He's in long-term care and well looked after.  But I'm the one who needs more help.


His ltc costs are covered by CPP and GIS. and I am so grateful for that..  However, everything else is paid for by me, out of my own government benefits.  Dental care, eye care, glasses, outings, dry cleaning, treats, gifts, clothes, shoes, etc. etc. So I am left with very little to live on.  My question to you is, why can I not get some kind of tax break for doing all this?  There is very little money left with which to support him, and no support of any kind from his family.I live in a co-op, and my rent is slightly subsidized.  However, it went up over $100 a month last year, and I am now paying close to 50% of my income.  I have no family of my own and am terrified that I will be homeless by the time I'm 80, or before.


The reason we're in this situation is that we both ran our own small companies, successfuoly, until the most recent financial melt-down.  


My husband and I are not alone.  I know of several single people and couples who are in similar situations.


I'm hoping for sunnier days - does anyone care?


Jennifer Brown-Froehr

I sent this because I bacame so overwhelmed last week when Karl 'phoned to tell me that someone had stolen his brand new glasses.  Talk about the proverbial straw! 

oldbat - who's now been outed!!!! 
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Reply by Xenia
11 Jan 2016, 6:41 PM

Old bAt and All:

I am so pleased you too are writing letters to our newly elected represetatives.  You ask about tax b reaks, you may recall this was one of the so called goodies our former government was throwing out to caregivers hoping to get our vote.

If you recall the tax break was not for caregivers unless they were not married to them, they could be a child, an uncle, an aunt , a nephew, anyone but the spouse and this is the question I asked as many MPs as possible and Rona Ambrose kept shifting my quiers to other MPS, now long forgotten so the letter writing begins again with our new minister o health.  The Canadian Medical Association hs been active in supporting caregivers and elder care.  They have a Demand a plan blog and it provides the informaiton that the Politicians speak of (fresh from the horses mouth) and I get an email telling me what they are talking about, yest talking, now lets see if there is any action.  I will get the email address for you and any one who cares to write to them regarding the need for government assistance who are caregivers and now are at the stage o needing caregiving and financial help in their later years.

I have one more box to go through since I moved,  Boxes have been parked at my daughters and she is bringing them to me gradually so I can go through them and continue my advocacy or is it called bubbing, yelling or whatever, nicely of course as I have been know to be vocal but learned sweetness gets better results.

Take care and Off I go Into the Wild Blue Yonder seeking for my pen and not my sword as the pen is mighter than the swords I have been told and read it many years ago.  On ward and forward into the battle or righteousness.

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Reply by NatR
11 Jan 2016, 8:01 PM

Yay OldBat and Xenia,

sad to read  your struggles OldBat but I hear and understand and rant myself on Twitter and wherever I get the chance 

somehow we are expected  to make gold out of straw!
its wrong and we have to yell out sometimes to be heard  

your efforts matter!!
hugs to you all
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Reply by Xenia
13 Jan 2016, 4:09 AM

To All:

By now you must have heard on TV or read in the newspapers that all of a sudden the Canadian Cancer Society is asking for more Palliative Care.  Perhaps this will help all who need palliative care.

The Canadian Medical Association has been asking for this from the former government, Rona Ambrose stated they would give out 3 million dollar to be used to train doctors, nurses, etc.  Wow, 10 province and 3 territories, her gift surely can be surmounted by our new minister of health.

The Canadian Cancer Society stated that most people needing palliative care never recieve it and end up dying in Acute Care or ER beds.  They are asking (demanding I hope) that pesons in their end of life illness should have the right to palliative care which they deserve at this time in their life.  They also stated that the caregivers should be provided with more help, but did not specify what.

Let us hope that the new government will hear the cries of the caregivers and those needing palliative care regardless of their illness, cancer, COPD, dementia, etc. etc.  these needs need to be met so no family needs to beg for care for their loved ones.

With this new information my letter writing will begin again.  More stats and as everyone knows stats seem to move governments.

Take care

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Reply by Xenia
13 Jan 2016, 5:02 PM

Good Morning All on CVH:

I had a visit from a Hospice Volunteer yesterday aftenoon and she left me a booklet that was by Pat Smekal of Lantzville, B.C. and I have to share it with you.  It covers all the pain, etc we feel in grieving.

Grief...feeling your way through

Grief is a jorurney.

You have been given
a ticket for the journey-
a ticket which you
didn't ask for,
didn't deserve,
didn't want.

But the ticket has
your name on it, and
you must take the journey, 

Expect the ride
to be full of ups and downs,
like a roller coaster

Know that after each down
comes an up

The pits will become less deep
and less dark with time

Understand that
you must journey
through your grief.

Be with your pain
You cannot go around it
or over it or under it

Let it wash through
your whole being.
It will pass, and move you
towards your healing.

All things pass.
Nothing is permanent, nothing lasts.

This life doesn't last.
(That is why you are grieving)
Pain does not last either.

Your grief is special to you.
No one can feel it just as you do.,
but there are others
who have known similiar pain, fear, and emptiness

You know someone with 
this level of understanding.
Accept comfort and support from them.

You may feel angry, even furious' outraged
This is normal and healthy

Talk about your anger
Express it in non-hurtful ways, kick a ball
punch a mattress or a pillow.

Find a place where you can scream
without upsetting others
(Have you ever stood near a railway track
and screamed as the train was passing)

You may feel regret
This is a natural response to loss
It is human to be imperfect
No human being is perfect -not even you or me!

You may feel very, very sad
Life may seem to have lost all meaning.
Those feelings are temporary too, and will pass

Give to yourself, Give yourself mercy
You are fragile just ow
Treat yourself with tenderness

Other feeling you have
may surprise or frighten you.
Nothing seems as it was.

Sometimes it helps to talk about those feelings
to the person whose loss you mourn

Speak to that person in whatever way feels comfortable to you
Silently, aloud, or through written word or picture.

The person you thought you were may seem changed..
erratic, forgetful, helpless, dull or out of control
changed in many ways.

All these are normal signs of your grief process.
You will move through them as you journey through your grief.

You will never be quite 
the same again,

The journey will not last forever
You will emerge in a way
that will be right for you.

I had to share this with you as all the feelings I have and had since John's death is said in this booklet.  It understood me and I understand me now.

Hugs to all.


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Reply by Jimmie
29 Jan 2016, 11:41 AM

It is early in the morning here on the East Coast.  I can hear the muffled sounds of car doors shutting on the street outside my window - neighbours leaving for work.  It is dark, the forecast calling for a major storm throughout the day. Our house is empty and dishevelled.

I have been overcome of late by a kind of weariness that has seeped into my bones, an exhaustion.  There is a heaviness about each movement now as if somehow - overnight - Earth's gravity has doubled.  It is an effort to stand up, to raise my head, shave, breathe.  There are things which need to be done, but I am moving in slow motion like those early underwater divers encapsulated in their heavy suits, and weighted boots.  I move awkwardly, sluggishly.  It can be difficult to surface under the pull of such weight.

There is simply too much sadness at times.  Too many complications  and fears - my gut a barbed wire knot of anxieties.  Our kitchen table is a jumble of bureaucratic tasks.  Each notice a confounding, maddenng rabbit hole of sorts.  Each confusing notice ignored for another day.

There is a need to breathe within these places - to get dressed - put your shoes on - I know that. i do not need to be told so.  I am aware of those who need my presence, whose physical and emotional health depends upon the quality of my voice, my love, my endurance.  I am aware of that, but there are times when I am so tired of each day's demands, each day's unsolvable problems, unsolvable problems, unsolvable problems.

I move heavily across the ocean floor, breathing my own thick air, my head and legs tired from the effort of standing up.  I am sure I am not alone in this.



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Reply by oldbat
29 Jan 2016, 8:08 PM

Oh no, Jim, you are most assuredly not alone.  We walk that solitary route with you.  Buffeted and beaten by those same wings of weariness.  Wings that, like yours, flap uselessly against the ever-increasing load of earth's gravity.  There seems to be no cure for this eternal sickness of the soul.

But, but, but we all somehow manage to keep on.  Struggling and yearning for surcease.  We are the focus of our loved ones' care. We are needed.

And we have each other.  Virtual - in the true meaning of the word - strangers who share our stories.  Understand our grief.  Become our beacons, adding glints of light to the darkness that surrounds us.

My own load is lightened somewhat by knowing this.  May yours be, too.

My salvation is music.  Mozart's piano concerto #17.  His violin concerto #5.  Saint-Saens' Gymnopedie, Mozart's flute and clarinet cncerti and quartets.  And my soul is made joyous by the glorious quartet from Rigoletto, with Sutherland and Pavarotti et al.  

May your burden be eased by music, words, a warm hug.  A big mug of hot chocolate, laced with something truly decadent.

We're with you, Jim.  Just as you have always been with us.


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Reply by NatR
29 Jan 2016, 8:48 PM

you sound exhausted  
please take care of yourself
old bat said it well - you are in the midst of a group who understand
have you got a way to take a few days just for you? If not please try to make a short period of time each day just for you ;)
sending you energy from my corner of Canada
best wishes
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Reply by Nouce
30 Jan 2016, 1:48 AM

Dear Jim,

Exhaustion is the daily companion of caregivers. I wish for you a moment of rest--the call of a bird, a flash of sunlight, a hot water bottle. Not an answer but a presence.

Love to all,
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