Health & Wellness

I’m Struggling but that is OK – Life will get better

July 13, 2016

The last month has been a roller coaster ride for our family and I have to admit I’m struggling.  For those who follow my blog you may know that we live downstairs from my parents-in-law and have done for the last 8 years.

Nonna recently turned 90 plus her 70th wedding anniversary and we had a celebration – I even wrote a post about it – Our Nonna Celebrates 90 years.

Unfortunately, celebration turned to sadness as the very the next day my father-in-law was taken ill and hospitalised and my mother-in-law contracted shingles plus was recovering from two fractured ribs.  She was then hosptialised and it was a race to have her well enough to attend the funeral and to see her beloved husband just one last time to say goodbye.


The last two weeks has been filled with sadness as we farewelled our father-in-law at 89 years of age.   He passed away peacefully on 26 June, however, has now left a partner of 70 years wondering what will happen to her.

Life is certainly a struggle at the moment as my husband and I try to cope with looking after his grieving Mum and providing assurances that we won’t leave her.  Of course, the conversation of how and where she will live the rest of her life has to take place – but not at this moment.

I have not shed a tear, or had time to grieve.  I feel isolated and an overwhelming feeling of living in a vacuum.  I don’t really want to talk to anyone – even my husband.  I’m on auto pilot as we take each day and my usual upbeat style has taken a nose dive.

I feel a fraud as I write about positivity yet here I am feeling ‘down’.

I have not been able to focus on my blog or have the ability to write anything until today.  My grandson is asleep and I am on my own.  I open my laptop and the words have started to spill out onto the screen.  Maybe this is my way of coping.

I am feeling selfish and having ‘I’m sorry for myself’ moments because I’m not sure if I want to look after my mother-in-law and yet I don’t want to abandon her. I’m asking myself ‘when is it our time to enjoy life?’  Then I feel guilty for feeling selfish and wanting to spend some alone  time with my husband.  The future is uncertain for us all at the moment.

Thank God for exercise – my personal trainer and my Saturday Sisters who I run with have been a great support.  Even though I don’t feel like doing it my body and mind feels uplifted after a PT session or a long run – it actually works – even though I have been saying this for a long time.


Even the darkets night will end

I know that this feeling will pass.  I just need to be patient and give myself time.

I know that we will not abandon her but certainly we will discuss future options which will be to her benefit.  When she was in hospital she was bright and to an extent happy because she was surrounded by people and she had someone to talk to all day.  We need to find a good balance for her and also my husband and I.

I know that my relationship with my husband is strong and I will do all I can to support him through this difficult time.  He hasn’t really had time to grieve either and I know that must come.

I know that many others experience exactly what I am feeling at the moment.

I know that it is okay to accept that I am struggling, and to do what I can to make life easier at the moment and just take each day as it comes.

I know that I have family and friends who love and support me.

I know that Life is good – even though it might not feel that way at the moment.

Life will get better – I will get better!

Have you experienced a major life struggle?  Have you had an aging parent?  I’d love to hear what coping strategies you used to get through it.


Let’s Keep Sizzling!



Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Mary-the boondocks blog July 13, 2016 at 18:42

    My condolences to you and your family Sue. Losing a member of your family can be very hard and it upsets the balance of your relationships. I am confident that you will in time find the right solution for everyone involved. And yes we are all going through similar struggles with older parents who can no longer care for themselves. You are not alone. Hugs and love your way.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:33

      Thank you Mary for your lovely calming words. I agree we will find the right solution I just never had to with my parents as they both passed away many years ago. I want to do what is best for my MIL so she can be happy. I appreciate your hugs and love – it means a great deal to me. Thank you my friend xx

  • Reply Julia July 13, 2016 at 21:18

    I always just try to remember the good times I’ve had with that loved one and when I’m in those “good times” I make sure I’m present and aware how special it is at that moment. It’s good you have support of friends. I feel in those times it’s good to have others outside of the family to lean on. I hope you and your husband get to find the time to enjoy your life without always having to care for others.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:34

      Hi Julia thank you for your supportive words. I’m sure this is all just part of the grieving process and the huge changes which will present themselves in the near future. Thank you for stopping by and reminding me of the ‘good times’. x

  • Reply Suzi Hunn July 13, 2016 at 21:42

    I’m sending a hug your way. Thanks for your honesty here. Grief can take so many forms. I find that letting myself feel what I feel, without judging myself for it, is a healing practice. But it’s one I have to be intentionally self-compassionate in order to allow. Keep writing, and most of all, taking care of yourself.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:36

      Thank you Suzi for your hug and encouraging words. I was a little nervous at putting my true feelings out there but it just flowed out of me – perhaps my way of grieving. The comments I’ve received have certainly given me added support so thank you. Have a beautiful day!

  • Reply Lois Alter Mark July 13, 2016 at 21:57

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Sue. You certainly have reason to grieve and feel down right now. Just know you have support all around. Sending you a virtual hug.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:37

      Thank you so much for the hug Lois – I needed that! It will be a huge adjustment for us all and I think I just needed to get my feelings out. I was surprised that I actually wrote about it in my blog as it is quite personal but the support and love I’ve received from other bloggers is amazing. Have a wonderful day my friend. xx

  • Reply Leanne July 13, 2016 at 22:09

    We can’t be upbeat and sunshine-y every moment of every day Sue. When terrible things happen it’s good to take time to grieve and to work through them. You have the added issues of your M-I-L being alone and dependent on you to make decisions for her that she may not be happy with initially but will be best for her in the long run. It’s so hard to balance our own needs with the needs of our loved ones. I have been thinking about you a lot lately and this post is so honest and heartfelt – I’m glad you found the head space to write it down.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:38

      HI Leanne, my friend and supporter. I actually surprised myself that I wrote this post. I usually don’t like to write such intimate things but it just happened and the post just seemed to write itself – if you can understand what I mean. It will all be better I know it just takes time. xx

  • Reply Katie M Little July 13, 2016 at 23:12

    I never wrote more than when I was coping with my mothers decline into Alzheimer’s, I was very depressed for a few years, I realise that now looking back. I am now trying to deal with my father who has recently had to move into the same nursing home where mum is & spend a lot of my time going to visit him with my kids. I feel bad that other families play sport on Saturday or whatever, we are always at a nursing home it seems… I find it very difficult to set boundaries, my father is always unhappy, it is hard to be ‘selfish’ when you have a very giving nature. I send you love and peace and thank you for sharing your feelings so honestly in your post. Much love, Katie.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:41

      I’m so touched by your words Katie and you certainly have a great deal to cope with as well. Life can be hard sometimes and as you say it is hard to be ‘selfish’ when we are givers. I’ve written about that before. It always seems to fall onto the shoulders of one of the children to cope with aging or ill parents and sometimes you feel that life is passing you by. I would love to get to know you more as I believe you are a fellow Aussie? Thank you for your love and support Katie, I truly appreciate it. Have a beautiful day. xx

  • Reply Anna R Palmer July 14, 2016 at 01:53

    This does sound like a challenging time. In addition to the logistics death and the re-settling of surviving partners brings up all kinds of questions about mortality and aging. The second half of your post shows you are your own best advocate. Really lovely.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:43

      Thanks Anna. I feel a little unbalanced in my feelings which is just normal I guess. One moment I’m feeling down and the next I’m telling myself it will all be better and to give it time. Thank you for your lovely words of support. Have a beautiful day. xx

  • Reply Carol Cassara July 14, 2016 at 02:07

    Aging is not for the faint of heart. It’s good to be easy with yourself at times like these, when so much is on your shoulders. Be kind to yourself.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:45

      Thanks Carol, I know that my expectations of myself are always too high and I need to just nurture myself. Having lost my parents over 30 years ago this is a new frontier for me – what to do when aging parents need more attention. I know we will work it out it is all a matter of time. x

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt July 14, 2016 at 03:12

    Sue, I feel for you as I read this. I’ve had a similar experience the last week in June as we had to unexpectedly travel (drive) 500 miles south to probably say goodbye to my mom. I found myself randomly crying, lost sleep, and imagined other scenarios about her future and her children’s. She managed to rally and our week with her ended up being a blessing. She suffers from dementia (among a host of physical issues) placing her in a nursing home for the last 6 years (she’s only 76 yrs old), but she was very lucid and clear and remembered quite a bit from our daily conversations. I believe this was a gift from God, to be able to say “farewell” and leave her on a good note. The next infection will likely be her last. Sue, don’t worry about your blog or website, you can always take a break and just take care of yourself. I have felt the same, posting 1-2 posts a week, due to travelling and living life with its ups and downs (plus my ebook kept me busy and nervous about the process). If anything both you and I have some great fodder for our next posts when we are ready! Cheers to you, my friend, and you can always email me if you want to “talk”. <3

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:48

      Oh Terri I didn’t realise about your Mum – I’m so sorry. How lovely though that you left her on a good note – you will always have that fond memory to cling to. Thank you also for your friendship I would love to chat more to you so will take you up on your offer. You have achieved your E-book which is great and I agree about not worrying about the blog or website. I just couldn’t seem to write anything and then this post came so naturally – it was probably my way of coping with grief. Take care my friend and I am here if YOU ever need to talk 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski July 14, 2016 at 03:27

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your father in law. Dealing with a surviving spouse is difficult but you need time to process everything before making important decisions. Give yourself time.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:50

      Thank you Rebecca. He had been going so well and even said a speech at my MIL’s 90th then the next day in hospital and a week later gone. I think the speed with which he left us has caught us unawares and unprepared. At least his last outing was to celebrate his 70th wedding anniversary and his wife’s 90th. I need to concentrate on that. We have time to make major decisions. Thank you for your lovely words of support.

  • Reply Helene Cohen Bludman July 14, 2016 at 04:10

    Sue, everyone has their own way and their own timetable when it comes to grief. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Listen to your body and take each day one at a time.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2016 at 06:51

      Thank you Helene. I remember when my mother died 30 years ago. I had two young children 4 and 3 and it was about six weeks after she died that it really hit me and I could let all the grief out. You are right about pressure so I’m trying just to take each day as it comes. Yesterday I spent with my gorgeous grandson who is my ray of sunshine. Have a lovely day Helene and thank you for stopping by. xx

  • Reply Karen Del Tatto July 14, 2016 at 08:42

    I’m so sorry for this time of loss. Praying that the Lord “will accomplish all that concerns you” in this time of transition and that He will bless you with moments of refreshment in the midst of it all.

    Thank you for your transparency which is an encouragement for all of us who may be struggling with similar issues or just struggling in general.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:26

      Thank you for your kind words and prayers Karen.Yes I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining more as you said telling my story to help others. Have a beautiful day. x

  • Reply Doreen McGettigan July 14, 2016 at 09:07

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    When I married my husband his mother lived with him and when I moved in she became sick almost immediately. After a lot of discussion with my six sister-in-laws (all older) and not being able to agree on anything I left my job and cared for her full time.
    It was hard and sometimes I hated it, felt taken advantage of and exhausted (she suffered from sundowners ND was up all night most nights.)
    My sister-in-laws all had opinions and wanted me to listen to them.
    One night while sitting up with her, I realized that it was an honor to care for someone who was so close to being in Heaven or wherever one goes. I realized it wouldn’t be forever. I decided to get as much family info I could from her and that was so valuable. When she passed away I was sad and honestly relieved.
    Shortly after she passed my husband brought home an 80 yr old homeless woman. She lived with us 2 1/2 years but that’s another story.
    Hang in there and definitely take time for yourself.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:27

      Oh Doreen both you and your husband are saints. I’ve taken your advice and started talking to my MIL and writing her story plus I’ve asked her to teach me Italian which will keep her mind active. Thank you for the encouragement. Have a beautiful day xx

  • Reply Susan Langer July 14, 2016 at 14:30

    Praying for you all in your struggles and loss.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:43

      Thank you so much Susan that means a great deal. You have a beautiful day. xx

  • Reply Estelle July 14, 2016 at 16:34

    Terri, I’m so sorry for your loss. Make sure to take the time you need for your own self-care. Put on your own oxygen mask first and you will be able to then see clearly what needs to be done.

    • Reply Estelle July 14, 2016 at 16:36

      Oops I meant Sue, not Terri.

      • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:28

        That’s okay I knew who you meant! LOL:)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:28

      Thank you Estelle you are the second person in my life who has mentioned putting my own oxygen mask on first. I must remember that. Have a great week!

  • Reply Mother & Daughter July 14, 2016 at 22:32

    Losing a loved one is never easy and I understand all of the feelings you are having. I know you don’t need anyone to tell you it is normal. I lost my father 30 yrs ago and my mother 7, but my husband had both of his till this last Oct. when his mother passed at 90. His dad is in assisted living but it is a struggle everyday because we live 3 hrs away. Dad has dementa and though there are days he is on top of things other days not so much. God is with you in your journey and will help you make the best decisions.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:29

      Oh you are going through a similar experience except you have the added drive to visit your Dad. I’m sending prayers to you and thank you for your words of encouragement. Have a lovely day. x

  • Reply Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle July 14, 2016 at 22:43

    Dear Sue, you have been through so much the last couple of months, organizing the party etc would have been a lot of work too, and now the things you are dealing with and decisions to make. I am glad that you still meet with your exercise friends, that is a good release to exert yourself. Write if it helps, but I just feel that you need to really take time to recover, stress is a killer. Give yourself time to get back your strength, just like you would take time to recover after a marathon. (LOL not that I would know much about marathons).
    Love and prayers,

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:30

      Thank you Kathleen and I agree I just need some time. Although on the weekend I felt like writing so I did. I think that will be my approach over the next month. Thank you as always for your support and friendship. Have a beautiful day xxx

  • Reply Debbie July 15, 2016 at 20:43

    Hi Sue, I’m sorry for your loss and how everything seemed to come about at once. It’s perfectly natural to feel as if you are struggling, anyone else in the same position would too and I’m not even sure it is classed as selfish to admit that you aren’t keen on the idea of looking after your Mum-In-Law. There must be a happy medium, that works for everyone.

    You say that your positive words are hiding your true feelings, being positive is always good, even if you are faking it at the moment.

    I hope your sun rises soon and that your Mum-In-Law lives out her years feeling happy and content, despite having lost her husband.

    Take care and keep running!


    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:35

      thank you so much Debbie for your beautiful words of encouragement and yes I will keep running as that really helps my mental health. Have a great week and I hope you visit again.

  • Reply Bill @ The Money Professors July 16, 2016 at 05:43

    Sorry to hear about your loss. It’s great that you managed to post about your grief as your readers can see that not every day (even for someone who writes about positivity) is an “up day.” For the same reason many people don’t want to hear about “how every body type is beautiful”… from someone who works as a supermodel (It would mean something if they looked like the rest of us)- if all you ever experienced was positive moments, then your advice would not have as much meaning. But this post is an example of how you experience the same struggles as everyone else – and can still work through it to remain positive. That makes your advice worthwhile.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:38

      Thanks Bill I’ve had such positive feedback from everyone for this post. It has really helped knowing that others feel the same or understand that life isn’t always roses and sunshine. Have a great week!

  • Reply Rev July 16, 2016 at 22:36

    Beautifully honest. This is a really difficult time but your attitude about it s admirable. So sorry that you’re hurting.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:39

      It was hard to write this post Rev as I usually like to be positive and upbeat. I just need to show that we all have our ups and downs but I know that time will heal all. Thanks for your words of encouragement and support. Take care xx

  • Reply Wendy July 17, 2016 at 00:39

    Sweet Sue, I wish I could just sit with you for a while. I am so sorry for all you have going on right now. It is a lot at one time, and I completely understand. I am so glad you wrote this for a so many reasons. We cannot all be positive all the time. It’s not real life, and when you share the hard times, I feel like I know you better. Your “shutting down” is totally understandable. That is usually how I handle emotional overwhelm. I usually withdraw from everything, both online and sometimes in real life, and a certain level of numbness sets in. I’m not sure that is healthy, but it is my coping mechanism. On the flip side, some of my best writing has come when I was hurting and just sat down and the words “typed themselves,” like you did here. It’s so hard to know how much is too much to share.

    Sending you hugs and praying for you and your family, my friend! xoxox

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 18, 2016 at 12:40

      Oh I wish you were here too Wendy I would love to sit and chat with you as I know you would totally get where I am coming from. I think we are so alike in many ways. Thank you so much for your kindness and friendship which I value. Have a beautiful day my friend and sending you love and hugs xx

  • Reply Debbie Rodrigues July 18, 2016 at 22:15

    You’ll get better for sure, Sue.
    The darkest moment of the day is right before sunrise.
    Allow yourself to be. That’s the best thing you can do.
    Sending you good vibes.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 19, 2016 at 06:30

      Thank you Deb it has been a struggle but I’m finding my way back and exercise has certainly helped. Have a beautiful day my friend!

  • Reply Jodie filogomo July 18, 2016 at 23:20

    Gosh, Sue…I’m so sorry for these struggles.
    I know there are many people who are on your side and wish you the best.
    And it’s good you’ve found some relief in exercise. I feel like it is important to grieve–maybe not now, but allowing yourself the okay to do it at sometime.
    Love & prayers,

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 19, 2016 at 06:32

      Thanks Jodie for your lovely and kind words. Yes, exercise has really helped and I find now that time does heal as we move forward. Have a beautiful day my friend. x

  • Reply Nikki July 25, 2016 at 03:50

    Sue, I am so sorry for your loss. Change is hard, especially dramatic change. When I got ill and had my stroke I felt like this for about a year. Yes, there were good times, but it’s only natural to mourn the loss. I mourn who I used to be, and how I had built my life. It can’t be like that anymore, and I had built a life I loved. I mourned the fact that an outside force changed what I had built. And I’m sure that you are feeling the same. Out of control of the present and the future. And that’s ok. Life will fall into a routine again. You will figure out how to enjoy life within the new parameters. It will take time, but take the time to be kind to yourself. You deserve to have these feelings, don’t deny them. Get through them, a new life will form and it will become good again. Hugs.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 25, 2016 at 16:48

      Thanks Nikki for your inspiring words. I realise life has been tough for you and yet you keep going and I love your new pillows and cushions that I’ve seen on FB. So creative. I know life will get back to normal it is just a matter of time. xx

  • Reply Rosemond July 29, 2016 at 05:40

    Thank you for continuing to share your story. Yes, you can write about positivity when you are feeling down. It’s all a part of the cycle of our lives. Prayers for you and your family.

  • Reply Molly Stevens July 29, 2016 at 09:26

    So sorry for your loss, Sue. And it has certainly upset the balance of your family. I have lost both parents and a sister, and grief is what it is. You can’t rush it or side step it. Even when I thought I was doing the work of grieving it was like having an emotional two year old in control of my life for a time. I never knew when I would burst into tears or be inexplicably angry about something that didn’t matter. It takes time and everyone does it differently. But the best thing you can do is be patient and gentle with yourself. And accept all of your feelings, even the resentment about caring for your mother-in-law. hugs.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 31, 2016 at 12:58

      Yes I suppose the post came from a bad day and things are getting better. We all have our ups and downs in life but time does heal. I also think we do need to acknowledge and accept how we feel at any given time and that it is okay to feel that way. Thanks for the hugs and have a lovely day!

  • Reply Silly Mummy July 30, 2016 at 10:08

    How sad – I’m sorry for your loss. I think everything you feel is completely understandable & I’m sure that you are correct – solutions and a new normality will be found in time and it will be okay, it’s just the getting there.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 31, 2016 at 12:50

      Yes I know that time will heal all. It has been good to have people comment that they have experienced the same thing. Life will get better.

  • Reply Jennifer June 17, 2017 at 06:21

    It’s sad to know you lost your FIL in such a quick manner. But at least he was celebrating and happy prior to going into the hospital. My mother (97 and still counting,) tells me that she either wants to die in her sleep or while she’s dancing. She either doesn’t want to know it’s happening or wants to be doing something that makes her happy. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get many opportunities to dance anymore.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 19, 2017 at 09:07

      Yes he did at least enjoy his last day before hospital. Your mother sounds lovely and positive and fabulous at 97! She certainly has the right attitude Jennifer and I hope it works out that way for her when her time comes. Have a lovely week and thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Debbie June 17, 2017 at 07:18

    That’s really sad Sue and I feel for both. We lost my husband’s younger brother at age 55 very suddenly a few years ago and it still feels awful. Writing helped me at that time and as you say it helps to get the words out somewhere.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 19, 2017 at 09:05

      Oh that is so young Debbie and being sudden would have been devastating. I lost my brother at 65 after a short illness. You just don’t know what each day will bring so we have to make the most of it.

  • Reply Christina June 17, 2017 at 10:53

    What a lovely tribute. I’m sorry for your loss, and the void it creates. <3c

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 19, 2017 at 09:04

      Thanks Christina but nearly a year on and Mike’s Mum is just so much happier. She has moved to an aged care facility and is living life to the full and next week turns 91. Life goes in cycles and we all just have to ride the waves.

  • Reply Jess June 18, 2017 at 00:26

    Why does life have to be so hard and complicated sometimes? Everything has been going smooth and then yesterday in the same day, literally one crazy event after another, my 88 year old grandmother who was in town for a visit has to fly home for medical reasons, my husband is at the ER with a cardiac episode and my daughter woke up with a temperature of 106.

    But this loss, my husband is experiencing similar. He was raised by his grandfather who passed away in his mid nineties this spring. His wife who is in her late 90’s survived him and now there is the great debate of where she should live. She doesn’t know whether she wants to live or die at this point I feel, and I can’t blame her. Stay at the retirement community, stay active with friends? Or go live in New Mexico with her daughter and just wait it out. So much love to you Sue! You are so strong, I always admire that!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 19, 2017 at 09:02

      Oh Jess what a week you are having and I wish I could be there to give you a big hug. I do hope your husband is okay as well as your grandmother and daughter. The best thing my MIL did was going to the retirement home. She is cared for and has a new lease on life with all the activities and friends. I would definitely try to get your husband’s grandmother to explore the possibility. My MIL now says she doesn’t miss her home which is wonderful news as she is happy and that is the main thing especially at 91!

    I love hearing from you and your comments are important to me

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: