As I dealt with the guilt of putting her in the care center, one day I had a thought that really helped me. It occurred to me that those feelings of guilt and feeling bad for my mother were actually feelings that are pleasing to God. Feeling empathy, and pain for another person are godly feelings. I ran across a scripture while reading the Book of Mormon:
Jacob 2:And also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God;
How would God feel if we didn't care about putting our mother in a care center? If we had no regret at all, what would that say about us as children? My thinking is that feelings of empathy and concern are godly feelings and even though they might be painful, we should feel blessed to have the ability to feel them.
After three weeks of being in the care center, a great blessing happened in that my mother passed away. Her dementia had progressed to the point that she was having difficulty swallowing. Evidently, she aspirated something. The care center called my sister, who lives 30 minutes away. But my mother died before she could get there. In my religious beliefs, and from experiences of family members who have died, I believe that loved ones come to "get" a person when they die. I have no doubt my father came to get my mother's spirit. Did she die alone? Absolutely not. And not to mention that my mother had done a lot of geneology and had come to know many ancestors who died before she was even born. I'm sure a fair few of them were there as well to welcome her to the world of spirits.
As for me, I feel that because of her dementia, I lost my mother several years ago. The person I cared for was not the person I have known all my life. Our family has been grieving for years, so her death is just a release. I feel relieved for her, that she doesn't have to live with a demented mind, and live in an unfamiliar care center. And I feel relief for my family who no longer have to worry about her and wonder if she is okay. We know she is with my father, her parents and siblings, and a daughter that only lived a short time whom she never met. She lived a great life, and now can celebrate in heaven.