Talking with her as she cheerfully ate breakfast, I realized that she didn’t know me, didn’t remember that we are married, that I’m her husband.
The woman I married is gone. In her place, a beautiful child whose mind slips further and further into oblivion each day. All we can do is make these days as comfortable and happy as possible. In time, she will need help with the simplest of tasks, bathing, feeding herself. She will be more and more disconnected from reality, from us, from me.
Those final chapters will be a very difficult journey.
I’m going to stop writing here. Other family have taken over my wife’s care and my role has changed from sole caregiver to caregiver support. We all know what’s coming but we’ll do our best to make each remaining day in my wife’s life joyful.
I suspect few of us consider how our lives or the lives of our loved ones will end. I certainly avoided the subject until dementia shoved death in front of my face.
Yes, this has been a painful journey, but it’s a journey I’ve been able to share with my wife, with family, with other loved ones, a journey that, although anguishing at times, has also been rich with the deep intimacy gained by sharing life’s ultimate challenge.
You might also appreciate: Her Smile; My Dementia Diary
I hope you’ll continue to write, if not about your wife, then about other things. I’ve enjoyed your posts and am relieved you no longer bear the burden of your wife’s care alone. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
Thank you, your kind thoughts are much appreciated
I too hope you will keep writing if the writing brings you comfort – maybe other stories. I have drawn so much inspiration from what you have so bravely shared and I thank you and wish you strength for the challenges ahead.
Thank you for sharing–the beautiful things, the hard things, the sad and hopeful things. And please, I hope you continue to share, if you’re so inclined.
Your kind thoughts are much appreciated.
Sometimes, Tio, when I’m feeling really down about my mom’s dementia and her lack of recognition of myself, my sister, her old realities, I cheer myself up by thinking maybe we’re the ones in the wrong reality. Maybe Mom’s got it right to be rid of pretense and preconception of people and places. When I go down this road in my thoughts, I know I’m just making up some bullshit to feel better, but it works… for awhile.
Hang in there, sir.
Thanks, like you, I’m doing my best to stay loving and get by.