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.