Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Memories... (written April 2008)

One of the number one things people ask me is if my Mom remembers that my Dad died. The answer is yes. Always. For some odd reason, the woman, who has yet to find the bedroom or bathroom in her new home, has never forgotten that my Dad died. I'm so thankful for that. We only had to tell her once. Not one other reminder.

She genuinely seemed to understand the funeral proceedings. She mourned and acted every bit a grieving wife. It's the first time ever I didn't want to curse this horrible disease of Alzheimer's. Her brain allowed her to absorb and react to my Dad's death. For a little while anyway. Then her fragile mind healed the pain almost instantaneously, tucking it away in a distant memory.

The situation surrounding his passing now changes dramatically depending on when the topic is discussed. First, she seems to think it happened a long time ago, not last month. She tragically recounts that he died "so young." If you didn't know, he was 92. And finally, she also tells how he "suffered for so long," which also really wasn't the case. He had lost a lot of weight in the last two years and went downhill with weakness in the weeks before his death, but not in the tragic way she'd have you believe.

Sometimes I'm not even positive whether she's referring to my Dad or hers... Although her Dad also led a fairly long life and from what I can remember, didn't suffer a long illness either. I'm really not sure where the drama comes from.

Once in a while I'll remind my Mom that her husband was 92 and lived a long full life, but for the most part I just let the facts free flow wherever her mind wants to take them. It doesn't seem so important that she remember each and every detail over the death of the love of her life, but rather that we keep memories of him alive. It's also encouraging that she accepts her life now and where it's going. So far she's coping really well. I couldn't ask for more.

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