When someone you love dies, for example, my father in law died suddenly at age 56 of a heart attack and while not totally unexpected it was unexpected and shocking, everyone knows what happened.
Everyone gathers round about you and cries with you and brings casseroles and sings songs and shares memories. You have that long first year of mourning, but people know.
With Alzheimers one day a doctor pronounces the sentence and you leave with a prescription and life pretty much goes on but the mantle of the words wraps you and you are sort of quiet about it and few know and, if you're smart, you make some legal plans and decisions, but you feel a bit embarrassed or shunned or odd.
In our case, we came out and joined the local Alzheimer's community. I thought we faced this head on, but I still denied, denied -- I didn't think I did but I did not embrace death of the spirit of the man I love.
Slowly over the years, as the caregiver, you notice that the victim is slipping away. Much of this came when I'd see him at daycare and watch from afar as he sat by himself at a table not eating his snack or I would see another caregiver helper her spouse out / in / into the car and I'd have that moment of realization: Bob is like that!
So day 3 is here and I am filled with doubt and guilt and regret and denial.
Surprise (come along for the ride)!!
5 years ago