This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Inside a deep pit of loss...

Today, in the mist of attending to the secret details for my husband's 70th birthday party tonight, I felt something dark pulling me down...I shrugged my shoulders, trying to fend it off, thinking only the most pleasant thoughts...Going about my day, busy with cleaning, it kept creeping up behind me and pulling at me.... OK, since it is NOT going away, let's deal with this thing, FACE ON!

This morning, right out of bed, I noticed the bag sitting on the table beside my stereo. For a brief moment, I forgot what it held. Looking inside, I saw a bunch of tapes my Father had recorded. I took them from the house when I was helping Mom. I intend to listen to them, hence, their place by the stereo.

Sorting through the tapes, I noticed some notes written by Dad. Pulling them out to investigate, I discovered they were journal pages of Dad's, dated from July 7, 2005 to July 31, 2005. My first reaction was noticing none of the writing was consistent, as if written by several different hands. Yet, it was Dad's writing, which looked so strange and unfamiliar.

I only read a few pages and became emotional. I stuffed it back in the bag of tapes and did my best to push it out of my mind. I had too much to do...

Now, as I examine this dark feeling, I realize the huge sense of loss I feel with my Father. I miss him. In many ways, I feel like he has already died. Not to be morbid, but the Dad I know, is no longer around. Things are changing so fast and it is just not the same...

It sucks that Mom and Dad's house is no longer Mom and Dad's house. Now, it's Mom's house. Dad's room is there, but it's NOT there. It no longer exists. It is now, tastefully redecorated by my niece who lives in Dad's old room. I am glad she is there, don't get me wrong... I know Mom loves the company. They have always clicked and have been very close. It helps them both out, but the dynamic of home, has changed. Dad's life, his essence, has changed and is slowly slipping away...

Dad's truck was sold, all the belongings from his room, are stored in the garage. Some of his suits were sold at a yard sale or donated. His tools have been divided amongst the boys or sold. All we have left, are memories. Dad is still here, technically, physically, but mentally, he is slowly dissolving.

Reviewing these notes of Dad's, it is clear he was fighting to keep his disappearing memory a secret. No doubt he felt less of a man. Dad always had so much pride. He strived for daily routine and organization, yet it was a huge challenge for him. He did his floor exercises and ate only organic food... As if, some crash course of healthy living would cure it all.

Looking back, was I too quick to dismiss his strange behavior as senility or dementia? Not realizing how dementing, dementia really was? I mistakenly thought dementia was like senility, as if one had to pass through one, to get through to the other, not realizing, dementia is part of Alzheimer's.

We all missed it...I feel so badly that he suffered alone and no one knew until it was too late... Then again, Dad would not have allowed it to be any different. If I could not get through to him, I doubt anyone else could. He was very paranoid and suspicious, he was always that way, but the last few years, extremely so with his doctor. He was canceling and rescheduling more doctor appointments than he kept!

The past 6 months, prior to his final hospitalization, he was in and out of the hospital because he refused to follow his doctors orders, and would take himself off his meds frequently.

I just feel so lonesome for him. The phone call Mom received from Dad yesterday, (with the help of one of the nurses), brings back those first days after he was hospitalized. I was tormented by my sense of responsibility for Dad and leaving him alone at that hospital was like leaving my child behind...
I don't want to know what it feels like when Dad no longer recognizes me! I don't want to know that!! I don't want his children to feel like strangers. I don't want to see the pain on my siblings faces. Dad does not deserve this... WE don't deserve this... THE WHOLE THING SUCKS!!!

2 comments:

JeannetteLS said...

Your sharing of all this is SO powerful. I've not forgotten you. I'm here still-rough week and miraculous both. HOWEVER, back to you. Save all of this writing you are doing. It is strong and raw and... It's brave, Donna, at a time when I know the last thing you are feeling is brave. It bites AND it sucks. One of my friends learned to, when she went through this with her mom, actually dissociate just a bit. Not from the love, but she came to see that this was not her mom's core, but it was the beloved house nonetheless. Sometimes it hurt that her mom was not in there, but she said she learned to care about this interloper in her mother's house. I don't know whether that can help, but I thought it was remarkable of her. I am so sorry for what you are going through. Please remember to breathe!

Donna B said...

Thank you Jeannette, and I apologise for the late response. I think I tried to email you from your blog, but now have learned, it is more common to reply here. Still learning my way through the blog world.

I appreciate your support and comments. We have our good days and the bad. Thankfully, we have more positives than negatives right now.

Hope you will stop by again...