Today I learned two valuable lessons from my 13 year old daughter.
It has been an extremely bad day with Mom. I was, and am, having a hard time dealing with Mom's actions today. My daughter just walked into the room and said, "I'm expanding my vocabulary, Mom. I think we are dealing with Ambiguous Loss." I stopped and looked at her and asked a very intelligent, "What?" She said, "Ambiguous Loss. Like someone is there, like their body is there but their mind isn't." So, I stopped and looked it up.
I found a great explanation at Comfort-For-Bereavement.com (link below). Basically, you are grieving for a person who is only with you in body. I've talked about how I feel when people say, "Well, at least you still have your mother." Well, no I don't. My mother left me many years ago. I still have my mother's body. All of the characteristics, qualities, quirks and traits that were my mother are dead. We are grieving everyday. We are confronted with Mom's death every single day. To put it in a physical perspective... Imagine that each day that you wake with someone you love, they've lost a small part of themselves. Their body is dying a slow and painful death. The first thing that was taken was their ability to communicate. This morning it was the tip of a finger. Tomorrow it could be a kidney. And they are tormented by each loss. And they are angry, furious that each part has been stolen. Each day is a challenge of trial and error to learn how to compensate for the losses. The days of right answers are destroyed with each new day. Yet, it continues for years. Until there is nothing left to take. Yet, with Alzheimer's there is always something more, always a new horror.
So, my daughter's expanding vocabulary taught me a new definition and lesson #1. Lesson #2 was the fact that she is finding answers and ways to cope. She is learning what she can about this situation and she is challenging her knowledge. She is looking for ways to make sense of this. I am so proud of the person she is and the person she will become.