Monday, October 19, 2015

I am getting there...

Our journey through Alzheimer's is over.  The ramifications of the experience will last for years.

Here's one that I'm working through:

Mom became so agitated with the slightest activities around the house that I let a lot of things go in the last 2 years of Mom's illness.  We rarely cooked.  We did little cleaning besides what was absolutely necessary for health reasons. We didn't decorate for holidays.  If something broke, we found a way to make it work with minimal disruption to Mom.  Needless to say, the house is a mess.

It was only 6 months ago that I chose to place Mom in a facility that could care for her better than I could.  I thought, "Wow!  I can do things again. I can finally get the house put back together." Unfortunately, these energetic thoughts were followed with an unbelievable sense of hopelessness and apathy.  I just didn't care.  I don't know if I believed that she was going to be sent home again (it entered my mind) or whether I just needed the time to lick my wounds and heal a bit.

Whatever the reason, since Mom's passing, I have been filled with a sense of urgency and energy to get things done.  I need to get up and move.  I need to clean, fix, and purge.  I need to work.  And I have been.  The house is still torn up, it always looks worse before it can look better.  But, I am getting there.

As I said, I will be working through the repercussions of this journey for a long time.  It feels good to take a first step back to my life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

No tears...

It didn't end the way I imagined.

The first call from hospice letting me know that Mom's condition was deteriorating rapidly hit me hard.  I think part of my brain actually considered her "outliving us all".  Unrealistic, I know.  But, it was something that we said, and probably believed, during the stressful times.  Physically, she was strong and healthy for a woman in her 80s.  The Alzheimer's had progressed slowly.  So very slowly. There was no reason to think it wouldn't continue in the same way. I knew that she would be there on my next visit, yelling that she was hungry.

But, she's gone.  She's been gone almost two weeks.  I am actually happy that she is gone.  I am finding that most people are shocked by that.  I shed many tears for my mother over the years. I grieved for her each day that I was forced to watch her slow and cruel death. My children and I said our goodbyes to her many years ago.  She was spared the final suffering that many Alzheimer's victims are forced to endure.

So, no, I have no tears for my mother's passing.  I do have a sense of relief and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for her final and glorious peace.  I know where she is and, more importantly, she does, too.  She is whole.

Alzheimer's did not win.

Eternal peace did.