Thursday, January 14, 2016

ALZHEIMER'S -IS THIS THE LONG GOODBYE ?


ALZHEIMER'S-IS THIS THE LONG GOODBYE?

My best friend's mother just passed away after suffering from Alzheimer's for the last several years. As she sat by her mom's bed for the last week watching her fade away, I could not help but wonder what it will be like for my mom when her time arrives. As I received the news, uncontrollable tears began to run down my face. I knew a great deal of the sorrow that I was feeling was connected to my own personal grief.

At the Alzheimer's support group I have been attending for the last four years, my group leader has been telling me that I was in a grieving process. The first time she said this to me, I responded that I was not, because my mom was not dying. Now I understand all too much.

It's funny because just the other day one of mom's nurses reassured me, with delight in her voice, that my mom was doing great. She shared with me how blessed my mom was and that she'll be around for quite a while. After hanging up the phone my thoughts and feelings ran rampant.

Yes, I understand that I am lucky to still have my mom, yet I also know how much more Alzheimer's can rob from her. Just thinking of how much worse she could become, as her disease progresses, leaves me feeling nauseous and sick to my stomach.

I must confess, that at moments throughout the years, knowing that there is no cure, I have wished that my mom could just close her eyes and go to sleep. I know that if she understood or could see what was happening to her, she would also wish for the same.

Today, I am in mourning for my best friend's mom and maybe also grieving for mine. For now I know that I must express what I am feeling to free myself from these haunting thoughts. Maybe for my mother and our family this will be a long goodbye. Whatever it is I need to get back into the space of being grateful.

I have been in Florida this month with my husband to hopefully spend some quality time with mom. If I can see her smile, hold her hand and hear her say she loves me, I will be able to come from a place of feeling thankful.

Mom has not only inspired me for the last 13 years, she has also become my hero, and for that I consider myself one lucky lady!



 

10 comments:

  1. Lisa, I've been telling my sister that my father, whose body seems so strong and indestructible, will outlive us all. And of course the irony is that when he still had more of his "marbles," he said that he'd rather die than be so dependent... I have a friend who had said that she'd rather commit suicide, but now she doesn't have the ability, and she's also demented...
    But a sharp mind and weak body isn't a better combination... old age, not easy.

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    1. ....and my mom said the other day that she is "too young to die"!

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    2. She still has her spirit, which is great.

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  2. It made me tear up reading what you wrote. The difficult part is that demensia/Alzheimer sufferer had it worst especially if they're immobile like my Mum. When we came home after a week's stay and taught about pallative care at home, Mum was crying when she saw us around her -- my younger sister and her two daufhters. It's heartbreaking and agonizing to see how much she wanted ro tell her but she couldn't. I just keep praying for her that she has the will to speak and say what's on her mind and that she has peace in her heart and mind.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your mum. Do you think that your mum might need to be on some sort of medication? She might be depressed and cannot express it. I will keep you all in my prayers. Lisa

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  3. Hi Lisa
    Your post brought so many memories back to me and tears to my eyes. You have the ability to put into words what we all think. I want you to know that just because we think it ,it does not make us care less. I gave a talk in November about being a caregiver for 12 years that my Mom had the disease and I told the group that it will be the hardest thing in life that you do but it will also be the most rewarding. We are there doing whatever needs to be done without asking just like our parents did for us. You are loving your Mom unconditionly and creating that bond that will never be broken whether she realizes it today or in the after life she will be forever grateful to you for your care and love. The hardest part of of this disease is that with all your heart- you miss someone who is sitting right in front of you.
    Big hugs to both you and your Mom
    Carol

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  4. Carol you somehow manage to say most of what I feel. Thank you so much for reaching out to me . I 💜 hearing from you . Much hugs, Lisa

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  5. It's like you've written what I think. For years I didn't realize I was grieving my mom, she's physically still here but completely non verbal for a few years now. I attended a seminar on grieving and it rang so very true that I grieve my mom constantly and it's a process.

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    1. Thanks Morgan. I find that somehow can express what many of us think about. I hope that in some ways it "comforts" you. Lisa

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