One of my dear friends wrote on Facebook today about her journey of visiting her mother in a Senior Living and Memory Care Community. Reading her post, I had a flashback about the latter years of my mom's life. She made it thirteen years with Alzheimer's. I started crying because of that flashback.
I let my mom down those last three years because I was not there for her as much as I should have been. I didn't go because of the pain of going; therefore, I did not give her the love and emotional support that she deserved.
I let my dad down. A few hours before my dad died, I was coaxing him into letting go and stepping into heaven. A few minutes latter, he started moving his feet and legs as if he were walking. When he did this, I told him that "he was stepping into heaven" and that "I would TAKE care of mom, and that he did not have to worry."
Now, I know as a person living with dementia, just how important those visits are to the BITTER end. Now, more so than before, I know the importance of love, care, compassion, understanding and presence. Please think about think about the poem "I needed the quiet". No matter how difficult the journey is, seek all resources possible and visit your loved one as much as possible. If you do this, in the BITTER end, you wil have so many pleasant memories. The memories that I have in the latter years are still pain and suffering. The path that I followed to "quote survive", left me empty.
I never grieved my mom's death. I was so happy that she had died, because, there was no more pain and suffering for her. That was so selfish of me, and it kept me from truly grieving her death. I must now begin the process of grieving my mom's death from seven years ago. I had simply blocked it out.
I FAILED my mom and dad, and NOW, I MUST LIVE WITH IT.
©2015 Robert Bowles
Robert Bowles, Jr.