After all this time, over a decade, all the bitter tears, all the lessons in inevitability, all the acceptance of what is, I find myself tearing around the house tonight muttering angrily to myself, “God and goddess almighty, Don, why don’t you get better?”
And I mean it until i stop in mid-tirade at the voice which answers,”He can’t.”
My heart also reminds me, “If he could, he would.”
And all my serene acceptance crumbles in another agonizing wave of grief. Again. I thought i had finished that crazed mourning.
I was busy all day on the next issue of the magazine and took his loving self to the “party” at the care home Happy Hour – music and dancing and ginger ale (whoa he said, that stuff is strong) and chips – all of which we enjoyed as we canoodled, holding hands and touching, stroking each others’ cheeks and making silly jokes in some bilingual way.
I don’t understand much of what he says anymore, guessing only at intent, and it’s mutual. His understanding is so scant i don’t think he understands the ” party” is only upstairs from the forgetting ward. He doesn’t know he is behind 3 locked doors or that they all have the same code. On better days, he sees me pushing the buttons and says brightly, oh so that’s how it works, but he never takes it further, probably because the thought is lost as soon as it is formulated.
So now we yearn hopelessly for each other, only our mutual love crossing the great divide of dementia.
And i leave, go home, finish working, eat dinner, pretend everything is ok, – which it mostly is – and suddenly find myself sinking in quicksands of grief again.
When my father died, one wild wail i had never heard before came from my soul and my mouth, and that was that. It let him go.
This sweet agony goes on and so do my love and i.
But it occurs to me that the holiday i have anticipated for 9 months now and which is rapidly approaching might be activating some of this grief. Perhaps I was burying it and now it emerges. But what else can a person do?
Still leaving on a jet plane!!! Just a few more weeks and I’m off far away for 16 days.
3 responses to “Moments of joy, moments of rage”
grief is such a lonely thing , Those of us that have felt it , Understand , but cannot be there. perhaps having a” fellow feeling “is of a little comfort . I hope so . with love , Tress
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My kids have been visiting Ken a lot as they are in town for a week. Don came over to them and asked where you were. Then later he came again, very apologetic Have I disturbed you before? I am sorry if I have but I am looking for my wife.
Yesterday was the first day that Ken did not know me at all. He was very polite and kind, but said I do not remember you or anything about this place. Perhaps it was from confusion from all the kid’s visits. But it broke my heart again. I want to slump but have to keep going on what a dreadful disease and how brave Ken and Don are, and how brave we all
are to keep going.
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Don’t feel brave.