After doing, I thought, very well at this new life, even managing to cook dinner for myself once or twice, and getting a lot of work done, I am suddenly trapped in wave after wave of sorrow, welling up unexpectedly, overwhelming me at inopportune times. Talking with friends is sometimes difficult.
I am haunted by the memory of my beautiful man, hunched over and lurching down the hall, calling urgently after a dark-haired caregiver who is scurrying to another patient, “Delores! Delores!”
“Hi Don,” I call, holding out my hand. He wavers, between me and the hall where the caregiver disappeared, back and forth, back and forth.
Lately it is obvious that although he is usually delighted to see me, kissing my hands joyously, he also forgets I am there and wanders off, to confuse another woman with me. This is a mercy for him if he can find comfort in that, and hopefully makes the job a little easier for the caregivers.
But it leaves me remembering our many joyous years and thinking, how did this happen? How did we end up like this? And then i realise I no longer have long dark hair. It has turned grey, as it should, in the passage of time. And all creatures must die, to make room for the young.
I am reminded of words a therapist told me: “Of course you are in grief. Your husband is dying, the long, slow, hard way, fading like the Cheshire cat.”