Dementia’s journey

CAL Y

Registered User
Jul 17, 2021
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0
Hi @Dutchman

I apologise if my thoughts upset you.

You said "How it could have been different"
I'm sorry but in my humble view it could not have been different. It was as it was. It was either her genes for dementia or lifestyle, or your genes for your cancer or lifestyle.
What has happened has happened. It's over and done with.
At what or with whom are you angry? Does being angry change anything? Does it help you?
Yes, it could now be different, that is, your view of things could be different, but you are who you are, and so you have reacted as you have reacted.
You had a great relationship with your wife, and thankfully many happy years and memories together. Let those thoughts take centre stage.

I don't know, but I expect your late wife would want you to continue to live your life to the full going forward. That doesn't mean you forget any of the past, but the horrible years is a small percentage of the whole, and that perspective lessens its importance compared with the good years.

My wife had cancer (now in remission), and then dementia and still has dementia and will have until it eventually kills her. I can't find it in me to be angry at her. I'm not angry with an illness. I can't go back and change anything in the past. I've been full time caring for my OH for 7 years now, and for all I know it may be another 7 years or more to go.
All I feel I can do is to deal with what's in front of me and try and make the best of it. I can't change it,
I also had a great relationship with my wife, and thankfully 50 happy years and memories together, that I can recall for which I am truly grateful.
 

CAL Y

Registered User
Jul 17, 2021
650
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Hello @Chizz . Thank you for such an insightful post. I do agree with you.
I have never understood the “stages of grief”
I am twice widowed now, the first time was at the relatively young age of 39.
One thing that I never felt was anger because I was secure in the knowledge that neither one of my husbands would have ”left” if they had been given a say in the matter.

I realise that we all have different personalities and I feel sad for @Dutchman
I believe that if I choose to grieve for the rest of my final years, I would be throwing aside most of my adult life .
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
4,360
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Kent
Hello @Chizz . Thank you for such an insightful post. I do agree with you.
I have never understood the “stages of grief”
I am twice widowed now, the first time was at the relatively young age of 39.
One thing that I never felt was anger because I was secure in the knowledge that neither one of my husbands would have ”left” if they had been given a say in the matter.

I realise that we all have different personalities and I feel sad for @Dutchman
I believe that if I choose to grieve for the rest of my final years, I would be throwing aside most of my adult life .
Yes @CAL Y you are you, and you also have a new life t live in the new chapter. Your choice after many years of no choice. Best wishes in finding yourself again.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
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Devon, Totnes
Hello everyone.

Just come across a card Bridget wrote back in 2010 when life was full of promise, where she thanks me for loving her and says she looks forward to many more years of being together in our lovely home and lovely Devon.

Life’s full of reminders of what was before the dreadful scourge of dementia. How we thought life would carry on wonderfully regardless.

I’m relatively okay these days. I went to visit her grave recently and didn’t choke with tears. But in many ways I miss missing her with those strong and overwhelming emotions. It’s like she’s drifting away and I can’t pull her back. I guess that happens otherwise we’d be nervous wrecks unable to operate. I just wish though sometimes I could, for a moment, experience being really with her again. I long for her and that’s the rub.

I’m in the middle of redecorating and that distracts me for a while.

I hope that it’s not too bad for my friends out there today. I’ve re applied to be a companion caller after a break of several months. Mustn’t let my experiences go to waste.

Peterx
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
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76
Devon, Totnes
In many ways I feel a lot better and easier with the whole business of missing Bridget. I guess time has had its affect on me and living alone now for almost 5 years (is it really that long?). But the upshot of that is it brings with it uncomfortable feeling of closeness slipping away.

I remember well the absolute terrifying trauma of early grief back in 2019 when she went onto the home. And then Covid. This election has reminded me that while the government were partying I was left crying, unable to go into the home and hold her.

We get used to things otherwise we’d feel out of the little control we have in our lives. I can’t control my grief so I have to accept the feeling as they come and hope it’s easier in the months ahead.

Oh, and my hair is returning post
Chemotherapy 👨‍🦱. I don’t look like a newly recruited soldier so much

Peter
 

CAL Y

Registered User
Jul 17, 2021
650
0
In many ways I feel a lot better and easier with the whole business of missing Bridget. I guess time has had its affect on me and living alone now for almost 5 years (is it really that long?). But the upshot of that is it brings with it uncomfortable feeling of closeness slipping away.

I remember well the absolute terrifying trauma of early grief back in 2019 when she went onto the home. And then Covid. This election has reminded me that while the government were partying I was left crying, unable to go into the home and hold her.

We get used to things otherwise we’d feel out of the little control we have in our lives. I can’t control my grief so I have to accept the feeling as they come and hope it’s easier in the months ahead.

Oh, and my hair is returning post
Chemotherapy 👨‍🦱. I don’t look like a newly recruited soldier so much

Peter
Hello @Dutchman . Peter I’m so glad to read your words about getting used to things. This is so true. You have have a rough time and have had to deal with your own ill health at the same time as your grief for Bridget.
I do hope that things become easier as time goes on. It’s now over 2.5 years since my husband died and in my experience the closeness to our loved ones doesn’t slip away.
I believe it stays with us, just in a different way.
In my case I’m comfortable, contented and the good times are now at the forefront of my mind.
It just takes time. Go with the flow. You will get there eventually.
All good wishes to you. Carole x
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
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76
Devon, Totnes
Hello @Dutchman . Peter I’m so glad to read your words about getting used to things. This is so true. You have have a rough time and have had to deal with your own ill health at the same time as your grief for Bridget.
I do hope that things become easier as time goes on. It’s now over 2.5 years since my husband died and in my experience the closeness to our loved ones doesn’t slip away.
I believe it stays with us, just in a different way.
In my case I’m comfortable, contented and the good times are now at the forefront of my mind.
It just takes time. Go with the flow. You will get there eventually.
All good wishes to you. Carole x
Thanks so much for your reply. I’m sure it’s time I need and it’s true that time does heal, although it doesn’t seem that way in the moment.
 

Knitandpurl

Registered User
Aug 9, 2021
953
0
Lincolnshire
Thanks so much for your reply. I’m sure it’s time I need and it’s true that time does heal, although it doesn’t seem that way in the moment.
Hi @Dutchman did you see the photo of the sculpture Melancholy @sdmhred posted on her thread last week? It was wonderful, I think it would really resonate with you. Is your hair coming back the same as before? Mine is thinner, but has a wave it never had before and much darker (hardly any grey). Amazing.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,412
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76
Devon, Totnes
Hi @Dutchman did you see the photo of the sculpture Melancholy @sdmhred posted on her thread last week? It was wonderful, I think it would really resonate with you. Is your hair coming back the same as before? Mine is thinner, but has a wave it never had before and much darker (hardly any grey). Amazing.
Yes my hair is softer and appears dark. Still a number one. I rather fancy leaving it really short as I’m getting used to it, whereas I used to cover up my baldness with a cap.

I’ll look out for the sculpture
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,412
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76
Devon, Totnes
Yes my hair is softer and appears dark. Still a number one. I rather fancy leaving it really short as I’m getting used to it, whereas I used to cover up my baldness with a cap.

I’ll look out for the sculpture
Found a picture of the sculpture and liked it a lot. Yes, there’s the hole left by Bridget leaving. Suppose there always will be.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,412
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76
Devon, Totnes
Just found this book

[Clare Mackintosh

I Promise It Won’t Always Hurt Like This: 18 Assurances on Grief​

Quite helpful I found when you need reassurance

Peter
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,412
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76
Devon, Totnes
Thought I was doing ok lately but tidying up a bedroom I came across a pair of Bridget’s socks which I’d sewn her name label in to make sure the care home didn’t get them mixed up. Such a small thing but they were on her body and worn by my wife who couldn’t care for herself and smiled at me when I arrived for a meal visit.

Just cried at my losing her. I’m not sure if I can get rid of her clothes especially those she wore in the home. They dressed her, made sure she was clean and respected her choice of outfit. She always looked dressed properly.

It’s the smallest of reminders that get me. Handwriting, the organisation of the kitchen, perfume, the day she left here, the empty passenger seat in the car.
 

Knitandpurl

Registered User
Aug 9, 2021
953
0
Lincolnshire
I understand, it’s often the small things, I sobbed and sobbed when I found my Mum’s dentures of all things. There’s no rush to get rid of Bridget’s clothes etc. do it when you are ready, though I do suggest that the ones to keep are from when she was well, that’s the Bridget you want to remember the most.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,412
0
76
Devon, Totnes
I understand, it’s often the small things, I sobbed and sobbed when I found my Mum’s dentures of all things. There’s no rush to get rid of Bridget’s clothes etc. do it when you are ready, though I do suggest that the ones to keep are from when she was well, that’s the Bridget you want to remember the most.
Thank you @Knitandpurl .
 

GillP

Registered User
Aug 11, 2021
3,954
0
Thought I was doing ok lately but tidying up a bedroom I came across a pair of Bridget’s socks which I’d sewn her name label in to make sure the care home didn’t get them mixed up. Such a small thing but they were on her body and worn by my wife who couldn’t care for herself and smiled at me when I arrived for a meal visit.

Just cried at my losing her. I’m not sure if I can get rid of her clothes especially those she wore in the home. They dressed her, made sure she was clean and respected her choice of outfit. She always looked dressed properly.

It’s the smallest of reminders that get me. Handwriting, the organisation of the kitchen, perfume, the day she left here, the empty passenger seat in the car.
The empty passenger seat is so difficult.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,412
0
76
Devon, Totnes
The empty passenger seat is so difficult.
I know I did most of the driving and Bridget was happy for me to do it but to have her there just chatting away, making the drive less boring was something I took for granted.

One of the heartbreaking moments was after she was in the home for a couple of months I took her to a local garden centre for coffee. There she was back in the passenger seat just like normal. God, it would’ve so easy to take her home. Life was ordinary again. When it was time to take her back she said “please don’t turn left “ back to the care home. Turning right meant back to our home.

Can you imagine the despair in my mind at that fraction of a second decision whether left or right. I turned left and my heart broke. My old life with her was now gone and when we went back into the home I left her in the lounge went up into her room and cried my eyes out. I remember it as it was yesterday.

We never did another car ride after that, my heart wouldn’t take it.

And I still glance at the empty seat and imagine her sitting there.
 

GillP

Registered User
Aug 11, 2021
3,954
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I know I did most of the driving and Bridget was happy for me to do it but to have her there just chatting away, making the drive less boring was something I took for granted.

One of the heartbreaking moments was after she was in the home for a couple of months I took her to a local garden centre for coffee. There she was back in the passenger seat just like normal. God, it would’ve so easy to take her home. Life was ordinary again. When it was time to take her back she said “please don’t turn left “ back to the care home. Turning right meant back to our home.

Can you imagine the despair in my mind at that fraction of a second decision whether left or right. I turned left and my heart broke. My old life with her was now gone and when we went back into the home I left her in the lounge went up into her room and cried my eyes out. I remember it as it was yesterday.

We never did another car ride after that, my heart wouldn’t take it.

And I still glance at the empty seat and imagine her sitting there.
❤️
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
4,360
0
Kent
Hi @Dutchman

Your OH will always be with you.

She has not gone, while you cry with her.

She has not gone, while you smile with her.

She has not gone, when you remember her.

She will come to you, when you speak her name,

And this may ease the pain,

You know, love stays the same.

She lives as long as you remember her​