Now its a friend's turn

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by WIFE, May 18, 2015.

  1. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    Went to Memorial Service in London yesterday for an old school friend of my husband and it seemed I had failed to notify several other old school friends when he died so it was all a bit difficult at the "champagne" reception that followed.. Sadly his oldest friend whom I had lunch with afterwards has just been diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia and Alz and is giving his wife all sorts of hell. I felt so deflated and unable to talk about my husband in case I caused her more anxiety about the progression of the illness than she is already experiencing so we kept to topics like the weather and Election results. Not the most stimulating of lunchtime conversations. Drove home feeling down in the dumps - picked up doglet from friend and today resume my usual quiet life quite relieved I only have to remember husband's bad years but not deal with them. Thinking of everyone still with a loved one with this most awful of illnesses. WIFE
     
  2. pony-mad

    pony-mad Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    1,073
    Mid-Wales
    Thank you for your kind thoughts Wife. 6 years down the dementia road, this weekend we hit a new low. We were busy, men Tarmacing the drive and a trip to town to buy school sandals with 4 year old grandson.
    Howard was quite content, but had no idea who I was When we were on our way home he directed me and was amazed when I knew the way!!!
    This morning he is agitated, tearful and talking non-stop about lots of stuff but nothing I can make sense of!!! So your post came at just the right time. I have followed your journey over the last year. Some people can't cope with knowing what's to come. I prefer to know as the down turns are less of a shock, and I am aware of coping strategies.
    I have always admired how you have dealt with everything this horrible disease has thrown at you and hope you have a pleasant and peaceful day. Love G x


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  3. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    That must have been so hard for you, Wife. I'm one of those who wants to know everything. Is there a chance you could connect with this friend at a later date? If she's aware of what you've already experienced, she and you could talk strategies on how to deal with the various issues, and what to be aware of. Course, your friend could join TP as well...
     
  4. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    I do so agree G and Chuggs - I too wanted to be aware of what might be to come so that I was prepared but we are all different and many cope better by being ostriches
    The wife in question has nursed all her life in London hospitals but seems strangely naïve when it comes to dementia. We are old friends and I have offered to stay and look after her husband when she wants to have a few days break now and then. Best I can do for them at the moment. Thank you G for your kind words - you make me sound like saint but I only did what had to be done for my man at the time - with as much sense of humour as possible even when the going got extremely tough. Hope you both have had a peaceful day with your beloveds. Di
     
  5. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,725
    North Somerset
    That must have been so hard for you, di. Can understand why you you are feeling down. Your friend is perhaps in denial and doesn't want to face what the future may bring. Often think of you and wonder how you are. Love, Verity xx
     
  6. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    I can understand you feeling down on the way home on both counts.
    I do think all you can do where your husband's friend is concerned is to be there for any help and information his wife might want and your offer of help was very kind and gracious. Did you mention TP?

    Where letting people know is concerned, I do think I might have offended some people but we did our best. My daughter and then I, rang people up that she thought should be told but I didn't contact people to whom our only contact is the annual Christmas card but told them later, in the cards.
    I had a couple of cards back expressing their sorrow but a couple didn't so I suppose they must have been offended. I'm afraid that if they can't understand the state one is in at such a time, then so be it. x
     
  7. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    I have no hang ups about offending anyone now. I think other people should have a bit more compassion for those who have been widowed. Apart from one couple, all the "ghosts" who came to John's funeral, and who wept crocodile tears and promised to be in touch, haven't even texted/emailed/phoned or written.

    The one couple took me out once for lunch a couple of months ago, but that's the only contact I've had from the many friends who drifted away as John got worse.

    It was my birthday last week, and the most miserable one I can remember. None of the ghosts sent a card, and of course it was the first time for 50 years that there wasn't one from John. I've kept every card he ever sent me, and shed a good few tears reading them through.

    Then a "friend" had lunch with me the next day and told me (a) it was far worse for a man, than a woman, losing their partner and (b) it was far worse for her, having left her husband, than it was for me, having lost mine.

    She is now keeping company with the widower of a mutual friend, who died a few years ago, and I nearly slung my lasagne over her. What a tactless thing to say! I fear my Christmas Card list is shrinking! :eek:
     
  8. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,725
    North Somerset
    Some 'friend', Scarlett. Good to hear from you - how are you doing? As I said to Di, often wonder how you January wives are. Obviously the thoughtless comments don't stop. Love to you all. Verity
     
  9. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    A belated 'Happy birthday' Scarlett. My first without Dave is coming up shortly but I haven't had cards for about 5 years now.
    Great support you had from that friend I must say but you did the right thing - your really wouldn't want to waste the lasagna!

    I've been thinking about my comment about letting others know and to be honest, I assumed that word of mouth would cover most people. Many of those who attended the funeral were ex teaching colleagues of Dave's, some of whom I didn't know and who had either heard of his death from others or had seen it in the local press. I also put a notice in the local paper for Pembrokeshire, our home county and the Western Mail, so hoped I had all vaguely interested parties covered!
    My feeling is that if they'd shown interest when Dave was ill, they would be have been more in touch and would have been automatically phoned as were those who had rung me to ask about him from time to time. No, I feel no guilt now either.

    Scarlett, you know you are still down as a possible for Launde Abbey. Why not come and celebrate your birthday with others who understand! No pressure of course. x
     
  10. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    #10 WIFE, May 19, 2015
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
    Verity & Saffie - and how lovely to hear from you Scarlett - understand everything you have all said and most of it applies to my experience of bereavement as well. I cannot ever understand why people have to make comparisons - but they always do - my bereavement is worse than yours - my loss harder to bear than yours - easier to lose a husband than a wife and its alright for you - always for some obscure reason. Why? Everyone is different and even over the telephone the other day I was told that I seemed to be coping very well simply because I laughed at something that was said. I've given up trying to explain I keep my tears and extreme sadness to myself because I firmly believe that "the world laughs with you but you cry alone" but even that upsets people who think that because you are not moping about, weeping, wailing and beating your breast with extreme emotion that you are not grieving anymore. Seems to me you're dammed if you do and equally dammed if you don't. Homily over. Hope
    you all enjoy a peaceful and calm day - the sun is shining, the birds are singing and all's well with the world except .................
     
  11. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    P.S. - a very happy belated birthday, Scarlett - hope it wasn't too sad. Di
     
  12. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    P.P.S. Do try to come to Launde, Scarlett - it would be great to meet up with you and we would have an excuse for a birthday party. (Is that allowed in an Abbey?) Di
     
  13. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Anything and everything is an excuse for a party in Launde - abbey or not, Di!
    That would be at least 2 to celebrate then and Izzie's was earlier in May - in fact let's celebrate everyone's!

    Nobody's complained so far despite the paper bins full of empty bottles!!! ;)
     
  14. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    Thanks for all the kind posts, and my apologies for hijacking the thread. The people who say to me "but I didn't know John was so bad!" are the ones who should be feeling guilty, Saffie, and the same applies to you, so there is no need to feel you have offended anyone. They are the ones who should hang their collective heads in shame for failing to keep in touch.

    Those who kept in touch with me, were fully aware of "how bad" John was. And I totally agree with being damned if you do and damned if you don't. It would have been a year next week since John went into the Care Home, and he only lived for 7 months after he "moved" there. I know there's not a Book of Tact issued to people, on hearing that someone's bereaved, but is it necessary?

    I met an acquaintance at the local Garden Centre, who I last saw early in the year. She informed me that I "seemed to have got over it", because I was discussing the merits of various bedding plants! To quote the Chas 'n' Dave song "There's no pleasing you".

    I begin my New Job tomorrow, volunteering to form fill at the local CAB. I hope I can be of support to other people.
     
  15. pony-mad

    pony-mad Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    1,073
    Mid-Wales
    Joining you for your retreat at LA has been on my mind for a while. Really feeling the need to be in the company of people who understand.
    The thought of a party has clinched the deal!!! So can I provisionally book Sunday and Monday night please?


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  16. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    Hi-jack away Scarlett - great to hear from you again. Extra good luck tomorrow - will be thinking of you and the form filling. I am sure you will be of special support to many needy people. Why do these silly people we have to meet from day to day not realise the effort involved in trying to appear "normal" and offer encouragement rather than a trite comment like "seeming to have got over it" That makes me so mad - what is "it" - saying goodbye to a darling man whom you have spent the best part of your life married to and caring for? I could spit! Di
     
  17. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    Fully with all you've said, Scarlett, and everyone else. Hope you enjoy your new job. From what I've seen in the hospital over the last couple of weeks, I want to put myself down as either a voluntary carer/sitter/whateveryacallit! Or take it up as a proper job. Can't bear the thought of others going through what hubby and I did.

    Best wishes, xxxxxxxxxx
     
  18. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,051
    GLASGOW
    True Friends

    Its nice to know that everyone here is so understanding and knows what we are all going through. I have lost all my friends and social life due to looking after my Mum.

    I lost my Dad to cancer and when he was very near the end an old friend heard and popped into my life to cry with me then make me laugh. After another year or so he popped out again but his friendship sustained me when almost all else had failed.

    We might not have many friends like that but we can certainly be a friend like that. Wife, its so nice that you are there for your friend and have offered that already. I wish I had a friend like you.
    Love Quilty
     
  19. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    Quilty - I am a friend to you as are so many here on TP. I suppose having been through the mill with my husband I feel a deal of empathy for others who are now treading the awful path especially a dear friend whom I did not see very much as she was Nursing during our working days but we have never lost touch so now it is her turn I have to be there in whatever shape or form I can be. Keep posting and you will find you have many friends here.
     

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