Sad time all round

Tony Heare

Registered User
Sep 13, 2004
14
Newport, South Wales
Last Friday I attended the funeral of my uncle, who had had Alzheimer's for some 10 years but ultimately died of stomach cancer.
It was doubly distressing as, on reading the newspaper obituary, I discovered that his wife (my auntie), had died in April of this year, on the same date as my late father's birthday. The family claimed at the funeral last week that they had tried all ways to contact me about my auntie, but without success, even though we're in the phone book and they could also have phoned my mother's care home, who obviously have my number. That's my family all over.

But I digress. The point I want to make is one that all of us on these threads make - my uncle was the brightest, bubbliest, funniest, gentle man I have ever known. Yes, I know we all say that about our relatives and that's fair comment, but this man was, for many many years, a Senior Electrical Engineer for some of British Industries biggest names, regularly travelling all over the world in his work, until this evil disease cut him down. To see such a person deteriorate in front of your very eyes is frightening. I'm now going through it again with my mother and it's very painful. When I tell people about my mother, you can see that they either don't really care or that they cannot fully understand what I'm going through. I wouldn't wish this horrible illness on anyone, but it would certainly shake a few people up if they did experience its effects on a family.

That's 4 funerals so far this year, with my father, 2 aunties and an uncle all leaving. 2003 & 2004 have been hell and I can only hope that my mother lives for a fair few years yet.

Peace and love to you all and keep your heads up!!!!
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Tony,

It's a rotten fact that the older we get, the more funerals we attend. I've been to several this year as well, mostly older rellies and friends of my parents.

My parents' sole topic of conversation seem to be about who has died and who's left these days and since they can't remember, these talks repeat themselves over and over again.

I seem to be entirely surrounded by dementia and death. It's not actually a very jolly outlook on life really.

Jude
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Dear Tony, Jude has hit the button, it is an unfortunate fact of life as you get older. Since 2002 we have lost two aunts, a cousin, an uncle and now my Mum. It just keeps on relentlessly. Try to remember the good things, go forward, it does no good and just makes you sad to dwell in the past. Thats not to say you can't have a damn good cry sometimes. I did yesterday, sorting out my Mum's premium bonds. The first one she got was in 1964, £1, money was tight then. It gradually got up to £50 then it was just those that won and were re-invested. I was a shaking blubbering heap by then. We miss them, but they live on for ever in our hearts. Take care, thinking of you, love She. XX
 
C

Chesca

Guest
Dear Tony

One of the most devastating consequences of AD is watching wonderful minds, talents, characters being subsumed by its very awfulness. Sometimes it's hard to remember the person we knew is still in there, however lost.

I've had a sad day today, too, She, going through some of Mum's things to replace her clothes at the nursing home with the winter warmies. I hate having to do it and decided half way through that it will be better to buy some new, that way I feel I'm shopping for presents - just another coping mechanism. I can't bear my parents' bedroom. Every time I look at the bed it hurts that she'll never sleep in it again. God knows how sad it must make Dad feel.

Lots of kind thoughts
Chesca
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Dear Chesca
I too have had a bad day.I was released by Baljit the crossroads minder and off I went.
Outdoor bowls are finished now but I have a cunning plan,I still go out and retain my 3 hours Wednesday afternoon pass.
I felt a lousy swine packing Peg off with a comparitive stranger,I wanted to go home and be with her,but I didn't.
I felt so alone and thought this is what it will be like one day,if I live long enough.
I went home when the 3 hours ended,took some flowers,she was happy,didn't remember where I had been or where she had been,although she had been taken out and had a cup of tea and two cakes.
It's a funny old life ain't it
All bests
Norman
 

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
790
Buckinghamshire
no future

Norman,
Thinking of what lies ahead is one of the scariest things: we can't bear the thought of being left behind/alone if and when our partners are no longer with us, and it is just as scary to think of what's in store while they get more and more incapacitated by AD.
Day by Day is the policy, but it's sad not to be able to make any really happy plans at all, and not to have anything to look forward to (at least not anything that includes our spouses).
--- as I am writing this, my thoughts are going off in two different directions: at least we can hang on to our memories. Our partners of however many years don't even have that ......
Hope tomorrow is better!
Love, Carmen
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Hi all, Tony, hope things are a bit better now for you. Chesca, funny you should do that, I did exactly the same. Mum had more new clothes in the last three years than she bought herself in a life time!Norman, don't you DARE feel guilty about having three measly hours to yourself (suppose you took your frog along in your pocket?) You are wonderful to do all you do for your Peg. Carmen, thats just it, day by day, all we can do is share our own memory of things with our loved ones and keep the past alive for them that way. Sorry, lectures over!! Thinking of you all and wishing it was better for you. Love She. XX
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Carmen
does anyone worry about going first ,and in my case leaving their partner?
I think I hope I have done all the procedures needed to make sure that my wife is cared for.
I think the sons would turn up trumps I hope so.

Things are a bit better I am after all these years becoming a past master at avoiding confrontation and it helps
Norman
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Norman,

This is one of my constant worries. It would place my parents in a total state of disaster, as I fear they would be bundled off in to separate nursing homes.

Having read the Pig, if I go out I now always carry a letter of instructions with me which include name, address and telephone number and mobile numbers for the carers. I also have a file at home entitled 'What to Do if Jude Dies'. This includes copies of Wills, Solicitor's name, Executor's name, Funeral Arrangments, etc. It helps a bit to be organised thus far.

Jude
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Dear all, I had a carers alert card clipped to my bag, I think it was done by Icis, I will have to check that out and post it. It had contact numbers etc. I also had a file at home with everything marked out. The first page had the details of the home that I had chosen if anything happened to me and Mum was on their waiting list. The second page had my second choice of home to make sure there would always be a place. So she was actually on two waiting lists!! (Little devil wasn't I?!) The third was a summary of Mum's finances so that any of the family could take over. Love She. XX
 

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
790
Buckinghamshire
Dear Norman,
Yes, the thought and worry of 'what if I wasn't here to do the day-to-day caring' is always there at the back of my mind, just as it used to be when the children were little.
I have thought it through often, made arrangements, left notes, (we are not at the residential home stage - yet, although if I wasn't here, that would be the only solution), and I trust that our two daughters and the rest of the family would pull together and make appropriate arrangements.
It would be a difficult situation for all, but some points in our lives just require us to 'get on with it as best we can', and all we can do is hope it won't come to that.
I like to be prepared, but I don't think there is much point in dwelling on what might be one day. That's why it is so good to read the regular mad, crazy, silly, daft contributions on TP!
All the best,
Carmen

PS Sadly, we don't have any pets, but my mother recently sent Tony a beautifully crafted gnome called Hugo "for company". I am sure she does not believe me when I tell her that Tony really does talk to Hugo, and insists that he is listening to the music, smiling, etc. He must be the only gnome who is allowed to sit on the windowledge - inside the house .... Some people have fairies at the bottom of the garden, brown frogs, cows, a cat called Ollie - we have Hugo the (indoor) gnome!
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Carmen,

A very wise move to keep Hugo indoors.

Years ago I lived in a southern Sydney suburb and our neighbours had the front wall of their house painted with this AWFUL painting of a tree, pond, field and sky. Below it was a rockery with at least 250 gnomes - fishing, reclining, playing guitar, ad nauseum. It remains as probably the worst front garden I have ever seen in my entire life.

Anyway, a couple of friends of ours were off on a round the world trip, so they 'borrowed' one of the gnomes and took it with them. The neighbours were really upset and I had to pretend total ignorance about the theft. Anyway, our mates sent regular post cards from the gnome to the neighbours from all sorts of exotic places and when they returned after 18 months, they brought the gnome back and placed back in it's position in the garden - with an extra one that they had bought in England .....

It was very funny talking to the neighbours about their post cards and they were thrilled to bits when he finally came home with a friend..!! I never did let on.

Jude
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hello Jude

your story about the gnome going on his travels reminds me of one of the best films of the past few years - "Amelie". It is all in French, but the whole thing is a delight, and Amelie gives a beloved gnome from her Dad's garden to someone working for an airline, and they sent lots of pictures of the gnome.. at Grand Canyon, and elsewhere.

If you get a chance to see the film, grab it!
 
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Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
There was a story in the Birmingham Mail some time ago.This was a gnome that vanished and his owners received postcards from around the world.
The gnome re appeared in the garden and I don't think anyone ever knew the answer
Norman
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
If anyone ever gets to Alaska, perhaps their gnome might send a postcard from Nome. [to home]

clearly time for bed.
 
C

Chesca

Guest
Dear Norman
I'm not sure I'm happy about the company you are keeping. Brazen pixies, saucy brown frogs! You've probably got a bad head from the fairy bashing you over the head to get it into shape for the pixie hat. If it fits, wear it!

Chesca