Thursday, August 1, 2013

I'm Getting Into 'This Time Last Year' Territory

The anniversary of his death (September 3rd) approaches, and this time last year he was about to enter his final decline, although we didn't know that yet. 

I have been reading my personal journals from that period, from some weeks before the present date, up until his death. Time is kind — I had begun to forget how intensely traumatic that time was for both of us.

This week last year, however, was good, and the one before it too. He was in respite care at Heritage Lodge, enjoying it. He felt a little as if he was in a luxury resort. He read, he talked to people, he gave Reiki to one of the patients and to one of the nurses ... and I visited often, had lunch with him, took him out to appointments, watched TV with him. I enjoyed my time to myself also, between visits. My son David visited on his last weekend in there. It was ideal, though not originally planned that way, as David of course stayed with me and we had a good chance for a catch-up without my attention being on caring for Andrew. We went and took him out to lunch one Sunday (next Sunday, this time last year) and to the Art Gallery. 

It was altogether a nice time, that fortnight, and it was nice for both of us when he returned home, too. We were happy.

It was the times before and after that which were traumatic. I had forgotten to some extent, for instance, just what excruciating pain he was in for so much of the time — so much so that when he finally lost the use of his legs, I almost felt relief because he also became free of pain. 

I had also forgotten some details of how very difficult it was, dealing with his increasing confusion. Everything was so unexpected, so unpredictable. It was scary. At night he became a different person. I had to play it by ear, go along with it as much as possible, and also keep him safe.

Well, it's all over now, but re-reading what I wrote makes it clear to me again that neither of us could have gone on.  

2 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary,

    I don't know how it's gonna be next january for me, since my acceptance or so called is recent, but I can understand what you feel, with the approche of the anniversary. I'm very impressed because you are able to read your personal journals from that period, to talk about all this, to remember the traumatic moments.

    What are you going to do for the precise day, do yo uhave any ritual or something ?

    Grace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, friends here have been asking me that question too. I expect I'll create a private ritual, but what to do for the rest of the day? Go out somewhere to escape, or stay home by myself to reminisce? At this point I don't know what I want to do, but at least I've started thinking about it.

      Delete