A rough morning at work, I came home totally knackered after a late lunch.

I had a call from one of my best friends, her mother had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I felt at a loss for words – how does one help a friend with that? Knowing that you will slowly and painfully lose your mother while still having her in your life, a walking shadow, just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

As you know, I lost my parents in a car crash. It was horrible. But I wonder if I wasn’t the lucky one compared with my friend. In my mind, my parents are young and active, my last mental images of them are happy ones.

I texted Graham, he’s off on a business trip, won’t be home until late tomorrow night.

Mark looked very tired when he left for work in the morning. I had planned to cook him a nice meal, but I simply can’t find the energy. I’ll get us some take outs and we can watch QI.

We could both need a laugh.

3 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. Very very true. I lost my Dad to a sudden heart attack, it was quick and I’d like to think he didn’t suffer. We could mourn and arrange the funeral, visit the grave etc. Overall I think the grief process went pretty smoothly.

    My Mum has the dreaded “A”. We’ve slowly been losing her for 8 years. Heartbreaking. She is totally dependent on us now. We occasionally get glimpses of her old self, but I miss the beautiful, funny, smart woman she was. It’s a completely different grieving process and compared to my Dad I find it harder. It also takes a greater toll on the wider family. Mothers seem to have that healing or “fixer” role, the person who keeps in communication with everyone and organises family matters. Over the years we’ve lost that, Mum gets Christmas cards from people we don’t know and she can’t remember. Her address book isn’t up-to-date anymore. And old family tensions and rivalries arise without her to smooth it over. I hate it, I hate this disease.

    Please tell your friend from me they are probably entering the worst stage. When my Mum was diagnosed the next 1-2 years were the worst because she was still lucid enough to know what was happening to her. That was the most painful time for me because she knew what lay ahead and nothing I could say could lessen that fear for her. Now she doesn’t know, she gets agitated and confused but she is beyond understanding what is going on.

    My only advice is as she progresses, just roll with it. Don’t correct her when she gets people, days, events wrong, just enter her world, keep conversations light because they really can only live for that minute. And if she enters the past, just go with it. The more you correct them or try to get them to understand the more trauma I’ve found it causes Mum. We just drive, listen to music, visit parks or beaches, anything soothing. Live for the moment, just try and offer a little bit of peace in their agitated and confusing world.

    I feel for your friend.

  2. Awww Michelle, I’m sorry 😦 and Fiona I am sorry your friend is going through this. I lost my dad suddenly to a stroke 8 years ago, and my mom, who is pushing 90 now, hasn’t been afflicted with this horrible disease as yet. Her memory, eyesight and hearing are all going but her mind is still pretty much in order. I used to work in longterm care with Alzheimer patients though and both my late father in law and mother in law suffer(ed) with it as well. Awful disease 😦

  3. I lost my beloved gram to this disease a year ago after watching her go through it for more than 10 years. My thoughts are with your friend. I’m sure she will continue to need your shoulder to lean/cry on for the coming years.

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