Memory Loss and Death of a Loved One
Monday, March 17, 2014
My Uncle died quietly in his sleep Wednesday/ Thursday. He was a quiet man with a good sense of humor, and always a twinkle in his eyes. I knew his health was not great, but am surprised to find him gone. He will be missed.
My Mom, has vascular dementia. She has been asking to go and visit him and Aunt Muriel. Because she has a fractured pelvis we have told her that we would wait until spring time to visit. Hopefully, pain would be less for her and her walking improved.
So, yesterday we went to visit her and tell her about my uncle's death. We told her simply what had happened. It seems like the right thing to tell her the truth when she has been talking about her brother. Just not sure if it was the best.
My Dad died about 1 1/2 ago. Something, that until a couple of months ago she remembered. Yesterday, she asked where he was. When I told her he died over a year ago due to lung cancer. She replied that she had been wondering where he was but remembered the lung cancer.
So, although it seemed like the right thing to tell her. I wonder if telling someone who can't clearly retain facts is the right thing. Did I just add more grief and confusion to her life? How do you help someone with memory loss deal with death?
If, my Mom had completely regressed to her childhood. I wouldn't have told her. Why have her grieve for someone she doesn't remember? But, she has been talking about my uncle. So hard to know what the right choice is.
Memory is such a funny thing. She knows that my name is Julie. But she doesn't remember that I am her daughter. She thinks that I am her granddaughter and that my children her actually her children. Makes sort of a sense, if you were sleeping and dreaming. I guess it's sort of like having a waking dream.
In her reality, she is too young to have a child my age, but knows that I am a relative. She knows she can call me anytime, and manages to do so although she can't dial the numbers on a phone anymore.
I am rambling so will sign off.