Sunday, 5 August 2018

The Best Option

Husband had Alzheimer's for years before it was diagnosed, years before slight irrascibility became occasional rage, before getting lost became the norm.

When the small day care farm couldn't keep him safe anymore and there was no alternative to a fulltime care home, we found somewhere nearby, beautifully run by a team of charming nurses, where it didn't matter that he slept all day and wandered about all night, got hungry at four in the morning and liked playing the keyboard during breakfast.

They gave him plant pots which he overwatered,  let him make toast at midnight, wear his pyjamas all day,  push another old chap's wheelchair up and down the corridor for hours much to their joint delight.  I'd bring him the paper every day and chocolate biscuits, an old friend brought wine, he'd be sent magazines and sweets, his sister 'phoned … and he mostly tolerated it.

But two years later he could no longer taste anything, television frightened him, music irritated him, the sun was too bright and he didn't recognise the moon. He'd ask if he'd ever had a job or gone to school, ask what a fork was, who I was. Then he didn't talk anymore. Stopped eating and drinking, stopped breathing, stopped living.

And now for the first time in years, he's free. As one of the daughters said, he's found a nineteenth century wilderness where he can live off the land, surrounded by trees and birds. And sad though it is, we're happy for him.

9 comments:

materfamilias said...

Beautiful, moving tribute. May you continue to find solace in his newfound peace and in the company of those who knew and loved him. Be gentle with yourself as your world adjusts to this big change.

gz said...

Its sad and hard when you lose a loved one twice

Joanne Noragon said...

How sad, so much time and space between here and there. It seems he will be eternally happy.

Molly Bon said...


Nicely put. And what gz said. Take good care of yourself and may he rest in peace.

Liz Hinds said...

I'm so sorry, sonata, for now and for then. I pray you'll know peace and comfort and the support of us all.

colleen said...

And I'm happy for you and your girls, knowing that you did your best to make him comfortable and safe while you could and the worst is over. Peace and love to you all.

love those cupcakes said...

So so sad but yes, he's free and enjoying his wilderness, the birds, the trees. Take care, my friend.

Bohemian said...

What a beautiful Tribute to your Love... and yes, it's sad yet also joyful to know that the transition from time into eternity is the better one. My Husband has Traumatic Brain Injury... Mom passed a few years ago with extreme Dementia, it can be so hard to watch the decline and to worry about adequate Care and alternative placements should that be necessary. My condolences on your profound Loss.

Friko said...

Oh good. No, I am not heartless.
He was dead for a while, to all intents and purposes. Surely he would have hated knowing about his future?
That doesn’t mean we didn’t love them with all our heart.
The sadness is finite now and there will b a time when the great pain evens out and only the good times are remembered.
Good luck, dear friend.