Someone once referred to Alzheimers Disease as The Long Goodbye. It can go on for years. You watch someone you love lose little pieces of themselves and struggle to find them. You watch a healthy, happy person turn into a frail little bedridden shell. A shadow of their former selves. My Dad is at that stage. He is like a frail little newborn bird.
Earlier this week I got woken up in the middle of the night by the phone ringing. “You need to come, we don’t expect him to make it through to morning”. We hastily pack, make phone calls, drive for hours and prepare, again, for his passing. We keep the bedside vigil. We prepare for what is to come. And over the next few days, beyond all odds he improves. He survives and slowly gets stronger, begins to respond again, to smile, to eat. His heart is so strong that he just keeps going, even as his body and mind keep fading away.
I think death is like birth, it has it’s own process, it’s own timing. But I think Alzheimer’s is one of the cruelest diseases of all. For everyone.
So we have arrived home again last night. Feeling mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. The Eulogy I’d started writing is in my bag, waiting the finishing touches. It feels surreal to come back home and just resume our daily lives after days of preparing for Dad to die. I just pray that he will go to sleep one day and not wake up. We’ve been saying This Long Goodbye to each other since 2006.
I’m staying home from work today. I’ve decided I’ll finish the Eulogy over the next few days, and prepare the service. DH suggested I make a ‘go bag’ for the next time we get the call and I think that’s a good idea so I’m going to do that as well. I don’t write about Dad much anymore but he is never far from my thoughts and is still a big part of our life. I guess I still struggle with how much to share here I’ll get back to more financial updates in a few days.