I have often said that the one rule about dementia is that there are no rules.
I’m now going to say the same thing about “end of life issues”.
My father’s dementia is rapidly progressing from stage 2 to stage 3 or higher(for explanation of the stages of dementia, see my article ). He has begun speaking jibberish, and putting together 3 word phrases that are unrelated to form a sentence, not knowing where he is, etc.
Along with his dementia, my father’s congestive heart failure is becoming worse, as well. Today his weight was up by almost 10 pounds from last week. He has been going downhill quite rapidly for the past 2 months now and as such, I had called my family (kids, sibs, Mom-long story, friends, etc.) and suggested that if they wanted to visit him while he would still remember the visit, they should come soon.
This past 5 days, we hosted my Mom, my sister and her friend, and my niece. My father was pleased to see them but I don’t think he fully grasped the concept that these are relatives that he sees less than once a year. During their visit, he enjoyed a couple of good days where he had a grasp on reality and a couple of days where “he just wasn’t there”.
Because they were leaving this morning (Saturday), we suggested that they all go to church with us on Friday evening. Church is something that my father has become involved with in the past 4 years and never misses (even though half the time he falls asleep during the service).
Anyway…….we loaded up 2 cars (and Dad’s walker) and made it to the 7 o’clock service. I helped my father into his seat and as I began settling in myself, I looked over and noticed that he was crying. He actually understands the implication of all this: his family gathered together in HIS place of worship possibly (and probably), for the last time in his life. It was all I could do not to start crying myself. I handed him his offering money, an envelope and a pen, which helped him to reorganize.
This morning, as everyone was saying their Good-byes, it was my Mom and sister who were crying. My father, on the other hand, was cheerful and happy-go-lucky saying things like “drive safely”, “come back again soon”. We had lost him again…..but for a brief moment the night before, he was aware that people who love him had gathered together to show their love for him.
LEARN TO LOVE YOUR LIFE AGAIN
Do you feel like you need to hit the REFRESH button on your life? Download our free guide and begin to create your best life yet!