Death surprises me again

I have never truly lingered upon my own mortality although I must admit it has given me pause on more than one occasion. I made my peace with my maker long ago and I am comfortable with that however, like most, I was never in any hurry to go. Yet, even with that peace there was some fear. Of what I do not know but it was there. In fact, putting off the inevitable was just fine by me.

But what I'm finding as my dementia progresses is that I have a type of indifference to my own death. I know it is coming sooner than later but, at least for now, I don't dread it. I'm not depressed about it or suicidal, I just recognize it as fact and there it is, so be it. The only thing I do dread is what it will put my family through. Perhaps I feel this way because somewhere in my mind I think I won't really know what's happening by then anyway. Or maybe it's my time issue. Often, two hours-two weeks, spatially, they're about the same thing. So if you tell me that statistically I have about 7 years left it might as well be 70 in my mind because there really isn't a good grasp of timespan in there.

All of this led to a huge surprise for me this week. My brother, whom I've written of several times on this forum passed on Wednesday and we will bury him Sunday. He has had a chronic lung condition since birth causing the doctors when he was 12 to declare his life expectancy to be 25. He celebrated his 68th birthday this past October so they missed that mark by a tad. We rejoiced in those extra years and made the most of them. There were many close calls and his health was always horrible but he was a fighter and we had him with us. I've had my entire 57 years to prepare for his death. Since the day I came to the realization of the concept of life and death, I've been preparing for his death. Yet this has struck me a terrible blow. It's as if I'd had no time to prepare, that I didn't know it was coming, that I didn't believe his suffering was finally over and it totally discounted my realization of my indifference to my own death. I'm walking around in a daze, making all the perfunctory comments and accepting all the sympathies one would expect. It's just surreal to me. So much different, worse than I ever thought. Completely different than when our parents passed and that was no walk in the park. But that was also before my walk with dementia.

Anyway, I needed to get that off my chest. I can't say it out loud, either to myself or my family. Neither of us can take one more thing right now.

Thanks for your understanding,

Randy

5 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi Randy My name is Jill and I am taking this journey with my mom. Your posts have helped me tremendously and I take my hat off to you for sharing your most intimate thoughts and fears. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My mom is 79 and is progressing quickly at this point. She still lives alone with a daily caregiver but we have reached the point that we need to move her closer to me. My sister has little kids so it's much easier for me as mine are in college. I am bracing for the worse and praying we are doing the right thing. My gut says we must keep her safe and that requires moving. My biggest fear and her biggest fear is taking her out of her familiar setting. So scared that will make her spiral. But the place I found is 5 min from my house and is just for Alzheimer's / dementia people. It is small and cozy and have full staff of specially skilled people. I can see her everyday. I am watching all of her fears surfacing and I feel so sad watching my mom slowly disappear. It's very hard on my sister and I as my mom is a loner and has no friends. I think about death a lot lately and as you I am not afraid. For me or my mom. I often think that when it gets so bad and there is no quality of life left at all we should be able to assist in giving her a peaceful ending. I think about myself and if my kids were watching me drift away that I wouldn't want to stick around and cause so much pain for them. But I am not there and nor is my mom at this point and I believe we need to be grateful for every breath we take while we are still present. Do what makes you smile and what brings joy. And certainly eat the cake! Randy- I am so sorry to hear about your brother and know that I am with you holding your hand.

    Your friend

    Jill

  • Good morning Jill,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I have so much sympathy for you and you family and the place you are forced to be in. It's a tough place to be but it sounds like you're doing everything possible to make sure your mother is cared for and loved. Just make sure to take care of yourself as well. I will keep you in in my thoughts. And I'm always here if you need a friendly ear.

    Randy

  • Wow Randy, save for the conversation about your brother (so very sorry for your loss) I have been in that same place for the last week or so. Each word you wrote about your mortality echoed my very thoughts... uncanny. It sometimes feels like the elephant in the room when I'm around family and friends. It's not denial, I'm way past that now. I just don't dwell on it. Unfortunately in addition to the FTD, I also have PSP... Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. The physical effects of this neurodegenerative disease are difficult to hide and everyone knows the end game. Now, if anyone cares to ask about how I'm dealing with things, I'll let them read your post if that is okay.

  • Daddyt,

    Be my guest, that's why it's here. I find it incredibly difficult to have these conversations with my family (although we have had a frank discussion about how I feel) because I don't like to keep upsetting them. Doesn't bother me but boy does it ever them. So I find it easier to post here and maybe help others.

    I wish you peace on your journey.

    Randy

  • So sorry about your brother I will keep you and your family in my prays

You may also like...