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,