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Caregivers Who Have Lost Someone
Lovely story - knocked me for six
My DH died 2.5 weeks ago. He had EO dementia and had progressed quite quickly, and was 60 when he died.
This morning I was walking our dog when a neighbor stopped her car to talk to me. In the 12 years we've lived here, I've only spoken to her once. She said she'd heard about DH and she was sorry and started saying "Last time I saw him..." which is usually followed by "...he looked so well." But her story was different. She is well into her 80s and had a bad fall last year that required a stay at a nearby rehab facility. Apparently one day she was in the grounds with a walker when DH went over to her to ask if she needed help. When she said no, he asked if she'd like company for a while. He explained that he was there for speech therapy following brain surgery (which he was) and she told him that she recognized him from our neighborhood. He hadn't known who she was, but nevertheless had seen someone maybe needing help and gone right over. That was him totally.
My neighbor wasn't telling me to say "wasn't that nice", just to tell me that she'd had that interaction with him. I loved her telling that story, but it has brought up so much sadness and pain that the man I loved, who did things like this all the time, is no longer here. I carried on with our walk, crying, but trying to keep thinking how lucky we are to have had him in our lives. I just wish he was still here.
Oh aod... I think we're both in the same boat, or at least almost the same boat. My Barbara passed in December 2020, just before Christmas. She was probably about 68 ( my age now ! ) when she was diagnosed with early onset dementia. She had a kind of slow decline, punctuated with various physical problems that would require hospitalization, and then a follow up stay in a nursing facility. In every case, when she came home, even if her physical issues were over, her cognitive functions were worse. After she started having problems with muscle control, we went to a neurologist and had her tested. The diagnosis ? Parkinson's , or a Parkinson's like syndrome. That was in 2019, and by August of that year, I had her hooked up with hospice. She just continued to spiral downhill until I lost her.
Still, we had 38 good years together, and an abundance of good memories. With the help of the hospice people, I was able to keep her here with me at our home right up til the end, and except for her last week, she was able to tell me every night that she loved me. She always remembered that I was her husband, even if she sometimes couldn't remember my name.
Now I talk to her picture on my computer monitor and to her stuffed animals. I have donated most of her clothes so that someone else could get some use out of them - which I believe she would have approved of - and I am changing things around to better fit a single person household.
Life does go on, and I fully intend to be a part of it, but at night, oh how I miss her.
I lost my DW just 6 months ago. She was 66 when she passed. I miss her so much.
I was very fortunate that my dear wife never had to be hospitalized for a fall or surgery. She was healthy except for the relenting decline of the EO Alzheimer's. It was just decline, decline, and then level off and then further decline. I think some of the last year's decline was due to Covid as friends and family tended not to come over facemask or not. She loved people. She was home with me when she died under Hospice Care.
I miss my wife's smile and laugh. She was just a gentle soul that everyone loved.
I am seeing a grief counselor and it helps a little. But losing someone so young is very hard and sympathize with you and hope you are taking care of yourself. Caregiving was my whole life for so many years and when it ended, I was literally lost and thus the counseling.
I work and I am trying to get out of my lonely house. Very hard at night and still do not sleep well. I am going into my company's office 2 days a week, just to see if the change helps.