Monday, August 8, 2016

When the Fog Descends

It cannot be easy, when the once familiar landscapes that are your life and your memories are covered by a slowly descending fog. Who are you, when you lose your memories of events, people and your actions, your reactions, your feelings, your relationships and your position on the map?

I can understand the fear, the bewilderment and the panic, when you simply cannot remember what you did two days ago or what you said or talked about just a few minutes ago.

Still, it isn't easy to accompany someone on their journey to oblivion, when the fogs are descending and everything that was once important to both of you is being forgotten by them, bit by bit.
North Fork Fog by Lolly Shera
Everytime I visit with my mother these days our talks always start with her telling me how good of me to come, because it's all so terrible and I have to help her. "He" has left her, she tells me, and has moved in with another woman just across the market square from her apartment and "he" now wants a divorce. She is referring to my father who died in January last year after 64 years of marriage.

It is a familiar routine now, to remind her that my father has not left her but has died, that she actually was there when it happened. She then tells me, "Yes, now I remember. I saw through the window how they were trying to resuscitate him. I saw when he died." But then she continues, "Why does he want a divorce, we have always been happy..?" 

After talking it through for a while, she settles down and can talk about other things, mainly about me, my sister and her grandchildren. At least she still remembers us and our names, although most other people are forgotten as if they never have existed.

She has now been prescribed inhibiting drugs to slow down the progression of the dementia. My sister and I and my nephew and nieces all work during the week so we also have her on home care services five times a day, mainly to see to it that she eats properly and takes her medication in an orderly fashion.

Still, I feel a lot of guilt at not taking care of mother properly.

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