I don't think I know how to grieve. The 'experts' say it comes in stages and so it may. Who am I to argue with the experts? At this juncture of my life, I am not sure which STAGE I am in. Maybe it is because, with Alzheimers you start your grieving process the day you know you are facing that dread disease. Okay, what stage is that? Is there a category named 'Pre Death Grief'? I know that there is anger involved. Oh boy, did I get mad... how dare this happen to the sweetest, most agreeable guy on earth? Well, it did and I got over my mad spell pretty quick. You do what you gotta do and carry on.
Denial..... another stage or so they say, but there was no denying from me...I knew that there was something very wrong. Elbert never went through denial either. You'd never say 'Honey, how do you feel about having alzheimers?' You'd get as many answers as there are people with it. But, when I did bring up the subject Elbert just said 'There's nothing anyone can do so I live with it'. He accepted what was handed to him and went from there to the end with immeasureable grace. I was so blessed. You have no idea how blessed.
Extreme sadness, depression, yeah, I went through that at times through the long years of caregiving but there was a sense of release, of letting go when Elbert went home to be with his Lord. I knew he'd be happy just hanging out in heaven. But, for me, the process started all over again, right from page one of the Grief manual.
Denial.... a little
Anger.... some but like I say, I knew he was better off.
Sadness, oh my goodness. There is no way to describe the sadness at being left behind, of being alone. Depression, there was some of that but it is the sadness that I just seem to wallow in every single day. It takes so little, A book he once read, a song we liked together, a trip down a familiar road, a hymn that was his favorite, his side of the bed, the way he told me that he loved me. Yep, sad times for sure. Does it ever get better? I sure hope so.
Those of you who have already lost someone to Alzheimer's (or any other disease) will know what I am talking about. For those of you with that day yet to come my heart just breaks for you. Just know that I am here always, a friend from afar, with a shoulder, a shoulder that has already carried the burden of caring and loss.
Gee, I need to get over this 'stage'. I am depressing myself much less everyone else!!
Much love to each of you, for your continued support and care. Blogging friends are the best!!