The Final Chapter

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Nobody lives forever. And, as we age, things change and things get taken away. It is inevitable and unavoidable. Sometimes, I just have to wonder why it is that we can’t just die peacefully before too much is taken away and there is really nothing left of the person you knew.

Last week was not fun. I’ve said before that I was never really that close to my father. My older brother probably has the best relationship. I try not to blame him. Some people just aren’t really good at empathy and emotional support. He is really from a different generation. He saw his main parental duty as providing for the family – which he did.

It was never really “children should been seen and not heard” but he really left it for Mom to deal with us.

Still to see him now compared to what he was is just difficult and sad.

Life has already taken so much from him and now it is working on his mind. The change was pretty dramatic. I don’t think the isolation brought on by COVID helped at all. With his vision gone, he really didn’t have a lot of options for mental stimulation and I don’t know if that has accelerated the cognitive decline or if that was just going to happen anyway.

At some point, you really want to scream about how unfair this is. If he had a wish, I’m sure it would be to have just gone peacefully in his chair with his cat on his lap. A man who always wanted to be in control is now no longer in control of anything. Decisions about all parts of his life are basically made by others.

At least he still recognizes us. I can’t imagine what it will be like when he doesn’t. He can’t really carry on a conversation though because his mind wanders. So he mostly just tells us stories. Some are real. Some are not. We just listen and respond as best we can.

But he’s in a place where the people seem to care. He’s got his own bed and recliners and other things that we hope will provide some familiarity and comfort. It seems like it isn’t enough but there really aren’t better options.

We also had to clean up the house a bit. There were a lot of things that hadn’t really been thrown away since Mom died so we took the opportunity to get rid of whatever perishable items were left. The house they loved now sits empty just waiting for the final clean out and for the next family to take over.

We don’t know how much longer he’ll be with us or what future visits might be like. I guess there really isn’t anything else to do or say.

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