The hard stuff: having family members upset because I left out something in the obituary notice. None of them offered to write it, and there was no intent to have anyone left out, but it’s really hard to think of everyone in the midst of grief, anguish, and turmoil. There were family friend who didn’t know about Dad going off dialysis last week, some who weren’t called when he passed away on Tuesday. This is a tough time, and under stress, it’s just hard to think. All we had time to do was react. Details come and go without precision. More hard stuff: helping Mom figure out what paperwork needs to be done for insurance and social security and changing stuff over, sorting out financial issues, moving things around. So many little things.
The easy stuff: reading sympathy cards that come in…until they include a memory of something Dad did or said. Those become times of tears, but not so awful ones. We don’t seem to have as heavy hearts now because we’ve come to terms with the fact that he’s gone, that he’s not coming back. We’ve come to realize that he’s been leaving us all this year, a little at a time. Dementia started taking him away in January, but it took awhile to figure out whether it was a reaction to medication he was taking or something going wrong in his mind. I spent months reading, trying new things to fix it, to bring him back to us. Nutrients and supplements, changing meds, we tried so many things. The dementia would come and go, he would be himself for a bit and then back to somewhere else. But even when he was with us as himself, we suspected he wasn’t really with us. He had trouble remembering names, but he covered it well. He knew something was happening to him, but he didn’t know what. We were just grateful when the time came that he wasn’t himself, but he wasn’t angry. And then when he started on the probiotics, voila! He was totally himself again. He was phsycially good and mentally good at the same time. We had so much encouragement that maybe we had found a solution that would help other families, and that we might have some good time left with Dad. And then just a couple of days later, he pulled out the rug and said his goodbyes. Cruel irony.