Let It Be
There is still a light that shines from her.
Less spark in her eyes. More monotony in her expressions. She looks older, stooped. Too thin, too thin. Her perception is rarely in the world of the living now. It straddles the here and the hereafter, spending most of its time in the latter.
And, for the first time in this journey, I have seen moments in our time together where her life is no longer worth living.
I am terrified of her tarrying too long in this final stage. As she hollows out I take it in. What dementia has her discarding darkens my spirit with opposing fears that churn and swirl within me; will this continuation of decline last months/years? Or is the misery of a too-soon future without her nigh?
I look at her and think "Is that our last smile? Is that our last chuckle? Will it be months without one before she dies? Will that crush me? Crush us both?"
I repress and deny when I can, drink away the despair when I can't.
But while I'm fruitlessly spending emotional capital burying her alive in my brain, she continues to unabashedly exist.
It is not her time. My fears can not tarry nor hasten her demise. I need to let it be. For her. For us both.
On a driveway visit last week, I watched my mother smile, laugh, sparkle harder in the presence of a life-long friend. They only had eyes for each other as her buddy regaled Mom with funny stories of their good times, successfully enticing my mother to join her in memories of merriment. Mom glowed, twinkling with pleasure, reminding me she is not dead yet.
I must not succumb to diminishing who she is just because dementia has diminished who she was. That is not my job here.
My job is to provide opportunities for her to shine, for her light to burst forth, bathing us all in the certitude that life is still lived while dying; teaching me that I do not control the human spirit, I only support its existence.
It is time for me to...
Let it be
There's is still a light that shines from her
Even if I can't see