My mum-in-law passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. It was not at first a peaceful departure, but she fought valiantly to the end. My partner was holding her as she slipped away and he ushered her out with words of love and encouragement. It is a death we could all hope for.
I’m still processing the feelings, but it does remind me how moments are fleeting. How we must seize upon every opportunity on this journey we are given. It reminds me to be grateful for every happiness.
My mum-in-law is dying. She has had Alzheimer’s for 8 years and we are in the final days. The disease is so pervasive and sinister that no one can predict when. You do not die from Alzheimers. You die from what it does to your brain.
She no longer wants to chew and eat food. She barely drinks her shakes and water. She is sleeping more and seems to be speaking to someone in her sleep and calling out, sometimes a silent scream. There is something there she reaches for behind her eyelids.
This disease robbed her of everything, but especially her knowledge that she is not alone and that we love her. She lived with us for almost 2 years and we did our best to protect her and assist. When it became to much, a memory care center became her new home. That is the one she will die in. But she will be surrounded by her family and the new family she has made in there.
As I have watched a once vibrant and funny woman deteriorate in who lies in that bed, I have appreciated how fleeting the moments are. How frightening the eventuality of every human’s demise can be. How important it is that these days before the end are. I have learned to grasp happiness as not fleeting but everywhere around me. I need to recognize and grasp it. I need to communicate my feelings to those I love.
My mum-in-law will die as peacefully as possible. She will slip away in a moment we will never be prepared for. But no matter what you believe of what happens after, it will be a release from what was stolen from her.