We all grieve it!
Those of us suffering through this disease, day by day, whether we are AD afflicted, one of its similar variations, or a caregiver facing abrupt change and an unexpected increase in responsibility. No only that our loved ones are left seeing loss inching away in the slow slide of the one they love.
Our plate is full!
Everything about this disease is tragic and worse the tragedy of it is subtle.
It is subtle to us who have it. Too often the change has occurred before we or so many around us have a clue of its having occurred.
It is subtle to our caregivers because the agenda is changed for them dramatically. The subtlety of this is the change occurs without warning; also it occurs with no guide posts, support or empathy for the intolerable burden it places on them. They are truly our “unsung heroes.”
Those of us afflicted get the attention if any there be. Off in the wings who is there that gives a care to the caretaker? We can be angry and everyone understands why. Does anyone wonder what is going on inside the caretaker?
The caretaker has every right to be angry and what a strange bird he/she would be if there existed in them no anger at all. Mother Theresa’s we are not in this human condition. The worst part of a caretakers anger is it has no place to go! The honest anger is with the disease. The minute it is vented it is misconstrued. Therefore it is swallowed and buried and burns on.
It has been said, I have said it in part: ALL THE CAREGIVER IS SEEING IS THE LOSS OF THEIR "FAMILIAR" SPOUSE AND THE EMERGENCE OF A STRANGER WITH INCREASINGLY UNPLEASANT TRAITS. I leave the caregiver out and apply it to everyone.
So the caretaker should be exempt of that feeling?
I see that feeling everywhere, and when it seeps out from those close to me it breaks my heart. I can take it hard as it is to take having it. To see my loved ones suffer it because of me I cannot take. It is such a burden foisted on them and the absence of concern for this by the society that responds to us.
This is not from sadness that I write, but from frustration. So few know what it is really like and less know what it is like for our loved ones.
I wrote and posted a poem some time ago that I post again to emphasize my point:
Wake of Tears
Here I am trailing to death
In a wake of sorrows and sobs of those who watch me go.
To the world around me my conscious dims,
My skill to care escapes my hand,
Weight I’ve become, and burden too.
And here presents my personal parody:
I must grasp and hold so tight
That tendered love provided me.
It commandeers, cares, does for me instead,
Standing in my place, their hand with mine,
Lovingly leading me along life’s final frame.
Mike Donohue 2008
My Blog: AGING WITH GRACE http://im-mike.blogspot.com/