I have often described myself, the dementia-world caregiver, to be “living within dying,” though I wonder now whether it is truly possible to both come and go from existence at the same time. If living and dying do coexist, and by coexist, I mean mutually, in support of each other, in a cycling exchange, why does dying seem so neglected? I ask this as the long stretches of day pass uninterrupted by visitors. Where is the laughter that so consistently rang from that long kitchen table? That family heirloom intended for finer dining converted to our gathering mainstay because, at its full outstretch, 12 or more of us can sit together. Why has it seemed so empty? Why have the lunch hours passed, without Momma’s friends, who had so frequently visited before her disease?
Is Momma already dead?
We have been discussing selling the family house. We’d place Momma in long term care and Dad… he might go with her, but he might not. Either possibility might kill him. But he’s dying anyway, right?
Who is more dead and who is more alive – Dad or me?