A day in my Life

Mourning my mother who is still here – Is that possible?

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

Is it possible to mourn someone who is still here?

The answer is yes. I’ve been mourning my mother every day since I began losing her almost eight years ago. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of her.

My Mother

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

Gifted with her charm, her bubbly personality, a zest for life and a smile that lit up every room. I am so proud to call her my mother.

There was nothing she wouldn’t do for me or my older twin sisters. Always putting us first and sacrificing her own needs. Many hours have been spent laughing together, crying on her shoulder and being held in her arms when we needed comforting.

She is the strongest woman I’ve ever known. She is my rock and because of her, I’m who I am today. Mum taught me to never give up, follow your dreams and live life on your terms. I listened Mum and I’m doing it.

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

Then you came along

You made your first appearance about eight years ago. We tried to push you away and fight back. But you made it quite clear you were here to stay. Little by little you began chipping away at our mother. First, you brought confusion into her mind and disorientation. A few months later you returned and began stealing her memory. Robbing her of her short-term memory.

A year later you came back with a vengeance.  Showing us you were winning. Because of you, Mum began to hallucinate. Did you enjoy it when you saw the fear in her eyes when she believed her apartment walls were covered in ants and she could no longer stay in her home?  Did you get a sense of satisfaction when she was found wandering aimlessly on the city streets at three o’clock in the morning in her bathrobe, alone and afraid?

 

When is enough, enough?

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

For the last eight years, you have slowly robbed my sisters and me of our mother. Feeling helpless, I’ve watched you over the years strip her of every characteristic that made her our mother. Her youth, beauty, courage, strength, and dignity. When is enough, enough?

Our mother no longer recognizes any of her three daughters. Any recollection of us has vanished and we live with that pain every day.  She now lays in bed unable to walk or talk. She has lost all of her bodily functions. You have consumed her, leaving only a battered shell. The mother we once knew has left us and will never return. Are you happy?

You know who you are

Yes, I’m talking about Vascular Dementia. A horrific disease that has invaded my mother. A heartbreaking slow death with no cure. Because of this illness, I mourn my mother. Six thousand miles away in England, we no longer talk on the phone or skype. She no longer comes for visits.

You took her before she could meet two of her grandsons. Before she could see the house my husband and I built with our own bare hands. A house my mother and I discussed for hours. Sharing in the excitement, dreaming of the day it would be built. She couldn’t wait to come stay in the guest house we had built. A place she never got to see or use. You took her before seeing my debut novel that is about to be published. I miss having my mother in my life.

I am forever grateful to my sister Jane and brother-in-law John. They are close by and take care of your every need and keep me in the loop of your deteriorating state. They send me pictures that break my heart. The thought of walking into your hospital room and seeing nothing but a blank stare, no recognition that I am your youngest daughter tears me apart.

What Dementia can’t take

Mourning my mother who is still here - Is that possible?

This disease may have my mother in the grasp of its evil ways but what it doesn’t have and can never take are my memories of her. I will treasure these for the rest of my life. This Mother’s Day I will reflect on those memories and hold them close to my heart and reminisce on the days she was free of you. Days where we laughed, danced and sang together. Days where she told me she loved me and I told her I loved her back. Days where we took a road trip to Colorado to see her other daughter. A daughter she hadn’t seen in ten years.

This Mother’s day, I will hold my grandsons tight and tell them what a wonderful great-grandmother they have. We will share pictures together of the amazing woman they will never get to meet. Dam you dementia!

 Bringing awareness to the disease dementia

In the UK, Dementia Action Week is May 21-24.  Please visit the site to see if you can help.

Here in the US, it’s National  Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

From my Mother and me, We want to wish every mum a happy Mother’s Day. You are loved and appreciated every day.

What are you doing to celebrate this special day?

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33 thoughts on “Mourning my mother who is still here – Is that possible?”

  1. Beautifully written, raw and full of emotion! You are not alone; I currently have my mother living with me as she has Alzheimer’s and its coming for her fast! I cried reading this as I too am mourning a power house of a woman! I am comforted knowing that I am not alone in my feelings of grief and anger with these horrible diseases that take our dearest of loved ones away from us bit by bit and leaving them a mere shell of who they once were ~ powerful and almighty!

    1. Thank you. My heart goes out to you and your family. You are definitely not alone. This disease crumbles lives by the thousands. With no cure, we are left feeling helpless and watch as our loved ones fade away before our own eyes. Hug your mother for me.

  2. I feel for you and your mother. Dementia is one of those horrible diseases that only takes. I understand there is no cure for her, unfortunately. However I sincerely hope you are taking care of yourself perhaps seeing someone that can help you through this awful time.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about this – it’s extremely difficult. My grandfather also fell into dementia when he was raising me and as a kid, it made things incredibly difficult and scary for me. My biggest fear is that my mom will also end up in the same path. 🙁 It really is like mourning – you lose the person you love even though their body is still alive.

    1. It’s sad cruel disease that no one should have to suffer. Sorry, your grandfather went through it along with you and your family had witnessed. I hope your mother lives a long healthy life. I often worry that I may end up this way too.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother Tina. My Nan had senile dementia and it broke my heart to watch her fade away in front of me. We were really close and it still hurts to think about her that way. She’s no longer with us, but like you I have some wonderful memories of her. Big hugs, and blessings to your mum.

  5. I am so sorry for your continual loss. That’s what it is, isn’t it. Every day knowing that the body that used to hold someone you love is still here deserving respect, but also knowing that what made that body special is gone. We see it in my father-in-law who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It’s so strange to mourn the living, but that’s what we do. Thank you for sharing this. It’s good for all of us in this situation to know that we aren’t alone.

    1. Thank you for your post and kind words. It is heartbreaking how we mourn those still with us. My heart goes out to you and your family who like many have a family member suffering from this disease. You are not alone. Hugs.

  6. Oh, Tina,

    Beautifully written. I feel your pain. My mom
    Had Alzheimer’s, and after visiting her, I’d drive home with tears streaming down my cheeks. When she succumbed to breast cancer, it was a blessing.

    1. Thank you, Michele. This was a hard post to write. But with Mothers day and Alzheimer’s Awareness month in May it felt like the right time. I’m so sorry to hear you experienced the same pain with your mother. 🙁 Yes, unforchantly in her case, breast cancer was a blessing. Hugs.

  7. Had me in tears reading this. This really hit home for me as my grandmother began showing similar symptoms before she passed…. thank you for this, definitely helped me remember to hold on to the memories before It came in our lives.

  8. I know your pain, Tina. But you’re right that dementia can’t rob you of your memories of your mum. Unless you let it. And I can hear in your words that you guard those memories. Sharing them as you did here guarantees they will always remain. Happy Mum’s Day. 2

    1. Thank you, Sally. As mentioned when reviewing your book “Come Back”, your character Sadie, hit close to home. Yes the memories I hold close to my heart under lock and key 🙂 Happy Mum’s Day to you too:)

  9. I’m so sorry that you’ve lost your mother to this terrible disease. I can’t imagine what that must be like . . . except your words give us a beautiful yet heart wrenching idea of what it’s like for you. Wishing you forgiveness and peace on Mother’s Day!

  10. So very well written. I am sorry to hear of your pain. I lost my mother early and mourn the loss of my (living) dad for other reasons. When my mom was in intensive care not able to function it was such a difficult place – not wanting to let her go but not to be in pain any more.

    1. Thank you. It’s so hard when we see loved ones suffer and knowing there is nothing we can do. I’m in that place with my mother, I want her to be at peace. For eight years she has suffered. I’m sorry for your losses, thank you for your kind words.

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