EDITORS WEEK

The emotional whirlpool continues to be on its full spin cycle. Although I have soldiered on with the Manpedia preparations it has had to take a back seat to more pressing issues. Those being real life.

I guess what’s really been made apparent to me of late is the illness of dementia and how it takes the life and identity away from people. It is such a haunting illness. Now please forgive me if I offend anyone that has prolonged experience in dealing with this as I can only refer to my own personal and very limited experience and understanding.

What has really presented itself to my world is the other side of the coin and that being those that care for their family members that are suffering at the hands of this illness. We all feel useless at times, when a loved one passes away we can’t do anything and just wish we could find something that would have prevented it. But their ending is just that, an ending. There is a definitive line in the sand. There is nothing more to do but grieve then remember.

Dementia doesn’t grace us with this, certainly not at first. I have seen my partner leave her mothers side completely broken, time after time. Pouring love into her mum but in the knowing that each and every time a little more of her has fallen away. It is a situation so heartbreaking on so many levels, a situation that renders you absolutely hopeless and without the ability to do anything to alter the course of things. It is like a cruel game, a cruel test to try and break us until we give up, but love does truly conquer all in that respect. The end may already be determined and the path there a torturous and sad one but love will all always remain stronger. To my partner, to all of those that continue to care and love those that we are losing piece by piece; you are not only angels but you are the strongest and kindest people gracing us with your presence. The love you unconsciously give is immeasurable in value to those receiving it.

SD

Should anyone wish to donate to those raising awareness and funds for dementia:

dementiauk

EDITORS WEEK

What a week. Family and life in general is very much at the forefront of my mind currently.

Midweek my partner lost her father. It has been on the cards for a little while now but of course the reality of the event can never truly be prepared for. Regardless of what has gone before losing a parent is nothing short of devastating and sitting there in his room as she tended to him it brought back some all too familiar memories of my fathers passing. It was spookily similar. We sit there, helpless. Nothing we can say or do can change the outcome for anyone. Nothing we offer up as a bargaining tool will ever put the inevitable at bay. The final curtain must always fall.

Then he was at rest, a life long serving policeman had completed his final beat, his final shout. For anyone that is yet to have lost a parent the void it leaves is quite surreal. They become people that we don’t necessarily see or speak to on a daily basis but the second we need them they are the first people we turn to. After all, it is their guidance that helps us forge our own paths. Nearly four years on it still doesn’t feel like my dad is actually gone even though I know he has.

So my efforts have naturally been focused on helping Anna. It’s all the stupid little things like doing the dinner, the washing and all the other mundane every day nonsense that can enable her to try to rest. Of course nothing helps the soothing more than simply holding each other. Feeling her melt into my body as I’m holding her and feeling her fall to sleep is as special to me as it is needed for her.

She is going to need some strength in the coming weeks. Not only has she the weight of processing the loss of her father and all the arrangements that come with it her mother who is in care appears to have taken a severe nose dive in health pretty much at the exact time to the minute that her father passed away.

You do hear tales of it, one partner goes and in the blink of an eye the other follows. This may be the case, it’s what we all seem to be thinking. It feels like she has sensed that her work in holding her family together is done, she can let go. This could be the kindest outcome for her mum, she is just a shell of the person she was, there is no road back for her condition she can never be who she was. It’s quite a strange concept to admit really, that the kindest thing you want for someone is for them to be released. I know it would life a huge weight from Anna. The love that woman holds for her mother is awe inspiring. She always references her in tales or fires out hilarious anecdotes about her.

So as no doubt another very early night descends on us as we try and keep our eyes open past 8 o’clock my mind wonders to my family. A small unit but a wonderful one. Events like these make you take stock and reevaluate what you see as important and they are mightily important to me.

By the time this is posted I’d imagine my eyelids will be heavy but let’s get this woman fed first.

SD