As my regular readers here know, my aunty was killed in a hit and run accident last Friday night. The coward turned himself in, the next day only because the police let it be known part of his vehicle had been found at the scene. Sadly, it is highly likely if he had stopped she would not have died… Her funeral was originally planned for tomorrow, but as the Coroner has not released her body yet due it being declared a major crime, we now have no idea when it will be, but all hoping it will be Monday or at least before Christmas.
Grief is always tough, and if it is not your first major loss, then memories of other losses come flooding back, and even if the memories do not, it impacts your new grief, making it somehow more painful. It also impacts greatly on the symptoms of dementia, and I am definitely finding it much harder paddling to function. My words are harder to find, my thoughts more blurred, my lapses of memory longer and more often, and overall, it is just harder to function. It is challenging for everyone who is newly bereaved, of course, and often grief can bring on many of the same symptoms of dementia, including confusion and memory loss. It is always complicated, and no matter what is going on in one’s life, bring on a significant loss like my aunt’s death, and it is that much harder.
Mostly, this week, I feel for her children and grandchildren, and my mother and other aunt, her sisters, as they will feel it the most. And then, hanging around for a funeral to take place, one that needs organising and planning, and food cooking for, and no idea of when it can take place. My loss is barely significant in light of this, and yet it is mine, and it is important I acknowledge it in my own way. My husband, children and closer friends have been incredibly supportive, and the high of my graduation has certainly taken the edge off of the sadness. The highs and lows of life continue on as always, so often in the same week.
The grief of dementia is complicated, and almost never gets resolved, as each change or new symptom brings with it a new loss. The grief and loss of someone through death caused by illness is difficult, but usually there some resolution and some sense of acceptance; from my experience it is not as challenging as a death through suicide or crime but at least with a suicide death, it is rarely splashed all over the media repeatedly . Seeing my aunt and her son on the television was much harder than I had ever imagined, and I really feel for those who lose someone they love with a higher profile, as the repetition of them alive, via the media must be almost crippling to their heart.
No matter how someone dies, not getting to say one more goodbye is one of the things that lingers…