Loss, grief and dementia

GriefAndLossAs 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…

20 thoughts on “Loss, grief and dementia

  1. Thank you for your eloquent sharing, Kate. You have described my own experience by describing youreps. Hugs to you, mys sister. – Susan S.

  2. I’m so sorry, Kate, and I do feel for you. There’s never a good time to lose someone, but just before Christmas is particularly hard. It must play havoc with your emotions and intensify your own issues. Hoping that it gets easier as time passes…

  3. Your words really touched me as I could feel that they were written from the heart with honest emotion. I am sure that your sharing has/will help others.

  4. Hi Kate. So sorry. if you guys have not been through enough. So Sorry to hear that. We are thinking of you, Pete and your family. We hope and pray the Funeral will be Monday for every bodies sake. You are in our thoughts. Mick and Sue Carmody

  5. Very sorry for your loss Kate and love to your family. Not getting to say goodbye hurts. My dad passed away at Christmas a few years ago and I didn’t see him the day he died. I know there’s nothing I could have said he didn’t already know. Take care. Sharon x

  6. Sorry for the loss of your Aunt, a terrible thing to happen. At least the driver did come forward the next day but it does leave you thinking what If ? Or if only he had stopped and your Aunt had got help sooner.
    You have written a touching blog Thank you for sharing your and your families loss.
    Anne

  7. Kate, I feel for you all. Having to wait for an autopsy, it was at least 2 weeks before we could bury my mother, that was challenging enough. To not know when you can lay your Aunt to rest must be absolutely awful.

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