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Boss Cat

A dilemma

Have you been in this situation?

You might believe in God but are  agnostic on the afterlife.  Right now it just doesn't matter as much as this life.  You don't seriously believe you are going to meet loved ones again, but maybe that's a failure of your imagination.

Someone you love has dementia and is very frail.  He asks about his beloved wife who died many years ago and on relearning she is dead he asks whether you believe they will meet again.

I said yes of course you will, she's still very near you.  Was that wrong of me?
The Boyg

Re: A dilemma

Boss Cat wrote:
Have you been in this situation?

You might believe in God but are  agnostic on the afterlife.  Right now it just doesn't matter as much as this life.  You don't seriously believe you are going to meet loved ones again, but maybe that's a failure of your imagination.

Someone you love has dementia and is very frail.  He asks about his beloved wife who died many years ago and on relearning she is dead he asks whether you believe they will meet again.

I said yes of course you will, she's still very near you.  Was that wrong of me?


I don't think so. Not if you thought that this would give them comfort. You have acted out of the best of motives and I don't see how anyone has been harmed.
Lexilogio

No, I don't think it is wrong of you.

When my Aunt was frail and talked of her son who died at 18months, we used to talk of him waiting with my Grandad (her brother) for her in heaven. She was a believer, and found that very comforting.
bnabernard

Yer Lex, but my brother died when he was two, two years before I was born, will he be my elder brother or my younger brother?

bernard (hug)
Powwow

Boss,
That was the right thing to say. Dad suffered from dementia. He was in a constant state of fear for the last couple years of his life. Amazingly, shortly before he died he had clarity and was able to talk for brief periods.
Mom left me on Christmas day, shortly before she died I was sitting beside her bed and she told me how much she looked forward to meeting her children that she never got to know. She lost five babies. Mom looked into my eyes for a bit and then took my hand and told me not to be afraid because she's dying, that she will remember me. Isn't that interesting? I believe she is remembering me. Driving home that night I realized something. If one of mom's babies that didn't make it, had lived. I wouldn't have been adopted and I would never had the dearest and sweetest lady for my mom.
Leonard James

I think you did right, BC. What on earth would be the point in destroying such a hope to a dying person?
Lexilogio

bnabernard wrote:
Yer Lex, but my brother died when he was two, two years before I was born, will he be my elder brother or my younger brother?

bernard (hug)


I don't know. Perhaps both. Is it important?

I suspect heaven is less about age and more about the soul inside us.
Ketty

Re: A dilemma

Boss Cat wrote:
. . . He asks about his beloved wife who died many years ago and on relearning she is dead he asks whether you believe they will meet again.

I said yes of course you will, she's still very near you.  Was that wrong of me?


You did the best you could to bring comfort in the circumstances.
Boss Cat

Thanks everyone for being so sensitive, and for sharing that Pow Wow.  She was meant to be a mother, you must have given her so much.

I don't really know how to put this without coming across as corny or glib.  It is heartbreaking, being with people you love who are suffering or losing their personality, but it is not entirely negative - there is, I don't know, meaning and understanding.  Which doesn't mean my loved one isn't sometimes difficult or demanding, or that I don't think slightly less noble thoughts about him!  But we do laugh together quite a lot.  Paradoxically, I feel as though I'm getting to know him a bit more and to know more about him.
Powwow

Boss,
Yes there will still be times of laughter. I had left a roast sitting on the counter one day and when I went back to put it in the oven it was gone. I looked everywhere for it.  I gave up after an hour and in frustration I decided to clear out the dish washer. I opened it up and there was my roast all washed rinsed and dried thanks to dad.
Moms sister also had dementia. Her daughters were in the kitchen washing dishes when my aunt walked in and asked them who the old man is sitting in the living room. That's your husband they replied. My aunt crept back out and  stood peaking around the corner at my uncle. After about 5min. she returned to the kitchen and told my cousins that he wasn't her type.
Boss Cat

Very funny, there are lots of moments like that, though I don't think I'd be as tolerant over the roast business though.

Today things started out with him in one of his more difficult moods. The words 'why don't you pee off then you miserable old scrote' hovered around the back of my mind briefly but didn't get said.  Of course.  But then things changed and we had a real laugh together.  He started pointing at things that were wrong and I said 'oh I see the pointing finger's back, you haven't done that for a while, you are getting more like yourself' and he roared with laughter, we both did.  He seems to be taking more of an interest in things too.  I moved his chair to the window so he could see out and when I left him he was really happy, engrossed in looking out, he actually looked sweet, I was touched.
Powwow

That's great Boss. On one of my visits to the nursing home before dad had lost his ability to speak, I was greeted by a care worker. A very big no nonsense German lady. She asked me if dad had been a preacher. I replied that he had been. She said she figured so because sometimes on his clear days he will start preaching, delivering a sermon. And then she said, you know your dad sure knows his stuff.

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