Hello, I’d like to speak to you today about a sensitive subject we all have experienced at some time in our life. We’ve had parents, friend’s, brothers, sisters and spouses that have passed away. Each loss is different in its own way. I speak of one specific area that leaves us both grieving in anticipation of a loved one that is beyond help with some form of dementia or life-ending disease such as cancer.
I can speak for myself that I spent nearly one year that we knew my wife was going to pass away. You wake up facing the same probability each day and wonder when the end will come. Some of us are luckier than others and the end comes in a relatively short period of time others have to endure years of watching our beloved slip farther away. Your pain is as real as theirs is emotionally and, in the end, while there is relief they will no longer suffer you must now confront the loss and decide what path you will take. But this is a subject for another article. This time I would like to talk about those that are living another kind of nightmare known as Dementia or Alzheimer’s. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this painful situation and there is no good or right answer for how to deal with it and one of the best things that you can do for yourself is to get involved with some form of grief share, bereavement group or Alzheimer’s support group. What I want to bring out is some of the feelings that no one talks about even in one of the support groups I mentioned.
Society has set up some kind of rule that says if you start dating or seeing other single people to soon after your spouse has passed away you are not respecting their memory or if your loved one is confined to a hospital and may not even remember your name you have to wait to begin to live again. Everyone seems to feel you are supposed to wait until they pass away then go through a grieving period before you are able to live again. They don’t know or understand what we have been through so why we should wait for their approval.
Researchers found that those who had been single their entire lives had a 42 percent increased risk of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s and that those who had been widowed faced a 20 percent higher risk. The bottom line here is we are social animals and need companionship to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
I encourage you to leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments about your feelings for others to read and benefit from and realize are not alone in their thoughts.