Wednesday, June 12, 2013

a grief unobserved


The worst thing about dementia is that it robs you of your grieving period. When it first takes root, you’re too busy reeling from the shock of being forgotten that you don’t realize you need to start grieving. And by the middle stages, it’s already too late. The person you love is both gone and not gone. They’re not gone because there they are, sitting right beside you. Alive. But they’re also long gone, with no trace of the person they were left. Or if there are traces, they only come in whisps and hints, always fleeting, increasingly rare, until they only remain in the memories of those who knew them - that is, until they too forget. So you lose your loved one little by little instead of all at once. And grief slips out at inopportune times, for inexplicable reasons. And if you can’t mourn outright, all at once, does that mean you’ll spend the rest of your life stopping up holes to keep the grief from slipping out? Or will you too slowly forget, leaving the one you love un-grieved? That’s what I wonder.

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