I cried when I read the article, Dinners in the Dementia Ward, about a family that brings family dinners to their loved one who is now living in a dementia ward. Much of the article reminds me of Mom and my family. The dinner table has been, and still is, a focal part of our family life. The dinner table is where Mom shone each night, creating amazing food for her many children, their spouses, and her grandchildren. This article reminded me of why it is so important for us to keep up dinner as a family, because it brings so much not only to us, but to Mom as well.
Mostly though I think this article hit on one of the reason’s I have not written a blog post in a while. Sure, much of that is because the holiday season is hectic and I have not had much time to sit an reflect. However, part of it is because I did not know how to write about how difficult the holidays are for me.
The article says of their family dinners: “Every meeting, even at the best of times, involves a calculation of this week’s loss – another level of immobility, another few words of vocabulary disappearing, groped after for a while and then waved away as irretrievable.” For me, every holiday involves a calculation of the year’s loss. I admit that from day to day I try not to notice the abilities Mom is losing, and I try to focus on what we still have. At the holidays though, when we are in Mom’s world, attempting to create what Mom does best, I can’t ignore the loss. I don’t think Mom can either.
There are no words to describe how it feels to watch someone lose who they are, their ability and their memories, which is probably why I could not think of anything to write. It is sad, scary, and heart wrenching really. It is some of the worst emotional pain you may ever feel.
In the midst all that sadness, I have a profound sense of gratitude that none of us in this house have to feel this way alone. It is a blessing to be together.