R.I.P. aunty

The end of the year was tinged with sadness.
My aunt passed away in the early hours of New Years Eve, surrounded by her family that loved her.

Waiting for this time to come was hard, but very hard the final two days. As a family, we supported each other well, at this very difficult time.

My aunt now rests in peace.

aunt-memory-quote

When a loved one dies, it is hard anytime of the year, but near Christmas, or the New Year can make it more harder. Before it happened to me, I could only imagine how hard it must be to lose a loved one around this time of year, but to experience it myself, means I truly know how it feels.

As well as coming to the terms of my aunt no longer here, I also need to support my mum who has lost a sister. As well as my aunt being my aunt and a sister, she was also a mum and a grandma, who will be missed greatly.

candle-for-aunt-2

 

rest-in-peace-aunt

Related posts:

Cruel Dementia

As I mentioned in post; Torn, I had written a poem called, “Cruel Dementia,” just to get it off my chest what I was feeling. Here it is.

Cruel Dementia

My heart now aches, as I watch you take away my aunt.
Taking her away, piece by piece.

Cruel dementia!

Somewhere in there, my aunt may want to speak…
But you prevent!

Cruel dementia!

I have gone from feeling this ache,
to grieving like the rest of my family.
Looking at each of them, feeling and seeing their pain.
Seeing and feeling their helplessness.

Cruel dementia!

Dementia taking away what my aunt would like to do.
Now sleeps in bed. Dementia taking away her taste for food.
This is all you do and probably more, cruel dementia.

I hate you, cruel dementia and I wish you did not exist.

by Elizabeth Fisher

Copyright© Elizabeth Fisher
5th December 2016

Torn

As you know, as title of this post I written not long back: I don’t know what to make of Christmas, this year. Although I did not mention in that post who my family was with dementia, you would more likely know who, if you are a regular reader of this blog, or know me personally.  For those that missed when I first mentioned here about my aunt having dementia, it was in this post: Grief.  At the time of writing ‘Grief,’ I was feeling the grief of how it affected my family, which eventually got a little easier. The dementia how it affects a person, I felt hard to, because I had seen it before, but for my family, it is all new.

Now I am torn, as I see the effects of dementia taking hold of my lovely aunt and I feel the pain of my family around me, who are affected.

I know that as Christmas gets nearer, I still feel the same as before about it, except I do know I really don’t want to party, or have my tree up. I just want a quiet time at home, which was what I had planned anyway, with my mum, as well as us maybe seeing our loved one, if she is still with us.

I have been feeling like I am in a world of my own at times, or distracted. For those that know me well, they will have heard me say I cannot write poems to save my life. Only very rare moments have I managed to write a poem and I wrote a poem recently, to get the feelings I have out of my system. I find this seems to be the only time I can do it and not just sit down and create one. I will share this poem later with you in a separate post, called ‘Cruel Dementia.’

Dementia: How do you help?

I first talked about my aunt having dementia in this post, “Grief.” Although I have seen personally how dementia affects the person in different ways and how family are affected too, does not mean I know everything. But I am learning and I still want to learn anything new that can help that person with dementia.

Is it still difficult to get information?

I have been searching the last few weeks of ways I can interact with my aunt who is in a nursing home. Although there is information out there about dementia, I think it can still be difficult getting the information or ideas. What do you think?
I have a couple of apps that may be good for my aunt, depending on what she is like that day. But not many apps as I thought there would be and some apps I have seen supposedly for dementia patients, I did not know how to work it!

Interacting with my aunt

I have found in interacting with my aunt, that discussing her work can be a topic at times. From observing how she handles her duvet cover and how she moves her hands, it gives me the impression she is checking and mending items. (Something she did in a factory when she was younger.)

Even if I don’t get a word back from my aunt, I will carry on making small talk of some sort, like the weather outside, while smiling and giving a gentle touch now and again for reassurance.

Last week, I bought my aunt a garden magazine, which she kept looking at through the day. I plan to buy another one a few weeks later, but a lighter magazine, as she said this one was a bit heavy.

Helping my mum

This weekend, I plan to get my mum involved with something for my aunt. (My mum’s sister.) What I plan to do, will help my mum to interact with her sister. This will involve copying old photos and laminating them, with some writing on the back of who, or where it is for example.

Grief

In my draft box for some time, I have had a post labelled ‘grief’ that I never started, because I did not know how to start this off with what I was feeling. After I came across this post of the same name by Courage Coaching, I just had to share this post, as I could relate to this post well. But one thing I never thought of as grief would be a childhood that someone has never had. Now I can say I have had a bit of a childhood, but it wasn’t great as you know from my blogging posts. I realised after reading this post and remembering my counselling sessions I had, I did grieve for some of my childhood. It took this post to give me a flashback of my counselling, to realise this.

When I was going to write my own post of grief, the post I had in mind to write about, but struggled to start it off, was to do with dementia.

My aunt has dementia. Me and my Mum learnt about this two, or three years ago. It’s since last year, near Christmas how dementia is taking my aunt away and my Mum’s sister. This is our grief. She is still here with us, but not how she was before. We learn to know her as she is now, which can vary each day. Dementia has really taken hold of my aunt these last few months.

I have seen the effects of dementia, but what has hurt for me, is seeing how it hurts my family. I feel helpless, but it has got easier now.

Advice I can give for someone who is struggling, like I gave my mum, is enjoy your day with them and find something that is positive, if it feels a hard time for you that day. Any small thing, it dies not matter. Remember those small things for days that could be bad. This could be just by getting a single word out of your family member, or a smile. When it was difficult for me, this was what I remember, but the last few weeks there has been lots of smiles from my aunt, when I have seen her, that I cherish. Each day, or week can vary with dementia. So it is important to hold on to those small things, for when those difficult days arrive.

Although grief is a huge part of life, it is something that none of us want to experience. We can grieve over the loss of a loved one or beloved pet. We can grieve over the loss of a job or home. We can grieve whenever a new change happens in our lives, such as […]

via Grief — Courage Coaching