Devastation

devastation
noun
2. severe and overwhelming shock or grief.

People experience devastation every day. It is something I doubt any of us will escape and it is certainly not something we can prepare for, even though we might think we have.

I knew my Mother was going to die, I’ve heard the banter at funerals, ‘It’s ahead of us all’ they would joke while dipping biscuits into their tea. I just didn’t expect her to die so soon.

My Mother worked hard, she nursed the sick and took care of the elderly all the while tending to her family. She planned for her retirement, saved some money and was diagnosed with Dementia the very next year.

It was a slow progression, unlike some, but as each year passed she started to decline. Speech problems, slow changes in mobility and what I am sure must have been the hardest one for her, the inability to communicate. Only those of us who were close could understand what she was trying to say, and at times even we found it difficult.

We had a rough few years due to behaviour changes. Everything became a fight, but sometimes there were little sparks of the person she was, mixed with a mischievousness as she seemed to regress to her younger years. I am not scared to admit there are many times I wanted the whole nightmare to end, both for her sake and ours.  I thought when the time came I would be ok, that I would feel nothing but relief that this strong, proud little woman would be free of this awful disease.

The decline came quicker than any of us ever expected, the end stages, I believe that is what they are called. A series of events, just one thing after another saw her admitted to hospital and eventually pass away. We were stunned, heartbroken….devastated.

We didn’t miss the person she had become, we longed to remember the person she had once been. It is a weird feeling to be happy for someone yet sad for them at the same time. Devastation brings with it guilt, sorrow and this terrible sense of what if that can overwrite everything that has been been done previously.

Time is a great healer. Things will never be the same, can ever be the same, but after the devastation comes a time of reflection and hopefully somewhere along the line inner peace.

 

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