Arlington National Cemetery does a fantastic job of burying those individuals who have served our country. I appreciated the time between the passing of each parent and their burial. However, it was hard to help my Mom who had multi-infarct dementia remember that Dad had passed away.
Her calls asking me to give her a ride to visit Dad were heartbreaking. I broke down in tears on the first few. I eventually found a way to choke out a response that didn’t end in both of us crying on the telephone. I was thankful that for whatever reason, we had taken a picture of us (mom, me and my three siblings) around my deceased dad in his hospital bed. I printed that gruesome picture and posted it in my Mom’s room with a note about the event so she had a reminder that we were all there together. She was ready for the burial service once it arrived.
I was relieved to pass the burial milestone for both parents. I knew it meant I could finally finish the long grieving process that began when I recognized that their dementia’s were stealing them away from me bit-by-bit. The reality that we have to watch as well as care for our loved ones with dementia is a cruel fate for everyone. May we one day have a cure for the sneaky beast called dementia. Hoped.