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Steffie's mom died tonight around 7 pm. It wasn't totally unexpected but one is never truly prepared for the loss of a parent. Steph is hurting so much and yet she tries to soldier on to take care of things. I can see her sagging and yet she tries to quell the emotion inside of her. This makes me hurt even more for Steffie. I let things out. I process my feelings to death but Teffie holds things inside. I wish I could bear this burden for her.

We will be leaving in the morning to go out of town to arrange her mom's funeral. The services and interment will be in Steph's mom's hometown. Her mom has been living in Little Rock for the past four and a half years but she wanted to be buried "at home" and so we are following her wishes. It will be a long few days as we pay our final respects to Steph's mom. There is so much emotion tied up not only with her death but also the continues on from her loss of independence more than four years ago. 

Dementia is cruel. People try to convince themselves that "it's not so bad" because people suffering from dementia have their past memories that they enjoy freed from cares of the present and future. That is hogwash. It may work that way for some but I have never met anyone who has dementia who doesn't have a sense of loss in their lives until they get to the point that they can communicate that loss. The truth is that we don't really know what is going on inside the head of someone who can no longer really communicate due to their illness. The last time we say Steph's mom (last week) she was obviously confused and distraught although she could not tell us what was upsetting her. She was so focused on Stephanie's face that it was painful to watch because it was like she was trying to "will" Steph to understand what was bothering her. Her mom couldn't talk except for the occasional word and that lost, haunted look. It was heartbreaking. She had been given her medication and hopefully was not in pain (she was receiving hospice services and palliative care was the focus) so we don't have a clue what was wrong. We will never know.

Healing will come slowly but it will come. Knowing that her mother is no longer suffering is what Steffie is holding onto. That is of great importance to both of us.

I don't know when I will be back online but I will return when I can.



Oct. 8th, 2012 11:18 am (UTC)
So sorry.
I will pray for courage and strength for both of you over the next days, weeks and months.

Maria Stahl


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