My mother has spent the past year or so dealing with my father’s death. It’s hard for me to even have a glimmer of what that must feel like after a happy, loving lifetime together. She lost her best friend, life partner, father of her children, security, caregiver. It has been hard to even watch her through this grief.
Today we were talking about someone she knows who lost their spouse and Mom described that they were “down in the dungeon.” Somehow I really liked that, as I am fond of many of her mashed up phrases and replacement words. For instance, Mom couldn’t think of the word for magazine one day and came up with “newspaper-book” which was quite right.
But this one I particularly appreciated. Down further than the dumps, right down in an isolated dungeon with no light or hope. It’s probably a fair description of the power of Mom’s feelings and the feelings of many of us when we experience a profound grief. And her grief has clearly not been helped by her brain’s inability to remember and process what has happened. Or her limited ability to communicate it to others for support.
Lately though, Mom is showing signs of being a bit less sad and more emotionally healthy again. So here’s hoping that even for those with dementia, that over time one can move out from the deep dungeon grief to the at least the regular old dumps.