Jun 8, 2012

I Miss Dotty More Today than Yesterday

I'm glad I miss Dotty. And, I am sad she is gone.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I Miss Dotty More Today than Yesterday

I'm feeling a bit more energized each day. I'm coming back.

Dotty went to Heaven two weeks ago today.

I'm am starting to think about Dotty more and more each day.

I miss her more today than yesterday, and a lot more than two days ago.

Dotty and I were together for most of the last 8 and a half years. All but 22 days. That might surprise many of you.




You will probably want to know, how did you do it? Simple. I just did it.

It wasn't as hard as you think. Once we left the burden behind, we traveled on a path that can best be described by one single word

Joy.

No it wasn't all Joy. There were difficult days, and sometimes weeks. But all along the way the Joy trumped the Burden.

Joy is an emotion. Best described by the word Happiness I suppose. But Joy is much more than being Happy.

When you feel Joy you feel it in your heart. When you feel the kind of Joy that we felt, your heart doesn't pound. It just seems to resonate in your body. Your heart feels bigger. I think when you feel constant Joy your heart takes over, it takes over a part of your brain.

Joy is a rather pleasant feeling.

How could I be overly sad?

For years, I felt happy, sometimes I felt elation (like when Dotty sang), most of the time I just felt glad. Glad that we had decided to continue living our life. We were able to do that right up until the end was near.

I have felt joy in the past. A one time joy than comes and goes. Feels wonderful for sure, but doesn't stay with you.

The Joy I felt as a caregiver for my mother was more of a constant.

I didn't feel happy when she finally started saying "delicious" rather than "okay",  I felt Joy. Why? During the first few years she said okay to the same question(s), just a dull okay. Then she started saying, delicious. Major difference.

I went a couple of years where my mother didn't laugh or smile. So when she finally started to laugh and smile again, I felt Joy.

I could look at Dotty and feel Joy. But before I felt Joy, I felt burden. I had to look at that dull, not there, look on her face for years. It made me feel sad. Very sad. Day after day after day.

Then we started living our life. I changed. Then Dotty changed. After years of trying to rediscover life we did. It was really kind of joyous.

Yes, I miss Dotty more today than I did yesterday. But so far I still feel the Joy in my heart. I hope it never goes away.

I'm glad I miss Dotty. And, I am sad she is gone.

Is Dotty really gone? Her body is gone for certain. But, she is still living in my heart and in my brain.

I have my memories and its all good.

This might sound odd to many, but Dotty taught me quite a bit in these last 8 plus years.

She taught me how to think and feel. She taught me a new and better way to live my life. She brought out of me many things that had long gone dormant.

So yes, I miss Dotty. But I fully intend to celebrate her life every day of my life.

Many of you want me to take the time to grieve. I am not unfamiliar with death. I am not unfamiliar with the process of grieving.

But, you will just have to accept that I fully intend to celebrate, celebrate Dotty's life.

You will see my tears. And when you do you can decide for yourself.

Tears of sadness, or tears of joy?


More Insight and Advice for Caregivers

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room