How does one say goodbye? I've always been hopeless at the goodbye scene. I get emotional and cry. I cry for the loss of the company of the person, the friend, the loved one.
Some people can remain detached, oh maybe they hurt inside, but they can put up a good front. Some of course do feel no pain, they can close off emotions and break ties with an ease that many would find frightening.
I've been 'saying goodbye' for over a year now. My Mum's dementia leaves her a shell of the woman she once was. She is no longer really 'there' and so it is not Mum in the real sense that I go and visit. Instead I find myself sitting with an almost stranger. But a stranger with a hurtful incisiveness that can cut back to the past in an instant and cut like a knife in the now.
Mum has been moved from the hospital to a small nursing home where there are less patients and more staff. More homely I guess, there is less the feeling of "One flew over the cuckoos nest" and imaginings of a huge calm American Indian lifting a fridge and throwing it through the windows to freedom.
What use freedom when there is nothing there to escape from, when your inner self is lost to the world you do not know. You cannot escape your own failing body and mind.
I wish (oh how I wish) I could report that Mum was thrilled to see me this weekend. Alas no, I am beginning to feel like Kathy Bates in "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle stop Cafe" when Aunt Vesta regularly throws her out when she visits the nursing home clutching flowers and cakes.
This time I lasted all of three minutes. "Go away, I don't want to see you, I'm tired". Colin tries to smooth waters, unruffle any feathers. But no, she asks after him, when will he be back, what is he doing.
Fading away, getting smaller and smaller and going into the distance that time creates all around us. Was it worth three hours of driving for three minutes of her time and now day three of tears at the loss? Yes, it was. It was worth all the time and heartbreak, the ongoing gut wrenching, tear sodden mess that I find myself in. This is grief, this is grieving for an ongoing death. It is waiting for the line to be drawn, the end to come eventually.
Looking at shadows, looking at a fragment of the past, or was it imagination. Looking and waiting for words of hope, none will come. Waiting for time to draw the inevitable line………