It’s been a long while since I wrote. This process of grieving is so personal and unique. For those that don’t know my Dad passed near the end of May. I had the privilege of being with him most every day for last the months of his life.
He was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in the fall of 2013 which is completely symptom based as there are no medical tests to verify until the person dies. Like Robin Williams did and they found that he, too, had the very same thing. Dementia and Parkinson’s symptoms which if one is treated the other gets worse.
Dad and his wife Dee Dee moved back to Marin County in late 2012 as Dad’s condition began to deteriorate rapidly. The family stepped up to help pack and move them from their sanctuary home on 3 acres of land on a running creek up against forest open space in the Trinity Alps where they had thrived for 25 years. It was a very rough transition on everyone.
Once he received the diagnosis he wrote this (with the help of Dee Dee since he was unable to write down his own thoughts clearly at that point).
Met yesterday with Dr. Angeloni to hear his view of my progress. It may seem odd to be looking at progress of this kind but it depends on what you are looking for. My body and brain functions are accelerating their shut down - their performance of service is decreasing in value. The next area of ‘work’ for me is in the spiritual. I'm feeling thrilled to be able to focus what ever amount of time I have on this ‘work’. I love each of you unconditionally.
Dad was finally put into a memory care facility in January of 2014 after a fall and hip surgery made it clear there was no way to keep him at home.
He continued to touch people with love and humor until the last days of his life. He truly surrendered to what was happening and didn’t fight. It was the deepest teaching he ever gave me.
I got to hold his hands till the end.
I am writing a book about my precious time with him called Ending With Love: A father daughter dance with dementia. I will let you know more soon.
Thank you for holding me in these months, consciously or unconsciously, to help me show up fully for him and for me. Now it is time for me to bring all of my deep learning and love to my work.
Here's the celebration of his life if you are interested to take a peek.