Lost my Father in Law Friday

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Kraffty

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Friday morn as we were getting into our truck to go shopping we got the call that Lori’s father had passed away overnight. While we knew it was coming sometime soon it was still a little bit of a jarring moment. We loaded some clothes and made it over to Lave Havasu City in under four hours to be with her mom. Hospice was there with Lori’s mom, at 4:00am, when he died and did what hospice is so deservedly known for, helping her through the hardest moments. Because this has been coming for a few years, plans were in place and one phone call put everything in motion that’s needed to deal with a home death.

Lori and Gail (MIL) and I are doing surprisingly well. Chuck “Charlie Brown” (real name, no kidding) the father, husband and man I’d first met when I was an intimidated 16 year old had faded away over the last 10 months leaving a confused, scared and weakened 86 year old body in his place. That body lacked most of the emotions or mental abilities to draw and function on a lifetime of experience or memories. Suspicion, paranoia, hallucinations and fear replaced the confidence that defined his prior day to day life. I’m so glad that he somehow remembered the three of us until the end even if names were a bit of a challenge at times.

Spending a couple of days reminiscing, laughing, sharing thoughts and memories seemed to get us through the weekend. Most of our crying and sadnesses happened months ago. He’s finally done with the cruelness of dementia and the effects that spill over on anyone near and dear. Gail can finally sleep through the night and get real rest again. She can go to a restaurant, Dr’s appt. or just take a 5 minute phone call without fear of what might happen with Chuck. The toll on the caregivers is heavy as a few of you know. Lori’s memory of her father can reset to the strong and loving man he was. I’m just glad that the man who was like a second dad to me is at peace.

Needed to ramble a bit, Lori and I are half way out of parents now………. love them if you have them…….
 
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So sorry to hear of your loss. My mom passed away two years ago after a horrible stroke that took everything from her. No matter how long you have to prepare for it, it is still a shock. My wife and I are down to just my dad, at 95 he is going strong and we are very thankful for it. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
 

olusteebus

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Sorry for the loss. Find peace in that he is no longer suffering but rather he is enjoying a well deserved rest.
 

bstnh1

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It’s so sad to see what dementia does to us.
My wife has dementia. She was diagnosed about 3 years ago when memory issues began to crop up. It's still primarily memory issues, but it gets steadily worse. She has problems remembering if she ate breakfast, what she had, etc. If we're headed out to eat, she will ask me 3 or 4 times where we're going. She no longer drives and cooking is out of the question. She used to love to read, but can no longer do that because she can't remember what she read on the previous page. So I'm running the whole show here - everything from managing her meds, to cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc. It's very frustrating for her and for me.
 

ibglowin

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So very sorry for your loss Mike. We are going down the same road with Mrs IB's dad. He is 87 and dementia runs in the family sadly.
 

jswordy

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I'm so sorry for the loss of someone who was special in your life for so long, and for your wife's and mother-in-law's loss of a father and husband. You are so right about dementia. The 90th and last year of my Dad's life was a struggle, as his anger and suspicion clouded his judgment and made it difficult for us to act to support him and in his best interests. I took comfort when he finally was at peace, and I hope that comfort about Chuck sustains you all in this difficult time.
 

my wine

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Sorry to hear of your loss. Connie's dad passed away earlier this month. Hospice was a huge help in the last days and a few afterwards. We, as you, are now helping mom adjust to this next phase. Thanks for sharing.
 

wood1954

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My wife has dementia. She was diagnosed about 3 years ago when memory issues began to crop up. It's still primarily memory issues, but it gets steadily worse. She has problems remembering if she ate breakfast, what she had, etc. If we're headed out to eat, she will ask me 3 or 4 times where we're going. She no longer drives and cooking is out of the question. She used to love to read, but can no longer do that because she can't remember what she read on the previous page. So I'm running the whole show here - everything from managing her meds, to cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc. It's very frustrating for her and for me.
The sad thing is she could live for twenty years getting worse and worse. My mother in law became demented in her late 80s and lived to 105, she lived with us when she was 103-104 it was awful.
 

Kraffty

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A very sincere Thank you all for the condolences, many of you feel like extended family to me. For those of you dealing with loved ones with dementia I can only say continue to be as patient as you can. Don't beat yourselves up when you feel like you're failing them. Doing the best you can is all you can do.
Thanks again on behalf of Lori also.
 

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