Mum’s 73rd birthday yesterday and Dad still with us. Just.
All of us crowded into the conservatory at mum and dad’s for Sunday lunch, Dad asleep in the dining room. He sleeps so much now.
‘It’s the new normal’, mum has often referred to it, describing the last 6 months of decline in his health and the constant care and emotional rollercoaster ride that has accompanied it. Just recently I’ve suddenly had a premonition of the not too distant future. A future where he just isn’t here.
We’ve sort of become used to him being unresponsive and in bed the whole time. And we’ve become inured to it, perhaps almost blase about it. All of us saying things like ‘It’s been going on so long.’ It’s almost like we want to get on with it.
Then yesterday I sat with him in the morning before I left. His head was turned towards the window as he slept and a bar of sunlight rested on the faded green wallpaper just above his head. I looked at him, and reminisced to myself about the happy memories that we had had together and the realisation of him soon being gone, gone forever overcame me like a huge wave of nausea.
The grieving hasn’t started. I haven’t been able to while he’s till here. I think we’ve all just been frozen – our emotions locked up while we see this phase through, but I think it’ll get worse. I feel sadder than I have done for weeks today. And older and more vulnerable than I have before.