My Mother Is Dead But Her Body Is Still Alive

In my continuing series of cartoons about my mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s and my work with her as her only caregiver, I discussed the fact that my efforts to keep her rooted to reality drew me closer to her than ever in the final years before she ended up in the memory care unit of an assisted care facility.

6 thoughts on “My Mother Is Dead But Her Body Is Still Alive

    • Pork, quite simply, the nursing home doesn’t want you to. They don’t allow residents of the memory care unit to have working phones in their rooms. Theoretically, you can call and ask to speak to them but in reality they’re always busy at an activity, getting their hair done, sleeping, doing physical therapy, or whatever. And they don’t let the residents there use the phone to call out because they are concerned that they would be constantly calling at three in the morning to ask their relatives to come pick them up.

  1. It is a very difficult thing to accept that someone’s physical shell is still there but that everything that made them special is either no longer accessible or no longer present at all. I suspect Ted’s mother’s generation (the pre-Boomers) will be the last one for whom end-of-life decisions will be considered too maudlin to discuss, and probably the last generation that the medical establishment will be able to PR-coerce into such lingering illnesses.

  2. So sad….
    I had to help my wife through anorexia…fathers death, sleeping in the car after 2008….ect….I don’t give advice casually to people that are seriously hurting.

    Ted you have a battle with no good answers and no backup to give you a break. You need to spend time with your mother and then walk away, shut off the thoughts and take care of yourself. I know it is hard not feel guilty about doing other things right now but you mother would want you to take care of yourself and do the things you need to do. Every parent knows on day they will be gone, the best gift they give to a child is the education, strength and love need to carry on after the tears have fallen. Good luck in finding the right balance for your life at this trying time.

Leave a Reply