If only

My dear husband had Alzheimer’s and was getting hard to manage. Last Christmas he developed sepsis and went to hospital. He was so confused, physically fighting the nurses and swearing . All his life he had been the most gentle kind man you can imagine. This behaviour was so out of character.To cut a long story short he was still in hospital when the virus struck.From visiting for most of the day every day, (which involved two buses each way ) It went to one precious hour daily. This continued for a few days only before no visiting was allowed. Gerald couldn’t understand any form of communication so I felt like I had abandoned him. Though he didn’t know who I was he knew he knew me somehow when I could visit. After a week he was moved to another hospital I can only imagine how confused and frightened he must have been. I could barely get any information when I could ,rarely, get through on the phone. I gathered he was just staying in bed, after sitting in a chair at the first hospital and not eating.I used to encourage him to eat when I could see him.After about two weeks of this I got the call to say he had passed away. I was shocked and devastated I hadn’t seen him for three weeks. I so wish I could have been there holding his hand and talking to him. I have a feeling the staff knew he was fading but as they couldn’t be 100% sure and it was when everything was in severe lockdown they couldn’t let me visit. Realistically I know I couldn’t be with him,I was shielding but I wouldn’t have cared about that. We couldn’t even have a proper funeral. I feel so sad and upset I couldn’t be with him at the end.
Thank you for reading. I know hundreds of others must have been unable to be with their loved ones when they passed away,due to the Pandemic. My heart goes out to them all.

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Hi Judi. I am deeply sorry to hear what you have gone through. My wife had dementia at the end and often said things that were out of character. It’s confusion and often anger that does it. Any inhibitions they may have had drop away and they become so out of step with everything. I don’t believe it’s really them talking.
I feel my wife left me months before she actually died. It’s all so sad and life can be so cruel. Can you remember the man that was? I look back, (which is not always a good idea!), and remember my wife as she was. We had many good times together. It doesn’t stop the pain entirely after 20 months, but it does help a little. Try not to feel guilty about not being there. None of this is your fault, and the present circumstances have made it so much harder for so many. I was fortunate in that there were no restrictions when we had my wife’s funeral. But it didn’t matter to me either way because I knew she wasn’t there.
Take care of yourself. It’s so easy to neglect our own well being in this situation. Be kind to yourself. Nothing is really in our hands, it’s life! Blessings. John.

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Thank you for your kind replies.
Jonathan I too felt as if I had lost my husband months before he passed away. I ‘m finding if I try to remember the good times it makes me sad to think we’ll never share moments like that again whereas if I remember my husband as he was before he died it makes me even more upset. I just hope as time passes I can think of the good times with happiness.

Hi. Judi. I didn’t mean for you to dwell on the pain. If trying to remember good times upsets you then leave it for now. It may well come later. What ‘triggers’ one may not do so for another.
Hope, a strange word to use in the circumstances maybe, but it’s always there. It may be buried deep in us, and although just a faint glow in the distance, it is there. After over 20 months I still feel that pain, the light has got brighter and I am making a new life. But now and then it all comes back to me and I have emotional moments. I expect that to happen and they do pass.
Be kind to yourself. Take care. John.