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Screen-Addicted Husband

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I find your column to be informative and entertaining.

One subject that emerges often is the grieving of a loved one. I agree that acknowledging and allowing loss is an individual process and our pace should not be judged by others, except in the matter of compassion and support.

My personal concern is with grieving the loss of a loved one through dementia.

In many ways, my husband, mate, best friend, even handyman, is gone. He is not coming home from his long-term care residence, yet he is physically fit, present, healthy, sociable, fun and engaging.

Friends and acquaintances see me as "just dandy" as I suit up, put on a happy face and participate in social activities, but I am not OK.

Having fun and being happy are surrounded by guilt.

 

It's not the same as grieving the loss of a parent or grandparent.

Sometimes people say, "Oh, yes, my grandfather had dementia." There is an expectation that our aging relatives have some degree of diminished ability. They are loved, respected and accepted.

But I have lost my hugs, foot-warmer, protector and friend, only to take on trying to do everything as before and trying to do more with less. I don't fit in the "singles" or "couples" category. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to this isolation.

I could use a helping hand with heavy lifting, auto and yard maintenance, and financial planning. Sure, there are goods and services available for these things, but not all of us have an unlimited expense account.

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