Gifts for Dad ➔

These are uncertain times.

And I don’t just mean because of the pandemic.

My mom is currently dying from Alzheimer’s disease. She was diagnosed in July 2010, almost ten years ago, and she was approved for hospice last July.

This past January, we made the decision that my mom would no longer be getting out of bed for any reason. Not for meals. Not for baths. Not even to use the bathroom. She has been completely bedridden for almost two months.

To be honest, I’m surprised she’s still with us.

Every day for the last two months I have asked myself the same question.

“How long?”

Each time I visit her I wonder if it will be the last.

As the world is reeling from a virus, my life has continued on mostly business as usual. We made the decision long ago to care for my mom at home, only placing her in a memory care facility if absolutely necessary. While many of my friends are unable to visit their loved ones due to lockdowns at their facilities, I am grateful to still be able to visit my mom because she is at home. Many people have told me I am “lucky” I can still see her, but I can tell you I feel anything but lucky right now.

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My mom is dying.

She is dying during the pandemic, but not because of it.

She has been dying long before it started.

If this pandemic were to end tomorrow, she would still be dying.

And to tell you the truth, the thing I worry about the most is that she will die during this pandemic and be completely forgotten.

I worry no one will come to her funeral.

I worry we may not even be able to have a funeral at all.

My mom has been battling Alzheimer’s for a decade. My family has been caring for her for 10 long years. To think our journey will come to an end like this truly breaks my heart.

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To think she has fought and suffered this way for so long and for what? To die and not even have a proper funeral?

I know many people are worried about the future and feeling like their lives are on hold indefinitely. I have felt that way for the last 10 years.

And I know I’m not the only one.

There are plenty of other people whose parents are dying for various reasons. There are parents whose children are fighting cancer and other diseases in hospital beds all over the world. There are expectant parents worried about the world they will be bringing their children into.

RELATED: To Those Who Know the Bitter Hurt of Losing a Parent

So yes, these are uncertain times. For my family and many others, it may not be for the same reason as yours.

Use this time to love your people and show up for them in any way you can.

This will all end eventually and we will all go back to our normal lives, whatever “normal” may be for you. But one thing will remain constant.

Life is uncertain.

And it always will be.

Lauren Dykovitz

Lauren Dykovitz is a writer and author. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two black labs. Her mom, Jerie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 at age 62. Lauren was only 25 years old at the time. Jerie passed away in April 2020 after a ten-year battle with Alzheimer's. Lauren writes about her experience on her blog, Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s. She has also been a contributing writer for several other Alzheimer’s blogs and websites. Lauren self-published her first book, Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer's. She is also a member of AlzAuthors, a group of authors who have written books about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Please visit lifeloveandalzheimers.com to read more about Lauren’s journey.

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