Well, the deed is done. Dad is in a home. But it's not his home. We are crippled with sadness.
Coming back to the house afterwards reminded me so much how it felt at my house after Mike died. Like the energy was sucked up into a vortex and we were left with this black emptiness.
We know in our hearts no one will be able to give him the kind of care we did. We know him, we love him...but his condition is so difficult we are simply unable to continue the kind of round the clock attention he requires. It is impossible...and certainly even more impossible for my mom alone. We are all completely burnt out. It is unsustainable. Dad's physician who is such a kind man, when we saw him again the other day to get more help with medications, said, no, she really can't care for him like this by herself. As hard as this is you are doing the right thing. But it doesn't feel right in any way.
This feels like grief. A different sort of grief maybe, but grief all the same. My mom feels it the most of course after 55 years with this kind and gentle man. She will not cook for him again, she will not wash his clothes again. So many of the things we remember about our spouses and how our life was together that ended when they died mom is experiencing now except that dad is still alive a few miles away surrounded by strangers. We are hoping they are kind and caring strangers...lots of worry about that. But strangers nonetheless, at least for awhile, especially to dad.
We know of no other solution to this problem at the moment, though it is ripping our hearts out. We will sell their house and all make a big move together to South Carolina as soon as possible and find a place for dad down there with us. We realize moving him again will be tortuous but the cost of his care cannot be afforded here the way things stand. And we hope, somehow, maybe, his condition will improve enough, that financially things might look rosier at that point, to have him with us again somehow. Live in care perhaps. But we don't know.
I can't tell you the look on his face when he realized he couldn't go home again. It is sheer agony and torture for us all but mostly for him. He kept saying I don't want to be here, I want to go home, I have to go home.
When my brother and I finally got back to the house and went downstairs with a drink and turned on the TV, Wheel of Fortune was on the channel and before we could change it we saw a puzzle being solved. It was: I have to go home.
My brother and I looked at each other in disbelief and agony. I have to go home. But he can't. And probably never again.