Last weekend I attended a living Wake for a former co-worker, he has stage 3-4 Dementia and as it expresses in him he is lucid then can look at you and not know you or what the conversation was about or skip back 25 years and remember details of a project we worked on or personalities of people.
I knew he was sick but not the details just knew they pulled his driver's license 5 years ago so I saw him on his bicycle then just walking now forgetting to eat he is a walking skeleton.
His wife said she wanted him to see the old crew while he might remember a few people it made more scence, than a wake after he's dead to her and I can see her trying to give him the best quality of life before he get's institutionalized which I think will happen soon.
The reality of near death is not like in the movies, the smell and loss of control strip the person of all pretense of dignity or privacy and it is dam grim, best to be cared for by a person without a emotional connection so there is no load of pain you feel obligated to work through.
I feel fortunate that I have the quality of life I do, as he is only 1 year older than me and if he could form the mental perception of what is happening to him I'm sure he would be pissed, but he has no idea. He still laugh's just doesn't know why.
He was a guy with a quick smile, ready to lend a hand and not put up with bullshit, a good guy to work with. Now I find myself wishing him a quick painless death.
If you saw a dog or a horse suffering like this, you would feel obligated to put it down but with people it doesn't work that way.
I'm going to walk the dog and hug the wife and feel good about still riding enjoying life, waiting for spring to dust off the FZ. It's with the knowledge that at this age random diseases can take you out, no fault of your own.
Take a moment to acknowledge the people who love you, as in the end these are the people that step-up when times get tough.
The Lord takes care of fool's and asshole's the rest of us have to take care of ourselves.