He fell off a cognitive cliff a couple of weeks ago. It took me by surprise several times a day as I realized he didn’t know who I was any longer. Now I am no longer surprised, just heartbroken…repeatedly. Every time he looks at me and asks who I am, my heart cracks again.
When my partner of forty years leaves suddenly, but not in a tangible sense, I simply don’t know what to think or what to do. He has bits of time where he is back, but he doesn’t even know he was away. Acting normal is ineffective, and as I found out, can be dangerous.
He still wants to feel normal and useful and I will admit I was feeling lazy at the time, so he went next door to take care of the neighbor’s cats while they are away. The sun had set and it was very dark. When he came back he was bleeding from a dozen small cuts and scrapes on his hands and legs. He had fallen over a curb in the dark into rocks and bushes. He was not happy and in a bit of pain. I felt terrible – sad and guilty.
Things have changed and I must change with them. I can no longer be normal. He is on a different level of awareness and I must be more aware in order to protect him as much as I can. Of course, I know I can only do so much. He has more cliffs and falls ahead and my love and attention cannot stop his progression. Again, my heart cracks.
image credit: Bjorn Christian Torresson