Sometimes it may seem easier to gloss over the circumstances of a death, but I used to feel
that sometimes comfort was easier to give when an issue was faced head on. That is what this eulogy represents.
Dementia - a word that terrifies us and a condition which mystifies us. But for families of loved ones with the disease, it often means the beginningof a slow and torturous end to a loving relationship and to a person who means everything to them. It separates children from their parents long before an actual death has occurred. I separated _____'s children from the mother they knew and cast them into a grieving process which began many years ago and will not end soon or easily.
There are wonderful things to know and remember about her. She raised 14 children, loved to sew and garden, made music and worked for her church. She was at one time a large, robust woman with a hearty laugh.
But all of you know these things about her. You most probably have memories of the person you knew a long time ago and a sense of loss at what she had become. However, I'm not going to talk aboaut these things because these are not my memories;I wasn't there. Instead, I'm going to tell you a little about the person I knew.
I met _____almost two years ago when the disease had done a great deal of its work. True, by then she could not longer walk to the dining room to eat her meals; she had lost interest in her little dog.
Sounds pretty sad, doesn't it. Well, I have to tell you that I am granted a rare privilege most of you are not; I get to meet people where they are. The _____ I met two years ago in the only ______I knew. I had none of that dreadful sense of loss that most of you here probably experienced. So, here's my _____.
She looked at times like a perfectly cast porcelain doll. she had a pretty face with what my grandmother would have called a good eye in her head, lovely complexion and soft hair which complemented her features. When I talked to her she looked me in the eye and sometimes smiled.
She sat in a chair with a high back, and she sat ramrod straight, with an air of dignity which was quite disarming. Sitting regally in her chair, her hair newly permed and wearing a pretty dress, _____made it very difficult for me to feel sad in her presence. After all, this was the ________ I knew.
Her love of music lasted for most of the two years that I knew her. She would watch very carefully as I sang the old hymns and played my guitar.
This aura of quiet dignity extended to the grace with which she accepted her need for total care. _____evolved in a way that allowed her to cope with her changing circumstances with patience and forbearance.
And my _____died the way that she lived: with quiet, peaceful dignity. So if there is any comfort to be take from ________'s life in the home it might be this: if we could ask Bertha to sum up her life, she just might tell us that things didn't always go the way she had hoped, but that all in all, she had a pretty good innings.