Monday, June 27, 2011

Another loss

This last Sunday afternoon, I got a phone call from K and G. They told me that Everett (Donovan's grandfather, Ken's dad) passed away in his sleep. He would have been turning 98 on July 10th.

Everett had had episodes before of falls/mentally unstable before and had always rebounded rather quickly. On the 19th, K had gotten a call from his sister that Everett had fallen but also had some blockage in his intestines which made the mental problems more pronounced. That Sunday night, K had kinda pulled me aside at church to see what I thought. He also told me that Everett had asked for him (Ken) *major red flag* but, the family went ahead with the plan to wait until Everett's b-day (when everyone was planing to go and see him anyway). The funeral will be tomorrow....

Sometimes, older folks will have some time (or moments) of crystal clarity in their thinking and make request. Case in point, when I was living in Knoxville, TN., I had the honor of working on a locked unit of a Geri/Psych ward. I wore many hats on that floor and one of them was for Social Worker Assistant and I did one-on-one time with patients who didn't go to group that day. It was kinda late in the day and I went to see a dear, sweet lady and see what she was thinking about. She looked at me with such clear eyes (not a dazed or confused or blank look) and asked me "Am I going to be getting any better?" I told her that she would probably be released to go back home either tomorrow or the next day. It all depended on how she did and what the Dr thought. She seemed happy about that and then got really sad and asked me "But I'm not going to be getting COMPLETELY better, am I?" All I could do was smile, give her little shoulder a rub and say "We'll see". She died in her sleep that night. Needless to say, the whole staff was shaken the next day.

Too many times, the older generation that lived through war, the depression, etc get overlooked and written off. Many times, all they want is compassion, empathy, and a little time to share their memories and knowledge. If you have grandparents/ parents who are suffering from any kind of mental/emotionally problems, please give them that little bit of time that they want and deserve because you may not have that time tomorrow.

More to follow....

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