Well it’s official, after a 2 year journey to get my parents’ house cleaned out and spruced up, it is no longer ours. It belongs to a whole new family, who I hope will make wonderful memories of their own. With any luck they will get just as much joy as it brought my mother.
One of the things she would repeatedly say to me, as her dementia worsened, was that she was going to die in that house because it’s where “my husband died and my mom died.” Both of them, including my mother, passed in hospitals. So, I don’t know where she got that idea. Yet, it did just occur to me, that it was my mother’s garbledegook she spoke. It wasn’t that they had died, it was where they had lived. The house brought her joy and comfort.
After my mom had lost the ability to swallow, I contemplated having her moved to her house to fulfill her wishes. I feel terrible that I didn’t. It would have brought her so much joy to be there when she passed. But all I could think about was her dying in the house, and me having to disclose it. Then there is the fact that the move may have been too much for her, and on top of that it wouldn’t have been cheap. Also, I would have had to stay there with her, which wouldn’t have been a problem, but it would have put all the pressure on the brother-husband to take care of Charlie.
It is this exact scenario in which my husband has outlined his wishes for his final days. He’s seen how I blame and beat myself up for doing all the wrong things. Even years after my dad’s death I still doubt my decisions. I feel like I made all of the wrong ones. To avoid that, he had a frank conversation with Tony and I about what he wanted. We also filled out his advanced directive. (Every time I think of it I always call it ‘prime directive.’ Without fail.)
Now, with my childhood home gone all I need to focus on is caring for my polycule, specifically my husband. Once he has gone I will have officially lost everything related to “my youth.” I will enter into the next stage of middle age.