The Final Awakening

Watching the man who raised me
sleep
is oddly comforting to me
Active in slumber
Engaged in conversation
and
Performing medical procedures
with ease not found in consciousness
Laughing
Hands busy at work
Acting out memories
just out of reach during his waking hours
The thief has stolen
most of his conscious thoughts
And carried them away
to somewhere foreign
Names of loved ones
His favorite pasttime
His current location
Things you think you yourself would never, ever forget
Are lost to him
But not to us
We remember
We see past the heartache of dementia
We see him
The husband, the father, the grandfather, the doctor, the friend
We know his likes and dislikes
and try to make him comfortable
Dressing him in his favorite clothes
Feeding him his favorite foods
But we can’t make him remember
So we let go of the frustration
And just love
the shell of the man before us
He is the embodiment of our memories
of him
And of us
We must remember for both of us
because he is the one who loved us from the beginning
So we will love him to the end
Somewhere deep down
in a place the thief hasn’t found
his memories linger
In sleep, he is my Pippa
once again
He laughs
He loves
He remembers
The part of him that makes him “him”
is the part of him that will live on
long after
his earthly vessel
is no more
I know that I will see him again
and that he will remember
me
And he will be the one to remind me
of everything I missed
while he was asleep.
—–
*post title taken from Walter Scott: “Death–the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.”

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