Well, the family showed and they provided very kind memories for my/their auntie. Very nice people and enjoyable to be around for sure. After they left, perhaps the let down, or the rising pain levels or a mental retreat caused my aunt to tilt toward another mental plain. She stayed kind, but she was off somewhere else. No wandering, no ranting, just disconnection last night.
Tonight, when we visited, my aunt wanted the door shut. She was concerned she had been mean to me of late and maybe had said things that were harsh. She wasn’t sure if she had, but if she had she apologized. She wasn’t sure sometimes if what she was seeing or saying was real or a dream; a nightmare. She expressed this in a way that was relevent. Yesterday, as I greeted her in advance of the out of town family showing up, she asked “Is that really you? I mean are you here now? Is this real?” Patting her hand, I said yes this is real and now. She sighed, “Thank goodness. I am not sure anymore.”
And so it goes. She now, in moments of clarity, believes she is having nightmares, visions and moving between the now and somewhere else. That is reassuring and sad.
We did discuss her funeral. First she said, “I want a new pair of shoes” I assumed a new pair of athletic shoes to replace or relieve her gray velcro tabbed athletic shoes. No, a pair of white shoes to be buried in. Oh, and a nice, not too fancy gown…off white, with lace down the front. What? “I know the end is close and there is not any point ignoring it. I mean it is right there in front of me.”
Long pause. Too awkward to change the subject; too disrespectful. I ask about the wig. She laughs and says, don’t bury her with the wig! I compliment her pretty hair. The subject moves away into gentle talk and quips from her. We say goodbyes, give hugs and we leave her to watch The Waltons. I feel like my head is between here and some other damn place.