As I had dinner in an extremely loud restaurant last night and listened to the din of frenetic human activity around me, I thought about how my dad and I both enjoyed and required solitude. I’ve written before about our enjoyable visits to the library. We were both comfortable in our own worlds and spent a lot of time quietly reflecting. My mom tends to have quite the opposite nature, and could easily talk enough for all three of us!
Back when my dad was well, he would drop my mom off to grocery shop or run other errands, and when she reminded him she might be awhile, he would say, “That’s okay. I’m just going to sit here and meditate.”
As the dementia took greater hold over his mind, dad could no longer be trusted to be alone while my mom did her errands. But he hated going into stores and having to follow her around. This made a tedious but necessary chore an extremely stressful event for both mom and dad.
I wonder if all of those times he wandered away, he was trying to find his quiet place again, a place where he could be at peace and away from his troubled mind. I remember when I viewed his body at the funeral home, how calm and peaceful he seemed to be be. I told my mom he seemed “comfortable” and that was a state I had not seen him be in for many years. For those suffering with dementia, we can only hope that death does free them from the demons that plague their minds in this life.