My Grandmother had a bad year in 2018. At the beginning of the
year she was pretty healthy. Still drove her car (competently),
active in the community, etc. All at 97 years old. Until she had
a stroke early in the year. Now, she is bedridden, limited in her
vision, and fresh out of a horrific experience at a care facility.
She is confused much of the time and cannot get up and walk after
a fall at said facility and the worst looking bed sore I've ever
My Uncle has moved down from the bay area to care for her and make
it possible for her to, eventually, die in her home like she had
requested before all this happened.
Anyway, all of that is background to what I am wanting to write
about: memory. A curious thing has started to happen... she seems
to be experiencing her whole life all at once. When I go to visit
it often takes a moment for her to realize I am there and who I
am, but once she does, we are good to go. She remembers that my
wife is pregnant and that we are having a girl (which is new info
on this phlog, we are having a girl!!!), she remembers details of
my life, etc. While remembering all of these things she will say
things like "where has your Grandfather gone? He was around a few
minutes ago, but I have not seen him since I ate breakfast". My
Grandfather died a number of years back. Ok, so maybe that is just
a little bit of temporal confusion. Understandable. She then went
on to say how she is looking forward to my baby arriving, and that
her mother will love holding the baby. I verified who she meant by
"mother". She meant her mom, who was dead long before I was born.
It does not occur that she is talking to me and talking about her
mother as being alive. They are all people she knows, they all
exist or existed, they are all current in her mind. She has fallen
out of time. I have not deliberately probed this, but I may wade
around the edges a bit. If anything, I think talking about my
Grandfather or others from her past may make her more comfortable.
She had good friends and always liked telling stories about her
It is interesting that that can happen, that you can become
untethered from the threads of time... at least to a point. It
is fascinating and does not seem to cause her any distress. She
is doing ok, and while I think it would be a kindness for her to
pass in her sleep, until then we will be there to talk with her
and comfort her as we can... as she drifts through the years all
rolled up together.