Emotionally Ragged

My final night in town with Mom and Lyn was a bit challenging.  We'd had a good day when we'd gone out for breakfast and ran a few errands.  In the evening, our cousins were coming for a visit to let our children play.

After the initial greetings, the children ran out to play in the yard until dinner was ready.  My cousin spoke with Mom and Lyn, primarily focusing on Mom.  My cousin's wife and I got into a conversation.  Lyn didn't jump into the conversation as she normally does.  However, she would get up and come try to share the chair with Mom.

As the two conversations progressed, Lyn started growing agitated.  She wasn't the sole focus of the attention and wasn't sure what to do about it.  At one point, we heard the kids and wondered "Was that a happy or hurt sound?"  Lyn started pounding for the door and belligerently declared "I'll go find out."  Mom called her back and I said "Why don't we let one of the parents check?"  Lyn insisted that she knew what to do.  When she asked the children what they wanted to drink, she was pushy and demanding.

Fortunately, our cousins are well aware of what is going on with Lyn and are genuinely kind and patient people.  Despite Lyn's behavior, we had an enjoyable visit.  As they loaded into their car to head home, Mom alerted me to "expect tears by 8."  It was 6:45.  By 7:30, Lyn was sobbing.

I tried to talk to Lyn to see if there was something I could do, if she wanted to talk or needed a hug.  She shook her head at me and went to her room.  When Mom talked to her, she cried and cuddled up to Mom.  It came out that Lyn was upset that we were leaving in the morning.  She didn't want us to go.

She really didn't talk to me the rest of the night.  When she went to bed, she didn't say "good night" and we didn't say "good bye."  That didn't surprise me.  For several years now, we've not said "good bye" when I have to return home.  If we do, she always ends in tears.  It just seems mean to do that to her.  So, we don't.  We don't even say "good bye" if she's the one returning home.

The next day, Mom reported that Lyn was emotionally ragged.  She struggled through her speech therapy appointment and was taciturn afterwards.  She ended up in tears again.  They talked and Lyn was still very upset that we had to leave.  She understood that I needed to get back home.  She seemed to be grieved by the departure and that's unusual for her.

The night before apparently took more out of her than we anticipated.


  1. This made me cry. We (cousins) love Lyn very much! We were grateful to see everyone as well. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  2. Don't let it make you cry, my dear. Just know that this is part of Lyn's reality. I don't want to cause anyone pain. I do want to be honest about the changes we see in Lyn. I post things like this so that others may find it and recognize behaviors they're seeing in their loved ones who have dementia.


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