This week I found a pile of paperwork, tucked away in a drawer, that I had missed when I originally sorted out her belongings some 12 years ago. Some of it was obsolete: old insurance policies, council tax bills etc, but then I became acutely aware of the little reminders hidden amongst it of the person my Auntie used to be…
A letter to Tony Blair, outlining the case for euthanasia to be legalised, in light of my Uncles suicide following a terminal cancer diagnoses.
Notes on the back of envelopes of bills: “Paid 12/3/99 by cash, receipt awaited”
Copies of two old wills, in which she had made detailed provision to leave all her money to everyone other than my father her next of kin at the time, following a disagreement, and then reversed the decision once they had made up later that year.
Photos with names, dates and descriptions. Incredibly useful as a record of the past especially with the source of the rememberings gone.
So good to remember the person someone was before dementia but sadly so easy to forget. Maybe because remembering makes dealing with the disease and caring for the person almost too painful to bear so forgetting is a way of coping rather than dwelling on who you have lost.