Ch86 Lewy Body Helps Pat Finds a Way to Honor her Deceased Brother
Several days after Kevin died (a sudden heart attack) a package came for him in the mail. It was a pair of earrings. Very strange. Kevin was single and had no known girlfriend. But our daughter Cindy did a little research and discovered he did have one good non-intimate female friend, Michelle, who frequently ate lunch with him at Keys restaurant, the place where Kevin dined every noon. Cindy found Michelle’s phone number and we arranged to give Michelle her earrings the next time we went to Kevin’s, the coming Saturday.
Pat is fully aware that Kevin died on February 21, 2021. And yet, he is still alive to her, in a way I cannot fully understand. She sometimes talks about him in the present tense (“What does Kevin think about us selling the old clothes in his closets?”). I think Lewy Body blurs the boundaries between alive and dead and also between past and present. That’s not a bad thing, at least not now. It allows Pat to stay deeply connected with Kevin.
Tonight, the Friday before we meet Michelle, Pat took great care in wrapping Kevin’s present for Michelle. Whereas Kevin would probably just have handed the jewelry box to Michelle, we wrapped, labelled, and put a bow on the box. Now this gift is coming from both Kevin and Pat. I imagine them smiling at each other as they hand the gift to Michelle.
I’ve heard stories about how painful it can be for caregivers to repeatedly remind the Lewy Body individual that a loved one has passed. But now I wonder if sometimes the caregivers were working too hard at bringing their person back into reality instead of exploring the new kind of reality created by Lewy Body.
Added Note: Things seldom go as planned. When we got to the store to deliver Kevin’s gift, we discovered that Michelle had taken ill and wasn’t there that day. We were disappointed. But I’m positive that we will make the connection eventually.
Comments by Pat about Pat Finds a Way to Honor her Deceased Brother:
I think Lewy body blurring the boundaries between living and dying is not a bad thing.
I was disappointed when Michelle became sick and wasn’t there to receive our present. But we will try again.
[Ron to Pat] “What does it mean to you to give Kevin’s gift to Michelle?
[Pat to Ron]: It means I’m happy to include her in our relationship to each other.