It’s lunchtime at The Refuge. Pat eats a few bites; I look down to pick up another forkful for her but when I return it’s as if Pat isn’t there anymore. She is staring straight ahead, unblinking. I ask Pat if she’s ready for another bite but get no response. I try asking her what she is seeing; again, no response. It’s impossible to know what, if anything, is going on inside her head. Finally, Pat opens her mouth and takes another taste, but almost immediately she drifts back into nowhere. Into the void.
And then, a minute later, Pat returns to my world, smiling, reconnected. Thank God, she’s back, I have time to think, before she departs once again into her private space, into Pat’s private emptiness.
These blank stares scare me. I keep trying to get her out of them. Pat is like a car stuck in neutral while I search for a way to get her into drive. Or worse, Pat’s engine has been turned off and I’m desperately searching for the restart key. One day, I know, that key will be lost forever.
Sadly, Pat is drifting away like this frequently, spending less and less time in our shared reality. Lewy Body is claiming her, moment by moment, preparing each of us for her death.
Pat’s comments on Looking into the Void: Pat’s Blank Stare Scares Ron: