Silent Lucidity

Hush now, don’t you cry
Wipe away the teardrop from your eye
You’re lying safe in bed
It was all a bad dream
Spinning in your head
Your mind tricked you to feel the pain
Of someone close to you leaving the game of life
So here it is, another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over… or has it just begun?

There’s a place I like to hide
A doorway that I run through in the night
Relax child, you were there
But only didn’t realize and you were scared
It’s a place where you will learn
To face your fears, retrace the years
And ride the whims of your mind
Commanding in another world
Suddenly you hear and see
This magic new dimension

I- will be watching over you
I- am gonna help you see it through
I- will protect you in the night
I- am smiling next to you, in Silent Lucidity

[spoken during solo]
(Visualize your dream)
(Record it in the present tense)
(Put it into a permanent form)
(If you persist in your efforts)
(You can achieve dream control)
(Dream control)
(How are we feeling today, better??)
(Dream control, dream control)
(Help me)

If you open your mind for me
You won’t rely on open eyes to see
The walls you built within
Come tumbling down, and a new world will begin
Living twice at once you learn
You’re safe from pain in the dream domain
A soul set free to fly
A round trip journey in your head
Master of illusion, can you realize
Your dream’s alive, you can be the guide but…

I- will be watching over you
I- am gonna help to see it through
I- will protect you in the night
I- am smiling next to you….

Silent Lucidity – Queensryche

I wrote the post below on November 27, 2016, a little over 2 months before my father died. The memory of that day still fills me with so much pain I cried upon reading this again. It’s not really about the fact that he died, we all shall pass to whatever comes next some day, but more about the way he died.

My father struggled to grasp at every moment of life even as his mind was being stripped away from him. Vascular Dementia took away his ability to reason, even the simplest of tasks became more than he could manage. Each day his grasp on reality slipped a little further away and anger reared it’s ugly head. Simple emotions took over and at the end he had to be heavily drugged to help control his outbursts. Watching this happen was almost more than I could bear, but I put on my best face to make sure he had all he needed.

I carry this vision with me every day. To watch someone you care about die in such a manor leaves you feeling helpless and weak. No matter how much I tried I could not stop the march of disease and the pain of regret for not being able to truly say goodbye. I feel cheated and robbed by something I had no control over, crushed with sorrow with his every crying fit. Two years ago today when I placed my hand on his cold forehead after he passed, part of my life was torn away from me never to return. I don’t think I will ever get over this. I miss you dad.

I went to see my father today. It’s only been 2 weeks since my last visit but he thinks it’s been months. His perception of time and his short term memory are gone. When I arrived he was sleeping in a chair in the TV room. The anti-psychotic drugs they give him to stay calm put him to sleep shortly after dosing, then he slowly wakes up later. I stayed with him for an hour or so, even while he kept dozing off. I could see the hold that the drugs have, the effort for him to keep speaking. When I left he was sound asleep, upright in the chair, chin on his chest. As I looked at him I wondered what he dreams about.

A little over a year ago when we all lived together in Strong Maine, he had bad dreams. Many nights I would be awoken by his screams and yelling during the night. I never new if I should wake him up or not. I don’t believe in dream control, but I sure wish I could control his.

If I could I would have him dream about days sledding as a child. Coming home cold and wet to a loving mother who would give him dry socks and hot chocolate. Going to school with friends that would never dessert him, always there with companionship. I would have him dream of his days in New Mexico riding his motorcycle across the open desert, not a care in the world, sleeping under the stars. I would have him dream of a son who cared about him very much, who gave it his all at the end to try and make up for lost time even though he knew it was too late.

I would have him dream about us playing ball in the driveway, then watching me play Little League at Family Field. Dream of us camping in the woods, only the stars and campfire to light the evening. And above all I would have him dream of a life fulfilled, safe and secure in knowing he was a good person a great father, loving husband. I want him to dream one last time of the people that will miss him, and then never wake up. I want him to pass peacefully in the dream of all dreams, forever shall he rest away from all the pain life has given him.

“Old soldiers never die, they just go home.”
I’ll see you at home dad.

8 thoughts on “Silent Lucidity

  1. Caring for those living with dementia is so difficult, and, at times, frustrating. It is a cruel disease and, in effect, makes a person die twice. Relatives and friends lose the person they know and love but have to retain a semblance of normal living as far as possible. They then lose them when they die, and, so very often, it is a blessing and final release. But of course you know this John. It doesn’t make things any easier though!

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  2. I don’t know if that was true of my father, you will have to ask my brother. I had to get off his rollercoaster 7 years before he died. Alcoholism split my parents in 1978. I tried to reconnect in 1986 but that was a mess of it’s own. The road became my home in 1992. Trying to pick out the things worth learning amongst the disasters is still a struggle. The best you can do is to let your journey allow you to teach yourself and others to not make the same mistakes that cause the pain and send people on the wrong path. Perhaps finding out what is right and getting it entrenched the deepest possible will allow you to stay on the right path so that even diseases and the drugs to treat them won’t cause you to stray.

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  3. JDR, this was a heartbreaker to read and heed. The ability to work through this while he was around and then when he passed exposed your noble character and the fact that while things are not always perfect, you were able to come through. I hope the new company is the best for you and I hope you continue the work on the jeep, light at the end of the tunnel-

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    1. Thanks Chad. Always good to hear from you and I will be catching up on my reading over the next few days to see what I have missed.

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      1. John, this is such a poignant post about your Dad, Alzheimer’s takes so many formats and I know how difficult the emotional outbursts can be. It is so important for carers to know that this is just an effect of brain damage and no reflection of the personality of the loved one. My mum in law turned into a pussycat at the end but I remember many years of angst during other stages. Now they are both at peace and I hope you will be.

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      2. So good to hear from you Kerry. Indeed it was not my father talking at the end but just the more primal emotions we all have within. I just hope he had one last hopeful dream before the end.

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