Living with aphasia means The Full Monty. There is no selection of only the good stuff.
This week, I went to the funeral of a wonderful woman, warm and funny, dedicated to her family, unflinching in trials. She loved a man in marriage for sixty years. It isn’t hard to understand that when you meet him: his smile, his humor, his incredible endurance through his life and meeting the challenge of his aphasia.
His wife, unfortunately, was diagnosed with a rampant cancer and died in a matter of weeks – this at the same time he had a probable ministroke, and needed more care. At the end, both of them at home in hospital beds, she requested of their children that they push the two beds together until they touched. And then, holding hands, they spent the last night together.
At the funeral, he was assisted by his family to stand and say goodbye at her casket. He sat up front for the service, greeted by those who love them both. He was her husband. Fully and completely.
As therapists, we bear witness to the experiences of those we serve. This was somehow different. I felt it all. Fully and completely.
The Full Monty.