DESCRIBING his passing as ‘a great relief’, Beatrice Waldron said she is glad her husband, Alfred, no longer has to suffer the indignities of dementia.
It was just a short four months ago that Alfred featured in the pages of The Southern Star, marking his 100th birthday.
At the time, Beatrice had spoken about the difficulties of being ‘a 24-hour 365-day carer’ prior to her decision to take up residence at Skibbereen’s retirement village.
Alfred, meanwhile, received full residential care at Skibbereen Nursing Home until January 9th when he passed away peacefully at Bantry General Hospital.
Beatrice said she welcomes the fact that her husband of 74 years no longer has to suffer ‘the torment of his dementia in all its ghastly forms.’
She said the brain disease had, for some years now, taken her kind, thoughtful husband and turned him into a veritable foul-mouthed fiend.
Just before his passing, Beatrice said that ‘there were, for a few wonderful seconds, whilst I was by his bedside, that he actually came to, recognised me and smiled. Then he took my hand and kissed it. That will stay with me for the rest of my life.’ She also said she was grateful for the smile he gave his daughter instead of the usual wicked snarl he had given her ever since he went into hospital.
Alfred wasn’t being unkind – for years he simply did not recognise his wife or his daughter. The lines on Beatrice’s face made him think she was his mother, not his former lover. Equally, he could not comprehend how his daughter – a lady in her 70s – could be so old.
Since the last article appeared, Beatrice said people have come up to her to say they could identify with her story, and that they had derived benefit from it.