She has been gone almost six months to the day. I won’t go on about the whole journey of hoarding, isolation, dementia, injuries, removing her from her home, hospice, the passing. We went through the same journey with my Mom, save the dementia. With her you can throw in cancer too. Both had the hoarding illness…the addiction. Both were pulled from their homes by me, by circumstances, by necessity.
The point squirmed through my brain today as I glanced at the picture of my Aunt, seated in her room, in a care facility. She maintained a smirk, at best, and vacillated between being a sweet angel and a demented accuser. What struck me today as I looked at the photo, is this woman resided alone some forty years after her husband died. She was the epitome of the hoarder, that is not only addicted to the acquisition of stuff for whatever reason(s), but to a hard etched routine.
I removed her from her stuff, from her cherished home, from her routine. I inserted her into the best possible environment, but her anguish, discomfort was palpable, smirks aside, for the eight months she was away from her home, her stuff, her safe haven.
I did what was best, what was necessary. I reasoned, explained, read, had others explain and no amount of persuasion, educated, crafty persuasion could overcome the addiction to her stuff and her routine. In the end, she did not give into reason and the realities of her looming death (my Mom did that), but rather she tenaciously clung to every breath as if hoping she would make it through yet another hard challenge and sooner or later get back to her home.
Such a powerful addiction she endured. Such a little sweet, tough elf she was. Just the photo, it tweaked me a bit.