Friday, August 4, 2017

David Bowie is helping me grieve

The time between Jeanne’s initial diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and her death from advanced Alzheimer’s was about five years. Six would be more factually accurate, and her overall disease trajectory may even have been closer to eight, taking into account her earliest concerns about memory and considering the data about prognosis in Alzheimer’s.

But five is a nice round number, and five years seems like a reasonable bag of time to rummage in.

It’s also the name of the first track on Ziggy Stardust.

The song’s extended final chorus works fine for me as an expression of what Jeanne and I thought we were facing. It’s more of an “our song” than any other we could claim, though I wasn’t very familiar with it until after both Jeanne and David Bowie had died.

Jeanne had been in bed for a week on January 10. She was comfortable, content, and more alert because she wasn’t using energy to transfer between the bed, her wheelchair, the shower, etc. We had settled into a good rhythm with our hospice team, and enjoyed the holidays.

Mostly, Jeanne slept. While she did, I read reactions to Bowie’s death, and what he meant to people. I listened to his music - not just my purchased copy of David Live, but to some of the hundreds, or more likely thousands, of concert recordings on YouTube.

Eighteen months later, I’m still listening.

Thanks for reading. See you Monday!

Here's a really good one: