Dad's dementia taught me what it was to both grieve immediately the loss of the man as he was before surgery, yet feel gratitude for having him alive. Gratitude aside, learning how to care for my now very changed father challenged me. Somehow, I had to muddle through what is often referred to as ambiguous loss, while putting on a brave face for Dad. This type of gut-level loss is often defined as a "confusing feeling of interacting with someone who is not fully present mentally or socially."
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