Friday, 16 December 2011

Dementia and my life

My grandfather was an influential person in my early childhood. It was a troubled childhood and I used to disappear into books. He used to be a headmaster back in Sri Lanka. A pillar of our community in Jaffna where I was born.

When he got old he got cranky. He was a tough nut anyway. As he came closer to death he became more cantakerous though this may also have been a natural reaction to the tearaway grandson.

He died after a heart attack which I caused. I think I've lived with this guilt a long time. We had an argument and it was our last one. I can raise people's blood pressure at the best of the time.

The thing is, I never saw my grand dad as mentally ill or crazy. He was just my grand dad. As his condition got worse he became harsher and harsher. But he was still my grand dad. I was a naive child uneducated in the construct of mental illness and than fuck for that. I think being cranky and cantakerous is normal.

I would never have drugged his behaviour away. He was my grand dad. For all the disrespect I showed this simple truth I never forgot. He's my grand dad. Cranky, old and crazy. He's my grand dad.

We can not kill old people because they're crazy. 1,800 unnecessary deaths every year already. We have no moral conscience if we do.

The UK has a ban on capital punishment. We will not kill the worst criminals but we will kill the elderly because they were cranky. People like my grand dad.

Perhaps this is the value of being brought up in a three tier immigrant household. I learned something.

We do not kill the elderly because they're crazy.

Sent from my smartphone

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About Me

We It comes in part from an appreciation that no one can truly sign their own work. Everything is many influences coming together to the one moment where a work exists. The other is a begrudging acceptance that my work was never my own. There is another consciousness or non-corporeal entity that helps and harms me in everything I do. I am not I because of this force or entity. I am "we"