The look in her eyes is so different now...

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I guess I don't have a specific question, but it's always difficult seeing my mom and that "look" in her eyes now that just isn't her. I don't know how to describe it.
That look is what ultimately brought me to the reality of mom's condition last year. Until then, I could brush off the memory lapses or odd behaviors on medications, stress, anything. When I saw that look, kind of a wild blankness, last year I knew. I thought her normal look might come back from time to time, but it hasn't.
Does this happen as a natural course of AD? Part of the long goodbye? The connections between sight and emotions now broken? She'll know my name and say she loves me, but do you think the best we can do for ourselves is accept what is and go along with what comes next on this bumpy road?

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Thanks everyone for your great comments you've generously shared. It is comforting to know I'm not alone in my thoughts or feelings of heartbreak and loss. "Vacant eyes" sums it up. Perhaps the heart still feels, even if it doesn't show in the eyes. As stated in this thread, I've always thought the eyes are indeed the windows to the soul and it is so difficult to see those once sparkling eyes go dark.
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My mom has that look most of the time these days. I disagree though that she is not there. I have had times that my mom indicated she is thinking. ex "I would follow your instructions if I could", "I miss everything, everything is such a mess" and the most recent; suddenly her eyes cleared and she gave me a big smile( as if to say, it's you!, as she is non verbal now). I kissed her on the cheek several times and said "I love you, mom" Her brows furrowed and her eyes filled with tears. I too, cried in this bittersweet moment. As she became more distant I found saying all the different names she was called through her life, until one of them clicked, would snap her out. The one that seem to work best is saying her given name in a tone of being scolded then I had my lines of love ready to say, in that brief moment of connection. Now, after putting my left hand in her hand, I rub her arm, head, cheek, and most visits we have some connection time although it takes longer to get it and it is briefer. It is reassuring, that many find their loved one in a state of contentedness. it allows me to believe for the most part my mom is content, though I see her face go through a number of expressions of emotion, even while having 'vacant eyes'.
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My Mother would stare towards the end, just stare. It took longer and longer to snap her put of it. I hated that look, I know what you are saying, a sad vacant look. I would just take her hand and sit next to her. or put my arms around her. Somehow I know she knew I was there. I'm really sorry about your mom.
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I would often see my late mother and other elders sitting there with their mouths agape. I believe that it's part of the aging process.
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I went through this with my husband and found it to be the most difficult aspect of Alzheimers. We communicate so much through our eyes that often times words are not even necessary. To lose that special connection with someone we love is heartbreaking. As others have stated, they're gone long before death claims them. You are a special blessing now to your mother by caring for her and loving her even though she cannot react as she used to. Bless you and your mother on this sacred journey...
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I remember that look so well. It was late in my mom's journey though. 12 years but the last 2 were the worst. It killed me to see her gorgeous smile and twinkle in her eyes gone. You couldn't tell she knew me but I KNEW it when she heard my voice (ok, maybe it was me wanting it to be so) she would move in a certain way. Unfortunately it is a part of the later part of the disease. Thankfully they don't know it. Horrible disease that takes them away long before they pass. God Bless them.
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My mom had Parkinson's disease, so this was just part of her illness. I learned to not dwell on the blank stare or the loss of her smile. She was still beautiful to me, and the dear mom I always loved. I know that when I see her again in heaven, she'll have the brightest eyes and biggest smile ever. She is completely whole and she's with our Savior—nothing is any better than that!
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It IS a part of Alzheimer’s and just something else to break our hearts. When my mother was in the throes of one of her many hallucinations once, I tried to explain to her that it was 2016 and she was NOT living with her parents in her house in 1930. I will never forget the confused look in her eyes. That was the last time I tried to explain reality to her. I was so sad I could have leaked out under her door into the hall in a puddle of shame. I understand. I sympathize and I wish I could make it better.
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No, Caltink, she is not able to speak it anymore. Try not to be bitter...she cannot help it. Just keep loving her and you will feel better about yourself once she is gone. It is hard, we know.
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I have noticed a kind of blank look in her eyes for some time now. She does not say she loves me, nor does she say, please, thank you, or sorry anymore...I am relegated to a servant...
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