Watching my grandfather run from invisible demons in his mind; hear him cry out in pain or fear or both, completely incapacitated and absent from reality…. I’m called back to those moments of madness that I have after my seizures, when I’m stuck between worlds but can’t move or speak or see or even form cogent thoughts. In those times I don’t have thoughts at all, I have “mind flashes” — flurries of images and feelings that make no sense when placed on a number line because there’s no relativity, connection, or logical flow between them. These times look and feel just like those episodes of Evangelion.
I only experience them for a few minutes, and they’re absolutely frightening every time. He (I assume) has been experiencing them for years. Y E A R S. Late-stage dementia is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen a person go through. It looks like complete insanity, and with the physical incapacitation to boot, there’s no ability to escape, distract, or end it (if that were his wish). It’s a version of being alive that is literal torture.
When I’m on the cusp of death, I hope I have even half so many visitors and well-wishers as he’s had. I hope my impact on others looks something like his. But I wouldn’t want his end. I’d hope someone rescues me (or I accomplish the rescue) long before I ever reached permanent Evangelion.