A Thief Called Dementia

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Grief takes many, many forms. We know all too well the mourning of one so loved. We’d give anything for another few stolen minutes, hours before the chasm between us, the living, and death opens up (again).

But what of the grief that comes of seeing your love slowly morph into a stranger. Going to a place that admits only them and not you. Going beyond a boundary and looking at you while you stand outside helplessly, unable to bridge that gap, that chasm. You can see this person you love, touch them even, and yet, they are no longer the one you once knew.

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That’s dementia. The thief that steals love and memories and so much more. A slow death, more painful than anything, for which support is not as abundant as needed.

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Dementia is death that necessitates mourning long before the patient succumbs and leaves this earth. You mourn the loss of things and rituals shared. The loss of carefree life, loss of freedom from fear and anxiety. Loss of sleep. For too many, dementia brings out the worst in a carer.

Dementia takes too much away. Takes it away and never gives it back. It seems as if it wins every single time. And yet, it need not be so.

Call me fanciful, whimsical…..but love triumphs. Love always does. Whether with dementia or any other illness or sorrow, when every decision we make is made from love……..then, years later, even when grief burns deep, that love returns, yielding the peace that surpasses understanding.

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