Saturday, 6 November 2010

Dementia and Loneliness

November 6, 2010

(I wrote this a couple months ago, reflecting on when my mom had dementia)

Visiting my mom, day after day, alone, was probably the loneliest thing I have ever done. 

She was alone in her lost world.  And I was alone, physically alongside, but effectively separate.  Alone. 

Maybe there was something wrong with me, that I couldn't develop a new kind of relationship (we used to be so close, talked about everything). 

But I can tell you this.  If only someone else would have come with me once a week (or even once a month maybe), I wouldn't have felt so alone.  But everyone I asked just said, "You know I can't.  She's not the person I used to know.  I can't bear to see her that way.  You're strong.  You'll do fine."  And they turned their backs and walked away. 

And that made me feel even more alone, that being alone with mom.  Whatever made them think I was strong?  I just needed someone to hold my hand and be strong - or whatever - beside me.  Once in a while.

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