I know the face of dementia. I know its slow robbing of personality, of character, of the daily moments of person to person connection that make us human.

This was brought even closer to home when I met the father of a good friend who had recently moved his wife with advanced Alzheimer’s disease into a care home.

David shared with me his untitled poem, and gave me permission to publish it.

“Those golden years, the memories
We are still here, but they are gone.
The things we did, the dreams we had
Are now blank sheets for her, not me.
With whom can I share the joy and tears?
Of things we did or when we failed.
Maybe somewhere all happenings are stored,
Not in this virtual life, but where, eventually we go
To join the life force, from whence we came.”

David captures the helplessness of his loss so perfectly, tinged however with a hope that all lives reconnect in some form or shape in the future, asking at the same time and so simply the fundamental questions of life and existence.

It is a hope that I also embrace, and one that makes this long goodbye just that little bit more bearable.


Martin Young

Martin Young

Martin Young is an ENT surgeon living an idyllic life in Knysna. He is a firm believer that "the unexamined life is not worth living", writes for a hobby and is happy to speak truth to power www.drmartinyoung.com...

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