PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Getting This Off My Chest

I just need to get this off my chest and then I'll get on with it. I feel sad when people who used to be a big part of our life no longer come to visit Gregory and me now that he is at the memory care facility.

He certainly is a lot different than he was in his prime or even a year ago. I understand that many people cannot bare to see him in his present condition. I know that sometimes these kind of visits can be painful. I know that Gregory's situation possibly reminds them of their parents, or their grandparents who went through a similar journey.

Because I see him every day, I am used to his "here and now," and I know that it is easier for me than others. I try to keep people up to date on the changes going on, the good, the bad, and at times the ugly. That is if people care to read the blog posts. So there should be no surprises when visiting Gregory. Visiting together with me present makes it easier, I can carry the conversation, I can suggest interactions, I can give a "bad weather alert" when necessary.

But I also know that Gregory is still Gregory, although deeper down inside at times. His radiant spirit, sense of humor, wonder and amazement still shine. When a friend or family member comes to visit it may take Gregory a moment or two to focus on the arriving guest, but when he zeros in, he gets such a look on his face of love and joy, often tears arrive with an "Oh my," or "Oh wonderful." or "Oh look."

You never know whether a huge smile will take over his face or tears of joy will run down his cheek but you can always count on his being happy to see you! While he may not remember the person's name, or their relationship to him, he does know that the person visiting is someone special, some one who loves him and someone whom he loves in return.

Some of our family and friends live far away but when they are in town they always make a point of making sure we visit Gregory. Many of our family and friends who live close by have never seen Gregory, some have seen him only once or twice in the year he has been at Lieberman.

Some people visit Gregory more often and join me on the visit. I am always happy to arrange my time to suit a friend when they want to visit. Other people drop by on their own and spend ten or fifteen minutes many times a month.

I make no value judgement. I do not try to inflict guilt. I know that everyone has their own lives to live, and as Gregory's mother used to say, "everyone has their own cross to bare." But I do feel badly that "circumstances" can alter "friendships" and "relationships" so greatly! Sad. Sad for Gregory. Sad for me.


  1. Dear Michael I thought I have posted my comment but then it 'disappeared'. I cant remember all of it but the gist of it is THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH for being such an awesome partner for Gregory, for sharing you lives with us and for being honest. I'm a 51 year old living with Vascular Dementia and feeling the Ebixa grace period is beginning to run out. Reading your blog I can thus begin to identify withso many of the mid-stage experiences. I dont know how I was led tou your blog but I amvery grateful. I in a way also feel the care although being thousands of miles away in South Africa. Once again thank you vy much PS posting this was exhausting but also very much fulfilling. May you and Gregory be blessed abundantly.

    1. Thank you so very much for your thoughtful comments. I am pleased that my writing and our experiences can benefit you and others. I'll say to you what I have often said to Gregory, "I wish I could make it all better for you." I will hold you in my thoughts with positive, healing energy. Love all the way to South Africa!


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