This was taken from Pat's Facebook page.
I never knew Gregory “before.” When I met him, his Alzheimer’s had progressed significantly, but was often not evident to a casual observer. We’d go for long walks, and visit the bird shelter to hug a big parrot. He had an art show. When we ate at restaurants, he needed help ordering.
As time passed, he needed help zippering his jacket, putting on his gloves, and pouring his Perrier into his glass. When I offered to do these things, he was always grateful. Through all this, he was patient with himself, and handled his confusion with grace and dignity, at least in front of me.
Moreover, he never lost his manners, like standing aside for me to go through doorways first (although I felt he should go first, so I could watch over him.) Alzheimer’s stole a lot from him but he remained responsive and gentle and agreeable with me.
While I do not begrudge him the relief of his death, I regret that I no longer have him as a model. We must remember these things in our hearts and continue to be the better person our friends inspire us to be.