The new ad for the Alzheimer’s society has the hashtag #stillhere
It is something hard to explain to outsiders. My love is not the man he was, but he is still in many ways, himself. Considerate of the other patients, especially the women. Gentle and agreeable, looking all the staff in the eye and saying Hi, happily. The same guy who used to leave chopped firewood at our campsites in the morning, in case the next people didn’t have a good ax.
The grief that breaks me like a derelict ship sneaks up like a rogue wave and swamps me. I’d been poking into a cupboard and I find a mini notebook, only the first page written, and carefully tucked away.
Written, I would guess about 5 years ago, about “God is not dead because he never existed.”
Evidence of the militant but thinking atheist he became, to my surprise, as the illness slowly progressed.
The words cut me, suddenly confronting me with my loss. understandable and I suppose expected, in any bereavement — but he is not dead. He is in the care home muttering words that make no sense and trying to figure out how to get me to stay the night.