Coping with Grief

Posted | Jonathan Gillman No Comments

Having someone close to you develop dementia or Alzheimer’s is a slap in the face. It’s not something you planned for, or expected.

If it’s a spouse—well, yes, we agreed to “in sickness or in health”—but we thought that meant a cold, maybe the flu, even a broken bone. But not like that. That’s not the person we married.

And what about a parent getting Alzheimer’s? No one told us it’d be like this. Our own children, when they were babies—sure, we knew that’s what babies were—we did sign up for that. But our parents being babies, before our eyes … that is something unimaginable, entirely.

They did that for us, didn’t they, just the way we did it for our children?

No one told us we’d have to do it for them too. Did they?

We don’t expect to have to cope with grief. I know I certainly didn’t anticipate writing memorial poems about my father; even while he was alive, no one prepared me for emotional toll that dementia takes on a parent.

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