A rather sad poem, prompted by BBC Radio Jersey interviews about the growing numbers of older people with dementia.
I have received this comment on the poem: "My poor nan has this condition, I think you have portrayed with dignity the indignity of this dreadful blight to our dear elderly family members who suffer with this relentless disease.".
And another comment from the UK:
"It does reflect the agony of dementia... We have just had a course on spirituality and ageing with a very good session on dementia and alzheimers. Would you give me permission to send your poem to the editor of our parish magazine, please? I think a lot of people would feel it reflects their sadness.".
My aunt also had Alzheimer's disease, and it was dreadful the way she lost the ability to read, remember, and what little memory she did have became confused and muddled. It was a cruel illness, and it was so sad to see such a bright intelligent lady lose all those faculties.
In memory of all who are suffering, and their families and friends...
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
Memories fading, thoughts do not abide
Neurons failing, speech and language flee
Reaching for help, please abide with me.
My past life is ebbing, going day by day
Childhood is dim, school days pass away
Change and decay in all around I see
Fragments remain, to abide with me
Words go, one by one, every passing hour;
I am aware still, of memory's fading power
And of the future, of indignities to be
So cruel the loss, self awareness lost to me
I fear all foes, my life becomes a mess
All that remains, is tears and bitterness;
There is no cure, doctors have no victory
Motor functions failing, breath is lost to me
Evensong of life, darkness before my eyes
Unfinished symphony, dusk and darkened skies
Personality gone now, self's last shadows flee;
Mourn me, remember, now I am not me.
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