A Letter to Those I Love When I Forget: Alzheimer’s and Fear of Forgetting

Mummy Confession: I worry that someday I may forget those who I love most.

I fear for the future. It’s in my genes. A family history of Alzheimer’s has been in my family’s lineage for a couple generations now, and I’m worried. I’m worried that I will forget. I’m worried that I won’t realise when I’ve forgotten. This is why I’ve written a little some of my thoughts on the matter and a message to those I love.

I’m worried I’ll forget who I am, and where I’m going. I already seem to forget more than most people, and feebly laugh it off as a joke. But it concerns me that I can’t seem to recall things that should just stick. Is this normal or indicative of my future?

You see, I know how it seems to go with those dealing with those who have Alzheimer’s. It sets in slowly, and takes over gradually. It’s called “the long goodbye” for a reason. Slowly losing yourself. The memories. A sense of where you are. A sense of reality. And you don’t quite know.

I’ve seen the bad days and the moments when memories come back like nothing has ever been missing. And I’m afraid. I’m afraid most of all that I will forget you. Who you are. What you’ve done. How much I love you. I will miss you, but I won’t know it. And that terrifies me.

It scares me to think of slowly losing my mind and the grip on reality. Hurting people I love with the loss of knowing who they are. How could I? How awful it would be. To exist and everyone knows who you are, what’s happening…and you’re totally lost. Reminded again and again, only to forget.

How does it end? No one could tell you. Is it a peaceful way to disappear, or completely and utterly terrifying and lonely?

To those I know now,

Please, if I ever forget you, please understand that it isn’t me. It’s not an excuse. If this should be in my future, I want you to know I miss you. I love you. I need you. I want to be patient. To be thankful. To be forgiving. To be joyful. To laugh and engage in conversation. If I can’t, forgive me. Please be patient with me and love me anyway. Battle with my memories and fight for what has been. Remember for me.

Remind me of the things we’ve done and the fun we had. Show me pictures and video of the joy. Even if I forget, remember how the memories felt. That’s how I want to feel now.

Don’t leave me alone, and forgive me if you’ve been patient and loving only to be met with empty words or hostility. I appreciate your tenderness and grace.

In the midst of this terrifying abyss, I do have hope, and I only hope I can remember. Remind me of the love of my dear Lord. Sing to me of His tender mercies. Remind me of them every morning. Thankful for His faithfulness and steadfast love which never ceases. And the strength He renews for each day.

I hope you understand: I love you. I need you. I want you to keep loving me.

I love you.


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