Healthy Living

The Heartbreaking Loss, Grief, and Bereavement of Alzheimer's Disease

"Who are you?" A phrase no one wants to hear

When Alzheimer's comes into the picture, family members, friends, and caregivers live with the constant fear that they would someday be forgotten. One woman, Betsy Wilkins* shared her experience with her mother's Alzheimer's. Everyday Wilkins watched her mother fade before her very eyes. But, while the thought of her being forgotten remained in the back of her head, she didn't think it would actually happen. 

One day, she came home from work, and was greeted by her mother's blank stares. The inevitable happened. 

Her mother did not greet her with a hello, or a how was your day. Instead, she was greeted with a who are you. Since then, her mother would come and go. Sometimes she would appear her old self, sometimes she would be a new person, an "empty shell." Now, Wilkins has shared with us that she feels empty herself and wonders if she could have done anything differently.

*: Name has been changed for privacy