Not An Empty Shell

He seems very distant and yet I think he’s here. His eyes stare into the nothing, as if he’s trying to see something far away. He’s only a shade of the person he once was and still he has that special presence. 

I wonder what he still takes in. He sees, he hears, but what sticks? What triggers memories, what pictures does he see, flashing in his mind? Some old memories must come up. Every now and then there is a word, giving us a hint about him remembering things.

I don’t like it when people talk in front of him as if he’s not there. He is there, at least physically. I want to tell them to be quiet, not to talk like this in front of him. But I don’t. They’ve been with him for months, for years now, watching him slowly fade away. As close as I am and used to be, I’m only visiting. 

He’s not just an empty body, an empty shell. He is still that special person and will always be. Even if he doesn’t remember. We do.

And when we hold hands and a tiny smile appears on his face I get that glimps of the spark in his eyes that once filled rooms. And I know that he is still there, somewhere inside…

31 thoughts on “Not An Empty Shell

  1. I lost two grandparents to dementia, slowly but surely watching them struggle with loss of memory not just of the people they loved more than the world but also the loss of their very selves. My grandfather ended up with severe tremors in his hands and his hands would shake violently whenever he didn’t hold his hands together. He was 95 when he died and I last saw him at his 95th birthday party and all I wanted was a smile. It was brief but it meant the world.
    Thinking of you and your loved one!
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel the same about such situations. They are still there and they have to be respected, even more, when they cannot speak for themselves…. much love to you and strength, Sandra!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is by far the worst disease I think a person can have. Having worked with Alzheimer’s patients before, I believe that inside each of them remains a piece of themselves which surfaces memories, songs, and laughter. Some little, some more, but we should be there to enjoy those special moments with them. Too often they are left alone, so I’m happy to hear that this person has so many people surrounding them.

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  4. I’m going through the same thing with my Grandma, Momma. I feel so guilty because I’m so far away, but I hope she knows how much I love her. I’m sure HE knows how much you love him.

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  5. The human brain, such a useful and convenient thing, for keeping the memories of those we have lost, in whatever way, alive and fresh and accessible for us, to be called up when needed. Maybe one day we might be able to manipulate our marvelous brains so that we can all keep our souls alive as long as our bodies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But how would we be able to deal with the body wasting away, if the brain would still be switched on? Sometimes it’s a blessing too, I think. Such a difficult thing…


      • Best case, we might be able to treat the body. Worst case, we would understand that our bodies are not meant to last forever but can still use our brain to share and comfort others who know they also can’t stop that process. I was trying to offer sympathy with my original comment. I hope/trust that’s how you read it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: When Honey Takes You Back | A Momma's View

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