I read a true, short story in an Alzheimer’s version of Chicken Soup for the Soul that touched me deeply.
My beloved grandma, Dora, is currently in the latter stages of this terrible disease, so I am doing a lot of reading around the subject, as well as experiencing first-hand the strangeness, the suffering, the changes, the myriad moments of confusion and the few of lucid joy.
The story in the book was written by a woman who would visit her elderly mother frequently in a nursing home.
She writes about how her mother would say “Hello dear. Have you met my friend? She’s so kind to me. She has helped me so much.” And she would point to her reflection in the mirror.
At first the daughter found it strange, but then she began to realise how lovely this was. How much of a comfort the lady in the mirror had been to her mother.
The elderly lady would smile and talk about how wonderful her ‘friend’ was–how kind, how gentle, how beautiful.
Imagine how wonderful it would be if we all viewed ourselves that way, and treated ourselves accordingly.