August 30th 2016
Today my mum asked me what I did over the weekend and I couldn’t for the life of me remember. I hadn’t seen her at all, so naturally she wanted a catchup, but as I was trying to tell her what I’d done, I just… couldn’t remember. I only managed to stammer something out when prompted, and I missed a whole load of stuff out. I think I got really confused because of the bank holiday and the fact that there was an extra day of the weekend to assign events to. That’s what I’m blaming it on, at least. Either that or the early onset Alzheimers that I’ve self diagnosed myself with because I’m terrified of one day losing my memory completely.
My Grandad John has dementia/Alzheimers, and today he bumped into my Grandad Dave down the shop. John asked Dave how my Nan was doing these days. But my Nan died five months ago, John had just forgotten.
When my Mum told me that story I wanted to run, scream and cry. Because it’s just horrible in so many ways. Dave, bless him, not wanting to upset John just replied “she’s fine thanks” and didn’t make anything else of it. It’s not worth making a fuss over because John won’t remember that he’s done anything wrong. It’s not the first time he’s done something like this, either. Two years ago, a few months after my Uncle died John asked my Dad how his brother was doing. He’d remembered that he was unwell, but hadn’t remembered that he had died.
My Dad had to turn around and say “He died John” and it was horrible for everyone. I remember everything about that conversation. Where we were sat. What my Dad was wearing. The look in his eye. The sound of his voice. How my Grandad recoiled and stammered as he realised what he’d done. He was angry with himself. He apologised repeatedly, but he did the same thing a week later.
It’s so, so horrible. Because there’s nothing you can do. Obviously your natural instinct is to be angry at John, but it’s not his fault. He’s just asking because he cares, but he’s bringing things up that people are doing their best to get over. If you ever can get over it. And it’s just a painful reminder.
But then there’s also the fact that it’s horrible that John can’t remember. Not only is it horrible to be reminded, it’s horrible that he’d forgotten. It’s really awful. He’s just trying to be polite, but his mind is stuck at a point sometime a few years back, I guess that’s how it works. And so because he knows no different, he asked after my Nan. And… it’s just horrible.
Until tomorrow, it’s just so horrible.