My Black Book Of Poems (dementia)
Dementia is a terrible illness. It takes a huge toll on the family of the affected person both physically and mentally.
The following poems were written by me as I went through some of the stages of Phil's bout with dementia. It is an ongoing process and never gets easier. You do not get used to it. I don't think you ever really accept it. At least in my case. You watch it progress and can do nothing to stop it. All you can do is to see the person in a safe place with the best care possible and to be there with and for them as much as possible. I hope that by sharing these poems, I can help some others relate to their experiences and know they are not alone.
In the beginning
All the hateful things I said
All the times I wished him dead.
So many tears, so much blame.First him, then me, then God. In vain
I tried to make him tow the line
To be just right would just be fine
but there was no just and there was no fine.
I was hurt and angry and didn't see
He had fright and confusion, not just me.
He knew what I said though he didn't understand
why I was so cruel or the things I'd demand.
Why I would scream or yell & shout
obscenities and throw things about
I would go outside and hide.
He'd find me and bring me back inside
but only after I'd argue and cry
yet he never really understood why.
Or the times I'd be curled up on the floor
in a fetal position. I could take no more.
For a while I thought I was losing my mind.
Stark raving crazy myself I would find.
Grieving and guilty, still I'd imply
he was to blame, only him, not I
for all the hate full things I'd say.
For all the times I'd turn away.
The understanding that I'd lack
when I tried to bring him back
and make him see reality
and all the things that just couldn't be.
He'd shout "Where's my wife?"
and forget it was me.
That I was the wife he wanted to see.
It never seemed to enter my mind
that I should have been gentle, loving and kind.
The wounds too deep, the hurt too tender.
Yet after a while at times he'd remember.
It haunts me still when the guilt returns
I can't change the past as my conscience yearns
so wherever he's at is where I must be.
Wherever he goes my future will see.
From deep within I scream
I yell, I shout,I sob, I cry.
I slowly die.
Every day, every minute lived
existing with the lives within it.
Pushed, pulled, shattered, scattered
having lost all that ever mattered.
Living in a shell, a life of hell.
Every one said this too shall pass, be brave.
What for? there's nothing left to save !!!
Life as it is
From hour to hour, minute to minute
elusive, irratic, unknowing.
Even from second to second
we never know where we are going.
Dementia, demented, dementing, depending
on the caring of others which is never ending.
Please give me patience, please give me strength
to see this thing through no matter the length
no matter the hours, or how many years
please help me to bear it and bury the tears.
All his cards, letters and notes he signed-With oceans of love and a kiss in every wave.
I'm drowning in that ocean, living for that kiss
riding those waves for that moment of bliss
when the light in his eyes on occasion will shine
and a moment of reality suddenly is mine.
When our ocean deep love will surface on a wave
lift me to it's crest and keep me brave.
In my dreams
Though you are far away, still you are with me.
You are mine.
You make a rainy, cloudy day
full of bright sunshine.
One smile from you
my heart dances in delight
and deep within me in the night
you gift me with such glorious rhyme.
You even make flowers bloom
in the wintertime.
They travel into the shadows of darkness.
The light of the universe shines down upon their innocence.
We cannot follow for we know not where they go.
They take with them our love, our hearts
leaving us alone with all our yearning.
Into the shadows
Into the shadows he wanders alone.
Into the mist where his mind is his home.
Unto himself, I watch his withdrawal.
A soul in the shadows of life is his all.
My impossible dreams I will never know
unable to follow, unable to go
I can't imagine his sorrows or fears
as I reach out to him with my love and my tears.
If I could but cast a spell tonight
to lead him back into the light
I'd give my all, my life for him
to be once more the man he'd been.
To share again our daily life,
to be to him a better wife.
To love, to cry, to laugh and play
looking forward to each day.
To turn him around and leave behind
the misty shadows from his mind.
Dear Phil, I love you more than I ever did before
Forever and always, your Sunny Joy
Understanding for me comes slow.
I need to know
the things you see
in the pictures in your mind
with so much language lost
and words you cannot find.
You live with colors, textures, patterns, music
and much of the time you recede within yourself
to be at one with determined insistence
to be true to yourself
In your every day existence.
you acknowledge all the things you know.
I relate to the things you show.
Understanding for me comes slow.
With so many thoughts deep within your brain
hidden behind storm clouds like so much rain.
When you let it fall I catch it like the treasure that it is
and immerse myself in the glowing sunshine bliss
reflecting in your wondrous rainbow view
in those precious moments that I share with you.