The loss of memory is one of the most dreaded symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. My wife, Linda, has lost the memories of our almost 58 years of marriage. It’s a tragic loss!
Recently, I was privileged to spend time at Jubilation, a gathering of older adults in my home conference, Holston. The theme for the event was “More Than Our Memories,” as we dealt with the challenges and opportunities of dementia.
I was reminded of how much of our identities and memories are held in community. Some people present shared memories of Linda and me that neither she nor I recall.
People lose their memories only if the community no longer remembers! We are stewards of one another’s memories!
As John Swinton reminds us, “The tragedy is not that people with dementia forget; the tragedy is that they are forgotten!”