Knowing She’s Loved Is More Important Than Her Knowing My Name

Linda awoke from her night’s sleep with me standing over her, gently stroking her hair. She gazed at me with a confused look and asked, “Who are you?”

Being forgotten is a painfully common experience of those whose spouse or parent has dementia.

It hurts to never hear your name called by one with whom your life has been lovingly intertwined for decades.

“I’m Kenneth, your husband,” I responded as I leaned over to kiss Linda on the forehead. “I love you!”

Suddenly, the confused look gave way to a twinkle in the eyes and a gleeful smile. There was a recognition deeper and far more important than my name.  It was the recognition, “I am loved!”

I often hear family members, pastors, and friends say they don’t visit those with dementia because “they don’t know me any longer.” Increased isolation results and persons with dementia get cut off from the very thing they most need–the assurance of love.

Whether Linda knows and speaks my name is far less important to me than she know that she is loved.

In her fleeting smile and momentary sparkle in the eyes, I knew that I, too, am loved. And, we both are enfolded in a Love that transcends words or the sound of our names.Clasping hands 2

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Knowing She’s Loved Is More Important Than Her Knowing My Name

  1. On a Christmas Day I went to see my daddy in the hospital. He had not known who I was for over two years. As I entered his room he looked at me and said “Why Ellen, I’m so happy you came to see me!” Had I assumed that he wouldn’t know me, and stayed away, I would have missed that precious moment!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes! Like God loves us: sometimes we don’t even know His name, doubt He even exists, but He knows us anyway!
    We are so very much made in His image. My Dad wasn’t too sure who we were at the end either, but he knew we loved him, and he us! I’m so glad you were there to give your beloved wife that gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This kills me, Kenneth. I care about these exchanges you two have and so wish I’d known you two before her dementia. What I’m most grateful for is that you knew her then and can draw from all the love you shared. I agree-visit the sick, those with dementia-I don’t get to say what they can or can’t comprehend. Hugs and love to you both….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like some many human experiences, this one is almost impossible to understand unless you have been there. As one who has been there, I am so very thankful for others who are willing to share their experiences with the world. Until we find a treatment and/or a cure, nothing is more important than that those who are so afflicted receive the most loving and understanding care possible, both from professionals and from their loved ones. Thank you for continuing to help us understand. Peace —

    Liked by 1 person

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