(A new friend wrote to me about her decision to put her husband into a memory center as he regressed into Alzheimer’s.)
“Finally, I put him into the facility that I chose. I had my first full night of sleep in years. But then, I suffered from guilt so great, it felt like a tight band around my chest. Nothing helped that feeling, only time.
My main concern was to make sure he had dignity. I didn’t want him to get lost or look slovenly, or say inappropriate things. I feel I gave him that dignity, and that gave me the strength to do what was necessary. But you cannot do it alone; I needed friends and my sisters to help me through this.
Daniel has had a girlfriend for the last two years, he has lots of friends, and he loves his studio and all the people who take care of him. When he sees me, he wants to go home with me. I still trigger his life with me, but when I leave, he is happy to stay with his friends. I try never to think when I visit him. He is equivalent to a five year old. I make parties for him and his friends.
This man was a high powered trial attorney, a municipal court judge, lawyer to several boards of education, and so bright and funny. It is too painful to think about it. But now I get satisfaction from seeing him happy and safe.”