Bo’s Final Gift


This morning Boris left me.  It was a peaceful death.  Jon and I had just been with him, then Jon returned to check on him about ten minutes later and Bo was gone.  It was his last gift to me.  I didn’t have to make that terrible, final decision for him. So many times I have written about his slow decline into Alzheimer’s and the gifts that he gave to me:  he was never belligerent or violent, he never wandered, he never lost his kind sense of humor.  He did it all with grace.

This is hard on Jon because he was so close to Bo;  I think he  loved him like a father.  Bo was in such wonderful hands — cared for  by a gentle, kind man.  What would we have done these past 2 1/2 years without him?  Jon has made it possible for me to have a life.   His wife and children have given me a family, filling  our house with life and cheer.  They will continue to live with me, but our house will never be the same.

I’ve been preparing for this day for so long, and yet my life is suddenly changed.   Bo has been my sole purpose for so many years … this will be difficult.

Thank you to everyone for your kind messages and prayers.


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29 Responses to Bo’s Final Gift

  1. Arleen Stolzenberger says:

    Oh Nancy, I am so sorry to hear of Bo’s passing. I know this is so hard for you, Jon and his family but he is at peace. You all will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. MCI Alice says:

    My eyes are filled with tears. You and Bo have been such an inspiration of grace, courage, and dignity (as well as a sense of humor)…even in death. My thoughts are with you and will continue to be with you…much love

  3. Don Ludwig says:

    So sad. God bless you and Jon’s family.

  4. Marcy Elwell says:

    Nancy, I am so sorry… This is such a sad and difficult time
    for all. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, along
    with Jon and his family. May Bo rest in Peace.

  5. Mary Ann says:

    The end of a very long sad journey
    I am praying Gods blessings on you

  6. Yvonne says:

    Nancy, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.

  7. Scarlett79 says:

    Don’t worry Nancy, God will guide you as he’s been watching from a distance. Much love to you and Jon. Blessing’s ❤

  8. Lori IL says:

    My deepest condolences to you. I have been following your stories for over a year – Dad had mixed dementia and finally passed this February after two back-to-back hospital stays. Your stories touched my heart – Dad was also very compliant, pleasant and confused but never “acted-out”. I shall miss him every day of my life as you will miss your Bo. Bless you and take care.

  9. I do Think of you and send you love, thoughts and energy.
    Stay strong!
    prayers to you

  10. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  11. Norma Jean says:

    I’m so very sorry. Please don’t let this be your last post… many of us have come to care so much about you and your family. I hope for the grace and strength you’ve shown as I walk my own path as an Alzheimer’s Wife.

  12. Rob Sebastian says:

    Nancy, your bravery impresses me. My deepest condolences.
    Rob Sebastian

  13. Burgundie Miceli says:

    Big hug for you and your family.

  14. boomer98053 says:

    It appears that the Holiday season is bringing release to those who have been constrained by this most horrible of diseases.(Kay Bransford’s mother died on Christmas, Dealing with Dementia blog.) I’m sorry, Nancy, for your loss, while at the same time I celebrate Bo’s Independence Day. Many blessings to you and those who were close to your husband.

  15. Carole G. says:

    It is hard to understand why loved ones are taken from us, but find comfort in knowing you were a special part of a well-lived life. Hold on to your memories and let them guide you during this time of sadness. Much love.

  16. Mary Smith says:

    Oh, Nancy, I feel for you at this so difficult, sad and strange time. I often thought my dad the Goldfish and your Bo shared a great deal on their respective journeys – neither became aggressive or demanding – both were gentle men to the end and retained their humour and smiles. I once told my sister I thought dad was a year ahead of Bo on the dementia journey and it was just over a year ago dad died. I miss him every day and came away on hoiday over Christmas – but I’ve found the ‘missing him’ part comes, too.
    Do pass on my condolences to Jon and his family. My husband – called Jon – was a great help in looking after dad and as his own father died whe he was a child I think he looked on mine more as a dad than a father-in-law.
    You are all in my thoughts. Much love, Mary

  17. renxkyoko says:

    My deepest condolences .

  18. Paula says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Nancy! Sending you virtual hugs ((hugs)) and saying a prayer for all of you! May he rest in peace!!

  19. Julio Feldman says:

    Dear Nancy,
    Our journeys are different and yet the same, preparing for the day when a spouse passes away from dementia. In looking at the photo of your husband I’m picturing how he must have been prior to this devastating illness. May wonderful memories fill your days. As one of your respondents stated, “I am sorry Nancy for your loss while at the same time I celebrate Bo’s Independence Day!”
    When my wife’s death comes I will see see it as a liberating experience, focusing on the life that was, not the illness that took over. Take care.

  20. Dear Nancy,
    You and Bo have been a part of so many lives. I’m sure many quiet tears are being shed. Thank you for sharing your life with us. My thoughts are with you and Jon. Duncan

  21. Dear Nancy, I am so sorry for your loss and will keep you, and your friends, in my thoughts and prayers during what must be a very difficult time. I have been reading your blog and gaining comfort and support from your writing since my husband was diagnosed with the same in 2012. You have been an enormous help to me, modeling the pathway for us spouses of the deeply forgetful. It takes enormous courage to write about such a personal journey, and I greatly admire you for it! All my best, Sara

  22. Nicole Lewis says:

    Hello Mrs. Nancy. My name is Nicole Lewis. I’m Cynthia’s oldest daughter. I actually was coming to read my husband the blog about Mattie but learned of Mr. Boris passing and wish to off my deepest condolences, prayers for your comfort, and I hope that time will grant you peace of heart and mind at this difficult time. Regards, Nicole C. Lewis

  23. Nancy, I discovered your blog several years ago, when I was on a similar journey with my own husband. I thanked you then — and I thank you again now — for taking the time to record your experiences with Bo and sharing your story with us. Your writing was a blessing to me, as I recognized scenes that were so like my own and realized that I was not alone but part of a fellowship. My own journey ended almost two years ago, but I have continued reading each posting because I have come to care very much for you and Bo — just as all your readers have. And now we are all with you in spirit during this difficult time. I send you my deepest and loving condolences, Nancy. When you are ready, please let us know how you and the wonderful Jon and family are doing. I’m thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.

    • Frances, you have always given me encouragement to continue on with my blog. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I do plan to write again in the future. There were things left unfinished, unsaid. Perhaps I’ll be able to move it forward in a new direction. Nancy

  24. thom Sweeney says:

    Nancy, Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss of Boris. Please ALSO accept my thanks for your blog, which, like so many of your friends have already said, has been a support on what would ordinarily have been a solitary journey that we, who are in this same situation, must travel. Somehow it seems more endurable, if you know that someone else is going through the very same things.
    The stories of Jon and his family have been so heartwarming. And while I’m sure that their help has changed your life for the better, I’m sure YOU have changed theirs dramatically as well. Thoughts and prayers. thom

  25. cjmcl says:

    Four nearly five years ago I found Alzheimers Wife and started writing my own diary recording what was happening in our day. Harry died in June 2013 much as you describe Boris did; quietly without drama and at home. I was not with him. This worried me but when I read over my diary record it is about love and caring. I would not have this record if I had not come across Alzheimers Wife. Thank you.

    • Oh, thank you for this kind note. You have no idea what it means to me to know that I may have helped someone else in some way. I did a lot of soul searching when I started it, especially after a friend took me to task for writing publicly about a very private man, but decided to continue so that our friends and family could know what was happening in his life. And then I met fellow bloggers who shared their stories too, and I knew I wanted to continue. I too am so glad that I have a record to revisit. Nancy

  26. Monica says:

    I also had misgivings writing about my Alzheimer’s husband, but started when he was still newly diagnosed, right after Hurricane Sandy, with his permission. He thought he could fight it and said at the time, if my writing helped others as well as me, he was okay about it. Five days before your dear gentle Bo went on his final journey to a place of greater peace and complete healing, my husband got up in the middle of the night and later, according to him, “walked out a new black door” to get to the bathroom. (In reality, he opened & pushed through a curtained, locked, screened 2nd story window.) Still recuperating from acute pancreatitis & gall bladder surgery in September, my beloved of almost 30 years fell, fracturing his hip, pelvis, and we later discovered injuring one eye muscle (causing double vision), still awaiting dental assessment since he periodically says, “hurts to eat”. In hospital, then sub acute rehab, I visit EVERY DAY, as the staff themselves say they are understaffed. Certainly puts one’s faith to the test and I’m realizing yet again who really cares among family, friends, and neighbors. Nancy, you have been in my prayers ever since I discovered your writing. God Bless and keep you embraced in His everlasting arms. Peace, Monica

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