I'm a big fan of "The Great Courses." Naturally, I enjoy writing reviews on their website and appreciate the helpful reviews that other TGC customers leave. TGC ranks reviewers according to some metric that includes the number of their reviews and the positive feedback from readers. Recently I stumbled on a review by the top-ranked contributor, then clicked on her name in order to read all of her reviews. Phenomenal. I quote here from a review of a course about the neuroscience of everyday life:
My father died of Alzheimer's. To stay in his beloved house and present a good front whenever I visited, he kept all his vital necessities (his peanut butter, bread and various clothing items) in a single location — the dishwater.
Eventually I was forced to use trickery. We "visited" an assisted-care facility. For a day or two he begged me to go back home. He cried like a child. I was overwhelmed with guilt.
Then it abruptly stopped. The house he shared with my mother for 40 years until she died, his castle and refuge, disappeared like everything else down a memory hole. He was serene again within a week of entering the facility. Perhaps drugs had something to do with it.
That was years ago. He now rests in peace.

1 comment:

Cass said...

Alzheimer's is simultaneously cruel and merciful.

An aunt of mine had moderate-onset dementia that eventually worsened to the point that when her husband of many years died of a sudden heart attack, she didn't even realize he was gone.

So all the heartbreak of slowly losing a lifetime of memories was somewhat compensated for by a newfound ability to simply take each day as it came to her.

I don't know what to think about that, but it seems that even the saddest moments in life offer some compensating joy.