The non-italic lines represent my father’s rational & coherent thoughts
The italic lines represent the dementia taking hold
“Please don’t let them take me”.
Quick call the police, we’re being murdered in our beds.
“I know I’m losing my marbles” I smile at my daughter looking for reassurance.
How are the animals at the farm?
“I’m sorry, I just can’t remember”
How many sheep do you have now?
“Can you tell me that once more?”
What about your acting? What have you done recently?
I laugh nervously “if you say so, then it must be right”
So is the money any good? What do they pay?
I hold my wife’s hand, “don’t let me go”.
Just how is the farm? I really should be going home.
I’m so tired, I’m trying hard to stay with you but it’s difficult.
Please can you call my mother, I want my mother
I’m crying, I don’t know why. I’m so sad, I don’t know why.
Nanny, don’t go, don’t leave me.
I can see you, I think I know you, but I’m not sure.
They’re trying to kill us, help, help!
I wonder why the police are here. There are a lot of people here now.
What is it? What are you saying? Tell me, tell me!
I’m not myself, please can you help me understand this.
I don’t know what’s going on. I have a rolling pin in my hand.
The rolling pin hits the cupboards and the sideboard,
It would never have hit a person, or at least I don’t think it would have.
Where are you taking me? Why am I going? Why is my wife crying?
“Please don’t let them take me.”
By the time my father was officially diagnosed with dementia, it was too late to stop the decline.
In an ideal world he would have stayed with his family and been looked after 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and his decline would perhaps have been slower or at the very least more dignified.
But we do not live in an ideal world and just 10 months after he was sectioned, the father I knew has long gone. The person I see now is an imposter who possessed my father many months ago, but it is difficult to mourn the gradual erosion that happened before our eyes.
I now mourn for the father I knew existed once upon a time.