Who’s suffering?

suffering 2

Diagnosed with dementia

So much ‘suffering’

Sometimes my darling husband sits

Holding his head in his hands

Sad and tearful

Watching the changes in his wife

Caused by the symptoms of dementia

And as I’m becoming less aware

Increasingly less insightful

Less frustrated

Perhaps not ‘suffering’ at all

My beloved husband

Sits on the sidelines

Watching my abilities slowly deteriorate

My ability to participate fully

In my own and our world

Now not always recognising him

Sometimes lost

Somewhere in space

Causing his intense


His increasing grief and loss

And together we question

Who is the one suffering

And both agree

As the symptoms of dementia progress

I am not really the one suffering

Compared to his increasing “suffering”

As he watches me disappear

head in hands

(Source for both images: Google Images)

27 thoughts on “Who’s suffering?

  1. Pingback: Can you live well with dementia and suffer at the same time? | Living well with dementia

  2. There is no way that watching a loved one deal with Dementia is not difficult and heart wrenching, but suffering? No…Love keeps us separated from suffering and serves to lessen the drama. Stay with us my friend. You are still succeeding so well at blogging 🙂 Blessings and love….VK


  3. The stress is multi-faceted …….. and it also has a lot of “mourning” that is triggered by your worsening symptoms. Maybe it’s almost like he’s attending your funeral already, only you’re still alive??? I’m so sorry for your family and everyone else going through all of this and even other diseases like MS and Parkinsons etc that have a long, dragged out “death” ……


  4. A beautiful & really moving poem Kate that manages to convey so well what you and your husband are going through. You are still insightful, believe me. xx


    • Thanks Pippa, and yes, I am still very insightful, most of the time, but can see the incremental changes, and know from experience of nursing what is ahead. I was trying to make the point it is probably the partner who ends up suffering, and not the person with dementia… so it was really a mini rage against being called a ‘sufferer’! xox


  5. …Dear Kate………I am sad when I hear how you are feeling……..have you tried what I am prescribed ?, you have nothing to lose, if you cannot get a doctor to prescribe it, then change the doctor……ring mine personally at……[.07 ] 3410 1155 Dr Frances L Robinson…weekdays 9-4…….Tony Hogben.


    • Dear Tony… the point is, I am NOT suffering, and most of the time, at least for now, nor is mu husband… the poem was meant to be taking a stand against being called a sufferer… Thanks for your support and kindness. Kate


  6. another beautiful poem, your love for one another certainly gives me tingles when we are with you both.on our precious tho never often enough visits to see you. keep laughing dear one, our hands are with yours pete darling as always. love you both xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


    • Thanks Wendy… most of the time, Pete is not suffering either. What gets in the way, but only some days, is the sadness and the loss and grief, but we deal with that as well as we can, and get on with living the very best life together we can. Happy, in love still, and hardly every “suffering”, especially me! Of course, technically speaking, I do ‘suffer’ from dementia, but I flatly refuse to become a “sufferer”. xox


  7. After 7 months in residential aged care my wife is not suffering. She frequently tells me how happy she is, but then goes to tell me that boy ‘over there,’ pointing to a corner of the room, how he has been a bad boy and nobody talks to him. Yet there is no boy there at all. She is not suffering because it is all very real to her, and I have to go along with it and agree and say something soothing, and stroke her hand so she doesn’t get too upset about ‘that boy over there’.


  8. Thank god that’s not a photo of me. If it was I really would think I’m suffering.
    Anyhow, how could sharing your life with the most beautiful person in the world ever be called suffering.


You are very welcome to respectfully join this global conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.