“The business of life is really just the acquisition of memories; at the end of life, that’s all we’ve got left.”
The quote above was in a television program I watched recently, and is a version of the one by Carson pictured here. My question is, where does that leave a person when they cannot recall their memories?
Of course, we are more than our memories. Even when, for example, we are in gaol, in isolation, or sailing around the world alone; although we might not have many things to do in some of those instances, there would be people we could communicate with or think about, journals to write about our experience, and so on.
What would it be like, if we were locked away, and couldn’t remember anyone to write a letter to, or enough to write a journal? This is of course, exactly what happens to people with dementia in a ‘Secure Memory Unit’…
Lately, my memory has been getting worsen and there are a lot more blank spaces. It was not a salient feature of my original diagnosis, and so it did not worry me that much, but now that I’m finding it more difficult, it is definitely an annoying and occasionally frustrating symptom of dementia.
I’ve been wondering what it will be like, when I no longer have insight. Will I be what is still occasionally being referred to in the literature as a ‘vacant dement’? Will I know it, or have glimpses of my life? Maybe it will be better than knowing I am forgetting, and can’t do things basic things like start the dishwasher or simple maths anymore. I guess it goes back to this..!